Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It is located in the eastern
part of the province of Ontario on the banks of the Ottawa
River, along which the border between the provinces of Ontario
and Quebec passes. Ottawa is the fourth largest city in the
country and the second largest city in Ontario. Together with
the city of Gatineau located on the Quebec side of the river and
a number of other municipalities, Ottawa is part of the National
The population of Ottawa in 2019 reached one million people, the population of the Ottawa-Gatineau agglomeration, according to the 2021 census, is 1 million 488 thousand people. City government is exercised by the municipal council headed by the mayor. Mark Sutcliffe has been the mayor since 2022.
The city was founded in the 1820s as a camp for soldiers and craftsmen who were building the Rideau Canal, and in 1850 received the official status of a city of lumberjacks and timber rafting. Since December 31, 1857, Ottawa has been the capital of the united province of Canada, since 1867 it has been the capital of the state of Canada. In the future, the city developed as a transport and industrial center, and in the second half of the 20th century it underwent a large-scale restructuring aimed at improving the urban ecology.
At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, Ottawa, which has become a center for the development of high technologies, is sometimes honored with the title of "Northern Silicon Valley". As the capital of Canada, Ottawa is home to the federal government and major cultural centers, including Canada's leading museums and the National Art Gallery.
Like most capitals in the Western Hemisphere, Ottawa is a young city
and does not have a large number of architectural monuments. The oldest
building in the city is the Bytown Museum, located in a former military
depot built in 1826, at the lower locks of the Rideau Canal. The houses
of the mid-19th century on St. Patrick Street, on the east side of the
canal, are of historical value. These include the Notre-Dame Basilica
(built 1842-1863, begun in the neoclassical style and later completed in
the neo-Gothic style) and residential buildings owned by a carpenter and
A number of old buildings are located in one of the first areas of Ottawa, Sandy Hill. Among them are the houses of one of the fathers of the Canadian Confederation, William McDougall, the mayor of Ottawa, George Byron Lyon-Fellows, and the founder of the Supreme Court of Canada, Telefor Fournier, as well as Canadian Prime Ministers Wilfried Laurier and Mackenzie King.
Several churches and cathedrals in Ottawa are of historical interest: the neo-Romanesque church of St. Brigid (late 19th century, now the Irish-Canadian Heritage Centre), the neo-Gothic Church of St Alban the Martyr (third quarter of the 19th century) and the neo-Gothic Holy Trinity United Church in the former township of Rideau. The Neo-Gothic style, popular in the 19th century in Canada, is also represented by the parliament complex (architects T. Fuller, C. Jones; burned down in 1916, rebuilt in 1919-1927, architects J. Pearson, O. Marchand).
The historical monuments of Ottawa also include the Langevin building - the residence of the Prime Minister of Canada (1880s, architect Thomas Fuller); the first Carlton County Jail, built in the 1860s in the Italianate style and currently serving as a youth hostel; and the building of the Confederation, built in the style of the Chateau in the first third of the 20th century, to the west of the Parliament.
In contrast to the exquisite neo-Gothic and neoclassical architecture
of public buildings, Ottawa's residential buildings remained
predominantly wooden until the late 60s of the 19th century. Brick
residential buildings began to be built in the 1870s. The most popular
was the simple Italian style with a gable roof, and in more affluent
areas such as Centertown and Sandy Hill, the so-called Queen Anne style
(English Baroque), with uneven roof lines, large elaborate chimneys,
often with turrets or bay windows. and carved verandas.
With the rise in land prices at the beginning of the 20th century, the era of large mansions was a thing of the past, and they were replaced by houses of a more modest size, often in the form of townhouses; The most common feature of residential buildings of this period was a gable mansard roof. Glebe and South Ottawa were built in this style, while the prosperous Rockliffe was dominated by a false Tudor style akin to European half-timbering. In the first half of the 20th century, in the residential architecture of Ottawa, the styles of the Beaux-Arts with its classical columns, pediments and entablature are replaced; the ascetically simple prairie style, with its overhanging cornices and lack of ornamentation, of which F. L. Wright's student Francis Sullivan was the main apologist in Canada; and eclectic Art Deco, primarily characterizing the tenements of the second quarter of the century.
The outskirts and suburbs of Ottawa were built up and continue to be built up primarily with cottages and farmhouses of standard samples (often two- and three-story). The high-rise buildings that began to appear beginning in 1962 were initially of the same type, with bare brick and concrete facades, but gradually became more diverse in style. The tallest residential building in Ottawa (and the third tallest among all buildings in the Canadian capital) is the 33-story Minto Metropole, built in 2004, which is 108 m high; it is also planned to build a 42-storey and 36-storey residential skyscrapers.
Monumental sculpture in Ottawa is featured in a number of public
parks, plazas, and downtown streets. The most famous piece of monumental
sculpture is the National War Memorial of Canada, also known as The
Answer, located in Confederation Square next to Parliament Hill. The
memorial commemorates the Canadians who fell on the fronts of the First
and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War. In 2000, the Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier became part of the memorial complex, and in 2006,
the Valiants Memorial was opened in the northern part of Confederation
Square, commemorating 14 people who left a mark on Canadian military
history. In nearby Confederation Park, there are memorials to Canadian
Indigenous fighters, Canadian volunteers who died in the Boer War, and
Canadians who died during the Korean War. Also noteworthy are the
memorials to the police (on Parliament Hill), the Royal Canadian Navy
(on the banks of the Ottawa River next to the Portage Bridge), the
British Commonwealth Air Force, relief workers (both on Sussex Drive)
and the Canadian Peacekeeping Forces (next to Major's Hill Park). In
2012, a national firefighters memorial was opened on Lebreton Flats.
The Parliament Hill monument complex, in addition to the police memorial, includes statues of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II, monuments to a number of fathers of the Canadian Confederation and heads of government of Canada, as well as statues of the Famous Five - activists of the women's rights movement.
There are a number of other monuments and sculptural compositions located in the center of Ottawa. In Majors Hill Park there is a statue of the founder of the city, Colonel Bai, and in Nepean Point, next to the National Gallery of Canada, there is a monument to the first governor of New France, Samuel de Champlain. The bronze features renowned musician Oscar Peterson (next to the National Center for the Arts) and cancer-fighting mastermind Terry Fox. One of Ottawa's most famous art sculptures, the nine-metre-high Maman Spider, is on display in front of the National Gallery of Canada (see the illustration in the Museums and Art Galleries section). Several other notable sculptures are located on Wellington Street and the pedestrian Sparks Street.
There are over 1,000 parks and 650 open green spaces (including
baseball, cricket, and football fields) within the municipal boundaries
of Ottawa. The size of the parks varies, from the Green Belt, a giant
forest area that covers the city, to very small local squares. The
website of the National Capital Commission highlights the Commissioner's
Park with its tulip beds from the total number of parks; Confederation
Park, Major's Hill Park and Lebreton Flats - sites of major celebrations
on the Ontarian side of the river - and Jacques Cartier Park, which
performs the same role in Gatineau; the nature and panoramic parks of
Hogs Back, Rideau Falls and Nepean Point, as well as large public parks
- Lake Leimi Park and Vincent Massey Park. Listed as a National Historic
Heritage Site is a small (one acre) enclosed European-style Maplelon
Park in the Westborough Village area, formerly part of the estate of the
In 2017, on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa, the Humanics Sculpture Park emerged, whose sculptures represent the religions, mythologies and ethical teachings of all regions of the world.
The official websites of the National Capital Commission and the City
Hall of Ottawa include among the national museums offered for visiting
by residents of the city and tourists:
Canadian Museum of Nature (built in 1905 as the Victoria Memorial Museum, architect D. Ewart)
Canadian War Museum
Canadian Museum of Science and Technology
Canadian Museum of Agriculture
Canadian Aviation and Space Museum
the National Gallery of Canada with a collection of European and Canadian art and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
Bank of Canada Currency Museum
Royal Canadian Mint, which is also a museum
National Center for the Arts, also a concert and theater complex
Located in nearby Gatineau, the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization) is also traditionally part of the Ottawa museum system. On the territory of the Museum of History there are two more museum exhibitions of the national level - the Canadian Postal Museum and the Canadian Children's Museum. Especially for tourists, a family ticket is provided that gives the right to visit 9 museums (including the museums of history, nature, science and technology, agriculture, aviation and space, the military museum, the National Gallery, the mint and the Wilfried Laurier house-museum) and 20 percent discount on admission to the National Center for the Arts during the week. Ticket prices in early 2012 were $35 per person or $85 per family. Residents of the city can order three- and seven-day free passes to both national museums and the Ottawa Museum Network through the Ottawa Public Library.
Of particular interest are local museums united under the auspices of the Ottawa Museum Network. These include the Bytown Museum, located at the lower locks of the Rideau Canal in a building designed by Thomas McKay; the Billings Estate Museum, Ottawa's oldest surviving residential building; Pinice's Point Manor, built in the first quarter of the 19th century, on the banks of the Ottawa River, west of downtown; Diefenbunker, a Cold War museum converted into a government underground shelter in the Ottawa suburb of Carpe; Vanier Park Museum with the only urban sugar maple plantation in North America; built in the 60s of the XIX century, Watson's Mill on the Rideau River in the southern district of Manotick; and other objects. Another site recommended on the National Capital Commission website is the home-museum of the tenth Prime Minister of Canada, W. L. Mackenzie King, located deep in Gatineau Park.
