Ottawa



Ottawa Canada's Capital City, Ottawa, is home to the Federal Government is located on the banks of the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau Rivers, in the south eastern corner of Ontario. The province of Quebec lies directly across the river to the north of the city.

Initially a logging town, Ottawa was chosen as Canada's capital by Queen Victoria in 1857 much to the annoyance of Quebec, Toronto and Montreal! Now, the Ottawa region is 4662 square kilometers in area, with over 90% of it in a country setting. It is the fourth largest urban area of Canada and though seperate cities, includes Gatineau from across the Ottawa River as a part of the metropolitan area known as Canada's Capital Region.

The City of Ottawa as its known today is made up of several Neighbourhoods, with an active Real Estate market and a population over 1.2 million.

Probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Ottawa has an abundance of open spaces, parks, waterways and historic buildings. The region has the largest concentration of Museums of any region in Canada; it also has the longest network of recreational pathways of any North American city. Considered one of the greenest metropolitan cities in North America, Ottawa offers many areas where residents can relax, run or participate in outdoor activities.

The City of Ottawa offers many different Educational and Recreational Programs in which parents and children are encouraged to participate.

There is a rich ethnic diversity with many different cultural communities which offer fantastic dining experiences and plenty of colorful festivals and events through out the year. Due to it's close proximity with the Province of Quebec, both the French and English cultures are deeply rooted, giving Ottawa a distinctly European feel. As one of Canada's most bilingual areas, there are nearly half a million people speaking both French and English.

Getting around the city is fairly easy with Ottawa's award winning public transport system. The Transitway is a major part of Ottawa's bus system, with roads that are designated bus only it makes it a fast and efficient way to get around the city. It also intersects with the O Train which is a light rail system. There are also plenty of bicycle paths and a compact downtown area that is easy to get around on foot.

The Ottawa Senators ice hockey and Renegades football teams have a healthy rivalry with the Toronto teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs have the upper hand during the recent exchanges in the hockey playoffs whilst the Renegades are having a poor time in the CFL.

Ottawa has four dramatic seasons, the winter has heavy snowfall usually starting in mid November and continuing until March. The temperatures are normally cold with the average daytime temperatures around -10 degrees centigrade. Daytime temperatures start rising in March but night times are still cooler. Summer months (June to September) are hot and humid. Fall is a beautiful time with the leaves turning at the beginning of October, and temperatures cooling off in September. There is ample rainfall on 113 days of the year which supports the rich agriculture. The area boasts 2054 hours of sunshine each year.

Surrounding the urban area of Ottawa is a 532 square kilometer preserve of federally owned open space. Minutes from downtown there are beautiful beaches, ski hills and golf courses. Gatineau Park is just 15 minutes from Parliament hill and offers numerous outdoor activities in both summer and winter.

There are hundreds of kilometers of trails, numerous crystal clear lakes, an abundance of wildlife and over forty species of trees in its forests. The recreational opportunities are plentiful with hiking, cycling, swimming, year round camping and overnight stays, cross country and downhill skiing all on offer.

The Greenbelt is a 20,350 hectare band of open lands and forests surrounding the nation's Capital on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. It has over 100 kilometers of trails offering walking, hiking and cycling. There are nine informal picnic areas, campgrounds and an area to launch a boat.

In winter part of the Rideau Canal becomes the Worlds longest Skating Rink, a 7.8 kilometer roadway of ice in the heart of Ottawa.