Did you know? Fun facts about Ottawa
- Ottawa Race Weekend is the largest multi-distance running event in Canada (attracting more than 43,000 runners in 2013). It will celebrate its 40th anniversary May 24-25, 2014.
- The Rideau Canal Skateway is the world’s largest skating rink (twisting 7.8km / 4.8 miles through downtown Ottawa), but you can also practise your technique on the Rink of Dreams outside Ottawa City Hall. Built with the assistance of the Sens Foundation (the charity arm of the Ottawa Senators National Hockey League club), the refrigerated surface offers free skating from roughly mid-November to mid-March.
- Ottawa is almost 90% rural in area. In fact, our farming revenues are higher than those of Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary combined, and thousands of Ottawa jobs are associated with agriculture. Ottawa’s countryside is filled with rich farmland where you’ll find dairy farms; fruits and vegetables; beef, lamb, pork, chicken and game meats; honey; maple syrup and more. Click here to see how the city's farmers and chefs are working together to highlight local products.
- Aside from Montréal, Ottawa has the highest number of bilingual residents in Canada. Because of our location on the Québec / Ontario border, you’ll hear both English and French on our streets. On top of that, over a quarter of Ottawa’s population speaks a language other than French or English.
- In 2013, The Martin Prosperity Institute – the world’s leading think-tank on global economic prosperity – ranked Ottawa-Gatineau #1 among global cities in the creative economy measuring talent, technology, tolerance and quality of place.
- Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as Canada’s capital city over Toronto, Kingston, Montréal and Québec City. Back in 1857, Ottawa got the nod because of its location—not immediately adjacent to the U.S. border and therefore more easily defended from possible American attack—as well as its bilingual nature. Our waterways also proved to be great transporters to and from other major cities, making Ottawa the obvious choice for capital.
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