OTTAWA: A CAPITAL PLACE IN ALL SEASONS

Ottawa is Canada's federal capital, but with a population of about 300,000 and a half million in its metropolitan area, it is by no means a large city. Federal government buildings, official residences and embassies, along with the infrastructure necessary to support a national government, are all here. Still the city lacks the usual historic buildings and grand vistas, and even the skyscrapers of European capitals. And therein lies its charm, for this is an eminently liveable city where residents can make themselves comfortable and visitors relax in the casualness of a small European capitals. And therein lies its charm, for this is an eminently liveable city where residents can make themselves comfortable and visitors relax in the casualness of a small town.

The first permanent European settlers were lumbermen who arrived in the area around 1800, and a New Englander named Philemon Wright who built a home that year on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River where Hull now stands. Then, in 1820, Nicolas Sparks cleared a farm in what is now the city core. Importance came with construction of the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 32. During the War of 1812 British North America's supply lines between Montreal and Upper Canada had been very vulnerable to American attack from across the St Lawrence River. A solution was seen in building a canal inland from Kingston to Lake Ontario. Its northern terminus beside the falls where the canal joins the Ottawa River was named Bytown, in honor of Colonel John By who supervised construction.....

........ A first-time visitor could easily spend a week in Ottawa's galleries and museums, many of which are within walking distance of downtown hotels and Parliament Hill. If time is limited, the Canadian Museum of Civilization (across the river in Hull) and the National Museum of Science and Technology are a good first and second choice. The National Arts Center has consistently good theater, opera, symphony concerts, and in summer outdoor tables are added to its café. In 1988 the National Gallery of Canada moved into a stunning new glass and granite building on Sussex Drive. Art lovers will want two or three hours in this one, to browse among some of the 40,000 paintings, prints and sculptures, including our largest collection of Canadian art.,



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IF YOU GO: Ottawa has airline connections with Canadian and United States' cities. Via Rail operates services to Montreal and Toronto and points east and west. The city has numerous hotels and motels as well as B & Bs, college residences and a youth hostel.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Ottawa area contact the National Capital Commission Visitor Center, 14 Metcalf Street, 161 Laurier Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 6J6 tel (613) 239-500 or 1-800-465-1867. Also www.tourottawa.org