Ottawa's main theater and concert venue has been the National Center
for the Arts since 1969. The main hall of the complex - Southham Hall -
is designed for more than 2,300 spectators, and the theater hall can
accommodate 897 seats. On the stages of the National Center for the
Arts, English and French drama theatres, the ballet theater and the
Symphony Orchestra of the National Center for the Arts, which since 1998
has been headed by the famous musician Pinchas Zuckerman, spend their
seasons. In addition, the center provides its stages for productions of
variety shows and Broadway musicals, as well as festival events. The
Ottawa opera company Opera Lyra, which closed in 2015, also staged
performances at the National Center for the Arts.
Popular drama theaters in Ottawa include:
The Ottawa Little Theater is Canada's oldest active theater company, operating since 1913. The amateur troupe of the theater puts on eight performances a year (from September to May), each of which withstands 18 productions; in the summer season, the theater hall with a capacity of 510 seats is given over to musical performances. Under the auspices of the Maly Theater, a popular Canadian playwriting competition is held, in which one-act plays take part.
The Great Canadian Theater Company, founded in 1975 by students and faculty from Carleton University and since 2007 has been a regular performer at the Irving Greenberg Theater Center in Hintonburg, Ottawa (262 seats)
Other concert and theatrical venues include the Canadian Thayer Center sports complex, where the largest shows take place, the Centerpoint Theater in Nepean with a capacity of about 1000 seats. Located in the city center in an old courthouse, the city's official cultural center, Arts Court, houses theatre, city art gallery, dance and music studios, including the city's leading contemporary dance group, Le Groupe Dance Lab. The Kanata Theater plays at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, and four theater companies share the stage at La Nouvelle Scène, Ottawa's Francophone theater arts center in Byward Market. The Gladstone Theatre, which occupies the former premises of the Great Canadian Theater Company, opened in 2008. In the 2011/2012 season, eight different plays were presented at the Gladstone Theater by three companies.
Less formal music venues that provide a stage for rock and jazz bands include the many clubs, restaurants and pubs in the Lower City. The Ottawa Department of Tourism highlights Fat Tuesday's, located in the Byward market area, where piano "fights" take place, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, as well as Barrymore's Music Hall on Bank Street. Also recommended venues for live performances include Le Petit Chicago and Café aux 4 jeudis on the Promenade du Portage on the Quebec side of the river. Since 2003, a number of successful songwriters and performers have appeared in Ottawa, including Juno winners for best blues album MonkeyJunk and popular country band Fiftymen, but the development of local music is hampered by the fact that most clubs are not interested in emerging artists and bands. , and many have completely abandoned live music.
The Ottawa Public Library, founded in 1906 with a donation from the
American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, offers readers materials not
only in the official languages of Canada, but also in other languages.
The library, which has a collection of 2.4 million books and other
media, provides services in more than 30 branches throughout the city.
In addition to the permanent branches, the public library operates two
bookmobile buses serving more than 20 districts throughout the city.
Each area is visited once a week. Buses deliver materials ordered via
the Internet to readers, and also have their own collection of books,
magazines, audio and video materials. Readers can borrow and donate
books in any of the departments; The library's website also provides
direct downloads of e-books, audiobooks and music. In the library, any
reader can get a card that allows you to use the funds of a number of
scientific libraries (in particular, the University of Ottawa), but such
a card is not issued automatically, but only at the request of the
reader. Library customers (residents of Ottawa and suburbs) can also
order free memberships to most of the city's Ottawa-Gatineau museums and
galleries, museums in neighboring Renfrew County, and Ottawa and
Gatineau Ski Clubs in the winter.
In addition to the Ottawa Public Library, the city has:
Parliamentary Library on Parliament Hill
The National Library and Archives of Canada, whose document collections are open to both researchers and the general public
library of the National Research Council of Canada
libraries of universities and secondary educational institutions
Ottawa, as the capital of Canada, has over time become the site of a
number of major national and international cultural festivals and
events. For 60 years now, the Canadian Tulip Festival has been held in
Ottawa in mid-May. This tradition began in 1945, when Princess Juliana,
heiress to the throne of the Netherlands, donated 100,000 tulip bulbs to
the Canadian capital as a token of gratitude for the asylum provided
during World War II. Currently, over a million tulip bulbs of 50
varieties are planted as part of the festival, of which 300,000 are
concentrated in Commissioner's Park, next to Lake Doe. Since 1976,
Ottawa has hosted the International Animated Film Festival, the second
largest in the world, and the Canadian Dance Festival every two years.
During the summer season, the city hosts the International Jazz Festival (first held in 1980); Ottawa Bluefest (blues festival); International Chamber Music Festival - the world's largest chamber festival, lasting two weeks and including 120 concerts; and the Ottawa Folk Music Festival (all three since 1994). Since 2008, Ottawa has hosted the Rideau Canal Festival, dedicated to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Summer festivals in the National Capital Region also include two major festivals in Gatineau - the Sounds of Light Fireworks Festival, traditionally held at the Lac Limy Casino, and the Hot Air Balloon Festival, held annually since 1988 and falling on the last days of August and the first weekend of September .
The key event of the winter season in Ottawa is Winterlude, a festival that takes place in the second half of winter (usually the first three weekends of February) around the Rideau Canal, which at this time turns into one of the world's longest natural skating rinks, and in Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau . Winterlude has been held since 1979 under the auspices of the National Capital Commission and includes snow and ice sculpture competitions and the largest winter amusement park in the North American continent.
Newspapers published in Ottawa are distributed throughout the
National Capital Region. The largest Ottawa-Gatineau dailies are the
English-language The Ottawa Citizen and The Ottawa Sun and the
French-language Le Droit. The free newspapers Metro and 24 Hours are
also distributed in the city. Weekly and monthly publications published
in the National Capital Region include:
business Ottawa Business Journal
The Hill Times covering parliamentary and government activities and other political topics
Capital Xtra! (newspaper of the local LGBT community)
local editions of Voir (a French-speaking weekly in Canada) and The Epoch Times (an English-language newspaper of the Falun Gong movement in North America). Other immigrant publications in Ottawa appear in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Persian and Italian
In 1993-2012, the Ottawa XPress color edition was popular, where, in particular, cultural events were widely covered. The newspaper was closed in May 2012.
Separate publications are published at the district level, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College also publish their own newspapers. Representative offices of a number of national publications are located in Ottawa.
Ottawa is home to the CTV Ottawa television studio and the CBC local news studio, as well as the offices of more than 35 radio stations broadcasting local news, music, sports reporting and talk shows. The three largest universities in the city have their own radio stations, as well as newspapers, several stations broadcast in French, others broadcast music of certain styles (jazz, retro, ethnic).
The most developed sport in Ottawa is ice hockey. The Ottawa Senators
won the Stanley Cup, the most prestigious prize in professional hockey,
11 times from 1903 to 1927 before going bankrupt in 1934. The club was
resurrected under the same name in 1992, and since then, its best
achievement has been reaching the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. Ottawa clubs
have also competed in two seasons of the World Hockey Association. Of
the amateur clubs in Ottawa, the strongest are the Ottawa Sixty Sevens
and the Gatineau Olympics representing the satellite city of Gatineau.
Both clubs are members of the Canadian Hockey League (KHL). Sixty Sevens
are two-time winners of the Memorial Cup, the main trophy of the KHL.
The largest ice arena in Ottawa is the Canadian Thayer Center sports
complex, opened in 1996 and hosting the 2009 Youth World Championship
along with the second largest ice palace in the Canadian capital, TDI
Place Arena. T.D. Place Arena also hosted the first Women's Ice Hockey
The Ottawa Rough Raiders club represented the national capital in Canadian football tournaments for over a hundred years - from 1876 to 1996. During the existence of the Rough Raiders, nine times became the owners of the Gray Cup - the main trophy in Canadian football (the last time in 1976). Another club, the Ottawa Renegades, represented the capital in the Canadian Football League from 2002 to 2005. These teams played at the city's largest outdoor stadium, T.D. Place Stadium, which also hosted the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship. After the reconstruction of the stadium in 2014, the CFL team, the Ottawa Redblacks, reappeared in the Canadian capital, which already in 2016 became the owner of the Gray Cup.
Throughout the 20th century, several professional baseball and football clubs operated in Ottawa. Women's football is popular in the city, the strongest representative of which until 2014 was the Ottawa Fury team. Since 2014, the Ottawa Fury men's football club has joined the expanding North American Football League, the second-highest professional league in European football in North America, and later moved to the United Soccer League. The club ceased to exist in the fall of 2019, and in February 2020, a new professional football club, Atletico Ottawa, was formed, which became part of the Canadian Premier League.
