69 Fun Facts About Ottawa Canada That You Can’t Miss

  • Date: 26/04/2024
  • Time to read: 9 min.
Fun Facts About Ottawa

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is really a beautiful city located in Eastern Ontario, on the south bank of the Ottawa River. The city is home to over 1 million people and is the 4th most populous city in Canada. It is quite popular for its culturally rich history, museums, and major governmental buildings.

Some Fun Facts About Ottawa

  • Ottawa hosts the largest tulip festival in the world. It’s even bigger than the one that held in Netherlands.
  • Ottawa is the 7th coldest capital city in the world with average temperatures ranging from -10°C (14°F) in January to 25°C (77°F) in July.
  • Ottawa is home to the world’s largest skating rink. The Rideau Canal, which stretches for 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) through the center of downtown Ottawa, transforms into a frozen wonderland in the winter and becomes the largest skating rink.
  • You won’t believe, there was a colony of cats living behind Parliament Hill from 1930 to 2013 to tackle the problem of plague in the city.
  • During World War 2, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave birth to her daughter in Ottawa. For the child to be an heir to the throne, it should be born on Dutch ground. So, the Canadian government declared that the maternity site would be an “extraterritorial” land of the Netherlands. So that the newborn royal baby was completely Dutch and the rightful heir to the throne.

  • Ottawa was originally called Bytown and was named after Colonel John By, the engineer who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal. Bytown was incorporated in 1855 and after that, it was renamed as ‘Ottawa.’
  • Canadian Museum of History is the most visited museum in Canada. It is located on the shores of the Rideau Canal and welcomes over 1.2 million visitors annually.
  • Ottawa is also home to a haunted hostel, The HI Ottawa Jail which was originally a prison, is now a famous haunted hotel in the city.
  • Ottawa is the only city in Canada that has the largest per capita population of scientists, engineers, and PhD holders. It would not be wrong to say that, Ottawa is a hub for innovation and technology in Canada.
  • Ottawa has several statues dedicated to famous personalities in Canadian history.
  • In 1855, Ottawa got its very first electric traffic lights in the city.
  • The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, a grand hotel, located at the top of the city, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Charles Melville Hays, (He was the president of the company that built the hotel.)
  • There are more than 280 stairs from the Ottawa River up to the Parliament Building. Climbing it is like a quick workout! Many citizens use it to avoid gym fees and stay healthy.
  • The name “Ottawa” comes from the Algonquin word “Adawe” which means “to trade”. It refers to the importance of the Ottawa River which was quite a popular route for trade and navigation.
  • Parliament Hill is so popular in the entire world that it attracts more than 3 million visitors annually.
  • It’s officially the fourth largest city in Canada with a population of more than 1 million people.
  • Ottawa is also home to many sports teams in the country like the Blackjacks, Ottawa Senators, the RedBlacks, and the Ottawa Titans.
  • It’s the most educated city in the entire Canada. About 46% of Ottawa citizens have a College degree.
  • On August 14, 1944, Ottawa witnessed the highest recorded temperature that is 37.8C..
  • On average, Ottawa witnesses 238cm of snow every winter. In 1970 – 1971, Ottawa witnessed the highest amount of snow ever recorded, which was 444.1cm.
  • As per the census of Ottawa, about 50% of its citizens are under the age of 35.

  • Ottawa Blues Fest, Canada Day, Ottawa Tulip Festival, and Winterlude are some of the most popular festivals in Ottawa, and there are 30 more that are celebrated every year in Ottawa.
  • Bytown, Hogtown, Silicon Valley of the North, and The City That Fun Forgot are some common nicknames of Ottawa (secondary names of the city).
  • During the National Census, Ottawa and Gatineau two famous cities, are counted as one single city.  
  • Ottawa is known as the “Silicon Valley of the North” because it is a hub of start-up and technology businesses.
  • Queen Victoria of Britain was the one who chose Ottawa to be the capital of Canada in 1857
  • The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Ottawa, Canada.
  • Ottawa receives about 2,061 hours (average) of bright sunshine every year.
  • More than 25% of the Ottawa Residents were born outside of Canada.
  •  Ottawa, The Capital city of Canada, attracts more than 10 Million foreign tourists every year.
  • Ottawa is the best city in Canada to live in.

