Located at the confluence of the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau rivers in southeastern Ontario, Ottawa is the capital of Canada. After several surrounding communities were consolidated together with Ottawa in 2001, the capital city has since prospered as one of North America’s fastest growing cities.
As the nation’s capital, Ottawa is home to many financial, commercial and federal establishments including Parliament Hill, the government seat where the ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place daily during the summer.
Ottawa’s star attraction is the Rideau Canal. Running right through the heart of the city, this wide canal becomes the world’s largest ice skating rink in the winter. Other places of interest are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police training center, the Museum of Civilizations and the National Gallery of Canada.
Distinguished museums, art galleries, theaters and concert halls all compose a rich arts and culture scene. More than 60 annual festivals are hosted in Ottawa, including Canada Day and Winterlude.
Ottawa is a green city with many beautiful green spaces, parks, cycling paths and cross-country skiing trails. Additionally, the nearby rivers and lakes all offer a variety of outdoor recreation.
The city is home to a large number of immigrants representing cultures from around the world, so tourists will find a wide range of restaurants offering a variety of food from the traditional Beaver’s Tail pastry to international cuisine. Shopping choices include several malls, plazas and the popular ByWard Market. Additionally, there are plenty of pubs and clubs for nightlife entertainment.