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NORTH AMERICA STARTS HERE - Welcome to our Nation's Capital of Canada


Your guide to explore a city of culture, diversity, and entertainment

What is Ottawa?


Nestled on the banks of the majestic Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau Rivers, Ottawa is one of the most beautiful G8 capitals in the world. A thriving international technology and business center and world class tourism and convention destination. Ottawa is also rich in culture and heritage with its many national institutions, parklands, waterways and historic architecture.

It is home to a large number of foreign embassies and is a recognized center for both academics and professional training. The city offers an open and welcoming environment to cultures from around the world, providing service in English, French, and a host of other languages. The city’s residents enjoy an enviable quality of life that is recognized around the world.

Quick Facts About Ottawa


  1. Population 883,391

  2. Ottawa is the fourth largest city in Canada.

  3. Ottawa was originally called Bytown named after Colonel John By, the engineer who oversaw construction of the Rideau Canal.  In 1855 Bytown was incorporated and became Ottawa

  4. The name Ottawa comes from the Algonquin word adawe – which means to trade.

  5. In 1857 Queen Victoria chose Ottawa to be the capital of Canada.

  6. Visitors to Ottawa can stay in a hostel that used to be a jail in the 19th Century

  7. Ottawa is the 4th most cleanest city in the world according to Forbes – survey 300 cities in the world

  8. Every Sunday morning – from 9 am until 1 pm- in the summer only, the Capital area parkways are closed to cars. You can run, walk, cycle or skate. On the Gatineau Parkways you can do the same thing from 6 am until noon

  9. Ottawa is the Silicon Valley North – and is home to over 1,800 technology companies – employing more than 76,000 people.

  10. In winter, the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa, becomes the longest skating rink in the world (7.8 km).

 Top Ten Reasons to visit OTTAWA


  1. Parliament Hill
    On this outdoor guided walking tour, you will learn about the individuals, landscape and architecture that make Parliament Hill Canada’s most prestigious heritage site. Take a free tour starts at the Centennial Flame.

  2. Rideau Canal
    The Rideau Canal becomes a 7.8 kilometer (4.7 miles) skating rink as it winds its way through downtown Ottawa. Rent skates, and pick up hot drinks and beavertails along the route. One of the best times to go is during Ottawa’s annual Winterlude festival – which usually runs in February.

  3. Winterlude
    Artists showcase their talent with the most dazling display of ice scupltures. The event runs in February every year, and draws thousands of visitors.

  4. Great Museums
    As the nation's capital, Ottawa has an enormous amount of history and culture that will tickle the curiosity of any traveler.  Choose from14 National museums to enjoy the diversity of culture and art

  5. Gatineau Park
    In less than 15 minute drive from downtown Ottawa, immerse yourself in nature at Gatineau Park, the best conservation park in the area. Discover unique plants and wildlife; enjoy the tranquility of being in nature. Great outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, swimming, skiing, cycling and more!

  6. Great Cycling Paths
    With over 600KM of bike paths, a beautiful tour awaits you in Ottawa.  It is one of the best ways to explore region, take advantage of the green and and have picnics along the way

  7. Beaver Tail
    The scrumptious pastry that you just got to have in Ottawa, no trip to Ottawa is complete without it.

  8. Tulip Festival
    In May, Ottawa holds the tulip festival. 300,000 tulips in 30 different varieties are planted as a symbol of Friendship between Canada and the Netherlands, and the beginning of the spring. Hundreds of thousands of visitors annually 

  9. Neighborhood shopping

    Experience a variety of neighborhood shopping in Ottawa. Shopping in Ottawa is easy weather you are on foot, riding your bicycle, in your car, or public transit. You are always minutes away from a rich and diverse communities, and enjoy the scenic urban surrounds along the way

  10. Ottawa Locks  
    The magnificent flight of eight locks, a great sight to visit and see boats passing between Ridaue Canal (a Unesco Site) and Ottawa River. Close to the byward market, Canadian bytown museum, and many hotels.

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