What Is The Capital City Of Canada?

Canadian Parliament building along the banks of the Ottawa River.
Canadian Parliament building along the banks of the Ottawa River.

Canada makes up the northern region of North America and spreads out across an area of 3,854,085 square miles. This country borders the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Its southern land border with the US is the longest in the world. The majority of its land is covered with forests, tundra, and mountains. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. 

What Type Of Government Does Canada Have?

The government of Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. This means that the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II of England, is the Head of State. The Governor General of Canada is appointed by the monarch and represents the British monarch within the country. The executive branch of the government is headed by the Prime Minister, who oversees the Cabinet. The legislative branch consists of Parliament, which is divided into the Senate with its 105 members and the lower House of Commons with its 338 members.

What Is The Capital Of Canada, And Where Is It Located?

The capital of Canada is Ottawa in the province of Ontario. This city sits along the south side of the Ottawa River, which is located in the southeastern region of the province. It is situated at the confluence of three rivers, those namely being the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Quebec Rivers. This city covers an area of approximately 1,072 square miles and has a population of 960,754. Ottawa is the fourth most populous city in the country.

History Of The Capital City Of Canada

Because of its location within a fertile river valley, the area surrounding Ottawa has been settled by humans for thousands of years. Its closeness to the convergence of three rivers made it an important player in travel and trade. In 1610, the first European explorer discovered the river valley. This visit launched a trade relationship between Europeans and locals indigenous peoples, missionaries began coming to the area later.

By 1800, the first European settlement, Wrightsville, had been established on the north side of the Ottawa River. This community later initiated a lumber industry that became an important economic activity. With news of the British intent to establish a canal on the south side of the river in 1826, hundreds of settlers were attracted to what is present-day Ottawa. At that time, the city was named Bytown and underwent significant development efforts.

In 1855, Bytown became known as Ottawa and, two years later, Queen Victoria designated the city as the capital of the country because of its strategic location. Development work continued and by 1885, Ottawa was the first city to have all-electric street lights. During the 1950s, redesign efforts created the parkway and several highway systems and decentralized the location of several government buildings. This was followed by a surge in construction that lasted until the 1980s and then a boom in the technology industry. In 2001, the city combined all of the nearby municipalities into one single city.

Present-Day Role Of Ottawa As The Capital Of Canada

Today, Ottawa is home to several governmental organizations. In fact, the federal government is the largest employer in the city. Parliament Hill, the Library of Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Prime Minister’s residence are all located here. This is where public officials meet to discuss and decide on the future of the country.


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