Ottawa, Canada History and Economy

By | January 16, 2022

Canada. It is the second largest country in the world and occupies about half the territory of North America. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the east, to the Pacific Ocean to the west, and north to the Arctic Ocean, sharing a border with the United States to the south and northwest. The Canadian federation consists of ten provinces and 3 territories, and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. (Elizabeth II of Canada for Canadians) as head of state. It is a bilingual nation with English and French as official languages at the federal level


The region that the city of Ottawa occupies was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans long before the arrival of the first European explorers. These natives called the Ottawa River “Kichesippi” (Great River) and called themselves “Kichesippirini” (People of the Great River). However, the French fur traders called the region “Ottawa” in reference to the Ottawa tribe that inhabited the place for a few years.

It was in 1613, when the Frenchman Samuel de Champlain passed through the region that from then on, hunters and fur traders would use the Ottawa River as a route to the Canadian west.

Already in 1759, in order to reach New France, colonists from the United States began to occupy those lands that had come under British control.

In 1800 Philemon Wright, a Massachusetts farmer who began cultivating an area north of the Ottawa River founded a community devoted to agriculture and the lumber trade, which he called Wright’s Village which later took the name of Hull and today in dia is part of the city of Gatineau. Due to the commercial success achieved, other settlers began to settle the region.

In 1811 Ira Honeywell settled in the area, in fact becoming the first person of European origin to colonize the southern bank of the Ottawa River.

Construction of the canal was led by Lieutenant Colonel John By and took place between 1826 and 1832. Due to his meritorious work, this colonel is considered the first builder and planner of what later became the capital of Canada. At first, these areas were used for the construction of fortifications, but later they became the Parliament Buildings of Canada.

According to, the settlement built to house the workers was completed in 1832 and was named Bytown in honor of Colonel John By and by then had a population of approximately 1,900.

With the canal completed, the following years saw Bytown town grow and prosper, in large part thanks to the burgeoning lumber industry. In 1850 the great and prosperous community was elevated to the status of a city that had more than ten thousand residents by then, but its name stopped being Bytown and it was definitively changed to the City of Ottawa.

In the year 1857 the Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital of the country among several candidate cities for three reasons. The first was its geographic location relatively far from the United States, which made it safer than other cities. Second, the location exactly between Upper and Lower Canada would reduce cultural tensions between Canadians of French origin and those of English origin and the third reason was the beauty of the region where Ottawa was located, which has an extraordinary charm.

In 1900 a large part of the city was destroyed by fire but by 1912 it was practically rebuilt and had reached 90,000 residents.

From 1945 to date the city has been remodeled several times to become the beautiful and modern city that it is today.


Ottawa is a city with a great technological development, which is why it is called “the national capital of high technology”, where the headquarters of more than 800 companies are located, the vast majority of which are specialized in advanced research, especially in the environmental technology, the creation and development of software, space research and telecommunications, however the public sector is the one that employs the most people in the city, only about 72 thousand work for the national government, and another 12 thousand in the municipal public sector, and according to economic studies, 20% of all Ottawa jobs are directly related to this sector.

The health sector also has a great weight in the city since it employs 18 thousand people. The tourism is the main source of income of Ottawa, followed by the high – tech industry.

Ottawa, Canada History