Ottawa. Canada’s Capital City

Canada’s capital city is Ottawa and this city can be found in the province of Ontario.
Situated on Ottawa River and snuggled up against the Canadian Shield, it offers great scenery and it is a great place to visit. A holiday in the city of Ottawa will not only net you an education about the history of the country of Canada but you can also discover great and new things about the country as well.

Ottawa has been Canada’s capital since before the confederation of Canada in 1867. Ottawa was chosen as the capital of the Province of Canada in 1859 and finished building the parliament buildings shortly after that in 1866. Back then, it was a small industrial town, but kept growing virtually without any city plan. In 1900, much of the city was destroyed by fire as most of the building were made with wood and in 1916, a large portion of the parliament buildings were destroyed, also by fire. And today the city boasts a population of 774,072 making it Canada’s fourth largest city and second largest in the province of Ontario (following Toronto, and just slightly ahead of Hamilton.)

If you are interested in the beginnings of Canada and its political system and wish to tour the parliament, tours are available and are free (it depends on what season it is and if the parliament is in session, call first.) There are many other historic and interesting sites to see in Ottawa including The Bank of Canadian Currency Museum (very interesting…shows you the history of money); The National Gallery of Canada (features all types of arts); Canadian Science and Technology Museum; Canadian Museum of Civilization and Canadian War Museum, just to name a few.

Not only the capital but a vibrant and current city in the country of Canada, the city boasts over thirty museums as well as fifty galleries and theatres Do you need a place to stay for a few days while you visit Ottawa? There are almost 100 hotels and motels to choose from including three Comfort Inns placed strategically in and around the Ottawa area. Other hotels include The Sheraton; several Holiday Inns and many other to choose from. Whether you want an upscale place to spend the night or something that leans more towards your budget, there are many to choose from.

Want to go on a shopping trip and pick up some souvenirs? Check out Ottawa’s historic ByWard Market. It is not your average shopping mall (though Ottawa does have several of those too). The ByWard Market is an outdoor 4 block radius which consists of many farmer’s stalls as well as contemporary shops, boutiques and restaurants. Established in 1826 by Lt-Col. John By (the legendary builder of the Rideau Canal), it is one of Canada’s largest and oldest markets. Situated near to the Parliament buildings, the location makes it a must see during your visit to Ottawa.

Everyone has to eat and Ottawa offers so many choices. You can have a North American Breakfast, walk a short distance and go to Italy for lunch and see the sites in the afternoon and then go to Thailand for supper. The options are almost endless. It depends on what kind of food interests your palate that particular day. Ottawa is also home to a Hard Rock Cafe which is located within the ByWard Market and with lots of other bars that one could spend some fun filled hours during an evening at.

The city of Ottawa boasts that it is one of the coldest capital cities in the world, but rather than huddle around the fireplace, the city’s inhabitants celebrate the weather. The Rideau Canal (built over the years 1826 to 1832) freezes during the winter and a large section of it becomes an ice rink. Interested in in-line skating during the summer? The city of Ottawa boasts 170 kilometres of pathways that can be used for skating, biking and walking, not to mention other parks and greenspaces.

The city of Ottawa is also one of the best places to learn and with more than 5 colleges and universities to boast about, it makes the city most prominent in the country with one college and one university’s courses being delivered in the French language. Since Canada is officially bi-lingual, the city operates in both languages. But not to worry if you don’t speak any French, you can still manage to navigate the city without being bi-lingual. But now might be the perfect opportunity to pick up some words or phrases, right?

No matter what you come to Ottawa for (Ottawa has been host to the G-8 Summit in past years) and even if you aren’t a world leader, whether you come to Ottawa for business or for pleasure, with a little planning, you can make your trip a very memorable one.

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