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If ottawa has a Long and Mcquade, you can rent, I think for very cheap, guitars and amps. And if it doesn't feel right or sound right you can take it back.
I wouldn't worry about the amp, at first. Actually the smallest may be the best to make mistakes on and repeat passages over and over to get them right. No one else in the house will what to hear that stuff at a loud volume anyways.

In my mind there are three major divisions of electrics that you first have to decide on;
Les Paul size, shape with humbucking pickups.
Stratocaster size, shape with single coil pickups.
Hollow body electric with probably traditional guitar shape and humbucking or peizo pickups.

Try to find out the differences and decide which of these turns your crank.
Then try to touch every guitar that you can. You will find some that just fall into your hands and feel like butter, well I mean just feel way better than the rest. You'll get an idea of what models give you that sensation.

And best of luck, there are lots of choices out there.
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