Ottawa Travel Guide and Travel Information
Ottawa, the Capital of Canada: What to See and Do in Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, a municipality and the second largest city 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. Though governed by separate municipal governments, the federal lands within the region are administered by the National Capital Commission, 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. The Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area had a 2006 population of 1,130,761, making it the fourth-largest census metropolitan area in Canada. 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. Ottawa has the 2nd highest quality of living of any city in the Americas, and 14th highest in the world according to the “Mercer Human Resource Consulting Quality of Living Survey”. It is also considered the 4th cleanest city in the world by Forbes magazine.
Ottawa enacted official bilingualism policies in 2002, making all municipal services available in both of Canada’s official languages. 314,000 people, or roughly 40% of Ottawa’s population, are able to speak both languages, with rates approaching 80% in the age category under-25 due to wide-scale education programs. As such it is the largest city in Canada with both English, and French as co-official languages.
Ottawa is a nice city and you will have many things to do. The things we love and the hot places you must visit are:
- Canadian Museum of Nature is a good place to visit with a lot of galleries, activities and exhibitions.
- Canal Rideau. The view of the Rideau River from the O-Train, between Carleton University and Confederation Station.
- Chateau Laurier and his park.
- The Ceremonial Guard parade.
- The National War Memorial monument.
- The Parliament Hill, each night at 9.30pm in summer, a must to see, the night show!
- The National Gallery of Canada, The Gallery has a large and varied collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs. Although its focus is on Canadian art, it holds works by many noted European artists. It has a strong contemporary art collection with some of Andy Warhol’s most famous work. In 2005, a sculpture of a giant spider was installed in front of the Gallery.
- The Library of Parliament is the main information repository and research resource for the Parliament of Canada. The main branch of the library, which is the focus of this article, sits at the rear of the Centre Block, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, and is the last untouched part of that larger building’s original incarnation, after it burned down in 1916. The library has been augmented and renovated a number of times since its construction in 1876, the last between 2002 and 2006, though the form and decor remain essentially authentic. The building today serves as a Canadian icon, and appears on the obverse of the Canadian ten-dollar bill.