Found on the south bank of Ottawa River, the capital city is Canada’s fourth largest city with a population of 934,243. Ottawa is the home to government institutions as well as multiple cultural, research, and postsecondary institutions such as the National Gallery and National Arts Centre.
As the second-largest city in the province, Ottawa boasts an ethnically diverse population, including immigrants, visible minorities, aboriginal communities, and whites. Slightly over 69 percent of residents are white, followed by black (6.6 percent). Visible minorities are represented by South Asian, Arab, East Asian, and Latin Americans. About 23.6 percent of residents are immigrants. By place of birth, immigrants mainly come from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The main religious denominations here are Protestant (25 percent) and Catholic (38.5 percent). Other represented and well-established denominations include Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
The main economic sectors in the capital city are the federal government and high technology. It is one of Canada’s technology hubs, with over 70,000 high technology jobs. The rural economy is also well developed, including sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, tourism, mining and forestry, and agriculture. The high tech sector accounts for 18.9 percent of GDP, followed by the federal government with 18.2 percent, and real estate, insurance, and finance with 10.4 percent.
A number of federal government buildings are found in the capital city, among which the Senate of Canada, Bank of Canada, Main Building, and Royal Canadian Mint. The Main Building houses different institutions such as Public Works and Government Services Canada and Statistics Canada.
Cultural Institutions and Landmarks
The capital city is also the home to a number of cultural institutions and landmarks, some of which are the National Gallery of Canada, Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and the Canadian Museum of Nature. The National Gallery of Canada was founded back in 1880 and is North America’s largest art gallery. The museum features several extensive collections, among which prints and drawings, contemporary, and Canadian and indigenous. Established in 1856, the Canadian Museum of Nature is also found here, showcasing collections and permanent exhibitions with a focus on vascular plants, rocks, reptiles, mammals, fishes, birds, and more. The museum is also involved in various scientific projects and activities such as the Scientific Training Program, taxonomic identification, and the National Biodiversity Cryobank of Canada. Other cultural institutions that are worth mentioning are the Canadian War Museum, Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, and Notre Dame Basilica.
Ottawa is also the home to multiple festivals and events that are held annually and throughout the year. Among the many festivals that locals and visitors flock to are Magic of Lights Ottawa, European Union Film Festival, and TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. Festivals come in different varieties, including pop culture, music, food and beverage, film and stage, and cultural festivals. Major food and beverage events in the capital city are the Orléans Craft Beer Festival, Winter Brewfest, and Ottawa Poutine Festival. There are also major cultural events such as the Carnival of Culture, featuring international folk arts and artists from different countries, including Greece, Russia, China, Mexico, and New Zealand. Other major cultural events are the Great India Festival and Capital Ukrainian Festival, featuring a diversity of activities such as film showings, animation, music, and dance.