Ottawa is a city located in Ontario Province and is the capital of Canada. The city lies on the southern banks of the Ottawa River and It’s situated in the Ottawa Valley in the eastern part of Southern Ontario. It covers an area of one thousand square miles and has a population of eight hundred and twelve thousand residents. Ottawa is a city with a long and distinguished history. Ottawa was the residence of the Odawa or Odaawaa First Nations people for a long period of time. The Odawa called the river the Kichi Sibi which means “Great River”. History attests to the fact that the Algonquins lived in parts of the Ottawa River basin and used the surrounding area for hunting and gathering.
European explorers traveled the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers in search of new territories. They claimed lands for their countries, searched for passages to Asia and India, and struggled to find precious materials. The first commercial industry to evolve in the New World was the fur trade. Entities such as the Hudson Bay Company user the Ottawa River to transport fur products to Europe through Montreal and Quebec. The first settlement in the area was started by Philemon Wright who hailed from Massachusetts. He arrived in the area in 1800, with his family and twenty-five laborers. He intended on starting an agricultural community in the banks of the Ottawa River. His food crops didn’t provide enough of an income for the colony and Wright started harvesting trees. He wasn’t the only one harvesting trees in the area however, and the lumber industry soon supplanted the fur trade as the number one industry in the area by 1812. In 1832, the Rideau Canal was finished by Colonel John By and the population of the area grew by leaps and bounds. The western portion of the canal was known as “Uppertown” and is where the Parliament buildings are located. The eastern portion of the canal became known as “Lowertown”. In 1855, Ottawa was incorporated as a new city. In 1857, Queen Victoria choose Ottawa as the capital for the Province of Canada.
Today, Ottawa is a beautiful city that enjoys a brisk tourist trade thanks in part to the beautiful scenery of the area and the city’s many attractions. A popular attraction in the city is the Canadian War Museum. This museum is the national museum dedicated to Canadian militaria and military history. The museum’s prime focus is on wars and conflicts that happened on Canadian soil, involved Canadian forces or directly affected the country. Key features of the museum include the Canadian Experience Galleries, Military History Research Center, a collection of war art and a collection of military artillery and vehicles. The galleries include “Battleground – to 1885′, ‘For Crown and Country – 1885–1931’, ‘Forged in Fire – 1931–1945’ and ‘A Violent Peace – 1945 to the present’. Vehicles and artillery on display here include a M109 Howitzer, Jagdpanzer IV, L3/35 tankette, Panther tank, M114 armoured personnel carrier, BMP infantry fighting vehicle, Leopard tank, Volkswagen Schwimmwagen, Molch midget submarine, Panzer II, Chieftain tank, Sherman tanks, M3 Lee, Valentine tank and CF-101 Voodoo. Though the museum was founded in 1880, it has only been at its current location since 2005. Its located less than a mile west of Canada’s Parliament buildings.
Another popular attraction in the city of Ottawa is the National Gallery of Canada. This museum is the premier art gallery of Canada and is located in a granite and glass building on Sussex Drive. The building was designed by Moshe Safdie and was opened to the public in 1988. The gallery contains a large collection of paintings, drawings, photographic art and sculptures. Notable works located here include Meadow and Farm of Jas de Bouffan by Paul Cezanne, A Woman at her Toilet by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Voice of Fire by Barnett Newman, Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Tribute Money by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Tiger Zebra by Tom Green, The Small Table by Pablo Picasso, The Port of Antwerp by Georges Braque, The Mechanic by Fernand Leger, The Age of Bronze by Auguste Rodin, The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West, 10 variations on Mao Tse-tung by Andy Warhol, Study for Portrait No. 1 by Francis Bacon, Still-life: Flowers by Vincent Van Gogh, Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds by John Constable, Nude on a Yellow Sofa by Henri Matisse, Memories of My Youth by Marc Chagall, Meadow and Farm of Jas de Bouffan by Paul Cezanne, Hay Harvest at Éragny by Camille Pissarro, Brillo by Andy Warhol, Composition No. 12 with Blue by Piet Mondrian and Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds by John Constable.
Peace Tower is another prominent attraction in the city. This clock tower sits on the central axis of the Canadian Parliament buildings. It is an icon of Canada and is featured on the Canadian twenty and fifty dollar bills. This tower was designed by John A. Pearson and Jean Omer Marchand. The tower rises three hundred and two feet high and is covered with three hundred and seventy grotesques, gargoyles and friezes. It is a perfect complement to the parliamentary complex and is designed in the Victorian Gothic style. Other attractions in the city of Ottawa include Dows Lake Pavilion, Nepean Point, Ottawa Farmers’ Market, Capital Infocentre, Rideau Hall, Jacques Cartier Park, Bytown Museum, Major’s Hill Park, Canadian Museum of Nature, Lusk Caverns, Rideau Falls, Green Island, Notre Dame Basilica, Royal Canadian Mint, National Archives of Canada, Organic Farmers’ Market, Maplelawn Garden, Ottawa Art Gallery, Alexandra Bridge, University of Ottawa, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stables, Canadian Children’s Museum, Currency Museum, Great Canadian Theatre Company, National War Memorial, Canada Aviation Museum, Sparks Street Mall, Bank Street Promenade, National Museum of Science and Technology, Cube Gallery, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Casino du Lac-Leamy, Central Experimental Farm, Canada Science and Technology Museum, National Library of Canada, Confederation Square, Peacekeeping Monument, Mercury Lounge, Barrymore’s Music Hall, Prime Minister’s Official Residence and Vimy House.