Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It was founded in 1826 as Bytown, a rugged frontier timber-trade settlement on the south bank of the Ottawa River.


A capital place

Since those modest days, Ottawa has evolved into a diverse and livable city of some 1.2 million residents. The city shares the National Capital Region with its sister city: Gatineau, Quebec.

Ottawa’s national institutions and locales such as the historic Rideau Canal, National Art Gallery, By Ward Market and of course the Parliament Buildings make it a popular destination for visitors from throughout Canada and around the world.

Explore the rich history of Canada’s capital city through the eyes of some of our country’s most respected chroniclers and critics.


Here are additional resources to learn more about Ottawa.

Bond, Courtney C. J. (1984), Where Rivers Meet: An Illustrated History of Ottawa, Windsor Publications, ISBN 0-89781-111-9

Brault, Lucien (1946), Ottawa Old and New, Ottawa historical information Institute, OCLC 2947504

Martin, Carol (1997), Ottawa: a colourguide, Formac Publishing Company, ISBN 978-0-88780-396-3

Conroy, Peter (2002), Our Canal: the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, General Store Pub. House, ISBN 1-894263-63-4

Finnigan, Joan (1981). Giants of Canada’s Ottawa Valley. GeneralStore PublishingHouse. ISBN 978-0-919431-00-3.

Greening, W. e. (1961), The Ottawa, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, OCLC 25441343

Haig, Robert (1975), Ottawa: City of the Big Ears, Ottawa: Haig and Haig Publishing Co.

Hessel, Peter D. K. (1987), The Algonkin Tribe, Arnprior, Ontario: Kichesippi Books, ISBN 0-921082-01-0

Hill, Hamnett P. (1919), Robert Randall and the Le Breton Flats, Ottawa: James Hope and Sons, OCLC 7654867

Keshen, Jeff; St-Onge, Nicole (2001), Ottawa: Making a Capital, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, ISBN 0-7766-0521-6

Lee, David (2006), Lumber kings & shantymen : logging and lumbering in the Ottawa Valley, James Lorimer & Company, ISBN 978-1-55028-922-0

Legget, Robert (1986), Rideau Waterway, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-6591-0

MacKay, Robert W. S. (1851), The Canada Directory, Montreal: John Lovell

Mika, Nick & Helma (1982), Bytown: The Early Days of Ottawa, Belleville, Ont: Mika Publishing Company, ISBN 0-919303-60-9

Mullington, Dave (2005), Chain of office: biographical sketches of the early mayors of Ottawa (1847–1948), General Store Publishing House, ISBN 978-1-897113-17-2, retrieved 27 May 2011

Pentland, H. Clare (1981), Labour and capital in Canada, 1650–1860, James Lorimer & Company, ISBN 978-0-88862-378-2, retrieved 27 May 2011

Scott, R. w. (1911), Recollections of Bytown, Ottawa: Mortimer Press

Taylor, John H. (1986), Ottawa: An Illustrated History, J. Lorimer, ISBN 978-0-88862-981-4

Van de Wetering, Marion (1997), An Ottawa album: glimpses of the way we were, Dundurn Press Ltd., ISBN 978-0-88882-195-9

Woods, Shirley E. Jr. (1980), Ottawa: The Capital of Canada, Toronto: Doubleday Canada, ISBN 0-385-14722-8

Wikipedia, History of Ottawa