The Full Wiki

Ottawa: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Ottawa

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Ottawa
—  City  —
Downtown Ottawa


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Bytown
Motto: Advance Ottawa/Ottawa en avant
Location of the City of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario, Canada
Coordinates: 45°25′15″N 75°41′24″W / 45.42083°N 75.69°W / 45.42083; -75.69
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Established 1850 as "Town of Bytown"
Incorporated 1855 as "City of Ottawa"
Amalgamated January 1, 2001
 - Mayor Larry O'Brien
 - City Council Ottawa City Council
 - MPs
 - MPPs
Area [1]
 - City 2,778.64 km2 (1,072.9 sq mi)
 - Urban 512.29 km2 (197.8 sq mi)
 - Metro 5,318.36 km2 (2,053.4 sq mi)
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2006[2][3][4])
 - City 812,129 (4th)
 Density 292.3/km2 (757.1/sq mi)
 Urban UA: 860,928 (6th)
 - Urban Density 1,680.5/km2 (4,352.5/sq mi)
 Metro CMA: 1,130,761 (4th)
 - Metro Density 197.8/km2 (512.3/sq mi)
 - Demonym Ottawan
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span K0A, K1A-K4C
Area code(s) 613, 343 (May 2010[5])

Ottawa (Ottawa.ogg /ˈɒtəwə/ or sometimes /ˈɒtəwɑː/) is the capital of Canada and a municipality within the Province of Ontario. Located in the Ottawa Valley in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario, the city lies on the southern banks of the Ottawa River, a major waterway forming the local boundary between the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Connected by several bridges to its Quebec neighbour, the city of Gatineau on the northern shores of the Ottawa River, the two cities and surrounding areas are designated the National Capital Region (NCR). Though governed by separate municipal governments, the federal lands within the region are administered by the National Capital Commission (NCC), a federal crown corporation charged with the responsibility of planning and managing the federal government's interests in the NCR.

In 2006, the city of Ottawa had a population of 812,129, making it the fourth-largest municipality in the country and second-largest in Ontario.[2] The Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area had a 2006 population of 1,130,761, making it the fourth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada.[4] The National Capital Region which encompasses Ottawa, Gatineau and surrounding suburbs and towns has an estimated population of 1,451,415. In 2009 Ottawa-Gatineau's population was estimated at 1,220,674, making it the fifth-largest CMA in Canada.[6] Ottawa is also considered the 4th cleanest city in the world by Forbes magazine [7] and the 18th most liveable city in the world according to the "Mercer Human Resource Consulting Quality of Living Survey".

As with other national capitals, the word "Ottawa" is also used to refer by metonymy to the country's federal government, especially as opposed to provincial or municipal authorities.



Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa, 1954

The Ottawa region was long the home of the Odawa or Odaawaa First Nations people. The Odawa are an Algonquin people who called the river the Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River"[8]. Historical evidence indicates that the Algonquins over time have occupied portions of the lands of the Ottawa River watershed and travelled through surrounding territory as a hunting and gathering society.[9] The Algonquins of Ontario assert that they never surrendered its territory by treaty, sale, or conquest and have made such claims since 1772. In 1983, the Algonquins of Golden Lake (Pikwàkanagàn) presented to the Government of Canada a claim to Aboriginal rights and title within the Ontario portion of the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds.[10] Negotiations are ongoing.

1920 aerial view of the Parliament buildings (without the Peace Tower), and old Union station in the background

Early European explorers of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers sought new territories, claimed lands in the names of their kings and queens, and sought western passages to India and Asia as well as gold and other precious commodities. Among the first of commercial enterprises to evolve in the New World after fishing, the fur trade industry, largely influenced by the Hudson Bay Company, used the Ottawa River and its tributaries as the local conveyance for the delivery of fur products to Europe through Montreal and Quebec City.

The first settlement in the region was led by Philemon Wright, a New Englander from Woburn Massachusetts who, on March 7, 1800 arrived[11] with his own and five other families along with twenty-five labourers[8] to start an agricultural community on the north bank of the Ottawa River at the portage to the Chaudière Falls. Food crops were not sufficient to sustain the community and Wright began harvesting trees as a cash crop when he determined that he could transport timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to the Montreal and Quebec City markets, which also exported to Europe. His first raft of squared timber and sawn lumber arrived in Quebec City in 1806.

Liked by many European nations for its extremely straight and strong trunk in heavy construction for shipbuilding and housing as well as for furniture, the white pine (Pinus strobus) was found throughout the Ottawa Valley, soon booming based almost exclusively upon the timber trade.[12] By 1812, the timber trade had overtaken the fur trade as the leading economic activity in the area[13] as Ottawa became a centre for lumber milling and square-cut lumber in Canada and North America.

In the years following the War of 1812, along with settling some military regiment families (such as the 100th Regiment of Foot (Prince Regent's County of Dublin Regiment) at Richmond, Ontario), the government began sponsored immigration schemes which brought over Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants to settle the Ottawa area, which began a steady stream of Irish immigration there in the next few decades. Along with French Canadians who crossed over from Quebec, these two groups provided the bulk of workers involved in the Rideau Canal project and the booming timber trade, both instrumental in putting Ottawa on the map.

1845 painting of Wellington Street looking east, by Thomas Burrowes, one of the street's first residents

The region's population grew significantly when the canal was completed by Colonel John By in 1832. It was intended to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, by-passing the stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering New York State (the U.S invasions of Canada in the War of 1812 being a recent memory). Construction of the canal began at the northern end, where Colonel By set up a military barracks on what later became Parliament Hill, and laid out a townsite that soon became known as Bytown. Original city leaders of Bytown include a number of Wright's sons, most notably Ruggles Wright. Nicholas Sparks, Braddish Billings and Abraham Dow were the first to settle on the Ontario side of the Ottawa river.

The west side of the canal became known as "Uppertown" where the Parliament buildings are located, while the east side of the canal (wedged between the canal and Rideau River) was known as the "Lowertown". Lowertown was then a crowded, boisterous shanty town, frequently receiving the worst of disease epidemics, such as the Cholera outbreak in 1832, and typhus in 1847.

Bytown was renamed Ottawa in 1855, when it was incorporated as a city.[14]

Ottawa as the capital

On December 31, 1857, Queen Victoria was asked to choose a common capital for the Province of Canada (modern day Ontario and Quebec) and chose Ottawa. While Ottawa is now a major metropolis and Canada's fourth largest city, at the time it was a sometimes unruly logging town in the hinterland, far away from the colony's main cities, Quebec City and Montreal in Canada East, and Kingston and Toronto in Canada West.

The Queen's advisers suggested she pick Ottawa for many important reasons: first, it was the only settlement of any significant size located right on the border of Canada East and Canada West (the post 1841 name for the then united regions formerly known as Upper and Lower Canada, today the Quebec/Ontario border), making it a compromise between the two colonies and their French and English populations;[citation needed] second, the War of 1812 had shown how vulnerable major Canadian cities were to American attack, since they were all located very close to the border while Ottawa was (then) surrounded by a dense forest far from the border; third, the government owned a large parcel of land on a spectacular spot overlooking the Ottawa River. Ottawa's position in the back country made it more defensible, while still allowing easy transportation over the Ottawa River to Canada East, and the Rideau Canal to Canada West. Two other considerations were that Ottawa was at a point nearly exactly midway between Toronto and Quebec City (~500 km/310 mi) and that the small size of the town made it less likely that politically motivated mobs could go on a rampage and destroy government buildings, as happened in the previous Canadian capitals. The Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal network meant that Ottawa could be supplied by water from Kingston and Montreal without going along the potentially treacherous US-Canada border.

After World War I much of the National Capital was in disrepair. Many of the wooden frame structured buildings had been neglected during the war and the area was in need of many upgrades.[citation needed] The original Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa was destroyed by fire on February 3, 1916. French urban planner Jacques Greber was hired to work on a master plan for the National Capital Region (the Greber Plan).[15] Jacques Greber was the creator of the National Capital Greenbelt, as well as many other projects throughout the NCR. The House of Commons and Senate were temporarily relocated to the recently constructed Victoria Memorial Museum, currently the Canadian Museum of Nature, located about 1 km (1 mi) south of Parliament Hill on McLeod Street at Metcalfe Street. A new Centre Block was completed in 1922, the centrepiece of which is a dominant Gothic revival styled structure known as the Peace Tower which has become a common emblem of the city.

On September 5, 1945, only weeks after the end of World War II, Ottawa was the site of the event that many people consider to be the official start of the Cold War. A Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, defected from the Soviet embassy with over 100 secret documents[16]. At first, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refused to take the documents, as the Soviets were still allies of Canada and Britain, and the newspapers were not interested in the story. After hiding out for a night in a neighbour's apartment, listening to his own home being searched, Gouzenko finally persuaded the RCMP to look at his evidence, which provided proof of a massive Soviet spy network operating in western countries, and, indirectly, led to the discovery that the Soviets were working on an atomic bomb to match that of the Americans.

In 2001, the old city of Ottawa (estimated 2005 population 350,000) was amalgamated with the suburbs of Nepean (135,000), Kanata (85,000), Gloucester (120,000), Rockcliffe Park (2,100), Vanier (17,000) and Cumberland (55,000), Orleans (84,695), and the rural townships of West Carleton (18,000), Osgoode (13,000), Rideau (18,000), and Goulbourn (24,000), along with the systems and infrastructure of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, to become one municipality. Before 1969 and the creation of Ottawa-Carleton, the city of Ottawa was part of Carleton County.


