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Ottawa (/ˈɒtəwə/ (About this sound listen), /-wɑː/; French pronunciation: ​[ɔtawa]) is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada.

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 Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade".

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View of Parliament Hill and Chaudière Falls. "City of Ottawa, Canada West", ca. 1859, by Stent and Laver..jpg
The History of Ottawa, capital of Canada, was shaped by events such as the construction of the Rideau Canal, the lumber industry, the choice of Ottawa as the location of Canada's capital, as well as American and European influences and interactions. By 1914, Ottawa's population had surpassed 100,000 and today it is the capital of a G7 country whose metropolitan population exceeds one million.

From earliest times, Algonquin people have portaged through the waterways of both the Ottawa River and the Rideau River while passing through the area. French explorer Étienne Brûlé was credited as the first European to see the Chaudière Falls in 1610, and he too had to portage past them to get further inland. No settlement occurred until the early 1800s after early Gatineau was founded near the falls, but across the Ottawa River from Ottawa.

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Ottawa from McKenzie King Bridge.jpg
Downtown Ottawa (French: Centre-Ville) is the central area of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Like other downtowns it is the commercial and economic centre of the city. It is sometimes referred to as the Central Business District and contains Ottawa's financial district. It is bordered by the Ottawa River to the north, the Rideau Canal to the east, Gloucester Street to the south and Bronson Avenue to the west. This area and the residential neighbourhood to the south are also known locally as 'Centretown'.
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Scott and Gerschwiler.jpg
Barbara-Ann Scott, OC, O.Ont (born May 9, 1928 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian retired figure skater. She is the 1948 Olympic Champion. Barbara began skating at a very young age with the Minto Skating Club of Ottawa. She was only eleven years old when she won her first Canadian national junior title. Two years later, in 1942, the thirteen-year-old became the first female to ever land a double lutz in competition.

During her 40s she was rated among the top equestrians in North American. She remained active in skating by volunteering her time as a figure skating judge. She has been awarded with many honours and accolades, including being made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991 and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2009 for her contributions to sports and for charitable works.

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Ottawa skyline.jpg
The Ottawa-Gatineau skyline with Autoroute 50 in the foreground.

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