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Ottawa Travel Guide


Ottawa Introduction


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From humble beginnings—first as a military post and then as a lumber camp—Ottawa, Ontario, has emerged as a vibrant, multicultural capital city. Ottawa is a bilingual city, reflecting its French and English heritage. Home to the copper-roofed Parliament Buildings, the Supreme Court of Canada and foreign embassies, Bytown, as it was originally named, is also a vigorous community housing farmers markets, world-class museums and historic buildings.  Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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Ottawa Geography


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Ottawa is located in southeastern Canada, situated at the far eastern tip of Ontario province right on the border with Quebec province. The city is divided by the Rideau Canal, which serves as a popular spot for outdoor activity year-round. On the west side is the core of the city, known as Centretown. There you'll find Parliament Hill, the seat of Canadian government, and the pedestrian mall on Sparks Street. The city half that is east of the canal includes the popular ByWard Market, just across the canal from Centretown, and the neighborhood known as Sandy Hill, southeast of the market and bounded by Rideau Street and Laurier Avenue East.   Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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Ottawa History


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Centuries before Europeans arrived in North America, a tribe of Algonquians known as Outaouak made its home on the banks of the Ottawa River. The first recorded visit by a European was in 1613, when the French explorer Samuel de Champlain passed through the area in search of a route that would provide passage to the Far East.   Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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Ottawa Sightseeing & Things to Do


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The best way to get to know Ottawa is by foot. A great place to get oriented is Parliament Hill, the seat of the national government. Try to get there by 10 am Monday-Friday in the summer to see the changing of the guard, and then take a tour of the Parliament Buildings. From fall through spring, you might even catch the proceedings in the House of Commons or the Senate. From Parliament Hill, you'll be able to view the Rideau Canal, a fine place to take a boat ride or go skating, depending on the season. After a walking tour of Parliament Hill, you may wish to go next door to the Fairmont Chateau Laurier for traditional afternoon tea.   Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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Ottawa Nightlife


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The once-stuffy Canadian capital now has a lively nightlife. Options increase in summer, when sidewalk cafes and bistros in the trendy ByWard Market and Elgin Street districts fill up with locals and tourists alike. Outdoor summer concerts take place in Major's Hill Park, Confederation Park and Festival Plaza in front of City Hall. In addition to a variety of live-music venues, street performers often provide free shows for passers-by (tips are appreciated).   Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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Ottawa Restaurants & Dining


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Ottawa is the rapidly growing capital of one of the leading multicultural countries in the world. This diversity is visible in a variety of ways, but perhaps most acutely in the multitude of dining options in town, ranging from Aboriginal dishes to Sri Lankan cuisine. Many restaurants post their menus near the door.   Click here to see the full Ottawa travel guide on Travel42 »

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