In the absence of professional basketball, Ottawa's leading basketball team is the Carleton Ravens representing the Carleton University, which won the Canadian Men's Collegiate Championship 16 times from 2003 to 2022, breaking the tournament record for the number of victories by 2015. There are also curling and golf clubs in the city.
Other major international sporting events include the IV Francophone Games hosted by Ottawa and Gatineau in 2001 with the participation of 2,300 athletes from 51 countries and regions (in particular, Canada was represented by two teams - Canada proper and Quebec).
The informal "calling card" of Ottawa is the network of high-quality
coffee shops Bridgehead, the first of which opened in the 1980s in
Toronto, but later the franchise completely moved to Ottawa. Bridgehead
Cafes have been repeatedly voted the best in Ottawa in an XPress reader
poll. Another popular local restaurant chain, The Works, took first
place in the same poll in the "best hamburger" category.
A large number of original restaurants are located in Byward Market (according to the Frommer's Ottawa guide, this area has the best Canadian, Italian, Asian and fusion restaurants and the best bistro in the city), along north-south running Elgin Street, Bank Street, Preston Street ("Little Italy"), as well as along Somerset Street ("Chinatown") running from west to east, Sparks Street. Previously, Rideau Street was also famous for its establishments, but it is gradually falling into disrepair, turning into a "bedroom" to the east of King Edward Avenue and acquiring a not very neat appearance to the west of it.
The camp was originally named after the leader of the construction of the Rideau Canal, Lieutenant Colonel John By - Bytown (Bytown). The city that grew out of it was renamed Ottawa in 1854 according to its location on the Ottawa River; The hydronym "Ottawa", in turn, comes from the Indian ethnonym Ottawa - a tribe belonging to the Algonquin group.
Indigenous tribes and early European settlers
The territory currently occupied by Ottawa was inhabited by the
Algonquian tribes by the time the Europeans arrived. The region around
the present-day Ottawa River, which was part of the Champlain Sea for
the first time after the end of the last ice age, was settled by ancient
tribes as the sea retreated. Already six thousand years ago, a
hunting-gathering culture was formed in the river valley, judging by the
archaeological excavations, which also actively participated in trade
with neighboring peoples. Although archaeologists are not ready to speak
with certainty about the ethnicity of the carriers of this culture, it
is quite similar to the Algonquin culture at the time of the arrival of
Europeans in America.
After the arrival of French settlers in Canada in the 17th century, the Kichisipi River, with its tributaries, representing the main waterway from the St. Lawrence River to the interior of the North American continent and already playing a central role in trade between the indigenous peoples of the region, became the main artery of the fur trade, which was centered in Montreal . The Algonquian tribe Ottawa (the ethnonym comes from the Algonquian word "ǎdāwe", which means "trading, exchanging") monopolized the fur trade on Kichisipi. Although the tribe's monopoly lasted only about 30 years, after which it was squeezed into the territory south of the Great Lakes, the name Ottawa stuck behind the river and the area north of it (this region, now part of the province of Quebec, retains the name Ottawa to this day) . In 1800, at the place where the three rivers - Rideau, Ottawa and Gatineau - merge, the first white settlers settled. Massachusetts-born lumberjack Philemon Wright, his relatives and a few friends have chosen this place for permanent residence. They built log dwellings, a sawmill. The village was named Wrightstown (later Hull, now part of the city of Gatineau). Starting in 1806, Wright began to recruit hired laborers and trade in timber, and by 1809 the number of hired lumberjacks and raftmen reached several hundred. Already at the end of the same and the beginning of the next decade, the first agricultural settlements appeared on the south bank of the Ottawa River; the names of the first farmers are preserved - Ira Honeywell in the area of \u200b\u200bmodern Nepean and Braddisch Billings in the territory of modern Gloucester. In 1818, more than a dozen families of British servicemen settled in the area where the settlement of Richmond later arose (in the 1970s included in the municipal boundaries of the city of Golborne).
In 1827, between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario, the construction
of the Rideau Canal began, connecting Montreal with Lake Ontario by the
shortest route. The construction of the canal was led by John Bai, after
whom the builders' village was named "Bytown". The builders' barracks
were located on a hill next to the future first locks of the Rideau
Canal, not far from the mouths of the Rideau and Gatineau rivers and
Chaudier Falls. By 1832 the canal was completed. Baytown by this time
was a wooden city with more than 10 thousand inhabitants. The best of
the canal builders, the Scottish mason Thomas Mackay, who worked on the
first eight locks and was personally rewarded for his work by Bay,
subsequently acquired land east of the Rideau River and created a small
industrial empire. His 11-room Regency mansion in the village of New
Edinburgh was later bought by the government and turned into the
residence of the Governor-General.
After the construction of the Rideau Canal, many of the Irish who worked on the construction site were left without work. Unlike the French and the British, who had long settled in the region, who had their own homes and businesses, the Irish were in a desperate situation. This was taken advantage of by an entrepreneur of Irish origin, Peter Eilen, who began to hire exclusively Irish people for his enterprises, completely subordinating this community to his influence. From 1835, Eilen, at the head of a gang of about 200 people, terrorized the working quarters of Bytown, and in 1837 he disrupted the elections to the local council of Nepean. Eileen and his henchmen were referred to as the Shiners, and their actions were referred to as the Shiners' War. The gang's name may have been derived from a corruption of the French word cheneurs, meaning "hewers/ravers of oak wood". The Ottawa Lumbermen's Association was formed in 1836 to counter the violence of the Shining Ones, and Eilen, sensing that his power was coming to an end, became one of its first members, and in the spring of 1837 the Shining Ones were finally brought under control, although similar gang wars of a smaller scale continued to flare up. until the end of the 1840s, and in 1849, government troops managed to nip in the bud a large-scale rebellion, one of the leaders of which was the son of Philemon Wright Ruggles.
In 1841, Bytown employed 3,000 residents, and by 1850, it had taken over from Wrightsville, located on the opposite bank, the leadership in the lumber trade in the Ottawa Valley. An important stage in the development of the timber industry in the region was the construction of sawmills in the 1850s that used the energy of the Chaudier waterfalls. In 1850, Bytown was established as permanent local government, and in 1855 the city changed its name to become Ottawa.
In the middle of the 19th century, when Upper Canada (Ontario) merged
with Lower Canada (Quebec), the question arose of the capital of the
united province. Many major Canadian cities (including Montreal, Quebec,
Toronto, and Kingston) have fought to be eligible for this status. The
problem was exacerbated by the fact that French Canadians, then almost
half the country's population, strongly objected to the location of the
capital in the English-speaking region; at the same time, Canada's
largest city, Montreal, was hostile to the royal authorities, there was
an attack on the Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, and in 1849,
the legislative assembly building was set on fire. The project of a
"moving" capital, moving every four years from Toronto to Quebec and
back, proved prohibitively expensive. As a result, the issue of a
permanent capital was referred to Queen Victoria, who in 1857, on the
recommendation of colonial officials, issued a decree according to which
Ottawa became the capital due to its position on the border of Upper and
Lower Canada and a mixed English and French-speaking population; the
presence of water and rail links, as well as the relative distance from
the border with the United States, also played a role, which ensured
less influence in peacetime and less threat to the capital in case of
war. Already in 1859, on a hill near the Ottawa River and the Rideau
Canal, construction began on the Parliament Complex, which officially
began work in 1866. The following year, Ottawa became the federal
capital of the new Canadian Dominion, which included the provinces of
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
By the early 1860s, the Grand Trunk Railway was linking the new provincial capital to the US and Canadian rail network. In the 1890s, hydroelectric power plants began operating on the Ottawa River, at first used mainly to power sawmills, but there was enough electricity for street lamps and tram service. The status of the capital and the growing industry led to a rapid increase in the population of the city - from less than 8,000 inhabitants in 1851 to 21,500 twenty years later. As early as 1861, almost half of Ottawa's population was employed in industry, and by the end of the same decade, unions began to form.
Toward the end of the century, the government of Canada was
confronted with the fact that the development of the capital, largely
consisting of working-class neighborhoods, made a depressing impression.
In 1899, the Ottawa Improvement Commission, established by the federal
government, was given the task of transforming the city into "Northern
Washington". The limited budget (60 thousand dollars) made this task
impossible, but a natural disaster helped its implementation. In 1900,
the Hull Fire destroyed Hull (formerly Wrightsville) and northwestern
Ottawa, including the Chaudhiere Bridge. Seven people died in the fire,
more than 3,000 buildings were destroyed, leaving 15,000 people
homeless. CAD 10 million was raised through an international
subscription to rebuild the city.
Ottawa was still recovering as an industrial city. The business center was a tangle of railway tracks. In 1912, near the mouth of the Rideau Canal, next to Rideau Street, Union Station opened (now occupied by the Government Conference Center). The same year saw the opening of two of Ottawa's most famous buildings, the Château Laurier Hotel, located directly across from the station, and the Victoria Memorial Museum (now the Canadian Museum of Natural History).
