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".
Bytown is the former name of Ottawa, Canada's capital city. It was founded on September 26, 1826, incorporated as a town on January 1, 1850, and superseded by the incorporation of the City of Ottawa on January 1, 1855. The founding was marked by a sod turning, and a letter from Governor General Dalhousie which authorized Lieutenant Colonel John By to divide up the town into lots (a pattern that mostly exists today). Bytown came about as a result of the construction of the Rideau Canal and grew largely due to the Ottawa River timber trade.
The town took its name from John By who, as a Colonel in the British Engineers, was instrumental in the construction of the canal. The name "Bytown" came about, somewhat as a "jocular reference" during a small dinner party of some officers, and it appears on official correspondence dated 1828.
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.