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Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area. The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of which is derived from the AlgonquinOdawa, meaning "to trade".
The Ottawa River timber trade, was the nineteenth century production of wood products by Canada on areas of the Ottawa River destined for British and American markets. It was the major industry of the historical colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada and it created an entrepreneur known as a lumber baron. The trade in squared timber and later sawed lumber led to population growth and prosperity to communities in the Ottawa Valley, especially the city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The product was chiefly red and white pine. The industry lasted until around 1900 as both markets and supplies decreased. Entrepreneurs in the United States at that time then began to build their operations near the Ottawa River, creating some of the world's largest sawmills at the time. These men, known as lumber barons, with names such as John Rudolphus Booth and Henry Franklin Bronson created mills which contributed to the prosperity and growth of Ottawa. The sawed lumber industry benefited from transportation improvements, first the Rideau Canal linking Ottawa with Kingston, Ontario on Lake Ontario, and much later railways that began to be created between Canadian cities.
Map of Ottawa showing urban areas and names of historic communities.
Completed in 1913, the Connaught Building, was constructed in a Gothic Revival style. In the following decades, buildings built for the government would abandon the style, in favour of formal and functional styles.