Map of Ottawa showing urban area, highways, waterways, and historic townships

Ottawa is situated on the south bank of the Ottawa River, and contains the mouths of the Rideau River and Rideau Canal. The oldest part of the city (including what remains of Bytown) is known as Lower Town, and occupies an area between the canal and the rivers. Across the canal to the west lies Centretown (often just called "downtown"), which is the city's financial and commercial hub. Situated between Centretown and the Ottawa River, the slight elevation of Parliament Hill is home to many of the capital's landmark government buildings, including the Peace Tower, and the legislative seat of Canada. As of June 29, 2007, the Rideau Canal, which stretches 202 km (126 mi) to Kingston, Fort Henry and four Martello towers in the Kingston area was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A street view of Downtown Ottawa
The Rideau Canal serves as a waterway in summer and a skating rink in winter.

The City of Ottawa has a main urban area but there are many other urban, suburban and rural areas within the city's limits. The main suburban area extends a considerable distance to the east, west and south of the centre, and includes the former cities of Gloucester, Nepean and Vanier, the former village of Rockcliffe Park and the community of Blackburn Hamlet (pop. 8,527), the community of Orléans (pop. 110,000). The Kanata suburban area consists of Kanata (pop. 90,000) and the former village of Stittsville (pop. 20,000). Nepean is another major suburb which also includes Barrhaven (pop. 70,000) and the former village of Manotick (pop. 7,545). There are also the communities of Riverside South (pop. 8,000) on the other side of the Rideau River, Morgan's Grant (pop. 8,000) and Greely (pop. 4,152), southeast of Riverside South. There are also a number of rural communities (villages and hamlets) that lie beyond the greenbelt but are administratively part of the Ottawa municipality. Some of these communities are Burritts Rapids (hamlet, pop. 300); Ashton (hamlet, pop. 300); Fallowfield (hamlet, pop. 600); Kars (village, pop. 1,539); Fitzroy Harbour (village, pop. 1,549); Munster (village, pop. 1,390); Carp (village, pop. 1,400); North Gower (village, pop. 1,700); Metcalfe (village, pop. 1,810); Constance Bay (village, pop. 2,327) and Osgoode (village, pop. 2,571) and Richmond (village, pop. 3,301). There are also a number of towns in the national capital region but outside the city of Ottawa, one of these urban communities is Almonte, Ontario (town, pop. 4,649).

Across the Ottawa River, which forms the border between Ontario and Quebec, lies the city of Gatineau, itself the result of amalgamation of the former Quebec cities of Hull and Aylmer together with Gatineau. Although formally and administratively separate cities in two separate provinces, Ottawa and Gatineau (along with a number of nearby municipalities) collectively constitute the National Capital Region, with a combined population exceeding one million residents, which is considered a single metropolitan area. One federal crown corporation (the National Capital Commission, or NCC) has significant land holdings in both cities, including sites of historical and touristic importance. The NCC, through its responsibility for planning and development of these lands, is an important contributor to both cities.

Around the main urban area is an extensive greenbelt, administered by the National Capital Commission for conservation and leisure, and comprising mostly forest, farmland and marshland.

Ottawa is a single-tier municipality, meaning it is in itself a census division and has no county or regional municipality government above it. Ottawa is bounded on the east by the United Counties of Prescott and Russell; by Renfrew County and Lanark County in the west; on the south by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry; and on the north by the Regional County Municipality of Les Collines-de-l'Outaouais and the City of Gatineau.

Ottawa is made up of eleven historic townships, ten of which are from historic Carleton County and one from historic Russell. They are Cumberland, Fitzroy, Gloucester, Goulbourn, Huntley, March, Marlborough, Nepean, North Gower, Osgoode and Torbolton.


Ottawa has a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfb) with a range of temperatures from a record high of 37.8 °C (100°F), recorded July 4, 1913, to a record low of -38.9 °C (-38 °F) recorded on December 29, 1933 [1], the fourth coldest temperature recorded in a capital city (after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Astana, Kazakhstan and Moscow, Russia). This extreme range in temperature allows Ottawa to boast a variety of annual activities—more notable events such as the Winterlude Festival on the Rideau Canal in the winter and the National Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in July—and the requirement of a wide range of clothing. Because of its relatively warm summers, Ottawa is the seventh coldest capital in the world[17] by annual average temperature, however by mean January temperature, Ottawa ranks third behind Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Astana, Kazakhstan and has a colder average January temperature than Moscow, which is much farther north than Ottawa.

Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Ottawa receives about 235 centimetres (93 [[Inch|in]) of snowfall annually. Its biggest snowfall was recorded on March 3-4, 1947 with 73 cm (2.5 feet) of snow.[18] The average January temperature is -10.8 °C (13 °F), although days well above freezing and nights below -30 °C (-22 °F) both occur in the winter. The snow season is quite variable; in an average winter, a lasting snow cover is on the ground from mid-December until early April, although some years are snow-free until beyond Christmas, particularly in recent years.[citation needed] The 2007–08 winter season snowfall (432.7 cm / 170.3 inches)[19] came within 10 cm (4 inches) of the record snowfall set in 1970-1971 (444.1 cm / 174.8 inches).[20][21] High wind chills are common, with annual averages of 51, 14 and 1 days with wind chills below -20 °C (-4 °F), -30 °C (-22 °F) and -40 °C (-40 °F) respectively. The lowest recorded wind chill was -47.8 °C (-54.0 °F) on January 8, 1968.

Freezing rain is also relatively common, even relative to other parts of the country. One such large storm caused power outages and affected the local economy, and became known as the 1998 Ice Storm.

Summers are fairly warm and humid in Ottawa, although they are moderate in length. The average July maximum temperature is 26 °C (80 °F), with occasional northerly incursions of comfortable, cool air which drop humidity levels, although daytime temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) or higher are commonplace in most summers. A maximum temperature of 39.5 °C (103 °F) was recorded in the summer of 2005 at certain locations. During periods of hot weather, high humidity is often an aggravating factor, especially close to the rivers. Ottawa annually averages 41, 12 and 2 days with humidex (combined temperature & humidity index) above 30 °C (86 °F), 35 °C (95 °F) and 40 °C (104 °F) respectively. The highest recorded humidex was 48 °C (118 °F) on August 1, 2006.[22]

Climate data for Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12
Average high °C (°F) -6.1
Daily mean °C (°F) -10.8
Average low °C (°F) -15.3
Record low °C (°F) -35.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 25.2
Snowfall cm (inches) 55.2
Source: [23] 2009-02-08
The Rideau Canal in summer.

Spring and fall are variable, prone to extremes in temperature and unpredictable swings in conditions. Hot days above 30 °C (86 °F) have occurred as early as March (as in 2002) or as late as October, as well as snow well into May and early in October (although such events are extremely unusual and brief). Average annual precipitation averages around 943 millimetres (37 inches). The biggest one-day rainfall occurred on September 9, 2004 when the remnants of Hurricane Frances dumped nearly 136 mm (5½ inches) of rain in the city. The all-time monthly record is 243.4 mm (13.75 inches) set in July 2009. [24] There are about 2,060 hours of average sunshine annually (47% of possible).

Destructive summer weather events such as tornadoes, major flash floods, extreme heat waves, severe hail and remnant effects from hurricanes are rare, but all have occurred in the Ottawa area. Some of the most notable tornadoes in the region occurred in 1978 (F2), 1994 (F3), 1999 (F1), 2002 (F1), 2004 (F1) and west end Ottawa 2009 (F0).[25][26]

On February 24, 2006, an earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter Scale struck Ottawa. On January 1, 2000, an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale struck Ottawa. On average, a small tremor occurs in Ottawa every three years.[27]


Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

Inter-city services

Ottawa is served by inter-city passenger rail service by VIA Rail, with service east to Montreal, Quebec and south to Toronto. It is also served a number of airlines that fly into the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, and inter-city bus companies such as Greyhound Canada operating out of the Ottawa Bus Central Station.

Highways, streets and roads

The capital city of Canada is also served by a network of freeways, the main one being provincial Highway 417 (called The Queensway), Ottawa-Carleton Regional Road 174 (formerly Provincial Highway 17), and Highway 416 (Veterans' Memorial Highway), connecting Ottawa to the rest of the 400-Series Highway network in Ontario. Highway 417 is also the Ottawa portion of the Trans-Canada Highway. The city also has several scenic parkways (promenades), such as the Ottawa River Parkway, Rockcliffe Parkway and the Aviation Parkway and has a freeway connection to Autoroute 5 and Autoroute 50, in Hull. For a complete listing of the parkways and roads in Ottawa, see the List of Ottawa roads.

Public transit

The O-Train, Ottawa's light rail train servicing a portion of Ottawa's public transit system

The public transit system is operated by OC Transpo, a department of the city. An integrated hub-and-spoke system of services is available consisting of: (1) regular buses travelling on fixed routes in mixed traffic, typical of most urban transit systems; (2) a bus rapid transit (BRT) system - a high frequency bus service operating on the transitway - a network of mostly grade-separated dedicated bus lanes within their own right-of-way and having full stations with Park & Ride facilities further supported by on-road reserved bus lanes and priority traffic signal controls; (3) a light rail transit (LRT) system known as the O-Train operating on one north-south route; and (4) a door-to-door bus service for the disabled known as ParaTranspo. Both OC Transpo and the Quebec-based Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) operate bus services between Ottawa and Gatineau. A transfer or bus pass of one is accepted on the other without having to pay a top-up fare on regular routes.

Navigable waterways

Ottawa sits at the confluence of three major rivers: the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River and the Rideau River. The Ottawa and Gatineau rivers were historically important in the logging and lumber industries, and the Rideau as part of the Rideau Canal system connecting the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River with the Ottawa River.

The Rideau Canal, which starts in Kingston, Ontario, winds its way through the city. The final flight of locks on the canal are between Parliament Hill and the Château Laurier. Also, during the winter season the canal is usually open and is a form of transportation downtown for about 7.8 kilometres (4.8 mi) for ice skaters (from a point near Carleton University to the Rideau Centre) and forms the world's largest skating rink.

