Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the second largest city in the province of Ontario. The city lies in the east of Southern Ontario and is situated in the Ottawa Valley. It can be found south of the Ottawa River, forming the boundary between the Quebec and Ontario provinces. The population of Ottawa reached 812,129 during the Canadian 2006 census. It is the fourth most populous municipality in Canada and the second most populous in Ontario.

Brief History
Ottawa used to be the hunting ground of the Outaouais, a group of people who spoke Algonkian. In 1613, the area was visited by a French explorer named Samuel de Champlain. The Ottawa River became a medium for transport, but it was only in the 1800s when Philemon Wright founded Wrightstown, a small settlement which now became Gatineau. In 1826, the Rideau Canal was built linking the rivers and lakes between Ottawa and Kingston. The canal was built under the supervision of Lieutenant-Colonel John By; he gave the settlement the name Bytown. The settlement was then renamed Ottawa in 1855, in a bid to make it the capital of the Canadian province. Upon Queen Vitoriaís approval, the city became Canadaís capital; however, this act was met with disapproval. In the 1940ís, the city was redecorated and restructured under the leadership of Jacques Greber, a city planner from Paris. Ottawa still preserves most of the current appearance of Gerberís design.
Ottawa
Economy
The GDP of Ottawa exceeds $40 billion. The cityís economy focuses on government and high technology among its economic centers. The economy is centered specifically on high technology, federal government, health and education, tourism, construction, and trade. The city is also a center for global technology. There are about 1800 companies involved in a variety of sectors including multimedia, film and video, professional services, wireless technologies, tourism, semiconductors, photonics, software, telecommunications, and life sciences.

Demographics
The population of Ottawa is recorded at 812,129 during the 2006 Canadian census. The city of Ottawa is made of different kinds of people, from locals to foreign-born citizens. 22.3 percent of the population is born outside the country. These include people of Chinese, Iranian, Balkan, North African, and Lebanese descent. There is also a small percentage of Aboriginal descent (1.5 percent). Some of the largest minority groups present in the city include Blacks, South Asians, Chinese, and Arabs. About 62.3 percent of the population speaks English, while 14.9 percent is fluent in French. In addition, about 0.85 percent of the population speaks both. Most people in Ottawa belong to the Christian religion, while some belong to minority groups such as Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. A substantial 13.3 percent professes no religion at all.

Geography, Climate and Places of Interest
Ottawa is located on the Ottawa Riverís southern banks. The Rideau Canalís and Rideau Riverís mouths are on its territory. Lower Town, which includes Bytown, is the oldest part of the city. Centretown or downtown, the cityís financial and commercial center, is situated just to the west across the canal. The climate in Ottawa is humid continental. Summers are fairly warm and humid while snow and ice are typical for the winter. Places of interest include the Parliament of Canada, the Centennial Flame and the Parliament Building, National Art Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Rideau Canal, and the Maze at Saunders Farm.