Ottawa is the main city in Canada located on the banks of the majestic Ottawa River. It’s the fourth largest city in the state. Until 1855 it had another name – Bytown. Later on, the city was renamed for a word that derives from the Algonquin term meaning “to trade”. This was on purpose – a tribe living there controlled the trade of the river.
It has been fulfilling this function since the mid-19th century when Queen Victoria proclaimed it a capital. There exists a story according to which the Queen just stuck a pin into a place on the map between Toronto and Montreal. This is how a little town became the capital.
Ottawa is a literary multicultural city, taking into consideration a fact that about 25% of its residents are from other countries. This North American city is officially bilingual as almost a half of the population speaks French. In general, over 1.2 million people dwell there. Ottawa occupies the 18th place for the best quality of life in the list of 200 cities throughout the world. It’s also known as the 2nd cleanest city in the country and the 3rd – in the world.
It’s always full of tourists as more than 35 festivals are held in Ottawa annually, including the Tulip Festival with 3 million of blooming flowers, Winterlude and Bluesfest that gather about 7.3 million guests per year.
Beautiful landscapes attract visitors to Rideau Canal - a majestic waterway that stretches for 202 km from Kingston to Ottawa, that is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This water system, that consists of several lakes and rivers, connected by men-made canals, was opened in 1832. In Ottawa there exists a whole museum – Bytown Museum – that takes special care to the history of the Canal building. This museum shows the transformation of Ottawa into a capital city.
The architectural look of the city has changed greatly for the last 10 years as the politicians and businessmen decided to keep in Ottawa certain aesthetics, choosing the Gothic and Neo-Gothic styles as the predominant ones.
In the middle of Ottawa’s downtown one may find a wonderful Gothic building with the members’ of the Parliament offices. Because of this the whole place is called Parliament Hill.
Ask any Canadian about the most popular national museum and he’ll definitely point on the Museum of Civilization that shows with a chronological detalization the country’s history. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is also worth seeing as it houses more then 120 planes of various ranges. The oldest one was built in 1909.