Bicycle and pedestrian pathways

There is a large network of paved multi-use pathways that wind their way through much of the city, including along the Ottawa River, Rideau River, and Rideau Canal. These pathways are used for transportation, tourism, and recreation. Because most streets either have wide curb lanes or bicycle lanes, cycling is a popular mode of transportation in the region throughout the year. There are over 250 miles of bike path located throughout the city.[citation needed] There are also some downtown streets that are restricted to only bicycle or pedestrians.

Transportation Master Plan

The city's "Transportation Master Plan".  summarizes expansion and improvement plans for:

Landmarks and notable institutions

Ottawa is home to a wealth of national museums, official residences, government buildings, memorials and heritage structures. Federal buildings in the National Capital Region are managed by the Public Works Canada, while most of the federal lands in the Region are managed by the National Capital Commission or NCC; its control of much undeveloped land gives the NCC a great deal of influence over the city's development.

In 2006, the National Capital Commission completed work on the long-discussed Confederation Boulevard, a ceremonial route linking key attractions in National Capital Region, on both sides of the Ottawa River, in Ottawa as well as Gatineau, Quebec.[28]

The Ottawa skyline has remained conservative in skyscraper height throughout the years due to a skyscraper height restriction. First installed to keep Parliament Hill visible from most parts of the City, that initial restriction was changed to a more realistic law many years later. The restriction allows no building to overwhelm the skyline, keeping almost all the downtown building around the same 25-30 story range. Other cities with building height restrictions like Ottawa's include Washington, D.C., Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saint Petersburg, Russia, amongst others.

Panoramic view of Ottawa

Below is a map of the National Capital Region showing the prominent buildings and structures. Click on the stars to read articles on the individual buildings.


Primary industries

Ottawa's primary employers are the Canadian federal government and the hi-tech industry. Ottawa has become known as "Silicon Valley North."[29]


Ottawa is home to both the National Hockey League's Ottawa Senators who play out of Scotiabank Place located in the westend suburban community of Kanata, and the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's who play out of Lansdowne Park's Civic Centre. The city also has a professional women's hockey team, the Ottawa Senators (CWHL). Ottawa recently hosted the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships and hosts the annual Bell Capital Cup tournament.

Ottawa was home to a minor league professional baseball team, the Ottawa Voyageurs of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball which plays at the Ottawa Baseball Stadium. The Voyageurs were formerly known as the Ottawa Rapidz. The Voyageurs/Rapidz folded after only one year. Ottawa was also home to a AAA minor league baseball team, the Ottawa Lynx of the International League. The team was sold in 2006 and the Lynx left Ottawa following the 2007 season, moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Ottawa's two major universities, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa both have athletic associations; the team names are the Carleton Ravens and the Ottawa Gee-Gees respectively. The Ravens are nationally ranked in basketball. The Gee-Gees are nationally ranked in football.

Ottawa had a significant presence in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders football team and an attempted revival with the Ottawa Renegades (established 2002 - suspended operations in 2006, due to financial difficulties and poor fan attendance). Football was played at Frank Clair Stadium. On March 25, 2008, CFL commissionner Mark Cohon awarded a conditional franchise to a group led by 67s owner Jeff Hunt. Ottawa is also home to a semi-professional football team in the Empire Football League, the Ottawa Demon Deacons and 3 Major Junior Football teams in the QJFL and CJFL, the Ottawa Junior Riders, Ottawa Sooners and the Cumberland Panthers.

Ottawa's top association football (soccer) team is the Ottawa Fury who play in the women's W-League and the men's USL Premier Development League. Harness and Horse racing can be found at Rideau Carleton Raceway off Albion Road and auto racing can be found at the Capital City Speedway off Highway 7. The Rideau Canoe Club, located at Hog's Back Park on the Rideau River, produces and supports many national- and international-level paddlers.

The city also supports many casual sporting activities, such as skating on the Rideau Canal or curling in winter, cycling and jogging along the Ottawa River, Rideau Canal, and Rideau River in summer, playing Ultimate all year round (especially through the O.C.U.A.), skiing and hiking in the Greenbelt and the nearby Gatineau Park, and sailing on Lac Deschenes, part of the Ottawa River or golfing on many of the golf courses in the Ottawa area. During the coldest parts of winter there is ice fishing on the Ottawa river. Ottawa has many cricket clubs for people of all ages. Eastern Ontario's top rugby players are members of the Ottawa Harlequins which competes each summer in the Rugby Canada Super League.



The Elgin Street facade of the Heritage Building section of Ottawa City Hall.

Ottawa is governed by a 24-member city council consisting of 23 councillors each representing one ward and the mayor, currently Larry O'Brien,[30] elected in a citywide vote. As a single tier municipality, Ottawa has responsibility for all municipal services, including fire, ambulance, police, parks, roads, sidewalks, public transit, drinking water, stormwater, sanitary sewage and solid waste.

Along with being the capital of Canada, Ottawa is politically diverse in local politics. Most of the city traditionally supports the Liberal Party, although only some parts of the city are consistent Liberal strongholds. Perhaps the safest areas for the Liberals are the ones dominated by Francophones, especially in Vanier and central Gloucester. Central Ottawa is usually more left-leaning, and the New Democratic Party can win ridings there as government unions and activist groups are fairly strong. Some of Ottawa's suburbs are swing areas, notably central Nepean and, despite its Francophone population, Orléans. The southern and western parts of the old city of Ottawa are generally moderate or slightly left of centre but periodically swing to the Conservative Party. The farther one goes from the city centre into suburban fringes like Kanata and Barrhaven and rural areas, the voters tend to be increasingly conservative, both fiscally and socially. This is especially true in the former Townships of West Carleton, Goulbourn, Rideau and Osgoode, which are more in line with the staunchly conservative areas in the surrounding counties. However not all rural areas support the Conservative Party. Rural parts of the former township of Cumberland, with a large number of Francophones, traditionally support the Liberal Party, though their support has recently weakened.

Ottawa became the legislative capital of the Northwest Territories when it reverted to 1870 constitutional status, after Alberta, and Saskatchewan were carved out in 1905. From 1905 to 1951 almost all the council members were civil servants living in Ottawa. From 1951 to 1967 the territory alternated legislative sessions with various Northwest Territories communities. Ottawa only held legislative sessions of the council. Fort Smith, Northwest Territories became the administrative centre and officially housed the civil service from 1911 to 1967.


Ethnic Origin Population Percent
Canadian 227,490 28.4%
English 194,845 24.3%
Irish 180,525 22.5%
French 172,165 21.5%
Scottish 158,340 19.8%
German 67,660 8.4%
Italian 39,230 4.9%
Chinese 34,435 4.3%
Polish 25,685 3.2%
Dutch 22,700 2.8%
North American Indian 21,600 2.7%
East Indian 20,525 2.6%
Lebanese 17,500 2.1%
African 16,000 2.0%
Map of Ottawa showing the francophone concentrations

In 2006 the population of the city of Ottawa was 812,129 [31], while the population of the Census Metropolitan Area was 1,130,761 [32]. The "Ottawa-Gatineau Urban Area", which includes only the contiguous built-up areas at the core of the CMA, had a population of 860,928.[3] The population of the pre-amalgamated city was 337,031 at the 2001 census, and had fallen to 328,105 at the 2006 Census. In 2001 females made up 51.23 percent of the population. Youths under 14 years of age number 19.30 percent of the total population, while those of retirement age (65 years and older) make up 10.81 percent resulting in an average age of 36.6 years of age.

Foreign-born residents in Ottawa made up 22.3 percent of the population [31] in which many come from China, Lebanon, northeast Africa, Iran, and The Balkans [2]. Members of visible minority groups (non-white/European) constituted 20.2 percent, while those of Aboriginal origin numbered 1.5 percent of the total population. The largest visible minority groups consisted are: Black Canadians: 4.9%, Chinese Canadian: 3.8%, South Asian: 3.3%, and Arab: 3.0%, as well as smaller mixed race, and other East Asian groups.[31] Because Ottawa is the core of an urban area extending into French-speaking Quebec, the city is very bilingual. Those who identified their mother tongue as English constitute 62.6 percent, French 14.9 percent, and both 0.85 percent. An additional 21.6 percent list languages other than English and French as their mother tongue. These include Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, German, Persian and many others.[31] In terms of respondents' knowledge of one or both official languages, the numbers are English only at 59.9 percent, English and French at 37.2 percent, French only at 1.6 percent, and neither official language at 1.3 percent.

As expressed in 2001 census, the most popular religion is Christianity as 79.34 percent of the population described themselves belonging to various Christian denominations, the most popular being Roman Catholicism: 54.16%, Protestantism: 21.85%, Christian Orthodox: 1.68%, while the remaining 1.64% consists of independent Christian churches like Jehovah's Witness, LDS, etc. Non-Christian religions are also very well established in Ottawa, the largest being Islam: 3.97%, Judaism: 1.09%, and Buddhism: 0.95%. Those professing no religion number about 13.29 percent.


Tabaret Hall at the University of Ottawa.

Ottawa has the highest per capita concentration of engineers, scientists, and residents with PhDs in Canada.[33] It has been known as the "most educated city in Canada"[34] with over half the population having graduated from College and/or university.

Items of interest

Canada Day celebrations on Wellington Street, in front of the Château Laurier, in Ottawa.