In February 1916, the appearance of the city was again changed by fire: on February 3, the central building of the parliament caught fire. The central tower of Victoria perished in a fire, its bell, according to legend, collapsed to the ground with the 11th strike of the clock striking midnight. Only the northwestern wing of the main building and the parliamentary library were not damaged, the unusual architectural design of which was originally based on the idea of maximum security for books and archives. After the fire, the sessions of Parliament were moved to the Victoria Memorial Museum. Despite the fact that Canada participated at that time in the World War, already on September 1, 1916, the cornerstone of the parliament building, which survived the fire, was re-laid by the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught. It was originally planned that the new parliament would be built in a year, but due to the war, construction was delayed. The first meeting of parliament in the new building was held in February 1920, but the construction of the new main tower, the Peace Tower, continued for many more years.
In 1918, Ottawa, like almost the whole world, was swept by a flu pandemic, which was brought by soldiers returning from the front. The working-class neighborhoods, with their crowded population, lack of modern sewerage, and location near railway stations - centers of the spread of infection between cities - became the first places in the city where the sick appeared, and suffered the most. Working-class neighborhoods adjacent to railroad depots and stations accounted for a disproportionate share of the total of 440 influenza deaths in Ottawa in October 1918. In total, at least 520 people died from the Spanish flu in Ottawa, and about 50,000 in Canada as a whole.
During the Second World War, the Dutch royal family lived in Ottawa, and the sister of the future Queen Juliana was born in the City Hospital. To commemorate those events, the Netherlands donates 1 million tulip bulbs to Ottawa each year for the Tulip Festival in May (the time of the event has no strict framework and is tied to the tulip flowering period and weather conditions).
In September 1945, just a few days after the end of World War II, an event took place in Ottawa that became one of the first steps towards the Cold War that would soon begin. Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet embassy cryptographer, handed over to the Canadian authorities materials indicating that the USSR - an ally of Canada in World War II - deployed a spy network in Canada that affected several ministries, parliament and a joint British-Canadian atomic project. In February 1946, these circumstances were made public and a Crown Commission of Inquiry with virtually unlimited powers was appointed, raising fears that fundamental civil rights would be threatened. The attitude of Canadians towards the Soviet Union changed for the worse for a long time.
Ottawa remained an industrial center and a major transportation hub
throughout the first half of the 20th century. By the end of World War
II, more than a hundred trains entered the city daily, and there were at
least 150 railroad crossings within the city limits. By the middle of
the century, the issue of a radical reconstruction of the city was as
acute as it was 50 years ago.
A significant merit in the restructuring of the Canadian capital belongs to the French urban planner Jacques Grebe. Grebe was invited to Canada on the eve of World War II to build the National War Memorial and Confederate Square near Parliament, but the new war delayed these plans. In 1950, Grebe presented a plan for a large-scale redevelopment of Ottawa to Canadian customers. The plan included the elimination of slums, the relocation of railway lines and the creation of park areas and the so-called "Green Belt" surrounding the city along the perimeter. It also contemplated the acquisition of land on the Quebec side of the river to expand the area of Gatineau Park.
To fulfill Grebe's plan, the National Capital Region was expanded to 2,900 km² to include 72 communities in Ontario and Quebec. The Federal District Commission responsible for the planning of Ottawa, which had succeeded the Improvement Commission in 1927, became the National Capital Commission with expanded powers. To cope with the traffic load, a multi-lane highway No. 417 - Queensway was laid on the site of the main railway line.
In the 1950s, a new National Library was built to relieve the overcrowded Library of Parliament, the historic West Wing of Parliament was rebuilt, and the old Supreme Court building was demolished. For the centenary of the founding of the Canadian Confederation, a new National Center for the Arts was built. Government offices were first dispersed outside Parliament Hill on the Ontarian bank of the Ottawa River (primarily on Sussex Drive, where the prime minister's residence was located, the Public Archives - later the Canadian War Museum - and the Mint, as well as the US Embassy), and then Hull's timber development was demolished to make way for high-rise government buildings as part of an effort to enforce bilingualism in government offices.
The composition of the population changed: workers were replaced by clerks, and those, in turn, as high technologies developed, began to be crowded out by high-tech employees. With the opening of such large enterprises as Mitel, Corel, Cognos, Newbridge and JDS Uniphase, Ottawa and neighboring Kanata have been given the image of the “Northern Silicon Valley”. The development of links with major technology centers in the United States resulted in the modernization and expansion of the Ottawa International Airport, which was completed in 2008. Since Canada's entry into the G7 of the world's most economically developed countries in 1976, Ottawa has repeatedly become the venue for international economic and political forums, meetings of ministers and speakers of the G7 (later G8) and G20 countries, including the 7th G7 summit in 1981, held in the capital of Canada and the resort town of Montebello (Quebec). The so-called Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty was also signed there.
The reconstruction of the city was accompanied by its continuous expansion. Throughout its history, Ottawa has continuously absorbed the surrounding townships and townships. In 1965, it was amalgamated with neighboring Carleton County to form the municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. In 2001, 11 settlements were amalgamated into a single municipality at once, and Ottawa acquired its modern borders.
Ottawa is located in the southeastern part of the Canadian province of Ontario, on its border with the province of Quebec, on the banks of the river of the same name, as well as the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal, at the confluence of which with the Ottawa River the city center is located. On the north bank of the Ottawa River is the city of Gatineau, included together with Ottawa in a single urban agglomeration - the National Capital Region. Ottawa is located in a low-lying flat area, the height in the area of the international airport. Macdonald - Cartier is 114 m, and the highest point of the city is at an altitude of 166 m above sea level. The nearest mountain range is the Appalachians. Ottawa, like all of eastern Ontario and the province of Quebec, is in the North American Eastern Time Zone, five hours behind UTC in winter and four hours behind in summer.
Ottawa, which is a single census area, is administratively divided
into 23 electoral districts. In addition, the city is administratively
divided into postal regions and police districts.
Until 2001, the territory of Ottawa was only a small part of the modern one. In 2001, 10 municipalities were added to it: Vanier, Gloucester, Golborne, Cumberland, Kanata, Nepean, Osgood, Rideau, Rockcliffe Park and West Carlton. Currently, the division of the city into historic districts is actively used by real estate companies, however, management in Ottawa is completely centralized, the local councils of the former townships have been eliminated, and all city power is concentrated in the city administration.
Local community centers are voluntary organizations that ensure the interaction of residents of the districts and provide a number of social services; these centers are not authorities, and city residents have the right to apply to any of them, and not just directly at their place of residence. The number of community centers roughly matches, but does not match, the number of historic districts: the Ottawa Community Centers Coalition has 14 such organizations that manage some aspects of health care and resource allocation.
Ottawa is part of the National Capital Region of Canada, located partly in the province of Ontario and partly in Quebec. On the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, the National Capital Region includes the former cities of Gatineau, Hull and Aylmer and two Ottawa area regional councils; almost simultaneously with the expansion of the right-bank Ottawa, all of them became parts of the single city of Gatineau. The incorporated city of Gatineau itself, in turn, is often considered (including by Statistics Canada) as part of the Ottawa-Gatineau urban agglomeration. Some of the city's real estate and other properties in Ottawa and Gatineau, as a result of their inclusion in the National Capital Region, are not under municipal control, but under the jurisdiction of the National Capital Commission, accountable to the federal parliament.
The south bank of the Ottawa River, on which the city stands, is
mainly composed of flat-lying Ordovician and Cambrian dolomites and
limestones. The Sandy Hill area, adjacent to the University of Ottawa
campus, is located on a clay remnant that rises above the ancient bottom
of the Ottawa River. Shale is, along with limestone, the dominant rock
in the northeastern and eastern parts of the city. The Nepean and
partially Kanata regions are built on Cambrian and Ordovician
sandstones, which serve as building stone. In the western part of the
city, along the course of the Ottawa River, there are Precambrian
metamorphic rocks - quartzites and crystallized limestones - as well as
granites and gneisses. The so-called Karpskaya ridge is located in the
same area, where a half-meter layer of deposited moraine has been
Canada is mostly located on the tectonically stable North American Plate and seismic activity in its eastern part is quite low. Ottawa is no exception: it belongs to the West Quebec seismic zone, covering, in particular, the region along the Ottawa River valley from Montreal to Temiskaming, where earthquakes are not particularly frequent and strong, rarely reaching magnitude five when there is a real threat of damage. buildings and infrastructure. During the 20th century, there were two such earthquakes in the region - with epicenters in Temiskaming (1935) and in Cornwall in Eastern Ontario (1944). In 2000, Ottawa was hit by a magnitude 5.2 earthquake with an epicenter north of North Bay, and in 2010 a five-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in Quebec about 50 km north of the Canadian capital.
The retreat of the glaciers and the further retreat of the Champlain Sea formed modern soils in the Ottawa area. These are mainly clay soils and glacial deposits of the Wisconsin era, with a high content of limestone and dolomite. In the eastern part of the city, especially in the West Carlton area, there are glacial deposits with a predominance of sandstone, and to the south - shale. Where the sea waters receded most quickly, there was an alluvium of the surface layer of sand, usually less than a meter thick. The uppermost soil layer is late organic fluvial deposits, the thickest layers of which are located in the areas of Golborne, Rideau, Osgood and Cumberland.
