Ottawa is Canada’s fourth-largest city, selected as the capital by Queen Victoria in 1857. The city is located on the Ontario side of the Ottawa river, opposite the French-speaking city of Hull and less than an hour’s drive from the border with the US. Ottawa itself is bilingual, with most residents speaking both English and French.
The city is home to the country’s parliament – housed in three spectacular gothic buildings perched atop Parliament Hill on the Westside of the Rideau Canal – and something of a cultural centre.
Museums, galleries and theatres abound, including the National Gallery, the Museum of Civilisation and the National Libraries.
Lying on the confluence of three rivers (the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau), it is also one of the greenest cities in Canada, with many public parks and spaces as well as easily accessible surrounding countryside.
Its compact size makes it all the more appealing for visitors as most attractions are within easy walking distance. The airport, Ottawa International, at which flights to Ottawa land, is well connected by public transport as well as by taxi and limousine.
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