Ottawa diplomatic missions and relations

Sister cities of Ottawa

See also



  1. ^ "Community Highlights for Ottawa (CMA)". 2001 Canadian Census. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  3. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for urban areas, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Annual population estimates and demographic factors of growth by census metropolitan area, Canada, from July to June — Population estimates and factors of growth". Statistics Canada. July 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b John H. Taylor, Ottawa, An Illustrated History, James Lorimer & Company, Publishers, Canadian Museum of Civilization, National Museums of Canada, Toronto, 1986, p.11.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Ottawa (ON)". Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  11. ^ David Lee, Lumber Kings & Shantymen, James Lorimer & Company, Publishers, Toronto, 2006, p.16.
  12. ^ David Lee, Lumber Kings & Shantymen, James Lorimer & Company, Publishers, Toronto, 2006, p.21.
  13. ^ David Lee, Lumber Kings & Shantymen, James Lorimer & Company, Publishers, Toronto, 2006, p.34.
  14. ^ "Ottawa (ON)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  15. ^ "Planners Over Time". National Capital Commission. Retrieved 2009-11-01. 
  16. ^ Soviet Spy Scandal, from CBC's "Canada: A People's History". Accessed December 22, 2008.
  17. ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "Coldest Capital Cities. Is Ottawa the coldest capital?". & Retrieved October 16, 2006. 
  18. ^ Heidorn, Keith C., PhD. "Significant Weather Events Canada". The Weather Doctor. Retrieved October 16, 2006. 
  19. ^ "Canadian Climate Data" (in English (also available in French)). Environment Canada. 
  20. ^ "It's officially Ottawa's 2nd heaviest snowfall on record". CBC News. 
  21. ^ "Summary of 2007-2008 snow season" (in English (also available in French)). CRIACC. 
  22. ^ Herbert, Alex (August 2, 2006). "It's hot enough for us". The Ottawa Sun. 
  23. ^ Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000
  24. ^ Cockburn, Neco & Daubs, Katie (July 30, 2009). "It's official: July Ottawa's wettest". Ottawa Citizen. 
  25. ^ Mayne, Stephen (June 23, 2003). "Fallowfield Tornado Report". Lanark Weather. 
  26. ^ "Ontario Severe Weather Summary". Environment Canada. October 1, 2002. 
  27. ^ "Geoscape Ottawa-Gatineau Earthquakes". Natural Resources Canada. December 8, 2005. Retrieved October 16, 2006. 
  28. ^ "Confederation Boulevard, National Capital Commission Web site". Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  29. ^ Dr. Jocelyn Ghent Mallett (2003-02-28). "Silicon Valley North:The Formation of the Ottawa Innovation Cluster". Information Technology Association of Canada. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b c d "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census: Ottawa". Statistics Canada. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  32. ^ "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census: Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area". Statistics Canada. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  33. ^ Zakaluzny, Roman. "Where must Ottawa's tech sector go from here?". Ottawa Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  34. ^


External links

Coordinates: 45°25′01″N 75°42′00″W / 45.417°N 75.7°W / 45.417; -75.7

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Peace Tower, Parliament Hill
The Peace Tower, Parliament Hill

Ottawa [1] is the capital of Canada. The city is situated along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, opposite Gatineau, Quebec. The metropolitan population of Ottawa is 1.4 million and is currently the fourth largest urban centre in Canada, and the second largest in Ontario after Toronto.

Unique as a North American capital, the city is bilingual. English is the first language of a majority of the population, but French is the first language of a significant number. Staff in most stores and restaurants speak both well and, in general, bilingualism is common.

Ottawa is home to many of the world's cultures as thousands of immigrants from around the world now call Ottawa home. The city is probably best known as the nation's capital but has become one of the fastest growing cities in North America owing to the booming high-tech business sector.

The National War Memorial near Parliament Hill
The National War Memorial near Parliament Hill

Ottawa started as a humble lumber town, then called Bytown, named after Colonel John By. Colonel By oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, much of which was done by hand, between 1826 and 1832. Lumber mills were built along the Ottawa River in the mid-nineteenth century and those brought employment and wealth to the growing population. The center of action then, as now, was the Byward Market. While it's still the centre of the city's nightlife, it has changed appreciably from the rough and tumble early days of brothels and taverns.

In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of Canada. The choice was controversial, partly because it sidestepped the rivalry between Toronto and Montreal (then, as now, Canada's largest cities), and partly because the new capital was still a tiny outpost in the middle of nothing much — an American newspaper famously commented that it was impregnable, as any invaders would get lost in the woods looking for it.

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the telephone was demonstrated to the Canadian public for the first time and the city was electrified. The first electric streetcar service was started in 1891. A menu from 1892 states that, "the first instance in the entire world of an entire meal being cooked by Electricity" was in Ottawa.

Today, the major economic sectors are the public service, travel and tourism and the high-tech industry. Nortel Networks, a company that built a significant part of the backbone of the world's internet, maintains large research and development facilities in the region on Moodie Dr at Carling Avenue. Ottawa has proudly remained a green city and is situated at the confluence of three rivers (Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau) as well as the Rideau canal. Many residents make regular use of Ottawa's parks and green spaces, bikeways and cross country ski trails. Many national attractions are located in Ottawa: Parliament Hill; the National Library and Archives; the National Gallery; as well as the Museums of Civilization, Contemporary Photography, Nature, War and Science & Technology.

Get in

By plane

The newly renovated and expanded MacDonald-Cartier International [2] (IATA: YOW) is Ottawa's main airport with regular arrivals and departures from most major Canadian and many American cities. Services outside North America, however, are limited to a daily flight to London Heathrow and a daily flight to Frankfurt with Air Canada. Air France, KLM, and Swiss International Airlines provide shuttle bus service between Ottawa and Montreal that facilitate connections with their flights operated from Trudeau International Airport. This trip takes about two hours. Via Rail also operates a shuttle bus from the Dorval train station to nearby Trudeau International Airport. This free shuttle service allows one to travel from Ottawa to Dorval (a suburb of Montreal) by rail, and then transfer directly to the airport on a dedicated on-demand bus.

MacDonald-Cartier is easily reached by public transit or taxi and most of the major car rental agencies have a presence at the airport terminal in the parking garage. A taxi to downtown hotels should cost between $20. and $30., while a taxi to nearby hotels should not cost more than $10.. YOW Airporter [3] operates a mini-bus shuttle to most downtown hotels for $14 one-way and $24 return.

To reach downtown via public transit, take the #97 bus (the only bus at the airport) and get out at the MacKenzie King transitway stop (14 stops away) at the Rideau Centre shopping mall. If you take this route before 6:00AM, you will likely follow the more meandering early morning route but will still get to MacKenzie King. To get to the train station, you still take the #97 bus but get out at Hurdman station (10 stops away) and transfer to the #95 eastbound bus to the next stop which is the train station. The bus fare is $3 ($2 with pre-purchased tickets) which gives you 1.5 hours of unlimited bus travel or $7.25 ($6 pre-purchased) for an all-day pass. Exact change is required, Remember to ask the bus driver for a transfer even if you do not intend on transferring to another bus--OC Transpo security personnel may get on the bus at any given stop and ask passengers for proof of payment. You will be required to show your transfer or else you will be fined. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it sucks.

By bus

There is a Voyageur/Greyhound [4] terminal in Ottawa with regular service to Montreal (departure on the hour from 6 a.m. to midnight), Toronto and all other cities in North America. The bus terminal is downtown on the corner of Catherine Street and Kent Street, between Bronson Avenue and Bank Street. Though the bus terminal is downtown, a 15-20 minute walk will get you to most hotels and downtown attractions. Alternatively, a 5-10 minute local bus ride will do the same. (Bus #4, with its stop around the corner from the terminal on Kent Street, is the bus that you will want to take.)

A taxi to most downtown hotels should cost between $8 and $15, and buses are $3 one-way ($2.30 with pre-purchased tickets) or $7 (purchased only on the bus) for an all-day pass.

By train

Passenger train service is run by VIA Rail [5] in Canada and the main train station in Ottawa, Ottawa Station (IATA: XDS) [6], is less than ten minutes from downtown by car, taxi or bus. There are six trains daily leaving for Montreal and intermediate points, with five trains daily to Toronto and points in between. Service is reduced on Saturday, Sundays and holidays.

Ottawa has two train stations, the Ottawa Station near downtown, and a secondary station, Fallowfield Station [7], in the western suburb of Barrhaven, convenient for Nepean and Kanata points. All trains to Toronto stop at Fallowfield; two of the six weekday trains to Montreal originate or terminate at Fallowfield.

Ottawa Station is on a high frequency bus route (#95) and takes only 5 minutes to get you downtown, heading west. Fallowfield station is also on the #95 bus route but at the far south-west end.

It is possible to get downtown from the main train station on foot, although it requires a bit of navigation. This path should not be taken alone after dark and may be flooded after periods of intense rain or snow melting. Have a street map with you so you can locate yourself once you have reached Strathcona Park. The station to Strathcona Park takes about half an hour (2.5km). Another half hour from the Park to downtown. A map is available online [8].

  1. On exiting the station, walk along west (left) arm of the exit.
  2. Before reaching Tremblay road, take the bike path to your left going west.
  3. The path will take you along the bus lanes and will pass over a street called "Vanier Parkway"
  4. You will merge with a path coming up from the parkway; continue walking west, away from the parkway.
  5. Shortly after that, you will come to a fork; go right (north) and continue until you see a pedestrian bridge on your left.
  6. Take the pedestrian bridge over the Rideau River.
  7. Immediately after the pedestrian bridge, turn right towards the north.
  8. Take the paved bike path, go under the bridge and keep following the Rideau River northward for about 1 km.
  9. Once you reach the end of of the path, you are in Strathcona Park.
  10. Use a street map or an on-line map service to find your way from Strathcona Park to your downtown destination; at the north end of the park is Laurier Avenue, a major east-west street; parallel to it and several blocks north is Rideau Street.
Sailing up the Rideau Canal
Sailing up the Rideau Canal

The city is also accessible via the Rideau Canal, now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site [9], and which runs from the St. Lawrence River at Kingston to the Ottawa River at Ottawa where it empties via a series of locks. It is possible to dock at Dow's Lake Pavilion and at points along the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River near downtown.

