Ottawa 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). The 2016 census reported a population of 934,243, making it the fourth-largest city in Canada; and 1,323,783 within the CMA, making it the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. The City of Ottawa reported that the city had an estimated population of 960,754 as of December 2015.
Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as “Ottawa” in 1855, the city has evolved into a political and technological centre of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous minor annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and major amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area. The city name “Ottawa” was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River nearby, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning “to trade”.
The city is the most educated in Canada, and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery. Ottawa also has the highest standard of living in the nation and low unemployment. It ranked 24th out of 150 worldwide in the Numbeo quality of life index 2014–2015, and it contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2016, MoneySense rated Ottawa as the best place to live in Canada.
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