At Global Alliance, we take the “Worldwide” in our company name very seriously. We pride ourselves in offering premium limousine services to our clientele not only in our home base of Toronto but around the globe. Through our sophisticated network of trusted worldwide affiliates, Global Alliance can provide professional chauffeured services in hundreds of international cities. We will discuss many of the major worldwide destinations served via our affiliate network on this blog. Today, we examine Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.
The current metropolitan area of Ottawa-Gatineau, the fourth-largest urban region in Canada, has been inhabited by European-descended settlers since 1800, but Ottawa proper dates to the 1820s, when the settlement of Bytown began to grow up around the planned northern terminus of the Rideau Canal. Renamed after the river whose banks it flanks and incorporated as a city in 1855, Ottawa was selected as the new capital of the Province of Canada in 1857, and would become the national capital upon Confederation a decade later. Chosen for its defensible inland position and location halfway between the territory’s largest cities of Toronto and Montreal, Ottawa began to grow gradually into the centre of national institutions and home of federal government agencies and head offices that it is today.
Most notable among those institutions are the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill, whose Gothic Revival-style Centre Block spreads out around the lofty Peace Tower and includes the House of Commons, the Senate, offices for the Prime Minister of Canada, the cabinet and members of Parliament, as well as the impressive Library of Parliament (the oldest part of the building and the only portion of Centre Block to survive a devastating 1916 fire). Parliament Hill is a popular location for visitors and is also used on many occasions for public gatherings and events, particular on July 1st for Canada Day.
Many other government offices, official residences, and foreign embassies are spead throughout the Ottawa area and into Gatineau, the city on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. These include Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor-General of Canada, who is the official representative of the British Crown in Canada; 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence; and Stornoway, official residence of the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons.
Many national museums are located in Ottawa, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization). The National Arts Centre is a major performing arts venue in the city with a particular focus on theatrical productions.
In addition to the national cultural institutions, Ottawa has a rich local cultural, culinary, and mercantile scene centred on the ByWard Market district downhill from Parliament Hill. Pedestrianized Sparks Street in downtown also features many restaurants, bars, and shops. And the historic Rideau Canal, which gave Ottawa a raison d’être in the first place and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, continues to be a focal point of city activity. Boat tours travel along the canal in summertime, and it is frozen over in winter for skating and other winter sports, especially during the Winterlude festival, for which the canal’s icy surface is a central venue.
Whether you’re visiting on official business, on a historical and cultural pilgrimage, or in search of wintertime enjoyment, Ottawa is one of Canada’s top destinations. Please contact Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services for all of your transportation needs in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.