By car

By car, Ottawa is about a 4.5 hour trip from Toronto via the 401 and 416 highways, or via highway 7. Montreal is 2 hours away via highway 417. The American border at Ogdensburg, NY is only 45 minutes away to the south, and the border at I-81 is a little further west at an additional 1 hour drive.

The city's public transit is run by OC Transpo [10] and includes the bus service as well as the O-Train light rail system. The network includes the Transitway, a bus rapid transit system running through and out of downtown, with frequent service (on the order of 1-2 minutes at rush hour).

The standard bus fare is $3 or 2 tickets. Tickets cost $1.15 each and are available from local stores in sheets of six (but some stores will sell smaller numbers at a time). Children 6-11 require only one ticket. Upon boarding, make sure that you are given a transfer, which allows you to ride any number of buses or trains until its expiry (in roughly 1.5 hours). A day pass can be purchased on any bus for $7 and is good for both buses and the train. On Sundays, families (up to 2 adults and 4 children, age 11 and under) can share a day pass.

The O-Train operates on a "Proof of payment" (POP) system. Valid proof of payment is a bus transfer (see above), or an O-Train ticket purchased from the automated vending machines for $2.50. Note that the vending machine does not accept bus tickets, nor are bus tickets acceptable proof of payment. Children 11 and under can ride the O-train for free. Articulated buses (the long ones) use this same POP system as well, where rear boarding is available to those holding passes or transfers.

Although the downtown is very walkable, if you are within the downtown area (Lebreton station to campus station), you can take any bus going East-West. If you are going to the Byward Market from the transitway (95, 96, 97, 85, 86, 87), get off at Rideau Centre and walk through the mall to the other end. To go North-South, take the 4 (to Catherine Street, edge of Centretown), the 7 (edge of Old Ottawa South) or the 1 (all the way down Bank Street to Ottawa South).

The Ottawa transitway (dedicated roads on which only buses are allowed) offers speedy travel to various regions, then transfer over to local buses, if walking is not an option.

Although not designed as a tourist route, it so happens that the #3 route will take you to some special parts of Ottawa, such as the Experimental Farm, Dow's Lake, the War Museum & Lebreton flats, Wellington/Rideau street, Byward Market, and within a block of Rideau Hall.

By taxi

Taxis are easy to find downtown. Elsewhere, phone for a cab or go to a cab stop (Greyhound, airport, and other places). All taxis should have a meter and the base charge is $2.45. A ride from downtown to the airport will be costly, running between $25 and C$35. Cabs will no take credit cards for fares below $10. Most cab drivers know Ottawa well, but have clear instructions if you're going anywhere in the suburbs as many developments in the outskirts are relatively new. Ottawa cabs aren't supposed to pick up customers off the street on the Quebec side; the converse applies to Quebec cabs in Ottawa. You may phone a Quebec cab if you are in Ottawa and vice versa.

By car

Parking at most attractions is convenient, though on-street parking in downtown areas is sometimes at a premium. If you are driving to downtown on the weekend, parking is free in the garage at the World Exchange Plaza. There are entrances to the garage on both Metcalfe Street and Queen Street. A map is useful if you are going to be driving around downtown as many of the streets are one-way and more than one visitor has complained about navigating the downtown core.

Most major car rental companies have several offices in Ottawa with all of them represented downtown and at the airport.

It should be noted that locals in Ottawa are increasingly angry with the traffic problems caused by parking in the downtown area. They won't vandalise your car, but they will yell at you. The Ottawa town councel has, more than once, put forth motions to progressively discourage all parking in the area, and possibly ban all non-public traffic.

On foot

Ottawa is a great city to explore on foot. With pedestrian-friendly streets and the density of attractions, a car is expensive and unnecessary for the most part. An excellent place to start any tour of Ottawa is the Capital Infocentre, located directly opposite Parliament Hill on Wellington Street. They have maps and brochures for most tourist attractions in Ottawa, many of which are within walking distance.

Popular pedestrian areas, especially during spring and summer months, are the various streets in the Byward Market. Sparks Street, running through downtown parallel to the Parliament Buildings, is a popular pedestrian area during the day and night, particularly in the spring and summer months.

Guided walking tours are available with Ottawa Walking Tours [11]and others such as Around About Ottawa [12]. There is so much to see and do in the Nation's Capital that a tour guide will maximize a visitor's time and experience in this beautiful city. All tours include some history as well as other tidbits of trivia not commonly known. Especially popular is the Haunted Walk of Ottawa[13] that provides a variety of walking tours focusing on the city's darker and more offbeat past.

Remember, during the summer months, the temperature and humidity can be oppresively high so definitely bring water if you're doing any amount of walking. If you are near the public pathways near the canal or the river, there are drinking fountains to refill your bottles.

By bicycle

There are usually a few options for renting bicycles downtown [14], and of course you can always bring your own. Ottawa is very accessible to cyclists. Again, you may want to start immediately opposite Parliament Hill to pick up a map of the area or find a bicycle rental. Cycling to the attractions around downtown Ottawa is a great way to get around, but don't ignore the Gatineau side of the river. They have several attractions along the river including the Museum of Civilization and if you want to really stretch your legs, Gatineau Park has many great cycling paths.

The city is criss-crossed by over 170km of bicycle paths, some of which are shared with motorists, and some are shared with pedestrians. The city provides Interactive Pathways and Other Maps [15].

OC Transpo has bicycle racks on the front of many buses. You can load your bike on the rack and then ride the bus for the normal passenger fare. The O-Train will take bikes as well.


There are many national museums and galleries in Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau. All museums in Ottawa have free admission on Canada Day, July 1, although they are generally very crowded then.

  • Parliament Hill [16]
    Parliament Hill, Canada's house of democracy
    Parliament Hill, Canada's house of democracy
    the primary attraction for most visitors is Parliament Hill. Parliament Hill is in the middle of downtown Ottawa, overlooking the Ottawa River. Not only is the building a fine example of the Gothic revival style, it makes an excellent starting point to visit all other points of interest in the area. Tours of the building are available daily with multiple tours (in both official languages) available at staggered times throughout the day. If you have a group of greater than 10 people, you must make a reservation in advance by calling the reservations office.(613-996-0896) The centre block tour is the most popular as it includes inside views of the House of Commons, the Senate, and the newly renovated Library of Parliament. Same day tickets are free and available on a first come first served basis from 9:00 AM. Pick up your ticket as early as possible to have the best chance of securing a start time that works for you. Tours last from 20 to 60 minutes depending on building activity. Starting July 2nd until Labour Day (early September), tours of the East Block are also available: tour guides take you through the restored offices of some of the Fathers of Confederation (Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Etienne Cartier, governor-general Lord Dufferin and the original Privy Council Office) explaining the beginnings of the Dominion of Canada while historical characters let you in on the daily lives of Canada's past politicians. Tours last about an hour and free same-day tickets can be picked up at the Info-tent on the Hill by West Block. If there are no more tickets available or you have to wait for your time, a fine self-guided walking tour around the grounds of Parliament Hill will keep you busy. Free booklets are available at the visitors' centre. One of the nicer, unexpected views, looking from the bottom up, can be accessed at the back of the Parliament Buildings -- that vantage point also provides a river view of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, across the river in Gatineau (formerly known as Hull). But the walk down from the west corner of the Centre Block allows visitors to visit the Hill cats, housed there. Behind the Parliament Buildings at sunset is a sight to remember. You can walk by the Rideau Canal locks (at the east corner) and visit the Bytowne Museum at river level. The locks divide Parliament Hill from the Chateau Laurier, a former railway hotel. The Chateau Laurier hotel once housed the offices of CBC radio in Ottawa as well as the studio of well-known photographer Yousuf Karsh (who recently passed away). Several framed Karsh photographs are hung in the hotel lounge. His (and his wife's) home suite is now available for guests and displays a small sampling of framed prints on the walls.
  • Parliament Hill Sound & Light Show [17] — developed by the National Capital Commission, the Sound & Light Show is a 30 minute film about Canada projected on the centre block of the Parliament Buildings. Bleacher seating is available and no reservations or tickets required. There are two showings nightly during the summer months.
  • Canadian War Museum [18] — Moved to a new building west of downtown in 2005 but still within walking distance of the downtown attractions, the museum presents Canada's involvement in armed conflict beginning with battles between the French and British, through to the World Wars, Korea, and the country's current involvement in NATO and UN operations. Admission is $10/adult. A joint War Museum and Museum of Civilization ticket can be purchased for $15. Admission is free on Thursdays after 6PM.
  • Museum of Civilization[19]
    Museum of Civilization, across the river in Hull
    Museum of Civilization, across the river in Hull
    Museum of Civilization - Atrium
    Museum of Civilization - Atrium
    This museum presents the story of Canada's population beginning with Aboriginal migration across the Bering Strait through European settlement by the Vikings around 1000 CE, and the British and French in the 1500s. The museum is full of a variety of items ranging from full size Salish totem poles to the recreation of a small prairie town complete with grain elevator. The museum also includes an exhibit on Canada Post and a separate museum for children. Admission is $10/adult. A joint War Museum and Museum of Civilization ticket can be purchased for $15. Admission is free on Thursdays after 6PM.
  • Science and Technology Museum[20]
    Jacques Plante's Goalie Mask on display in the Science and Technology Museum
    Jacques Plante's Goalie Mask on display in the Science and Technology Museum
    The museum has several displays that are popular with children, including massive locomotives inside the building and electricity demonstrations.
  • Canadian Museum of Nature [21] Currently under renovation, but several galleries (fossils, mammals, birds and Discovery Zone) are open to the public. The Grand Reopening will take place on May 22, 2010.
  • National Gallery [22]
    National Gallery of Canada
    National Gallery of Canada
    380 Sussex Drive, tel (613) 990 1985. Admission is free on Thursdays after 5PM.
  • Supreme Court of Canada [23] — Canada's highest court and the best example in Ottawa of Art Deco architecture. Its marble Grand Entrance Hall is particularly impressive. Admission is free, booking is required during low season (Sept. 1st - April 30th).
  • Royal Canadian Mint [24]
  • Canada Aviation Museum [25]
  • Bank of Canada Currency Museum [26] — Free admission.
  • Canada Agriculture Museum [27] — A working animal farm in the city. You can visit animal barns, see various demonstrations and exhibitions, and ride on a horse-drawn wagon. The museum also has a playground and picnic area. It is very popular with young children and a welcome change of pace for kids who have seen enough history after visiting some of the other sights.
  • Ottawa Bytown Museum is a small museum at the foot of Parliament Hill with a focus on Ottawa's early history. [28]
  • Rideau Hall is the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her representive, the Governor General of Canada. The grounds and the residence are open to the public for tours. Admission is free, Reservations are recommanded during low season (Sept. 1st - April 30th).

