There has often been some confusion as to what the capital of Canada is. Indeed, if you posted the question to someone with average Geography knowledge, they are likely to mention Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. However, the capital of Canada in Ottawa.
And that makes it even more confusing since Toronto is geographically larger and Montreal is an international city that has rich ties to Europe. And why not the port city, Vancouver, which is strategically located or Quebec City that’s more centrally located? Well, there are so many factors that go into deciding the capital of a city, and Ottawa appears to possess much of these attributes.
Why Did We Arrive At Ottawa?
In order to understand why Ottawa was arrived at as the capital of Canada, it is imperative to dig a little deeper into Canadian history.
First and foremost, you may already understand that the country is relatively new in comparison to other European colonies in the Americas. Canada hosted Vikings way before the British and the French could learn of the existence of this country. This was more than a millennium ago. After the arrival of the Vikings followed Italians, then the French and finally the British. The colonialism of the country began in the 1500s where it was mainly a French protectorate. However, the scramble for Canada began in the 1700s when Great Britain expressed interests in the country.
In 1759, the British conquered the French in what came to be known as the Battle-of-the plains-of-Abraham. This battle took place near Quebec City so for some time, the British used the city for administrative purposes. In 1857, the country’s major cities laid claim to the prestigious title of the capital city. But only one had to be chosen. After considering several aspects, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital city. If you want to go to Canada, please use:
Her decision was inspired by the central location of the city among other contenders – Montreal which was mainly occupied by the French and Toronto [then referred to as York] that was predominantly occupied by the British. The city was also located some distance away from the U.S border, which meant it was safe in the event of invasions from the US.
More About Ottawa
Ottawa is located south of Ottawa River. It borders Gatineau and according to 2016 statistics, the population of the city was 934,243. It is estimated that at least 20 percent of the city’s population comprises of foreign-born Canadians, with the UK taking the lion’s share of this demographics at 8.8 percent, followed by China at 8 percent, Lebanon at 4.8 percent and the remaining 6.1 percent are purely non-Canadian citizens.
Christianity is the most professed faith in Ottawa, with up to 65 percent of the population comprising of Christians.
The city also plays home to some of the most educated Canadians, thanks to the many secondary, post-secondary and research institutions within close radii.
It is also a cultural utopia, hosting notable cultural centers such as the National Gallery and the National Arts-Centre. It is also renowned for its high living standards and low unemployment rate. Ottawa’s GDP currently stands at US$ 58.2 billion while the GDP per capita is US$44,149.
Ottawa is part of the Ottawa City-Council and is headed by a mayor. In terms of elevation, the city rises to 230 ft above sea level.
Last but not least, the city generates much of its revenue from service-based industries which accounts for up to 70 percent of the city’s GDP. Examples of service-based industries include tourism, healthcare, and technology. Manufacturing and construction being the most notable product-based industry.