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Ottawa, Ontario on a cool winter night

The capital of Canada is the country's fourth-largest, and most affordable city. It contains the highest concentration of museums of any region in Canada. It is almost 80% rural, containing 850 parks. It is wonderfully diverse, with roughly 25% of its residents having been born in other countries. It is home to the Rideau Canal, which freezes over to become the world's largest skating rink in winter. It is Ottawa, Ontario, beloved home and workplace of 865,000 people, and favourite weekend or vacation destination of many others. With over 45 major festivals annually, as well as over 300 km of bike trail and 200 km of cross-country ski trail in the region, there is plenty to do in Ottawa, no matter which of the city's zip codes you find yourself in.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on a bright summer day

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Ottawa's workforce is the most well-known for its role in the government, as the city is home to many major Canadian bodies of government, including the Parliament of Canada. However, there is a lesser-known economic power in this city, running neck-and-neck with federal government for its percentage of the city's GDP. Ottawa is not only a political powerhouse, but a global technology center. Per capita, Ottawa ranks first in the country for the number of engineers, scientists, and PhD graduates in the city. 18.9% of the city's gross domestic product comes from high tech industries, including everything from telecommunications to biophotonics. While there are still plenty of other strong industries in the city, this fast-paced and fast-growing field is a great one to dive into, and Ottawa is the best place to do so.

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario is a very popular skating venue in winterOttawa also has a rich and exciting history. Its location relative to the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers makes for an ideal settlement, which was apparently realized by natives in times as early as the end of the last ice age, according to archaeological signs in the area. A steady flow of European explorers, starting in the 1600s, slowly developed the area, though permanent settlement did not occur until 1826, when construction began for the Rideau Canal. Six years later, the Canal was complete, but many of the builders and soldiers who had settled there for its construction decided to remain where they were, joining the region's fast-growing timber trade. December 31, 1857 marked the date when Queen Victoria designated Ottawa as Canada's capital, due to the city's many advantages, including economic potential and militarily defensible position. Over 150 years later, Ottawa continues to boast significant advantages to other Canadian cities, in everything from recreation and entertainment to real estate and economy. If you're in the area, or just looking for a break from the daily grind, come see for yourself what Ottawa, Ontario has in store for you.

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