Situated in the province of Ontario, Ottawa became the capital of Canada in 1857 to resolve a conflict between francophone cities (Montreal, Quebec) and Anglophone ones (Toronto, Kingston) which were fighting to become capitals. Ottawa has been officially bilingual since 2003. Today, Ottawa comprises 870 250 people, 40% of which are bilingual.
The city’s economy relies heavily on its high tech industry and on tourism. The Canadian Parliament is situated in Ottawa, also where federal government activities take place. A vast number of embassies and universities can also be found in the city.
Ottawa distinguishes itself through its rich cultural heritage and history. There are a multitude of museums to visit, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. The Rideau Canal is another interesting attraction and was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the wintertime the Rideau Canal becomes the largest natural skating rink in the world. Gatineau Park is another unique touring destination for walkers as well as skiers.
Ottawa’s nightlife is equally animated, especially in the city’s ByWard Market packed with restaurants and bars. Ottawa is a diverse and welcoming city, with a true zest for life.