Ottawa is Canada’s MUST-SEE destination, home to impressive and unique attractions and events you simply can’t experience anywhere else.

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and one of the most beautiful cities in North America. With 1 200 000 residents Ottawa is the fourth largest city in Canada and one of the best places to live in the world.

Ottawa was originally called Bytown named after Colonel John By, the engineer who oversaw construction of the Rideau Canal.  In 1855 Bytown was incorporated and became Ottawa. Queen Victoria appointed Ottawa the capital of Canada in December 31, 1857.



  • The name “Ottawa” comes from the Algonquin word “Adawe” – which means “to trade”.
  • 3 rivers –  the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau Rivers divide the city. West Ottawa is English speaking and East Ottawa is predominantly French. It’s a place where you’ll hear English and French spoken on the street.
  • Ottawa is the seventh coldest capital in the world. Others that are colder include in order of coldest first are Ulaan-Baatar in Mongolia, Astana in Kazakhastan, Moscow, Russia, Helsinki in Finland, Reykjavik, Iceland and Tallin in Estonia.


  • A record 444.1 cm of snow fell the winter of 1970-1971. The average annual snowfall in Ottawa is 236 cm or 92.8 inches.
  • Nearly half the population is under the age of 35 – making it one of the youngest city in the country.
  • Ottawa is home to 14 National Museums:
  1. Canadian Museum of Civilization
  2. Canadian Postal Museum
  3. Canadian Children’s Museum
  4. The National Gallery of Canada
  5. Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
  6. Canada Science and Technology Museum
  7. Canadian Museum of Nature
  8. Canadian War Museum
  9. Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  10. Canada Agricultural Museum
  11. Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada
  12. Royal Canadian Mint
  13. Library and Archives Canada
  14. Laurier House


  • In the winter, the Rideau Canal becomes the worlds longest skating rink  – 7.8 kilometers (4.7 miles).  It winds through downtown Ottawa. You can rent skates, pick up hot drinks and my favourite – beavertails are all available along the route. One of the best times to go is during Ottawa’s annual Winterlude festival


  • Ottawa boasts a UNESCO World heritage siteThe Rideau Canal – a monumental construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers. It is the best preserved example of a slackwater canal built in North America. It remains operational along its’ original line with most of the structures from the early nineteenth century still intact. It was built primarily for strategic military purposes at a time when Great Britain and the United States vied for control of the region.


  • The Federal Government is the city’s largest employer.
  • There are five universities and two colleges in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa is home to over 1,800 technology companies. Ottawa is called the capital of Sillicon Valley North. The IT industry has attracted a lot of experts to Ottawa from all over the world who brought significant contributions to the development of local industry and the economy.
  • Ottawa has 35 major festivals. The Canadian Tulip Festival, held every May, is one of the most famous. Just to name some of them – Winterlude – winter festival in February, Italian week, Canada Dance Festival, Ottawa Fringe Festival, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Canada Day, RBC Bluesfest, Capital Ukrainian Festival, Festival of India and more. Check calendar –

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Ottawa also has a vast expanse of natural beauty and culturally diverse environment. It’s the place to be no matter what you’re looking for. The capital of Canada has the best of both worlds – a relaxing and cultural atmosphere along with a thriving and energetic urban setting.

Where to eat in Ottawa?

Being multicultural city, you can find any cuisine you like – Thai, Japanese, Italian, Irish, Mexican and more. Restaurants for all tastes can be found near the Byward Market, on the streets of Clarence or York.

The traditional pastry of Ottawa is the “beaver tails” – hot sweet pastry is topped with a choice of sweet condiments and confections, such as whipped cream, banana slices, crumbled oreos and Nutella. You should try it!

This map will show you the number of restaurants that are located within the downtown of Ottawa.

More information you can find on official site –

What to do in Ottawa for free? – read my article  “Top 20 things to do for FREE in Ottawa

Where to find accommodation in Ottawa? Check Airbnb, Booking or use a list of money saving travel resources.

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