Welcome to Ottawa, Canada!

A short history of Ottawa

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, has a rich and fascinating history. Originally inhabited by the Algonquin people, the area became a trading post in the early 1800s. In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the Province of Canada, and it has remained the capital ever since. Over the years, Ottawa has grown into a vibrant city with a diverse cultural heritage.

FAQ for Ottawa

What is the best way to get there?

  • By air: Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is the main airport serving the city.
  • By train: VIA Rail offers train services to Ottawa from various Canadian cities.
  • By car: Ottawa is well-connected by highways and roads.

What is Ottawa famous for?

  • Parliament Hill: The iconic seat of Canada's government.
  • Rideau Canal: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular spot for boating and ice skating.
  • National Gallery of Canada: Home to a vast collection of Canadian and international art.
  • ByWard Market: A vibrant market with shops, restaurants, and nightlife.
  • Canadian Museum of History: Showcasing the country's rich history and culture.

What are five interesting facts about Ottawa?

  • Ottawa is the second coldest capital city in the world.
  • It is bilingual, with English and French being the official languages.
  • Ottawa hosts the largest Canada Day celebration in the country.
  • The city has more engineers per capita than any other city in Canada.
  • Ottawa is home to numerous national museums and galleries.

How did Ottawa get its name?

Ottawa is named after the Ottawa River, which is derived from the Algonquin word "adawe" meaning "to trade."

What are some travel tips for Ottawa?

  • Carry layers of clothing, as the weather can be unpredictable.
  • Explore the city by bike or on foot to fully experience its beauty.
  • Try local delicacies such as poutine and beavertails.
  • Respect the bilingual nature of the city and its cultural diversity.
  • Take a scenic boat ride along the Rideau Canal.

Do I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. Check with the Canadian embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.

When is the best time to visit Ottawa?

Ottawa is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit is during spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasant and the city hosts various festivals.

Are there local customs I should know for i.e. Drinking, Greetings, Public transit?

When greeting someone, a handshake is the most common form of greeting. In terms of drinking, the legal drinking age in Ottawa is 19. Public transit is efficient and widely used, with buses and light rail available.

What is the time zone for Ottawa?

Ottawa follows Eastern Standard Time (EST) during the non-daylight saving period and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) during daylight saving time.

What are the voltage/plug types?

The voltage in Ottawa is 120V, and the plug types used are Type A and Type B. It is advisable to bring a universal adapter for your electronic devices.

What is the currency?

The currency used in Ottawa is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).

Are ATMs readily accessible?

ATMs are widely available throughout the city, making it easy to withdraw cash.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Ottawa?

Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments in Ottawa.

Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?

Yes, ApplePay and Google Pay are accepted in many stores and restaurants in Ottawa.

How much do I tip in Restaurants/bars, Hotels, Taxis, Tour guides, etc.?

Tipping is customary in Ottawa. It is customary to tip around 15-20% of the total bill in restaurants/bars. For hotels, it is common to tip the housekeeping staff a few dollars per day. Taxis and tour guides usually receive a tip of 10-15% of the fare or tour price.

Accommodation in Ottawa

City Information for Ottawa

Founded Population Elevation
1826 1,000,000+ 70 meters (230 feet)

Average temperatures for Ottawa

Season/Month Temperature (Celsius) Temperature (Fahrenheit)
Spring (April - June) 5°C - 20°C 41°F - 68°F
Summer (July - August) 15°C - 27°C 59°F - 81°F
Fall (September - November) 5°C - 18°C 41°F - 64°F
Winter (December - March) -10°C - -2°C 14°F - 28°F
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