Some Interesting Facts About Ottawa

  • The oldest amateur theatre group in Canada is “The Ottawa Little Theatre” and it was founded back in 1913.
  • The Canadian Museum of History, located in Ottawa, attracts more than 1.3 million visitors annually and holds the title of “most visited museum in Canada“.
  • In Ottawa, the Federal Government is the largest employer which means most of the citizens are working on some government premises.
  • Champlain’s Astrolabe statue is actually upside down (an unfortunate accident by the sculptor) located on Kìwekì Point.
  • Ottawa Citizens are also referred to as Ottawans.
  • On November 11, at 11: 11 am the Sun perfectly aligns with 11th The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located in the Canadian War Museum. This marks Remembrance Day, which is celebrated in the memories of Canadian veterans.
  • The spooky spider statue outside the National Gallery in Ottawa is called “Maman.” It’s one of seven identical statues worldwide. A French artist made it to show a mother spider protecting her eggs. (not based on Indigenous tales of Anansi, the tricky spider, as some people think).
  • During the winter time, Ottawa gets more than 240 outdoor skating rinks throughout the city.
  • Le Cercle Molière is the oldest theatre group in Canada, it is owned and operated by a French-language amateur theatre company in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • The official flag of Ottawa is a white flag with a stylized “O” design in the center.
  • There is a flag on top of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill that is replaced every weekday.
  • There are some special laws in place to ensure the views of Parliament Hill and the Peace Tower are never blocked by any structure. (exceptions are always there)
  • Moneysense ranked Ottawa for the third consecutive year as the best city in Canada to live in.
  • During the summer season, every Sunday morning, Capital area parkways are closed to cars so that people can run, walk, cycle, or skate on the snow.
  • There are more than 7 downhill ski resorts located within driving distance of Ottawa.
  • Ottawa, the capital city of Ottawa, is situated along the southeastern corner of the Ontario province.
  • Ottawa-Gatineau is the 6th populous city in Canada and it is also the second largest city in Ontario province after Toronto.  
  • It is believed that the sizes of San Jose, California, and Ottawa-Gatineau are almost exactly the same.
  • “Advance-Ottawa-En Avant” is the official motto of the city which is made with the combination of both languages French and English.
  • In 2019, Ottawa officially changed its tourism slogan from  “Technically Beautiful” to “Canada in One City”.
  • Ottawa is also known as the twin sister of Beijing, China, and Catania, Italy.
  • There’s a big, horseshoe-shaped Greenbelt around the south side of Ottawa. It covers 20,000 hectares of green space, helping both the environment and the health of people in the city.
  • Ottawa experiences about 10 earthquakes per year which makes it a safe city to live in.
  • Justin Trudeau current prime minister of Canada was born and brought up in Ottawa.
  • When Tom Cruise was in 4th and 5th grade he used to live in Ottawa.
  • On August 29, 1892, the world’s first dinner entirely cooked by electricity was served at the Windsor House Hotel.
  • In 1980, Dr. Harry Jennings developed the world’s first group C meningococcal meningitis vaccine in Ottawa.
  • BitAccess Inc. was the world’s first BTM (Bitcoin ATM) that was invented in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa also has more than 40 Breweries which makes it quite a popular city not only in Canada but also in the world.
  • About 7000 years ago, Indigenous Algonquins moved into the Ottawa Valley to live and thrive.
  • Bytown aka Ottawa was originally founded in 1826, which make it one of the oldest city in the world.
  • In 1854, the railway lines were built from Ottawa to other cities in the south of the Country.
  • In 1870, Ottawa introduced its first public transportation, which consisted of cars pulled by horses.
  • In 1889, Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River was harnessed for the first time to generate electricity.
  • In 1939, King George VI, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth, became the first reigning monarch to visit Canada when they toured Ottawa.
  • On April 17, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II visited Ottawa to formally proclaim the enactment of the Constitution Act. This historic moment marked Canada’s full independence, with its own constitution.
  • In 2001, Ottawa expanded its boundaries to include several rural areas. These areas now contribute a significant $1 billion annually to the city’s economy, making Ottawa the leading city in Canada in terms of economic contribution from its rural areas.
  • Parliament Hill is undergoing a substantial $3 billion renovation, with the project expected to continue until 2028.
  • Ottawa has many military animal monuments that are quite unique to see.
  • In Ottawa, there’s the only Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Canada.

Some Historical Facts About Ottawa

  • “Bytown” was the former name of Ottawa which was named after Lieutenant Colonel John By who engineered the Rideau Canal.
  • Queen Victoria of Britain was the one who renamed Ottawa from Bytown to its current name in 1855.
  • In 1857, Ottawa was declared as the capital of Canada.
  • The Rideau Canal is believed to be the reason why Canada was never invaded by the United States.
  • In 1980, the first BeaverTails hut opened in Ottawa.
  • There is an eternal flame in the center of the Parliament Buildings and it has been burning since 1967, when Canada celebrated its 100th birthday.
  • The Rideau Canal holds the title of the oldest canal system in Canada that is still operational.
  • Spartan apples were originally developed in Ottawa.
  • About 10,000 years ago, it is believed that Ottawa was under the Champlain Sea.
  • Samuel de Champlain, a European became the first one to visit Ottawa in 1608.
  • The construction of the Parliament Buildings from 1859 to 1866 is the largest building project in North America.
  • During a fire in 1900, about 20% of Ottawa was fully destroyed. As per some sources, more than 66% of the city was burnt down.
  • Another fire in 1916, destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament Building completely.
  • February 15, 1965, was the date on which the newly designed Canadian flag was raised for the very first time in Parliament Hill
  • In 1950, the entire city of Ottawa was redesigned according to “Gerber Plan” to feature more green space (garden and reserve area) to make the city look more beautiful.
  • Ottawa has a deep underground Cold War-era bunker. In 1959, John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada commissioned the highly secretive underground bunker. It is located about 30 kilometers from downtown Ottawa (to the west).
  • Till 1970, The Peace Tower was the only structure that held the title of tallest building in Ottawa.
  • Furniture that was specially crafted for the Chateau Laurier(a popular hotel in Ottawa) sank along with the Titanic in 1912.
  • The shape of the Canadian Foreign Affairs building is like a modern sphinx.
  • Ottawa is home to more than 14 museums and has a Roman Catholic minor basilica which makes it an important city.
  • Ottawa was never on the list of cities to be the capital of Canada.

Conclusion: Fun Facts About Ottawa

Looking for a fun and happening city to visit in Canada, then Ottawa is a must-visit place for you.

Being home to some of the amazing historical sites and cultural attractions, the city literally has a ton of activities and events that will make sure you are not getting bored.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and Head out for a trip to Ottawa.

Have a Happy and Safe Journey!

Previous Post

Ultimate Guide to Erieau Ontario: Things To Do, Where To Stay [2024]

Next Post

What is the Main Language in Ottawa, Canada?