Nicknamed Bytown for its two official languages of English and French as well as Silicon Valley North for technological business successes, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada notorious for its c-c-c-cold winters.
On December 28, 2017 Ottawa’s overnight temperature plunged to a frigid -29 degrees Celsius (-20.2 degrees Fahrenheit) even below the -26 Celsius (-14.8 Fahrenheit) experienced in Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Bator. On average, Ulan Bator (formally called is the world’s coldest national capital.
Happily, Ottawa is also the birthplace for world-famous singer-songwriter Paul Anka (top hits: Diana, Lonely Boy, Puppy Love, Put Your Head On My Shoulder, My Way). Its north-central border is located at the confluence of three historically important waterways namely the Ottawa River, Gatineau River and Rideau River.
Tourism brochures often note that Ottawa is home to the world’s largest outdoor ice rink during winter after the Rideau Canal freezes over.
In 2017, Ottawa was evaluated as being the world’s 14th safest national capital per the Numbeo Safety Index. Numbeo compares the psychological perception of each city’s residents on how safe they are from crime.
Canada exported an estimated US$389 billion worth of goods in 2016. Canada’s highest-value exports are cars, petroleum oils, gold, automotive parts and accessories, sawn lumber, petroleum gas, medicines, aircraft including turbojets, aluminum and wheat according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Ottawa, Canada: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Parliament Hill, National Gallery of Canada, Royal Canadian Mint and the National Arts Centre
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Ottawa, Canada
- Justin Trudeau, political leader (born Dec. 25, 1971)
- Paul Anka, singer-songwriter (born Jul. 30, 1941)
- Alanis Morrissette, singer-songwriter & producer (born Jun. 1, 1974)
- Hugh Acheson, celebrity chef (born Nov. 5, 1971)
- Terrence Malick, director, screenwriter & producer (born Nov. 30, 1943)
- Dan Ackroyd, comedian, producer & screenwriter (born Jul. 1, 1952)
- Jonathan Estabrooks, singer, producer & director (born Jul. 15, 1983)
- Kenneth B. Storey, scientist (born Oct. 23, 1949)
- André Durand, painter (born 1947)
- Sarah Fisher, actress & singer (born Jan. 19, 1993)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Ottawa resident: Ottawan
Population: 1,010,000 (Ottawa city)
Density: 5,206 people per square mile (2,010 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,400,000 (National Capital Region)
Density: 577 people per square mile (223 per square kilometer)
Population: 35,362,905 (Canada)
Density: 10 people per square mile (4 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$58.2 billion in 2014 (Ottawa city)
GDP per person: $44,149
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Ottawa: Canadian dollar (loonie)
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on February 14, 2017
CBC News, Iced cap: Ottawa currently coldest capital city in the world. Accessed on December 29, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, North America: Canada. Accessed on February 14, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on February 14, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Numbeo, Crime Index 2017. Accessed on March 10, 2017
Official Government Website, City of Ottawa. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on December 2, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Capital Districts and Territories. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikipedia, Canada. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikipedia, National Capital Region (Canada). Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikipedia, Ottawa. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Ottawa city proper plus immediate surrounding townships contain 194 square miles (502 square kilometers) and served as home to approximately one million Ottawans in 2015.
The National Capital Region is the official federal designation for another triad of geographic entities: Ottawa; the adjacent city of Gatineau located in the province of Québec; and the surrounding urban and rural communities. The term National Capital Region is often used interchangeably to mean the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area, Canada’s Capital Region or simply Ottawa-Gatineau.
The land area for the expansive National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau) measures 2,427 square miles (6,287 square kilometers), with an estimated population of 1.4 million people.
At the country level, Canada’s land area covers 3,511,021 square miles (9,093,507 square kilometers). The national population count was 35.4 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is much higher within the immediate urbanized perimeter for Canada’s capital city with an average 5,200 Ottawans per square mile (2,000 per square kilometer).
Density is lower at an average 577 people per square mile (223 per square kilometer) for Ottawa’s greater metropolitan area.
For Canada overall, population density drops to an average 10 inhabitants per square mile (4 per square kilometer). Canada is among the 15 countries and territories characterized as having the world’s sparsest density, according to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
To commemorate the union of British North American colonies on July 1, 1867, Canadians celebrate Canada Day as a public holiday each July 1.