Ottawa’s history is littered with defining events that brought exponential attention at times and have, very rarely, been on the decline. It did not have a linear course of maturity or development, but has, over time, taken an enviable place in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.
A long time rural, the first European to touch the ground is attributed to the French Étienne Brulé in 1610. However, it was not until 1809 that the first settlers settled on the site and development took place more actively in 1826 when it was decided to create an alternative navigable access route to the St. Lawrence River. The construction of the Rideau Canal attracted new residents. John By settled in and took control of the development of the neighborhood as well as the canal. So much so that the market took his name as well as the name of the Bytown village.
It was not until 1855 that the name changed to Ottawa and two years later, Queen Victoria surprised many by confirming the choice of Ottawa as the capital of United Canada. After several years of indecision about the ideal location of the decision-making center of the country, it was asked that the decision come from the queen. This choice is no coincidence. Ottawa was already accessible by river and is halfway to major centers. The railway system was also active in the area. Although Ottawa is located in the province of Ontario, it is one bridge away from Gatineau, Quebec. The capital is therefore bilingual, French and English. This decision disappointed many.
The development of the country with the integration of new provinces and territories did not impact the location of the national capital.
Today, Ottawa has not only public buildings but also beautiful museums, inviting annual activities and markets. Over time, Ottawa, the city, the capital, has become more beautiful.
Take advantage of your visit to see:
- Rideau Canal
- Parliament Hill
- By Ward Market
- Bytown Museum
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum
- Canadian Museum of History
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- Diefenbunker Museum
- Canadian War Museum
- Bank of Canada Museum
- Canada Science and Technology Museum
- Rideau Hall
- Chateau Laurier
- Tulip Festival (in May)
Evolution of Ottawa over time:
- 1610 – Étienne Brulé sets foot
- 1613 – Samuel de Champlain passes through the region
- 1809 – first settlers
- 1832 – Rideau Canal is completed
- 1838 – Rideau Hall is built
- 1841 – Upper Canada, now Ontario, and Lower Canada, now Quebec, become United Canada
- 1849 – First town hall is built
- 1850 – The timber industry grows
- 1851 – The rail system takes off
- 1854 – Montreal and Toronto are connected by train
- 1855 – Bytown becomes Ottawa
- 1857 – Queen Victoria approves Ottawa as the capital of United Canada
- 1860 – Beginning of the construction of the parliament – The first stone is laid
- 1866–68 – Construction of 24 Sussex Drive and the future official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada
- 1867 – United Canada becomes a country, Canada and Ottawa retains the title of capital
- 1871 – Stadacona Hall is built
- 1874 – Major’s Hill Park is the first municipal park.
- 1876 – Running water is available in the city
- 1878 – Laurier House is built
- 1912 – Opening of the Château Laurier and the Canadian Museum of Nature
- 1916 – The Connaught Building is completed
- 1916 – Great fire of the parliament
- 1920 – the reconstruction of the parliament is completed
- 1966 – Centennial Flame
- 1988 – opening of the Fine Arts Museum
If you take the time to visit the museums, your stay can easily extend to a few days.