Ottawa is Canada’s capital. The city is located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, just across from Gatineau, Quebec. Ottawa has a metropolitan population of little over a million people, making it the sixth biggest city in Canada (fourth largest if Gatineau is included) and the second largest in Ontario after Toronto.
Founded as Bytown in 1826 and incorporated as “Ottawa” in 1855, the city has grown into Canada’s political and technical center. Its initial limits were enlarged via a series of small annexations until being superseded in 2001 by a new city incorporation and massive merger that greatly increased its geographical size. The name “Ottawa” was selected in connection to the adjacent Ottawa River, which is a term derived from the Algonquin word Odawa, which means “to trade.”
The city is multilingual, which makes it unique among North American capitals. Although English is the primary language of the majority of the people, French is the first language of around 15% of the population, and Ottawa has Canada’s biggest French-speaking community outside of Quebec. Staff at most businesses and restaurants speak both languages well, and bilingualism is prevalent in general.
Many of the world’s cultures are represented in Ottawa, which is home to thousands of immigrants from all over the globe. The city is arguably best recognized as the nation’s capital, but it has also become one of the fastest growing cities in North America as a result of the thriving high-tech company sector.
With multiple post-secondary, academic, and cultural institutions, the city is the most educated in Canada. Ottawa also boasts the best quality of life in the country, as well as the lowest unemployment rate. It is ranked second out of 150 countries in the Numbeo quality of life ranking, and it is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ottawa – Info Card
|POPULATION :||City: 883,391 / Metro: 1,236,324|
|FOUNDED :||1826 as Bytown, 1855 as City of Ottawa|
|TIME ZONE :||Eastern (EST) (UTC−5) Summer: EDT (UTC-4)|
|LANGUAGE :||English (official) , French (official)|
|RELIGION :||Christian 65%, Muslim 6.7%, Hinduism 1.4%, Buddhism 1.3%, Judaism 1.2%, None 22.8%|
|AREA :||2,778.13 km2 (1,072.9 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||70 m (230 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||45°25′N 75°41′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.8%|
• Female: 51.2%
|ETHNIC :||British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%|
|AREA CODE :||613, 343|
|POSTAL CODE :||K0A, K1A-K4C|
|DIALING CODE :||+1 343|
Tourism in Ottawa
Ottawa is Canada’s capital. The city is located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, just across from Gatineau, Quebec. Ottawa has a metropolitan population of little under a million people. It is Canada’s sixth biggest city (fourth largest if Gatineau is included), and Ontario’s second largest after Toronto.
The city is bilingual: English is the primary language of the majority of residents, while French is the first language of around 15%. Outside of Quebec, Ottawa has the biggest French-speaking population in Canada. Staff at most businesses and restaurants speak both languages well, and bilingualism is prevalent in general.
Many of the world’s cultures are represented in Ottawa, which is home to thousands of immigrants from all over the globe. The city is arguably best recognized as the nation’s capital, but it has also become one of the fastest growing cities in North America as a result of the thriving high-tech business sector, earning it the moniker “Silicon Valley North.”
PERFORMING ARTS AND MUSEUMS
The Primary Gallery of Canada is one of the city’s national museums and galleries; built by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, it is the permanent home of the Maman sculpture. The Canadian War Museum, which stores over 3.75 million items, was relocated to a larger site in 2005. The Canadian Museum of Nature was founded in 1905 and underwent extensive renovations between 2004 and 2010. The Canadian Museum of History, located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, is Canada’s most visited museum. The complex, designed by Canadian aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal and erected for 340 million USD, also contains the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum, and a 3D IMAX theater.
The Canada Agriculture Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Billings Estate Museum, the Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Canadian Ski Museum, the Currency Museum, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada are also located in the city.
The Ottawa Little Theatrical, founded in 1913 as the Ottawa Drama League, is the city’s longest-running amateur theatre organization. The National Arts Centre, a significant performing arts complex with four stages and home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Lyra Ottawa, has been located in Ottawa since 1969. The Great Canadian Theatre Company, founded in 1975, specializes in the presentation of Canadian plays on a local level.
SITES OF HISTORY AND HERITAGE
The Rideau Canal is North America’s longest continually operating canal system, and it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. In addition, the Central Chambers, the Central Experimental Farm, the Château Laurier, Confederation Square, the old Ottawa Teachers’ College, Langevin Block, Laurier House, and the Parliament Buildings are all National Historic Sites of Canada. The City of Ottawa has identified several more culturally significant sites as having “heritage components” under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Aside from the Capital Information Kiosk, cheerful volunteers from the tourism office may be seen in public areas, ready to answer queries in French or English. They are distinguished by their blue outfits with white question markings (“?”).
Geography of Ottawa
Ottawa is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River and encompasses the Rideau River and Rideau Canal mouths. Lower Town is the city’s oldest section, which includes what remains of Bytown and is located between the canal and the rivers. Centretown and Downtown Ottawa, the city’s financial and business centre, are located across the canal to the west. The Rideau Canal, which extends 202 kilometers (126 miles) to Kingston, Fort Henry, and four Martello towers in the Kingston vicinity, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 29, 2007.
Ottawa is located on a significant, but generally inactive fault line, and is periodically shaken by earthquakes. A magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred on January 1, 2000, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake occurred on February 24, 2006, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake occurred on June 23, 2010, and a magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred on May 17, 2013.
Ottawa is located at the junction of three main rivers: the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau.
Economy of Ottawa
The Public Service of Canada and the high-tech sector are the two largest employers in Ottawa. The city enjoys a good level of life as well as a low unemployment rate. According to Mercer, Ottawa has the third greatest quality of life of any significant city in the Americas, and the 16th highest in the world. It is also ranked as the second cleanest city in Canada and the third cleanest in the globe. MoneySense named the city the greatest town in Canada to live in for the third year in a row in 2012.
The Ottawa-Gatineau area has the third highest per capita income of any major Canadian city region. The federal government is the city’s main employer, employing more than 110,000 people from the National Capital Region. Ottawa is also a significant technological hub, with 1800 businesses employing around 63,400 people in 2015. Because of the concentration of enterprises in this field, the city has acquired the moniker “Silicon Valley North.” The majority of these businesses are focused on telecommunications, software development, and environmental technologies. In the city, large technological businesses such as Nortel, Corel, Mitel, Cognos, and JDS Uniphase were formed. 3M, Adobe Systems, Bell Canada, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, and Hewlett-Packard all have regional offices in Ottawa. Many telecoms and new technology companies are concentrated on the city’s western outskirts (formerly Kanata).
The health industry, which employs over 18,000 people, is another big employer. In the Ottawa region, there are four functioning general hospitals: Queensway-Carleton Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, Montfort Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre are two of the city’s specialist hospitals. Business, finance, administration, and sales and service vocations are among the most common employment kinds. Finance, insurance, and real estate account for around 10% of Ottawa’s GDP, whereas employment in goods-producing businesses is barely half the national average. With nearly 15,000 workers, the City of Ottawa is the second biggest employer.
The Department of National Defence is housed in the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, which serves as the major command center for the Canadian Armed Forces.
CFS Leitrim, CFB Uplands, and the old CFB Rockcliffe are all located in the Ottawa region. The city hosts the Ceremonial Guard throughout the summer, which conducts events such as the Changing of the Guard.