For the sports fan, Ottawa has professional sports teams:

  • Ottawa Senators [29] -- National Hockey League (NHL)
  • Ottawa 67's [30] -- Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
  • Ottawa Fury [31] -- USL Premier Development League
  • Ottawa Harlequins [32] -- Rugby Canada Super League


Explore the Nation's Capital as it was meant to be seen-up close and on foot.The Haunted Walk of Ottawa [33] offers a variety of tours focusing on Ottawa's infamous haunts and darker history. Hear tales of hauntings at some of Ottawa's most well known locations, including the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Bytown Museum and the Ottawa Jail Hostel. Cloaked guides lead guests through the city streets by lantern light-the perfect atmosphere for a good ghost story. Tours run year-round, rain or shine. Reservations are strongly recommended-for more information, call (613)232-0344 . [34]

If you enjoy the outdoors, especially if you are a cyclist, you should definitely visit Gatineau Park just across the river from Ottawa. Bicycles can be rented during the summer months at the northeast corner of the Chateau Laurier. Ottawa and the surrounding area boasts over 170km of public paved trails on which you can run, bike, walk or rollerblade. These trails extend throughout Ottawa, to the Quebec side of the Ottawa River and lead all the way to Gatineau Park and beyond. In addition, many of these trails pass by some of Canada's most famous political and civic landmarks, making running or biking an excellent way to see the city.

In winter, go skating on the largest outdoor skating rink in the world, the Rideau canal [35]. Skates can be rented, and refreshments purchased, from vendors right on the ice. This is also a great place to enjoy a "beaver tail" which is a local specialty - a bit like funnel cake, often enjoyed with lemon and sugar. It is very similar to, fried dough. The city's trail system serves as an excellent cross-country ski trail system, as do the trails in Gatineau Park.

In early spring (typically March), when the daytime temperatures are above freezing and night temperatures are below freezing, consider visiting a sugarbush for fresh maple syrup. There are many to choose from in the region if you have a car to drive out of the city.

Film theatres and cinemas

Ottawa has many movie theatres to choose from, but there are also a few that specialize in "foreign" films, early releases, old returning films and specialty films. The Bytowne Cinema is on Rideau Street near King Edward and has a detailed online schedule [36]. The Mayfair Theatre is found at 1074 Bank St. near Sunnyside [37]. In addition, the Canadian Film Institute screens films at the National Library and Archives building on Wellington and is a favourite of the specialist film crowd [38].

Jazz and Blues lovers can find what they are looking for in these Ottawa music calendars: [39] and [40]. Venues include Zoe's at the Chateau Laurier, Vineyards and Chez Lucien in the Market, and the Royal Oak (in Kanata). Find Blues at the Rainbow in the Market, and at Tucson's in Ottawa South on Bank St. at Hunt Club.

Ottawa is host to over 60 festivals and events per year, including:

  • Ottawa Jazz Festival [41] in summer.
  • Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival [42] in summer, one of the largest in the world
  • Bluesfest [43], also in summer: The largest blues festival in Canada, and featuring as well rock, pop and world music. Many visitors come to Ottawa from Atlantic Canada and New England specifically for Bluesfest.
  • The Fringe Festival [44], another summer offering.
  • Winterlude [45], winter fun featuring ice carving and snow sculptures
  • The Tulip Festival [46], a spring bonanza of flowering bulbs, given annually by the Dutch government, as well as a concert series featuring well-known Canadian rock and other popular music groups.
  • Ferrari Festival [47] in June, on Preston Street.
  • Canada Day [48], celebrate Canada's birthday in Ottawa on July 1st.
  • Ottawa has lots of live theatre entertainment. That includes at the National Arts Centre (English [49] and French [50]), the Great Canadian Theatre Company [51], the Ottawa Little Theatre [52], and Tara Players (Irish theatre) [53].
  • The National Arts Centre also provides a major venue for Dance and Orchestral performance [54].


The two best known universities in the city are Carleton University [55] and the major bilingual and research-intensive University of Ottawa [56]. Bilingual St. Paul's University [57] is a Catholic university with ties to the University of Ottawa, offering various degrees in theology and social sciences. Dominican University College [58] is a Dominican university where theology and philosophy can be studied at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, also in English or French. There is also Algonquin College [59] and the francophone Cité Collégiale [60].


The Federal Government is the region's largest employer with the high-tech sector firmly in second place. Unless you are a Canadian resident, you will need a work visa to work in Ottawa, and some Federal Government jobs require Canadian citizenship.

Byward Market
Byward Market
  • The Byward Market [61] area of downtown Ottawa, located east of the Rideau Canal and the Chateau Laurier, is the area's most popular shopping district. In summer, stalls selling fresh produce and flowers line the streets, but even in the middle of winter there are some hardy vendors braving the cold — and maple syrup bought here costs half the price of souvenir shops elsewhere in the city. In the evening, the market shuts down and the area's restaurants, pubs and bars take over as the primary attraction.
  • Sparks Street [62] is a pleasant pedestrian street one block off Parliament Hill and a common tourist throughfare for seeing the sights. Along this street you'll find the majority of the tourist shops selling postcards, magnets, and maple syrup. The Astrolabe Gallery, located on this street, is a treasure trove of antique maps as well as vintage posters. There are several outdoor cafes and restaurants to choose from also.
  • Westboro Village [63]
  • In recent years a stretch along Richmond Road in the "near west" of Ottawa from Golden east to Tweedsmuir has become a popular tourism and shopping zone, and includes several outdoor stores (clothing and equipment), restaurants and coffee shops. Notable shops include the Mountain Equipment Coop [64], Ten Thousand Villages, Starbucks, Bridgehead (fair trade coffee), Kitchenalia, a chocolatier and several others. (Richmond Road becomes the western part of Wellington St. from Island Park Drive and a second strip of shops and restaurants runs along Wellington from Island Park Drive to Holland.)
  • Bank St Promenade.  edit

Larger shopping malls include the Rideau Centre [65] (downtown), St. Laurent Shopping Centre [66] (East Central), Place D'Orleans [67] (East End), the Bayshore Shopping Centre [68] and Carlingwood Mall [69] (West End). To find sales at Ottawa stores use [70].

Around the end of May every year, Ottawa has the Great Glebe Garage Sale. Hundreds of homes in the Glebe district all have garage sales on the same day, many of the businesses in the area have sidewalk sales, and some vendors from outside the neighborhood come and set up displays on friends' lawns. The Glebe is a very mixed residential area with everyone from students to millionaires, so the range of stuff on offer is very wide. Parking is nearly impossible during the sale and driving around looking at stuff difficult because of the crowds. If you have a car, get there early, find parking, and explore on foot.


Ethnic foods from around the world are available at a wide variety of restaurants and street vendors throughout the city. The Byward Market area has a wide selection of different cuisines; the Chinatown area is along Somerset Ave. between Bronson Ave. and Preston St; Little Italy runs along the length of Preston Street, from Carling Avenue to Albert Street.

Ottawa's claim to culinary fame: a classic beavertail with sugar and cinnamon
Ottawa's claim to culinary fame: a classic beavertail with sugar and cinnamon

Also try the tasty beaver tail, a doughy, deep-fried pastry associated with Ottawa, although a number of places claim to have created it. It's available in sweet and savory versions, topped with cinnamon, sugar, icing sugar, etc. In the winter, many places will offer it on the canal. During the summer, the only place downtown to offer it is in the Byward Market on George St. There is a variety of toppings and the taste of the beaver tail arguably stands out more with the classic sugar & cinnamon. However, the locals' favourite is the Killaloe sunrise, a topping of cinnamon sugar and lemon juice.

Coffee Shops are found throughout the city, and include dozens of two specialty chains Second Cup and Starbucks, in addition to the mainstream Tim Horton's (seemingly planted at every intersection). Bridgehead [71], is a fair trade coffee house and can be found at a half dozen or so locations. Try their small double shot lattes, which are significantly better than their competitors'. There are several coffee houses in Little Italy, on Preston Street. One of the most popular, Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana (200 Preston St, tel (613) 594 5303), also houses an award-winning pastry shop [72].


Ottawa probably has more schwarma (kebab and fixings in pita bread) restaurants than any other place on Earth and most of them will serve up a great shawarma for around $5. Their busy times are typically weekdays at lunch-hour, and on weekends after the bars close. The Market and Elgin St. both have several restaurants to choose from - the best in Ottawa being Maroush Lebanese food - known locally as "the Shawarma nazi", which has a place on Elgin street and one on Rideau street just outside the Byward market. The usual range of diners, bagel shops and fast food restaurants can be found in shopping areas throughout the city.

You will also find "chip wagons" or "chip trucks" parked in various locations around the city at lunch time. They serve hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, pogos (deep fried, breaded hot dogs on a stick), chips (french fries) and poutine (french fries covered with cheddar cheese curd and gravy - very popular in Quebec and eastern Ontario).