Ottawa is located in the ecological zone of lowland mixed forests,
but not far from it is the northern border of the Ontarian shield
ecozone. This proximity provides the city with a biodiversity formed by
species characteristic of both ecological zones. This diversity is
supported by the fact that the old areas of Ottawa are surrounded by the
so-called "Green Belt", consisting of forest and agricultural land
(including experimental fields). The belt was part of the city's master
plan, developed in the 1960s by architect Jacques Grebe, and performs a
number of environmental tasks, which include carbon dioxide absorption,
filtration of ground and surface water, soil erosion and flood control.
The Green Belt includes six protected natural areas: Greens Creek, Pine
Grove, Southern Farm and Pineys Forest, Stony Swamp, Shirleys Bay and
Mer Bleu. The last three territories are wetlands, and Mer Bleu belongs
to the subarctic ecosystems of sphagnum bogs unusual for this region and
has the status of wetlands of international importance according to the
Ramsar Convention. In addition to natural protected areas, the Green
Belt is home to a number of protected cultural heritage sites: Logue
Farm, a mid-19th-century pioneer home, the ruins of a 19th-century lime
kiln at Stony Swamp, and the remains of Carlsbad Springs Spa (Provincial
Heritage Site) and the Black Rapids lock station on the Rideau Canal
18% of the Green Belt area (3500 hectares) is occupied by forests. During its existence, 3.6 million trees were planted in the Green Belt on an area of 800 hectares, which included some agricultural land that did not bring high yields. Published in 2005, the list of plants found in the urban area of Ottawa includes 1569 names, including species, subspecies and hybrids. Of these, 1014 are considered indigenous to this region. Elm, ginkgo, honey locust, oak, maple, linden are widely used in landscaping. Two imported species - riverine maple and Norway maple - due to their decorative appearance, are cultivated widely enough to compete with native species.
The Ottawa Greenbelt provides habitat for both resident and migratory species. Of the animals in the city, the most common are red and Carolina squirrels (gray and black colors), woodchucks, hares - American hare and hare (the latter is not a native species), eastern chipmunk, on the outskirts (in the Green Belt zone and beyond) - skunk, badger, raccoon, Canadian beaver, occasionally baribal and Canadian lynx; there are also isolated reports of encounters with cougars and the eastern wolf. The atlas of birds that breed chicks in Ottawa includes 182 species, of which 161 are confirmed. Among the birds in the city, the most common birds in the city are the wandering blackbird, starling, yellow-throated warbler, rock dove, weeping turtle dove, song zonenotrichia and red-shouldered black troupial; in recent years, red cardinal, Mexican lentil and American raven have been observed more frequently. Canada goose, mallard, mute swan, crested bile swan, as well as introduced black swan live in numerous parks in Ottawa.
About 50 endangered species live within the municipal boundaries of Ottawa. While some of these species have not been seen in years, others are still quite common - examples include the sooty needletail and the peregrine falcon, nesting even in the city center. Other common species in need of protection include gray walnut (afflicted with fungal diseases), rice bird and caiman turtle. At the same time, in the Ottawa region, the spread of alien invasive species was noted, winning their place in the existing ecological system. These include plants such as garlic cloves, cynanchum, urut spicata, susak and two types of buckthorn - brittle and laxative. Of the invasive species of animals, it is possible to note the river mussel - small mollusks that have chosen reservoirs in the Ottawa region.
The environmental situation in Ottawa, which until the 1960s was characterized by the concentration of industry and rail transport, has been receiving high marks in recent years. In the Mercer Research Center's 2010 report, which includes environmental data from 221 cities around the world, Ottawa tied for third place with Helsinki, behind only Honolulu and another Canadian city, Calgary. However, the problem of the annual discharge of sewage into the Ottawa River during periods of heavy rains remains unresolved; Ecology Ottawa, an independent agency, recommends combating this problem by building huge underground sewage tanks.
Ottawa is located at the junction of two climatic regions of Ontario
- the Eastern Districts and Renfrew (the former is generally somewhat
warmer and significantly more humid). The climate is temperate
continental, with hot summers and cold winters. As of 2011, according to
Environment Canada climate scientist David Phillips, Ottawa was the
snowiest of the world's capitals and third on the list of the coldest
(by the end of the same decade, the city had dropped to 7th on the list
of the coldest capitals in the world). January average temperature -10.3
°C, July 21.0 °C Record high temperature recorded 37.8 °C (August 1944),
record low temperature at Ottawa International Airport -36.1 °C
(February 1943) ; in the area of the Ministry of Agriculture of Canada
recorded a temperature of -38.9 ° C. The annual rainfall is 943 mm per
year, of which 732 mm is in the form of rain. The average snowfall per
year is 235.7 cm, the snowiest month is December (in an average of 57 cm
of snow), but the record snowfall (over 40 cm of snow per day) was
recorded in February 1947. The prevailing winds are south and west.
In January 1998, Ottawa, along with much of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and the US Northeast, was hit by a catastrophic ice storm that severely damaged power lines and disrupted power supplies to the region. Ottawa recorded 67.6mm of freezing rain, most of which fell within the first 24 hours of the event. During the second half of the 2010s, the city was subjected to natural disasters related to climatic conditions several times. In the spring of 2017 and spring of 2019, many areas of Ottawa, Gatineau and the surrounding area were flooded by the flooded river, and in the fall of 2018 tornadoes passed through the city; these developments have forced the city authorities to pay more attention to the renewal and improvement of infrastructure in a changing climate.
The coat of arms of Ottawa was officially approved in September 1954
and has been used since January 1, 1955. The wavy blue-white cross
dividing the old French shield into white quarters symbolizes the Ottawa
River and its two largest tributaries - the Rideau and Gatineau rivers,
the confluence of which determined the place where the future city was
founded. The cross also symbolizes the feat of Christian missionaries
who brought the new religion to the local tribes. The royal crown in the
upper right field represents Queen Victoria, the red maple leaf in the
lower left quarter represents Canada. Two empty white fields denote
greatness that has yet to be achieved. On the red field of the head of
the shield on the right are a crossed oar and two arrows - a symbol of
the Ottawa Indian tribe, the historical inhabitants of the region; in
the center of the astrolabe, the symbol of Samuel de Champlain, the
first governor of the French colonies in North America; and on the left,
a pickaxe, a shovel and a grenade, symbolizing the construction manager
of the Rideau Canal, John By.
The windbreak above the shield is painted in the main colors of the coat of arms - white and blue, and the crest depicts a pine with cones - a symbol of timber, the main wealth of the Ottawa River Valley. On the crest is a golden disk with an oak in the center - the seal of Bytown. The motto in Canada's two official languages reads "Advance Ottawa en Avant", which is a modification of the former motto of the city of Ottawa. The shield is supported by two shield holders - a lumberjack of the mid-19th century and an employee of the Civil Service Rifle Regiment in full uniform, symbolizing the position of Ottawa as the seat of the Governor General of Canada and many government employees.
The modern flag of Ottawa was adopted in 2001 after merging with other municipalities. It is a panel made up of vertical blue and green stripes with a stylized letter "O" on their border. The stylized "O" in the center of the flag symbolizes Ottawa's role as Canada's capital. On the left, its open circle is completed by three vertical ribbons resembling a maple leaf (the central element of the national flag of Canada) and the parliament buildings. Three ribbons symbolize unity, harmony and cooperation in the name of a common goal. The blue color in the flag symbolizes the rivers and canals of Ottawa, while the green color symbolizes its many green areas.
On October 24, 2001, the tulip was declared the official flower of Ottawa. The historical connection between tulips and Ottawa dates back to the years of World War II, when the royal family of the occupied Netherlands found refuge in Canada. Margrit, daughter of the future Queen Juliana, was born in an Ottawa hospital in 1943. After the war, in the autumn of 1945, Ottawa received a gift from Princess Juliana of 100,000 tulip bulbs, and since 1953, the city has held a tulip festival in memory of this.
According to the 2021 Census, Ottawa ranked fourth among cities in Canada in terms of population, behind Toronto, Montreal and Calgary and ahead of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Mississauga. In the province of Ontario, Ottawa is the second most populated city. The population of Ottawa, which was 44 thousand people according to the 1891 census, in 2016 exceeded 930 thousand (including settlements included in the municipal boundaries in 2001), and in mid-2019 it was reported that the number of residents of the city reached a million. The population of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area in 2021 was approaching 1.5 million people. The median age of Ottawa's population was 40.7 as of the 2021 census; 16.4% of the population were under the age of 15, and 16.9% were aged 65 or over.
The concentration of government offices and high-tech enterprises in the city has led to the fact that the population of Ottawa has one of the highest levels of education in Canada. Among the population aged 25 to 64, according to the 2006 census, 38.3% had a university education of at least a first degree (for comparison, in the whole province of Ontario, people with a tertiary education made up only 24% in this age group). The average income per family in Ottawa in 2006 was 84.5 thousand Canadian dollars (ontario average - 69.2 thousand). Most of the population worked in trade and other service industries, while industrial, agricultural, and construction workers combined accounted for less than 10% of Ottawa's total employed population. At the beginning of 2018, the National Capital Region's working-age unemployment rate was 5.2% (5.9% for Canada as a whole).
