37 Facts About Ottawa


Ottawa is the political centre of Canada and headquarters to the federal government.

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Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of colleges and universities, research and cultural institutions, including the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Canada; and numerous national museums, monuments, and historic sites.

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City name Ottawa was chosen in 1855 as a reference to the Ottawa River, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin, meaning "to trade".

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Ottawa is situated on the traditional land of the Algonquins, a broad Indigenous peoples who are closely related to the Odawa and Ojibwe peoples.

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Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years.

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In 1610, Etienne Brule, became the first documented European to navigate the Ottawa River, passing what would become Ottawa on his way to the Great Lakes.

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Ottawa laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal.

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Second, Ottawa was approximately midway between Toronto and Kingston and Montreal and Quebec City making the selection an important political compromise.

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In Ottawa, it destroyed about one-fifth of the buildings from the Lebreton Flats south to Booth Street and down to Dow's Lake.

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Ottawa's plan called for changes in institutions such as moving downtown Union Station to the suburbs, the removal of the street car system, the decentralization of selected government offices, the relocation of industries and removal of substandard housing from the downtown.

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Ottawa became one of Canada's largest high-tech cities and was nicknamed Silicon Valley North.

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Present day city of Ottawa consist of the historic main urban area, as well as other urban, suburban and rural areas within the city's post-amalgamation limits.

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Old Ottawa refers to the former pre-amalgamation city, as well as the former city of Vanier, a densely populated, historically francophone, working class enclave, and the former village of Rockcliffe Park, a wealthy residential neighbourhood adjacent to the Prime Minister's official residence at 24 Sussex and the Governor General's residence.

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Ottawa is situated on the south bank of the Ottawa River and contains the mouths of the Rideau River and Rideau Canal.

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Ottawa is situated in a lowland on top of Paleozoic carbonate and shale, and is surrounded by more craggy Precambrian igneous and metamorphic formations.

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Ottawa has had fluvial deposition of until and sands, leading to the widespread formation of eskers.

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Ottawa is located within the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, and while relatively inactive, the city does occasionally experience earthquakes.

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Ottawa has a humid continental warm summer climate with four distinct seasons and is between Zones 5a and 5b on the Canadian Plant Hardiness Scale.

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Winds in Ottawa tend to come from the West, though eastward winds caused by lake-effect cells in afternoons are not unusual.

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The National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa is the main command centre for the Canadian Armed Forces and hosts the Department of National Defence.

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Ottawa has regional locations for Nokia, 3M, Adobe Systems, Bell Canada, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

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Approximately ten percent of Ottawa's GDP is derived from finance, insurance and real estate whereas employment in goods-producing industries is only half the national average.

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Ottawa already has the largest rural economy among Canada's major cities.

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In 2011, Ottawa was selected as the first city to receive Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during their tour of Canada.

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Ottawa's was featured in the short story collection For Your Eyes Only, by Ian Fleming.

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Ottawa is home to more shawarma shops than anywhere in the world outside the middle east.

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The Ottawa Senators, are a professional ice hockey team playing in the National Hockey League.

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Ottawa Redblacks are a professional Canadian Football team playing in the Canadian Football League.

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The Ottawa Blackjacks are a professional basketball team, playing in the Canadian Elite Basketball League, out of the TD Place Arena.

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The Ottawa Gee-Gees are nationally ranked in basketball and soccer.

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City of Ottawa is a single-tier municipality, meaning it is in itself a census division and has no county or regional municipality government above it, and has no subsidiary municipalities to provide municipal services.

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Ottawa is governed by the 24-member Ottawa City Council consisting of 23 councillors each representing one ward and the mayor, Jim Watson as of the 2018 Ontario municipal elections, is elected in a citywide vote.

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Central Ottawa is usually more left-leaning, and the New Democratic Party have won ridings there.

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Ottawa station is the main inter-city train station operated by Via Rail.

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Ottawa is headquarters to numerous major medical organizations and institutions such as Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Blood Services, Health Canada, Canadian Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Nurses Association, and the Medical Council of Canada.

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Ottawa has the highest per capita concentration of engineers, scientists, and residents with PhDs in Canada.

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Ottawa has numerous private schools which are not part of a board.

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