  • Budapest Delicatessen, Byward Market. An institution in Ottawa for as long as most people can remember, Budapest Deli is in the mold of the classic pan-European grocery: white tile walls, 15 kinds of mustard, homemade pickles and sausages in abundance, friendly Polish lady behind the counter. It is most famous for the great sandwich counter, which features classic European cold meat sandwiches (salami, pastrami, smoked turkey, cooked ham) on a fresh roll or kaiser bun, with all the fixings you expect: saurkraut, hot and regular mustad, onion, olive and hot peppers. All sandwiches come in a very generous standard size for 2.99-3.99or if you're feeling up to it, you can pay an extra dollar or so and get yours "mega" sized. This option will often result in not eating for the rest of the day. Hungarians are more than welcome! :)
  • DiRienzo's Deli, Beech Street (just west of Preston Street). This little deli tucked away in Little Italy, a secret known to many locals, is famous for the best and freshest deli sandwiches in the city for $4 (taxes included). During the week the lineup can stretch outside the packed little store, but they are arguably the fastest sandwich makers anywhere so don't worry about a long wait. There is also another newer location run by the family at Meadowlands Drive and Fisher Avenue.
  • Elgin Street Diner (374 Elgin Street, downtown) is a popular 24-hour diner. One of its specialties is the ESD (Elgin Street Diner) Poutine. Generally, poutine (the unofficial national dish of Quebec) is French fries, served with cheese curds and gravy on top; they have several versions including the addition of caramelized onions and bacon, Montreal smoked meat, Philly steak, a four cheese blend or Chili. The substitution of mashed potatoes fried with onions and seasoning (called their home fries), or onion rings instead of regular French fries is also an option. Expect the adventure to set you back $6-8 depending on toppings. The diner's hamburgers/cheeseburgers are significantly better than typical fast food fare, and breakfast is served 24/7 365 days a year with no exception.
  • For the best non-Canadian eats, head down Somerset street (West) near Bronson to the heart of Chinatown. Here you have a choice of places for Vietnamese, Thai, Cantonese, etc. Vietamese soup-houses, Pho Bo Ga and Pho Bo Ga La, are well-rated. The Yangtze Restaurant and Chu Shing Restaurant (across the street from it) are large box Chinese restaurants popular with Ottawa's Chinese clientele. The Jadeland Restaurant is a small popular Chinese restaurant set in a converted house and has been well reviewed for its tasty dishes and low prices.
  • For a great Thai fusion, check out Hot Peppers on Somerset (just off Kent). Be sure to try the coconut rice.
  • For Indian, there is Rose's Cafe (in the Market and one on Gladstone), but also try Curries (Gloucester and O'Connor, between Bank and Elgin near the business district). Or Moni Mahal on Laurier Street (business district, near Parliament Hill) for a large buffet with tons of vegetarian and vegan options (well labeled).
  • The best milk-shakes are found at Zak's,[73] a 24-hour diner in the Byward Market. They're really good, made with ice-cream, and for the $5.50 they cost you get a large glass full plus the shaker with what didn't fit in the glass. Other dishes are quite good, with a "more calories for your money" attitude (as illustrated by the massive amount of milkshake served), which is nicely honest about fast food; however it may seem a bit expensive as some of the burgers are in excess of $12. Late on week-end nights (2 - 3AM) it's packed as people go for their after-bar poutine.


Major restaurant areas can be found on Elgin Street, on Bank Street in Centretown, on Bank Street in the Glebe, in Westboro and in the Byward Market, with entrees ranging from $12-$25. Similar restaurants can be found in major suburban shopping areas too.

  • The Empire Grill, Clarence St, [74]. Has a great patio in the summer and delicious food year-round. Expect to pay about $25+ for an entree.
  • Johnny Farina's, Elgin St, [75].
  • Vineyards, in the Byward Market, [76]. An excellent restaurant with the widest selection of world beers and wines in Ottawa.
  • Pub Italia, 434 1/2 Preston Street (near Dow's Lake and the Experimental Farm), [77]. An Irish/Italian pub with hundreds of bottled beers listed in its "Beer Bible". Noted for its intimate faux Medieval/Gothic décor.
  • The Highlander Pub, The Highlander Pub in the Byward Market is a solid restaurant with good pub fare, and traditional Scottish food, such as haggis. It is a good place also after a long day of sightseeing and you need a drink, with any spirit, wine or beer you can think of. It has a warm, friendly environment, with plenty of patio room. An average tab for a full meal for 2 should be about $40 CND.
  • Santé Restaurant, 45 Rideau St, [78] Santé at the corner of Rideau and Sussex, across from the Rideau Center, is a cosmopolitan yet casual. It’s a delicate line to walk, but Santé Restaurant does it with panache - offering exotic Asian Fusion and Thai cuisine in a comfortably elegant setting.
  • The Works 362 Richmond in Westboro, 580 Bank in the Glebe, 363 St. Laurent Boulevard in Manor Park, [79] Hard to argue that these are not the best Burgers around. The selection is top notch and toppings are bountiful. Also served are delicious, Onion Rings, Milk Shakes and Cold Beer. Expect to pay $12 for a burger with sides.
  • da Sergio 338 Preston Street, is an owner operated authentic Italian Bistro with attention to detail in its appetizers, pasta, sauces and secondi. Calamari are fresh and melt-in-your-mouth, and the Carpaccio served simply with capers, olive oil and parmesan curls. They have a large patio with shade making it a good spot for a sunny summer afternoon or evening.


Ottawa has excellent options for fine dining if you feel like spending a bit extra. Budget C$150 for a three course dinner for two, including wine and gratuity.

  • Domus [80], in the Byward Market at 85 Murray St., is an outstanding restaurant with an award winning chef serving regional Canadian cuisine. Reservations at 613-241-6007.
  • Signatures [81], at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute (453 Laurier Ave. East), (613) 236-2499, Tues-Sat: 5:30 p.m.–10, is a French restaurant with a five-diamond rating from CAA/AAA that is considered among the very best in the city.
  • E18hteen [82], located in the Byward Market at 18 York St., is an upscale, modern restaurant and bar located in a renovated 19th century heritage building. It is THE place to see and be seen.
  • Merlot [83], at the Marriott Hotel (100 Kent St.), has received glowing reviews for its cuisine and is Ottawa's only revolving restaurant.
  • Beckta [84], located downtown (226 Nepean St.), is an excellent modern restaurant with a variety of tastes centered around locally available foods. Also features an extensive wine list.
  • Perspectives Restaurant [85], at the Brookstreet (525 Legget Drive), offers the very best in fine dining featuring innovative culinary creations where exciting flavours of the Orient meet top-quality regional ingredients in an expression of contemporary Canadian cuisine.
  • Issac's 64 Hundred [86], in West End (6400 Hazeldean Road), is a fine dining restaurant with a mediterranean flair.
  • The Green Door at 198 Main St offers a vegetarian and vegan buffet and is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Ottawa. It offers private and communal tables. Meals are priced by weight, and average around $12 for a full plate.
  • The Table, 1230 Wellington St in the Westboro neighbourhood, also offers a vegetarian buffet with many vegan options. Meals are priced by weight.
  • ZenKitchen[87], 634 Somerset St. W, is opened in mid-June 2009. Completely vegan, with full table service, a wine program and summer patio, they also offer vegetarian cooking lessons and special events like wine tastings. Reservations can be made online at
  • Govinda's Restaurant on Somerset East (just off the University of Ottawa) offers a simple vegan buffet for $5-$7. The best cheap eats in town. Operated by ISCKON (Hare Krishna movement). Only open weekdays from 17:00 to 20:00
  • So Good Restaurant on Somerset (1.5 blocks West of Bronson) has a separate vegetarian menu (dishes are also vegan unless stated) and there are many choices . Try anything "Wu Se" (peanut sauce). Dinners are about $10 (entree and rice).


The most popular bar areas are in the Byward Market, along Wellington Avenue in Westboro and along both Elgin Street and Bank Street between Somerset and Gladstone in the Centretown area. There are pubs and bars scattered throughout the city as well.

You can also take a small trip over the Ottawa river to Gatineau. Bars on Ottawa side close at 2:00 AM while bars close at 3:00 AM on the Gatineau side.

Note that smoking is not permitted in Ontario or Quebec restaurants and bars.

  • Suite 34, 34 Clarence St. A multi-floored club that requires some fancier attire. Crowd is usually quite young and plays a mixture of popular house, hip-hop and club anthems. Rooftop patio draws a large crowd in the summer months.
  • Club 292, 292 Elgin St.
  • E18hteen, 18 York St.
  • Barrymore's, Bank St. An old converted movie theatre, their 80's night is the place to be in Ottawa on Sundays. They also have a 90's night on Thursdays and live concerts on most other nights.
  • The Dominion Tavern, York St. Simple beers and some pool: picture your friend's basement apartment, even serving 40's of beer.
  • Zaphod's Beeblebrox, York St (next to Dominion). Alternative rock/new age punk, hip-hop nights on Thursday. Recently short-listed in CBC Radio 3's "Searchlight: The Best Live Venue in Canada" competition.
  • Foundation York St. in the alley behind E18hteen. Restaurant during the week that is open for lunch and dinner. Excellent food and one of the only restaurants in Ottawa to serve fondue. On Friday and Saturday nights it transforms into an upperclass nightclub. Dress to impress, no logos or running shoes, and be prepared to spend a few bucks on drinks.
  • Options Bar located off the main lobby of the Brookstreet. Relax in the rich and elegant warmth of a sophisticated lounge, where casual intimacy provides a welcome refuge from the stress of the day.
  • Edge, Ottawa's most popular gay bar is located at Sparks St and Bank St. Best on Saturday nights.


