One of the most beautiful capitals in the world, Ottawa is about an hour's drive from the US border and about two hours from francophone Montréal. The city is a leading center for the arts, government and medicine; the presence of some 800 high-tech companies has earned it the moniker "Silicon Valley of the North." Although it's the fourth largest metropolitan area in Canada, Ottawa retains the charm of a small town. An abundance of things to see and do make this a popular tourist city. Along with more than 35 public festivals annually, visitors can enjoy some two dozen museums, guided walking tours, and beautiful historic sites such as the Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame, the Billings Estate and the Supreme Court building. Shopping enthusiasts can find all sorts of unique mementoes at the sprawling ByWard Market and in the city's one-of-a-kind boutiques. Surrounded by three rivers and enclosed by 42,000 acres of farmlands and wetlands, Ottawa is a feast for the eyes and a rejuvenator for the soul with lush, rolling hills and pristine lakes. Check out some of the local parks, such as Dow's Lake, Major's Hill and Gatineau for fine views and fresh air. Outdoor pursuits in the vicinity range from skiing and hiking to horseback riding and fishing.
Ottawa, ON Factoid
About half of Ottawa residents have earned a post-secondary degree, making it one of the most highly-educated cities in the country.