During the first 150 years of the existence of the settlement, about
half of its population were Catholics (approximately equally represented
by the French and Irish and inhabiting mainly the Lower City in the
center and eastern outskirts), and the second half were Protestants of
English origin (settled in the Upper City in the center and in the
southern and western Carleton County). Already in the middle of the 19th
century, Ottawa played the role of the main center of the Francophones
of Ontario and the site of early linguistic friction between the English
and French-speaking population of Canada. Small German, Italian and
Jewish communities formed at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
During the interwar period, Lowertown was considered the "Jewish" area
of Ottawa, later he lost this role (see Jewish Community of Ottawa).
After the Second World War, the population of the city was replenished by the Arab community (mainly immigrants from Lebanon), and later by the communities of immigrants from East Africa. The two most famous immigrant areas are Little Italy around Preston Street (informally known as Corso Italia - "Italian Street"), Gladstone Avenue (informally Via Marconi) and St. Anthony on Booth Street and Chinatown along West Somerset Street have now retained their cultural identity more as tourist sites than as ethnic enclaves. So, already in the first half of the 20th century, immigrants from Ireland, Poland and Ukraine began to settle in Little Italy; and Turkish. In Chinatown, Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Filipino restaurants and shops are added to their number.
In recent decades, the percentage of residents belonging to visible ethnic minorities (mainly blacks and Asians) has been growing rapidly in Ottawa. From a linguistic point of view, English is considered the first language by 65% of the city's population, French by 15%, and other languages by 18%.
The city has an immigrant-friendly policy. New arrivals receive primary care and information at Service Canada, one of whose centers is located in the City Hall on Elgin Street - in particular, it is here that documents for social insurance (SIN) and medical insurance are submitted. After that, they can contact one of the many immigrant assistance services (public organizations subsidized by the government of the province of Ontario), in particular, LASI World Skills YMCA-YWCA, Catholic Immigration Centre, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa and a number of others. Despite the fact that a number of these organizations contain the words "Catholic", "Christian", "Arabic", "Francophone", etc. in their names, in fact they provide services to newcomers regardless of religion and nationality - this is an indispensable condition for providing them government subsidies for their activities. Information about the city's various institutions, courses, clubs, schools, etc. is available at the community centres.
Ottawa is a predominantly Christian city and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa. It also houses the Anglican diocese. While the majority of believers in Ottawa are Catholic or some form of Protestantism, a significant portion of the population is from other religions. The last time a question on religious affiliation was included in the Canadian census questionnaire (2001), about 14% of believers in the city were representatives of denominations other than Catholicism and Protestantism. The most popular among these other confessions were Islam (over 6%) and Orthodoxy (about 2.5%). Ottawa is the center of one of the dioceses of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America.
The Ottawa Department of Tourism website lists five Ottawa residents
"whose talent is known to millions." This list includes:
Jeremy Gara is the drummer for the indie rock band Arcade Fire, who shared a Grammy for best album in 2010.
Alanis Morissette is a native of Ottawa, rock singer and actress, winner of seven Grammys.
Matthew Perry is an actor, native of Massachusetts, who grew up in Ottawa and is known for his roles in the TV series Friends and the films The Ron Clark Story and The Nine Yards.
Brendan Fraser is an actor who lived most of his childhood in Ottawa, who became famous for his roles in the film The Mummy and its sequels, as well as in the film Cobra.
Margaret Atwood is an Ottawa-born novelist and poet who won the Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin.
The lists of the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, which has been located in the City Hall building since 2011, include about 250 names, including famous players and coaches of the Ottawa Senators and Ottawa Rough Raiders, as well as representatives of other sports. The names of famous residents of the city in other areas are immortalized, in particular, in the lists of the Country Music Hall of Fame and in the Square of Fame of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
Jurisdictional issues in Ottawa and the surrounding region are among
the most complex in Canada, even after 11 localities were merged into
one, with a common municipal government in 2001. The Ottawa-Gatineau
metropolitan area is a provincial border, and a number of government
structures coexist on the Quebec side, including separate municipalities
and two regional councils of the Ottawa area. At the same time, the
regional nationalism of the Quebec government prevents the establishment
of too strong ties between Quebec local authorities and the federal
government or the municipality of Ottawa.
In Ottawa itself, there is a division of jurisdiction between the federal government (represented by the National Capital Commission) and local authorities, the total budget of which in recent decades has been ten times greater than that at the disposal of the National Capital Commission. The federal government, the largest owner of land and real estate in Ottawa, is exempt from municipal taxes (instead of which it allocates funds to the municipality in the form of earmarked grants) and enforcement of municipal laws. The duties of the federal government towards Ottawa's municipal governments have been a subject of ongoing debate for over a century.
Federal authorities in Ottawa, centered primarily on Parliament Hill,
in the Tannis Pescher area, and along Sussex Drive, include:
Parliament of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
Senate of Canada
Residence of the Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Corps (Prime Minister's Office)
Canadian Revenue Agency
Bank of Canada
Royal Canadian Mint
Library and Archives Canada
In Ottawa, on Sussex Drive, there is also Rideau Hall - the official residence of the British monarch in Canada, and in his absence, the Governor General of Canada. Ottawa serves as the location of many foreign embassies in Canada: Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and others.
The governments of the province of Ontario, in whose territory the city of Ottawa is located (not including the Quebec part of the National Capital Region), are usually located in the provincial capital - the city of Toronto.
The Ottawa City Council consists of a mayor, elected by popular vote
of the city's residents, and 23 council members, each representing a
separate constituency. City council elections are held every four years.
In November 2022, Mark Sutcliffe took over as mayor.
The city council's general sessions take place twice a month (with the exception of March, July, August and December, when the general meeting is held once a month). The official days of the sessions are the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, but the sessions can last for several days. The rest of the time, city affairs are handled by standing committees composed entirely of city council members. The municipality has 16 advisory groups whose task is to develop recommendations on specific, strictly defined issues of urban management. The groups are made up of volunteers who are approved by the City Council.
Ottawa is the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
which is under federal control. Also in Ottawa, in the Rockcliffe Park
area, are the stables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which
contain horses currently used for ceremonies and parades.
The Ottawa Police Service is an independent service cooperating with, but not subordinate to, the Ontario Provincial Police. The Ottawa Police Service formed as the Ottawa-Carlton Regional Police Service in 1995 and has since extended its jurisdiction to the townships merged into Ottawa in 2001. The budget for the service in 2011 was $237 million. The functions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and local police services are separated by law. There are also cooperation agreements with the Quebec Police - in particular, within the framework of the Operation INTERSECT program.
ranged from −0.8% in 1991 to 7.6% in 1999. Growth has consistently
remained positive since 1997, typically not falling below 2% per year.
In 2012, the Ottawa city budget was $2.5 billion, of which $850.8 million was investment budget. The 2013 project, approved on February 27 of this year, included a city budget of $2.83 billion, of which $2.63 billion was an investment budget. For comparison, in 2002, the first year after the amalgamation of the municipalities within the modern boundaries of Ottawa, the total budget was $1.7 billion, of which $515 million was investment budget.
The largest employers in Ottawa are the federal government and Ottawa
City Hospital (over 10,000 employees), the Ottawa-Carlton School Board,
the City of Ottawa, and the University of Ottawa (over 5,000 employees).
Major employers include the city's other two major universities, and
among private and cooperative enterprises in 2006, the municipal
transport company OC Transpo, telecommunications giant Bell Canada,
supermarket chain Loblaws and the defunct telecommunications equipment
manufacturer Nortel Networks (more than 2,000 employees) were in the
lead in 2006. in every organization). In the middle of the first decade
of the 21st century, the main sector in the city's economy was the civil
administration, which employed about 130,000 people. The second most
employed sector was trade, and the third was healthcare.
The average annual income for an Ottawa family was $84,500 in 2006, significantly higher than the average income for the province of Ontario, and the unemployment rate remains consistently low (in mid-2012 - 6%, which is 1.2% lower than in national average). At the same time, the cost of living in Ottawa is the lowest among all the largest Canadian cities, and among the largest cities in the world, it ranks at the top of the second hundred in terms of cost of living. In 2011, Ottawa was one of six capital cities featured in the list of the world's 15 best cities to live in - yet it has a low cost of living compared to most cities on the list.
Although agriculture plays a larger role in Ottawa's economy than in
any other major city in Canada, and Ottawa itself is the only capital
city in the world with a working farm (Central Experimental Farm) at the
center, other branches of the economy form the basis of the metropolitan
In Ottawa, enterprises of the radio-electronic, instrument-making, pulp and paper, and printing industries are represented. Canada's capital is often referred to as "Northern Silicon Valley"; such giants of the electronics industry as Mitel, Nortel, Corel, Cognos and JDS Uniphase were created here. In the last decade, despite the collapse and sale to foreign investors of a number of large and medium-sized high-tech companies and a marked decrease in the share of high-tech enterprises in Canadian stock indices, the total number of such enterprises in the Ottawa area has quadrupled; among the new firms is Shopify, an e-commerce software developer whose products are purchased by 25,000 businesses and organizations.
