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Alternate meanings: Ottawa (disambiguation)

City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
(In Detail) (In Detail)
Motto: Advance Ottawa/Ottawa en avant
Area: 2,778.64 sq. km.
 - Total (2001)
 - Cdn. CD Rank:
 - Cdn. Mun. Rank:
 - Density

Ranked 7th
Ranked 4th
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5
45°19' N
75°40' W
Mauril Bélanger, Don Boudria, Ed Broadbent, Marlene Catterall, Marc Godbout, David McGuinty, Gordon O'Connor, Pierre Poilievre
John Baird, Jean-Marc Lalonde, Dalton McGuinty, Phil McNeely, Madeleine Meilleur, Richard Patten, Norm Sterling, Jim Watson
MayorBob Chiarelli
Governing bodyOttawa City Council
City of Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, located in the eastern part of the province of Ontario. The population as of 2001 was approximately 774,072 people. The Ottawa region has a population of approximately 1,110,498. The mayor of the city today (2004) is Bob Chiarelli.

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

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Transportation
3 Notable buildings and institutions
4 Annual Events
5 Primary industries
6 Sports
7 History
8 Demographics
9 Local media
10 Famous People From Ottawa
11 Item of Interest
12 See also
13 External links


Ottawa sits on the south bank of the Ottawa River, around 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 Centre Town, which is the city's financial and commercial hub. Between here and the Ottawa River, the slight elevation of Parliament Hill is home to many of the capital's landmark government buildings.

The Ottawa urban area extends for considerable distance to the east, west and south of the centre, and includes the former cities of Gloucester and Nepean. Around the city is an extensive greenbelt, administered by the National Capital Commission for conservation and leisure, and comprising mostly forest and marshland. A number of satellite towns and rural communities lie beyond the greenbelt but are administratively part of the Ottawa municipality. The largest of these are Kanata to the west and Orleans to the east.

Across the Ottawa River, which forms the border between Ontario and Quebec, lies the city of Gatineau. Although administered separately, the two cities both fall within the remit of the National Capital Commission and for many purposes are considered a single metropolitan area, called Canada's Capital Region.


Ottawa is served by VIA Rail, by Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and by a number of long distance bus companies.

Ottawa's main mass transit company is known as OC Transpo. The bus transit system includes the Transitway, a network of mostly grade-separated, extremely high-frequency, reserved bus rapid transit lanes with full stations instead of stops. There is also a pilot-project diesel light rail system called the O-Train. See List of Ottawa Transitway and O-Train stations. Both OC Transpo and the Quebec-based Société de transport de l'Outaouais operate bus services between Ottawa and Gatineau.

The Rideau Canal, which starts in Kingston, Ontario, winds its way through the city. The final flight of locks on the canal are adjacent to the Parliament Buildings.

Notable buildings and institutions

Some of the notable buildings in Ottawa include the Parliament Buildings, where Canada's government resides; 24 Sussex Drive, the home of the Prime Minister of Canada; and Rideau Hall, the home of the Governor-General of Canada. Ottawa also has several museums, including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian War Museum, Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canadian Aviation Museum and Canadian Museum of Nature. The Canadian Museum of Civilization is located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec. Ottawa is also the home of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Ottawa is served by Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. All federal buildings and lands are managed by the National Capital Commission an organization that has a great deal of power over the city.

Annual Events

Primary industries

Ottawa's primary employers are the Canadian federal government and high technology. Major companies such as Nortel, Alcatel, JDS Uniphase, Mitel, Bell Canada, TELUS, and Corel have offices in the city.


Ottawa is home to two major league sports team, the Ottawa Senators (established 1992) of the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. It is also home to the AAA farm team of the Baltimore Orioles, the Ottawa Lynx of the International League, and the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League.


The Ottawa region was long home to First Nations peoples who were part of the Algonquin. The first European settlement in the Ottawa region was that of Philemon Wright who started a community on the Quebec side of the river in 1800. Wright discovered that transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Montreal was possible and Ottawa was soon booming based almost entirely off timber. The city grew even further in importance when the Rideau Canal was constructed by Colonel John By. The city was then known as Bytown, but it was incorporated as Ottawa in 1855.

On December 31, 1857 Queen Victoria, was asked to choose a capital for Canada, and chose Ottawa. There are various popular stories explaining this decision. One explanation is that she did so by sticking her hatpin on a map roughly halfway between Toronto and Montreal; Ottawa was the nearest city to were it landed. Another is that she liked some watercolours she had seen of the area. In reality, the primary objective was probably to avoid antagonising either English speakers or French speakers. The other candidates - Quebec City, Montreal, Kingston and Toronto - were perceived as too firmly rooted either in English or in French tradition; Ottawa seemed more neutral. Also, at a time when the US was considered a military threat, Ottawa was situated further from the border.

The original Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa burned down on February 3, 1916. The House of Commons was temporarily relocated to the Victorian era building which was then the Victoria Museum, and is currently (2004) the Canadian Museum of Nature, located about 1 km south of Parliament Hill at the opposite end of Metcalfe Street. A new Centre Block was completed in 1922, the centre-piece of which is a dominant gothic revival styled structure known as the Peace Tower which has become a common emblem of the city.

In 2001, the city of Ottawa was amalgamated with the suburbs of Nepean, Kanata, Gloucester, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier and Cumberland, and the rural townships of West Carleton, Osgoode, Rideau and Goulbourn, along with the systems and infrastructure of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality, to become one municipality.

See also: List of Ottawa mayors


According to the 2001 Statistics Canada census, there are 774,072 people, 310,132 households, and 210,875 families residing in the city. The population density is 278.6/km².

The lingustic makeup (mother tongue) of the city is 63.6% anglophone, 15.0% francophone, 0.9% both languages, 20.3% allophone.

There are 210,875 families out of which 72.8% are married couples living together, 11.1% are common-law couples, and 13.2% have a female householder with no husband present.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.3% under the age of 19, 6.9% from 20 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36.7 years. For every 100 females there are 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.1 males.

The median income for a working individual in the city is $39,713, and the median income for a family is $73,507. Males have a median income of $47,203 versus $31,641 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,061.

Local media

Television stations

Famous People From Ottawa

( or that called Ottawa home at a point in time )

North: Pontiac, Gatineau
West: Arnprior, Mississippi Mills, Beckwith, Montague Ottawa East: Clarence-Rockland, The Nation, Russell
South: North Grenville, North Dundas

Item of Interest

The National Research Council of Canada's shortwave time signal station, CHU, is located in Ottawa.

See also

External links

Census Divisions of Ontario
Counties of Ontario: Bruce | Dufferin | Elgin | Essex | Frontenac | Grey | Haliburton | Hastings | Huron | Lambton | Lanark | Leeds and Grenville | Lennox and Addington | Middlesex | Northumberland | Oxford | Perth | Peterborough | Prescott and Russell | Renfrew | Simcoe | Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry | Wellington
Regional Municipalities of Ontario: Durham | Halton | Niagara | Peel | Waterloo | York
Single Tier Municipalities of Ontario: Brant | Brantford | Chatham-Kent | Greater Sudbury | Haldimand | Hamilton | Kawartha Lakes | Norfolk | Ottawa | Prince Edward | Toronto
Districts of Ontario: Algoma | Cochrane | Kenora | Manitoulin | Muskoka | Nipissing | Parry Sound | Rainy River | Sudbury | Thunder Bay | Timiskaming