After the limited mobility we experienced this past year, a lot of people are itching to travel again. As such, the progress in vaccination efforts and re-opening of our borders are definitely welcome news. While waiting for the go signal for everyone to travel we can brush up on some facts about your favorite travel destinations. Lets start up north with Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Here are a few fun facts about Ottawa that may come handy during your travel.
Ottawa is Queen Victoria’s Choice. It’s the Queen’s pick for Canada’s capital city in 1857. Canadian leaders back then wanted Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, or Kingston named as capital city but they couldn’t agree on which one. They asked Queen Victoria to intercede and she chose Ottawa, a small lumbering town in southeastern Ontario. Can you guess why? Well the nobles and leaders didn’t understand the Queen’s pick back then but it was actually Ottawa’s location that was key to her decision. They were at war with the Americans during that time and Ottawa’s isolation made it easier to defend the capital. The original inhabitants of this city, the native Americans of First Nation, were also allies during the war. Another merit of Ottawa is that it shares a border with French speaking Quebec and English speaking Ontario. Thus making it one of the most bi-lingual cities in the country.
Ottawa has a UNESCO World Heritage Site that transforms into a skateway during winter. The Rideau Canal is a 202 km canal system built by Lt. Col. John By of the Royal Engineers. It was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2007 due to its unique design and historical significance. During winter this canal freezes and transforms into a recreational area, the Rideau Canal Skateway. Switching from a waterway to the world’s longest skating rink as the season changes.
You can find mystical beasts in Ottawa. Where? In the Library of the Parliament at the Centre Block on Parliament Hill. They are not the living-breathing kind of mystical beasts though, these mystical beings are carved in the original structure of the library. Nevertheless, these carvings are still as interesting as the mythical ones in our imagination. You don’t have to be an art or history fan to appreciate the intricate carvings of flowers and mystical beasts on white pine, cherry, oak, and walnut dating back to 1876. The library was the only part of the Parliament building which was not destroyed by the fire in 1960. This is why these structures are to be treasured.
The site of Parliament Hill used to be a military barracks. During the war of 1812 Col. John By chose this site to set up his military barracks. It was during this time that he was working on the Rideau Canal. He was also responsible for laying out the streets and forming two distinct neighborhoods in the area. It was then known as Bytown and was later renamed as Ottawa in 1855. Today it boasts of lovely neighborhoods with a mix of modern and traditional architecture. Anyone who wishes to live here can easily find Ottawa homes for sale to accommodate their needs and lifestyle.
Ottawa is home to Tom Cruise when he was a youngster. Speaking of homes, did you know that Tom Cruise was a resident of Ottawa? He went to Robert Hopkins Public School in Ottawa during his school age years. But Cruise isn’t the only celebrity who lived in Ottawa. There is a long list of celebrities who were born or raised in this city. Some of the names that come to mind are Thomas Cavanagh, Alanis Morisette, Dan Aykroyd,and Paul Anka.
Canada’s capital city may have started small but it has definitely grown in a lot of ways. It is now one of the most developed and most educated cities in the world. There is still a lot that you still ought to know about Ottawa, and one of the best ways to discover it is by going there.