In the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, over 80,000
people were employed in trade in Ottawa. There are about 70 large
shopping centers in the National Capital Region. The largest are the
Rideau Center in downtown Ottawa, the Bayshore Shopping Center in the
west, and St. Laurent Shopping Center in its eastern part. Several
smaller malls are notable for their unusual selection of goods and
services. These locations include World Exchange Plaza, 240 Sparks and
Place De Ville in the city center and Place du Center in Hull.
In addition to the actual shopping centers, there are a number of shopping areas. The landmark of the city is Byward Market in the historic part of Ottawa. The trade arteries of the city are also Sparks Street (large fashion stores), Bank Street (a large number of cafes and small shops), Elgin Street, West Wellington Street, West Somerset Street (Chinatown), Rideau Street.
Local television broadcasts are mainly broadcast by Rogers in the
Ontarian side of the city and Laurentian Cable in Hull. Ottawa is home
to the bilingual Canadian Public Affairs Channel, Aboriginal Peoples
Television Network and Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. However, most
television programming is produced outside of Ottawa or even outside of
Canada by multinational media corporations.
Ottawa occupies one of the first places among cities in Canada for the spread of the Internet: about 60% of Ottawa households are connected to the Internet. There are numerous Internet service providers operating in the city, differing in coverage of the population. Carleton University is home to one of Canada's largest Freenet operators. Cellular telephony services are mainly provided by three large national companies: Rogers, Bell and Telus. Rogers has a virtual monopoly on the cable TV market in the Canadian capital, serving 85% of homes with cable TV, and Bell, along with another company, Shaw Direct, controls the satellite TV market.
On average, one family in Ottawa consumes 250 liters of water per day. About 10% of households in Ottawa use well water. Water is delivered to the rest of the city's homes using municipal infrastructure from the Ottawa River. The municipality also carries out drainage works and regular collection of garbage from houses.
The city's largest electricity provider is Hydro Ottawa, Ontario's third-largest municipal power company, serving more than 300,000 homes. Basically, the city receives electricity from the Darlington nuclear power plant (more than 50%) and from the hydroelectric power station. R. H. Saunders on the St. Lawrence River.
Natural gas is the primary source of heating for homes in Ottawa. Enbridge, Canada's largest oil and gas transportation company, was the monopoly supplier of natural gas in Ottawa until the end of 1999. Currently, the company, which serves about two million private customers, businesses and organizations in Ontario, still controls the gas pipeline infrastructure, but gas can be purchased directly from it or from smaller independent suppliers.
From 1891 to 1959, a streetcar network operated in Ottawa. It was in
Ottawa that for the first time in Canada (and possibly in the world)
wagons with electric heating were launched. In 1921, each Ottawa
resident made an average of 336 streetcar trips a year, at a ten cent
fee for three tickets. However, streetcars in Ottawa were unable to
compete with the developing motor transport. By 1959, the trolleybus
line that had also operated in the 1950s was dismantled.
Modern public transport in Ottawa is represented by buses and the O-Train light rail. The first O-Train, in operation since 2001 and running strictly north-south, connects the Greenboro and Bayview areas. The second phase, connecting the city center with the eastern districts, has been under construction since 2013 and was put into operation in September 2019. Buses and the O-Train are operated by OC Transpo, the Ottawa Municipal Transportation Company established in 1973 to replace the 1947 Ottawa Transportation Commission. All vehicles of this company have a characteristic red and white color. It is possible to transfer from bus to train and vice versa with a transit ticket. The Ottawa bus route system is partially integrated with the Gatineau bus network. For routes serving both cities, there are special transit tickets. The percentage of city dwellers using public transport has been steadily increasing since 1996, and in 2005 every Ottawa resident used public transport an average of 100 times a year.
The construction of the next stage of the light railroad (24 stations, total length 44 km) began in 2019. The City plans to increase the percentage of city residents using public transport from 23% to 30% by 2031.
Several taxi companies operate in the city. The cost of a license for 1 machine can exceed $100,000. In 2016, Uber became the first private company to receive an official passenger transportation license in Ottawa.
Transportation of students to and from schools is handled by the Ottawa School Transportation Authority, a consortium formed in 2007 by the Ottawa-Carlton School Authority and the Catholic School Authority. The School Transport Authority is contracted to a number of private bus companies that provide direct transportation to schoolchildren. School buses, unlike conventional public transport, are painted in traditional North American yellow and black.
According to 2005 data, during the morning peak hours, 62% of Ottawa
residents used their own car, while 21% used public transport, 9%
walked, 2% cycled, and 6% used other means of transportation. Although
the percentage of public transport riders has steadily increased since
1996, the number of private cars per family has grown by 10% between
1995 and 2005.
From west to east, the Queensway Highway (Trans-Canada Highway 417-174) runs through Ottawa. In the western part of the city, the 416 highway (also known as the Veterans Memorial Highway) merges into it. In total, the length of roads within the municipal boundaries is more than 6,000 km, of which 1,600 km are central highways and 4,600 streets, access and auxiliary roads. The city administration provides motorists with about 2,800 parking spaces and about 3,800 paid parking spaces on the streets. About 5,400 more places provide parking at the main terminals of the OC Transpo network (Park and ride system).
The high congestion of existing city roads and the predicted growth in vehicle traffic are driving the planned expansion of the Ottawa highway system. By 2031, it is planned to open new bridges across the Ottawa River, connecting Ottawa and Gatineau, in particular for the purpose of unloading heavy trucks from the central King Edward Avenue and the McDonald-Cartier bridge.
Until the 1960s Ottawa's main train station, Union Station, was
located in the city center, not far from Parliament. In the process of
Ottawa's major redevelopment, downtown Ottawa was cleared of railroad
tracks, and the Colonel Bay Highway is now being laid in place of the
tracks along the Rideau Canal.
The modern Ottawa Station, built in 1966 by architect John Parkin, is located in a triangle between Terminal Avenue, Belfast Road and Tremblay Road, four kilometers from the city center. The rail lines run parallel to Highway 417. The station serves VIA Rail, Canadian National Railway, and Canadian Pacific (CP) trains, as well as buses from some airlines. The station building was state-of-the-art for its time and received the Massey Medal in 1967 (now the Governor General's Award for Architecture) and was included in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's list of the 500 best architectural structures in Canadian history in 2000.
McDonald-Cartier International Airport, operating since 1938
(international status granted in 1964), is located 10 km south of the
center of Ottawa. Formerly known as CFB Ottawa South (1972 to mid-1990s)
/ CFB Uplands (1942 to mid-1990s). The new passenger terminal of the
airport opened in 2003. In 2011, McDonald-Cartier Airport received more
than 4.5 million passengers, more than a million of them on
international flights (including the United States). In the same year,
according to the results of passenger surveys, Ottawa Airport ranked
first in the world among airports serving from two to five million
passengers a year.
In addition, there are a number of small airports in various areas of Ottawa and the National Capital Region, two of which (at Carp and Gatineau) are capable of receiving not only private, but also small commercial aircraft. The airport at Rockcliffe provides space for the Canadian Air and Space Museum.
Although already in 1820 the first steamship line connected Wrightstown and Grenville, navigation along the Ottawa River and its tributaries was further complicated due to the large number of rapids, however, the construction of the Rideau Canal and a number of dams and locks made it possible to partially solve this problem. Navigation on the Ottawa River increasingly declined during the 20th century, especially after the 1970 timber rafting ban. However, charter cruises currently exist on the Ottawa River, and as of 2011, a river taxi connects Ottawa and the two stations in Gatineau. In addition, during the summer, pleasure boats ply the Rideau Canal.
The urban layout is very friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. There
are a large number of cycling and walking paths. The Ottawa City Council
manages about 1,600 km of sidewalks and 340 km of bike lanes along the
carriageway of streets and roads. However, it is strictly forbidden for
pedestrians to use the sidewalks along the routes of the high-speed bus
(Transitway) - these sidewalks are for official use only.
In Ottawa and Gatineau, the Bixi hourly bike rental network has been operating since 2011. The 2009 pilot project included 50 bikes and four rental stations, in May 2011 the system officially launched with 100 bikes and 10 stations, and the following year 150 bikes and 15 new stations were added in Ottawa and Gatineau. The stations are mainly concentrated in the central areas of the city, with the expectation of use by tourists, but long-term subscriptions are also sold. In addition, there are dedicated trails for tourists and cyclists along the Ottawa (31 km) and Rideau rivers and along the Rideau Canal, near the Central Experimental Farm, Leamy Lake in Hull and in the western part of the Green Belt.
The percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 with a college degree
is significantly higher in Ottawa than in Ontario as a whole. This is
facilitated not only by the status of the capital as such, which
attracts educated civil servants and workers in the high-tech sector,
but also by the developed system of higher and special education. Ottawa
is home to three universities:
The University of Ottawa, founded in 1848 as Bytown College, and by the turn of the 21st century offering more than 300 study programs in ten departments, is the leading bilingual university in North America
Founded in 1942, Carleton University provides over 200 degree programs in 47 departments, including engineering, high technology, international relations, film and journalism
and the Catholic University of St. Paul, separated in 1965 from the University of Ottawa and consisting of four faculties - canon law, philosophical, humanitarian and theological
all colleges in Ontario, and its students can get more than one hundred different specialties. Ottawa also has the largest francophone college in Ontario, teaching 70 majors, including medical, technology, tourism, management, communications, and media. Ottawa universities and colleges train students from more than a hundred countries around the world.
Ottawa is home to the National Research Council of Canada, Canada's central agency for research and development. In general, the activities of the council are focused on market demands and communication between research laboratories and the consumer. Also in Ottawa, on Somerset Street, is the headquarters of the Royal Society of Canada, under whose auspices the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Canada, represented by more than 2,000 members, is united. Of the specialized research institutes and organizations located in the Canadian capital, the Canadian Atomic Energy Corporation may be noted; Defense Research and Technology Agency; Canadian Polar Commission; Geological Survey of Canada; Central Experimental Farm; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (also associated with the University of Ottawa); and other institutes at Ottawa and Carleton Universities.
In 1886, the Ottawa public school system included only two high
schools and a few elementary schools. In the next two decades, almost no
new schools were built, and instead old ones were completed. The
situation changed with the passage in 1921 of the provincial law on
compulsory schooling until the age of 16; in the decade following the
passage of this law, the number of students in Ontario schools grew by
26%, while the total number of school-age children increased by only
18%. The influx of new students led to the fact that the existing
premises were few and a number of new schools were built; many of these
schools, built in the manner characteristic of that period, are still in
operation today. By 1927, even more schools had been built than
required, and the ensuing Great Depression caused further expansion of
the educational complex to be frozen. Between 1925 and 1935 there was
even a slight decline in the number of public schools in Ottawa, and
only in the postwar years did the system begin to expand again - first
by incorporating neighboring towns and cities into Ottawa's municipal
boundaries in 1949, when the number of schools and students almost
doubled, and then as a result of the population explosion of the 50s and
60s. As a result, by 1969 in Ottawa there were 53 public schools
(secondary, primary and transitional), in which about one and a half
thousand teachers worked with 26 thousand students. The growth in the
number of students and schools continued in the future; in addition to
natural population growth, an important factor was the administrative
unification of Ottawa and 10 surrounding municipalities in 2001.
At the beginning of the 21st century, all children in Ottawa, as well as throughout the province of Ontario, are required to attend school from 6 to 18 years old. All schools are formally divided according to the level of education into elementary (primary, grades 1–8, ages 6–13) and senior (grades 9–12, ages 13–18). In addition, at elementary schools there are two groups of kindergarten - senior and junior - for children aged 5 and 4 years.
In addition, schools are divided into French-speaking and English-speaking. However, in English-speaking schools, French is studied without fail from grade 1 (the basic program is 100 minutes per week in kindergarten and 200 from grades 1 to 8; the “early immersion in French” program is a complete study in French in the first grade, with a gradual transition to English by the upper grades), and in French - English.
Schools in Ottawa are administered by 4 bodies: the Ottawa-Carleton School Board (43,000 students in elementary schools and 25,000 in high schools), the Eastern Ontario Francophone Public Schools Authority (12,400 students in 38 schools), the English and French-speaking Catholic School Boards (respectively 81 and 46 schools with 41 and 17 thousand students). Among public English-speaking junior high schools, Elmdale, Devonshire, Rockliffe Park and Hopewell ranked highest in the second half of the 2010s. Among francophones, the Catholic schools named after Georges-Étienne Cartier, Bernard Granmaitre, Marius Barbeau and Édouard Beaune had the best results. Among public high schools in Ottawa, the Colonel Bay School (Gloucester), Lisgar College (with a physics and mathematics profile), Earl March and John McCrae Schools and West Carlton School had the highest ranking in the second half of the 2010s. Among Catholic high schools, All Saints and Holy Trinity Schools (both Kanata) had the highest rankings.
In addition, a number of private schools operate in the city; The range of annual tuition fees in most private schools in Ottawa is from $8,000 to $20,000. The exceptions are, on the one hand, Canada eSchool (fee $ 450 for each subject, teaching online) and Fern Hill School (annual fee starting from $ 2,800), and on the other hand, Ashbury College, where the annual fee varies from 20 to 48 thousand rubles. dollars, depending on the mode of study.
A few community (mainly Islamic) schools receive little government support, but generally survive on community support and relatively low tuition fees (about $300-400 per month). In 2009, one of them, the Muslim elementary school Abraar School, was in the top 6% of schools in Ontario. In 2013, it was overtaken by the Islamic school Ahl-ul-Bayt.
Ottawa also has an English-language high school for adults (Eng. Adult High School), which allows those who wish to complete their secondary education in English, and the French-language school Le Carrefour for adults (Fr. École des adultes Le Carrefour), in addition to a diploma of secondary education, gives graduates certificate of mastery of French as a second main language.
Since its inception, Bytown and then Ottawa have experienced several
epidemics of varying scale and severity. This happened both in the 19th
century, when typhus brought along the rivers and the Rideau Canal
forced the Catholic Gray Sisters and Protestants to unite in the fight
against it, who founded the first permanent hospital in the city in
1847, and later in four years smallpox came to the city twice, and in
next century. The largest epidemic, part of a worldwide pandemic, was
the influenza epidemic in 1918, and since then, the centralized health
care system, which was under municipal control, has already successfully
coped with new bursts of infectious diseases. At the turn of the
century, a maternity hospital and several hospitals began to operate in
Ottawa, designed to combat diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria;
subsequently, many of them merged into larger treatment centers with
greater capacity and resources.
At the beginning of the 21st century, permanent residents of the province of Ontario, including Ottawa, are entitled to provincial health insurance - OntarionHealth Insurance Plan, OHIP. A similar system exists in Quebec (Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec, RAMQ), and its clients include residents of communities in the National Capital Region north of the Ottawa River. Both insurance programs are available after three months as a permanent resident or citizen, and new immigrants are encouraged to use private insurance companies before this period expires.
There are several general hospitals in Ottawa: Ottawa Hospital (three branches in the central and eastern parts of the city), Montfort Hospital (also east of the center), Queensway-Carleton Hospital (Queensway-Carleton Hospital, in the west of Ottawa ) and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. CHEO). The Ottawa Hospital and CHEO are among the city's largest employers. Specialized medical centers in Ottawa include the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center, the National Defense Medical Center and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Medical insurance is required for services in hospitals and clinics, otherwise a service charge will be billed. Calling an ambulance is also paid (the bill is issued by the hospital where the patient was taken).
There are direct access clinics around the city (without an appointment and assigned to patients, the attending physicians, the so-called walk-in clinics, many of which belong to the Appletree common network), “health centers” (community health centers - they provide centralized medical services, for example, vaccinations), as well as family doctors. The city hall has a system of pre-hospital emergency medical care (eng. Ottawa Paramedic Service), whose employees provide first aid for heart attacks, strokes, injuries and breathing difficulties in a total area of about 2800 km². Many institutions, organizations and public places have defibrillation centers.
In addition, there is the Ontario Telemedicine Network, also known as Telehealth, a free telephone medical consultation system.
Ottawa Public Health provides the community with healthy lifestyle programs and other health and safety related services. The department is overseen by the Board of Health, made up of members of the municipal council and members of the public. Among the tasks assigned to the Department of Public Health:
promoting a healthy lifestyle and preventing the development of chronic diseases (cardiovascular system, cancer and diabetes), combating smoking and promoting a healthy diet
protection of the population from harmful environmental impacts (including sanitary inspections of public catering establishments, public swimming pools, testing the quality of tap water and water of natural reservoirs open for bathing)
prevention of epidemics and the spread of infectious diseases (prevention of tuberculosis, influenza, vaccinations, control of rabid animals)
reducing injuries (including road safety briefings, equipping safe public places for children and the elderly).
The overall crime rate in Ottawa is quite low. In Macleans magazine's
2007 combined crime ranking of Canadian cities, Ottawa ranked 56th out
of 100 cities, with a crime rate 29% below the national level; in 2010,
the capital ranked 74th on this list with a crime rate 26% below the
national level. In a list of the 50 safest cities and capitals in the
world, compiled in 2011 by the research firm Mercer, Ottawa was tied for
17th place with four other Canadian cities and Amsterdam. In a 2016
survey, 72% of Canadians rated Ottawa as a safe or very safe city, the
best of any city in the survey; The Crime Severity Index, released in
2015, ranks Ottawa as the third safest city in Canada after Toronto and
According to statistics released by the Ottawa Police Service, between 2011 and 2013, the city of almost a million people averaged about 10 murders, about 70 kidnappings, and about 650 robberies. On average, 1,120 cars were stolen per year, about 1,000 offenses related to marijuana were recorded, and almost three times less - with cocaine. In 2014 and 2015, the frequency of most types of crime continued to decline, but since 2016, both the total number of crimes and the level of violence, which reflects the number of murders, assaults and rapes, have increased.