Since the mid-1990's there has been an explosion in Irish-/British-style pubs across the city. In the core you will find:

  • Patty Boland's, Clarence St. Warm, country feel.
  • Black Thorn, Clarence St. Upscale, great food
  • Irish Village, Clarence St. Ottawa's largest pub complex, including the eponymous Irish Village (loud, lots of live music) and The Heart and Crown.
  • Lieutenant's Pump, Elgin St. British style pub with a good variety of food selections and inexpensive draught.
  • The Manx, Elgin St. Great microbrews, wide scotch selection, slightly bohemian feel.
  • Pub Italia, Preston St. A large selection of beers from the world, especially Belgian.
  • D'arcy McGee's Sparks Street & Elgin St. Beautiful architecture with impressive food selection
  • Minglewoods, (The corner of Waller St and Rideau St). A great place to drink for cheap! Pitchers of domestic and premium beers are priced under $11 so if you're on a budget this is the place to go. It is close to the University of Ottawa so many students frequent Minglewoods between or after class. There is a good selection of pub fare, also for reasonable prices. On the weekend there is a packed dance floor on the second level.  edit
  • Ottawa Jail Hostel, 75 Nicholas Street (across the street from the Rideau Centre), +1 613 235-2595 (toll free: +1 866 299-1478, fax: +1 613 235-9202), [88]. A member of Hostelling International, this hostel is in the old Ottawa Jail; the bedrooms are actually old jail cells. It's close to the Byward Market and downtown. Tours available. $24.15/dorm for HI members, $28.35 for non.  edit
  • Ottawa Backpackers Inn, 203 York Street, +1 613 241-3402 (toll free: +1 888 394-0334, ), [89]. Part of Backpackers Hostels Canada, includes kitchen, free wireless internet and free coffee/tea. In a converted house. The staff and the atmosphere are very friendly. $24/night for regular dorm beds, more for semi-private and private rooms.  edit
  • Barefoot Hostel, 455 Cumberland St, 613-237-0335, [90]. A modern hostel located downtown. Included for use is a mini-kitchen, back patio, a living area with a huge HDTV, a computer (with internet), free WiFi, plush bed linens, lockers and three shared bathrooms. Rates start at $35.50/night/per person and you can book online.
  • Albert at Bay Suite Hotel [91], 435 Albert Street (corner of Bay St.). The building is nicely located downtown within easy walking distance of the main attractions, shops and restaurants. The hotel itself is a converted apartment building where you'll find large one and two bedrooms suites. Rates range from $119/night to $229/night for the one and two bedroom suites respectively.
  • Albert House Inn, 478 Albert Street, [92]. The house is old but kept well, the people are very nice and the breakfast is generous. The bedrooms are clean and cosy and you can borrow books and newspapers.
  • Best Western Victoria Park Suites, 377 O'Connor St. (near Elgin St.). The hotel is downtown near the Museum of Nature. $100 (and up).
  • ByWard Blue Inn, 157 Clarence Street, [93]. Welcome to Ottawa’s only B & B hotel in the picturesque ByWard Market. This charming inn offers people traveling for business or pleasure fantastic room rates in a great location. $79-149
  • Comfort Inn Ottawa West (Ottawa), 222 Hearst Way (This convenient Ottawa West location is only 5 min from Scotiabank Place and offers guests excellent value including free breakfast, free parking, and free internet. 20 min from Downtown, Highway #417, Exit 138 Eagleson Road), 613-592-2200 (, fax: 613-591-9600), [94]. checkin: 11:00; checkout: 15:00.  edit
  • Novotel Hotel located across the street from the east side of the Rideau Centre on Nicholas Street. Modern hotel with an emphasis on energy conservation. Modern restaurant and banquet facilities. This location has free internet kiosks in the main lobby open to the public.
  • Shirley Samantha's Bed & Breakfast, 28 Carlotta Avenue (From Hwy. 417 take Exit 117 Vanier Parkway; north on Vanier Parkway to McArthur Avenue, left on McArthur to Marguerite Avenue, left on Marguerite. Then right on Carlotta Avenue.), 613-745-2105, [95]. checkin: as arranged; checkout: 11 a.m.. On a quiet residential street, within walking distance from downtown and half a block from the Rideau River cycling/walking path. Two queen-bedded rooms, one with ensuite, the other with private bath. Centrally air conditioned, complimentary parking, snacks and WiFi. Delicious breakfasts featuring home baking. $70-$120 per night.  edit
  • University of Ottawa located within a quick walk to Rideau Centre and downtown, the university runs a guest house with private rooms in one of its newer housing complexes. As of May 2005, the rate for a single was $90 with a discount for University of Ottawa students.
  • The Black Lab Inn [96] Welcome to Ottawa's only truly dog friendly bed & breakfast. Located in the south end of Ottawa with plenty of places to take your dog to play and walk with the Rideau River just down the street. Delicious full breakfasts with all the amenities to cater to guests and their dogs.
  • Gasthaus Switzerland Inn, 89 Daly Ave, (Beautiful Historic 1872 Small Hotel Right Downtown), 613-237-0335, [97]. A charming, cosy small hotel located in the heart of Ottawa, features 22 rooms including 2 honeymoon suites. The Inn was built in 1872 from limestone in a 19th Century Vernacular Classical Revival. Gasthaus offers traditional Swiss hospitality, with modern comfort. Free Wi-Fi and free internet computer desk in the common area for guests. Delicious buffet breakfast is included with Bircher-Muesli and fresh ground Swiss espresso. Discount available for government employees & university professors.
Chateau Laurier (left) and Parliament Hill overlooking the Ottawa River
Chateau Laurier (left) and Parliament Hill overlooking the Ottawa River
  • The Ottawa Marriott Hotel (near Parliament Hill) [98]. 100 Kent Street. Phone: 1-613-238-1122. Toll-free: 1-800-853-8463. The Ottawa Marriott Hotel is in downtown Ottawa one block from the Parliament Buildings and steps away from museums and shopping. This Ottawa hotel includes a revolving restaurant, Kids’ Zone as well as an indoor pool, sauna and fitness centre. Rates from $154 /night.
  • Arc, Slater Street (near Parliament Hill), [99]. A trendy boutique hotel with prices to match its style.
  • Chateau Laurier, (near Parliament Hill), [100]. The city's grand old hotel: its oldest and most famous luxury hotel as well as one of its landmarks. Rooms facing west overlook the Rideau Canal locks and have stellar views of the Parliament buildings.
  • The Westin Ottawa (near Parliament Hill), [101]. The hotel is also connected to the Rideau Centre by a walkway. Rates start at $189 / night.
  • The Delta Ottawa Hotel [102]. 361 Queen Street. Located downtown, a few blocks west of Parliament Hill, near the Supreme Court of Canada. The outside decor is not much to look at but the one and two bedroom rooms are spacious and have kitchenettes, comfortable for a longer stay. Rates for standard hotel rooms start at $159 / night.
  • Lord Elgin [103] is centrally located on Elgin Street across from the National Arts Centre, a stone's throw from Parliament Hill, and is one of Ottawa's two classic hotels (the other being the Chateau Laurier). It has recently been upgraded. While it has "splurge" rates, most rooms are reasonably priced. Good value, and a Starbucks off the lobby.
  • The Brookstreet [104] in Kanata is revolutionizing and redefining the hospitality experience by offering world-class facilities including: a full-service spa with 11 treatment rooms, a championship golf course, The Marshes, and European PGA-approved short course, a four-diamond restaurant, Perspectives and a state-of-the-art fitness studio with whirlpools, steam rooms and indoor and outdoor pools.

Stay safe

Ottawa is a very safe place to live and visit, so if you use common sense it is at least as safe as any other city. There are many tourists in the city, especially in summer months, and there are very few incidents of robbery or assault.

That said, buses and transit stations have had issues in recent years with violence and swarmings/robberies, even during daytime hours. OC Transpo has hired new constables and placed plainclothes security as well as cameras on select buses and trains to counter the problem. Use common sense, especially when riding at night, every transit station has multiple emergency call boxes. After dark, take extra care in areas near downtown such as Lowertown, and also Hintonburg, Vanier, Bayshore, Ledbury, Heatherington, Caldwell and South Keys. These neighbourhoods are known to have gang presence, and drug problems. Ottawa is generally very safe, but like any other city it has bad apples.

Ottawa is one of the world's coldest capitals. Summers are (normally) humid and hot. Dress for the weather!

  • Carp, a tiny village 10 km north of Ottawa, houses the surreal Cold War "Central Emergency Government Headquarters" (Diefenbunker), now a museum.
  • Gatineau, Ottawa's twin across the river, has the stunning Canadian Museum of Civilization and some mighty good restaurants too.
  • Merrickville, 45 min by car south of Ottawa, claims to be Canada's prettiest village.
  • Montreal, the largest city in Quebec, is 200 km to the east.
Routes through Ottawa
PeterboroughCarleton Place  W noframe E  ENDS
North BayRenfrew - becomes  W noframe E  LimogesMontreal
This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Ottawa discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





Said to be from Ojibwe odaawaa (traders).

Proper noun




  1. An Algonquian people closely related to the Ojibwe; also spelt Ottowa.
  2. The Ottawa dialect of Ojibwe; also spelt Odawa or Odaawaa.
  3. The capital of Canada, located in the province of Ontario.
  4. A river flowing SE between Ontario and Quebec into the St. Lawrence River.
  5. A city in Illinois.
  6. A town in Ohio.

Related terms



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Wikipedia has a page called:
Ottawa, on the eastern edge of south-eastern Ontario, is the capital of Canada.

The National Capital Region extends across the Ottawa River, encompassing Ottawa itself and Gatineau in Quebec .

Template:Ottawa Template:Ottawa landmarks

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

This page is a "stub" and could be improved by additions and other edits.

This article uses material from the "Ottawa" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address