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Ottawa, Canada's Capital, sits on the border of the province of Ontario in central Canada. It was made capital of the British colonial Province of Canada in 1857. In the 20th century, a much larger Capital Region was created to serve as a frame for Canada's Capital. Since 1969, Ottawa and Gatineau (two cities that face each other across the broad Ottawa River) and the surrounding urban and rural communities have been formally recognized as Canada's "capital area."


    • encompasses 4,715 square kilometers of river valley, mountains, wetlands and fields
    • stretches out on both sides of the Ottawa River to include parts of two Canadian provinces — Quebec (to the north) and Ontario (to the south)
    • lies at 79 metres above sea level
    • enjoys a continental climate (hot in summer, cold and snowy in winter)
    • contains two major cities — Ottawa and Gatineau — as well as numerous small towns
    • has a population of 1.081 million (2000)
    • is one of Canada's greatest bilingual communities, with nearly half a million people speaking both English and French

The Ottawa Valley was covered by the Champlain Sea for thousands of years after the retreat of the last glaciers (12,800 years ago). The water slowly drained away and the land emerged (10,000 years ago). Human history began here much later (6,000 years ago), when hunting parties of nomadic Aboriginal peoples first penetrated the lower reaches of the Ottawa River and camped on the sloping riverbank where the city of Gatineau (Hull section) now stands.

Exploration and Settlement
The first European settlers came up the Ottawa River in the early 17th century, searching for trade and new territory to conquer. After them came the fur-traders, who for more than two centuries paddled their canoes upriver in an annual westward parade in search of rich beaver pelts. In 1800, the first settlers arrived and founded Gatineau on the north shore, followed in 1826 by engineers who came to build the Rideau Canal and founded Ottawa (originally called Bytown) on the south.

Over time, the settlers forged farms out of the forest. The engineers hammered towns and cities out of wood and stone. The industrialists erected mills at rapids and waterfalls, and Ottawa and the former city of Hull became bustling industrial towns. In time also, the politicians arrived and, in 1857, the little lumber town on the south shore of the Ottawa River was named capital of the British colonial Province of Canada.

A Wilderness Capital
It was an unexpected choice and one that overlooked the claims of older and larger communities such as Québec, Montréal, Kingston and Toronto. However, Ottawa had other advantages. It lay on the border of Canada East (Quebec) and the much younger Canada West (now Ontario), with no strong historic ties to either. It lay a safe distance from the sometimes hostile American border. And it enjoyed a site of real natural beauty on the steep banks of the Ottawa River.

A New Capital, a New Nation
Ottawa in 1857 was a plain little industrial town in the middle of nowhere. The transformation started in 1859, when work began on a series of grand new Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. The legislature of the Province of Canada sat for the first and last time in these new buildings in 1866. The very next year, Canada was created as a new independent nation, and the first government of the Dominion of Canada assembled in Ottawa.

The soundtrack to Ottawa's thriving metropolitan scene is being re-written at SOCIAL. DJs morph Chef Stephen Mitton's bustling, progressive bistro dining crowd into one of Ottawa's most exciting, vibrant and innovative club environnements. The extensive cocktail list features tantalizing beverages for all tastes. For business or pleasure, SOCIAL'S distinctive architecture and interior decor make everything from large business functions to intimate gatherings a possibility.


Experience and enjoy the ambience, atmosphere and artistry that is "The Met", a perfect fusion of restaurant and bar. From bustling business power lunches to cooling after 5 cocktails, also featuring an array of tasteful dinner specials nightly and now in its 5th year. Sip a martini on our courtyard bar or dine under the stars in the European style patio complete with flowing feature fountains. There is always something for everyone's taste and flavour.


Situated in an 18th century Heritage building in the Byward Market, Restaurant e18hteen has established itself as one of Canada’s premier restaurants. Classy, funky and trendy – Eighteen showcases fantastic food, wine and service in a relaxed, fashionable environment.



In Ottawa's premiere location the Byward Market, Step into the flavour of New York and savour the tastes offered in the chic atmosphere of this Bistro Style Steakhouse. Our patrons can order Bistro favourites such as Steak Frites, Mariposa Chicken or a fresh selection from our Cold Bar. Savour these tastes during lunch, dinner and late night. Renowned Chef Derek Benitz hosts an unprecedented understanding of culinary history, and technique. With this, Chef Benitz has created a classic menu with modern twists.



Biagio’s starts with the finest and freshest natural ingredients, and cooks them with love and devotion. Our menu was created to provide an ‘al momento’ cooking philosophy which means each pasta, pizza and entrée is prepared individually to order. We take pride in our homemade pasta, hand rolled pizzas and fresh selection of grilled meats and fish. Located in the west end of Ottawa, we offer ample free parking and room for parties of 1 to 100. We look forward to serving you soon!