Travel to the country of maple leaves. Ottawa
Ottawa is a special city. It lies on two borders: it is only two hours to the US border, the second border passes through the city and divides the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
The city became a compromise in choosing the capital of the state – the wise Queen Victoria personally appointed Ottawa as the main city of young Canada in order to stop all sorts of discontent from the French and English sides. Toronto and Montreal equally claimed the title of capital, and both cities were left with nothing. There are legends of how long and leisurely the Queen chose the capital, and her elegant hat pin, randomly stuck in a map, decided the fate of the city. But I do not really believe in such a thing – Victoria was too smart a woman to entrust the solution of such an important issue to a pin …
Canadians pronounce the name of the capital with an emphasis on the first “O” and really do not like it when the name is pronounced incorrectly. The name of the Canadian capital sounds like a secret password that allows you to distinguish between “your” and “alien”. Therefore, do not forget and call it what is customary in Canada – Ottawa.
The name “Ottawa” is translated from the Native American as “Meeting Place”, the Algonquin Indians inhabiting these lands were also called. Once, before white people conquered Canada, the place was used for trade meetings and Algonkin transactions. There was an exchange of goods, production, and, who knows, maybe scalps. The first settlers appreciated the place where the Ottawa and Rideau rivers merge and founded their settlement here.
Residents of the village were laying a canal connecting the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario. The main building of the canal was John Bai, his name gave the name to the city of Bytown. The city grew rapidly, expanded and developed, and already in 1854 received its current name – Ottawa.
Geographically, Ottawa is very convenient: to Montreal – 2 hours, to Boston – 6 hours, to New York – 7 hours, to Toronto or Quebec – 4.5 hours, to Niagara – 6 hours, to Washington – 12. That’s it city residents ride long weekends throughout the country, using good roads and short distances.
Ottawa is a bilingual city. The Quebec part speaks French, but it knows English well, respectively, and the second half of the city knows French, even though it speaks English. Children grow up in a bilingual environment at least, and given the fact that there are many immigrants in Canada, little Canadians know several languages almost from birth. Listening to the speech of the indigenous people is a special pleasure. The fact that they jump from language to language completely unnoticed by themselves, mixing phrases into a cocktail that was completely untranslatable to an unusual ear, was very interesting. Even parliamentarians at parliamentary meetings habitually communicate in two languages at once.
Only in Ottawa can you go from almost England to almost France, just by crossing the bridge. And the difference is very noticeable – the architecture, the atmosphere itself is changing. It seems that this does not happen, but it is worth it to be there yourself and you understand that in Canada it also happens!
Ottawa is not at all like a capital. Well, how can there be a capital without huge traffic jams, hurrying passers-by, a bustling and fast-paced rhythm of life, smog hanging over the city and covering the roofs of skyscrapers? It turns out maybe!
To begin with, there are practically no skyscrapers in Ottawa – neat houses surrounded by greenery, gardens, flowers, parks. Squirrels that feel like masters of the city, and therefore not sassy, but very friendly and eagerly posing. Children, nowhere and never in a hurry. Moms with prams. Old and young, playing sports and advocating a healthy lifestyle.
And also air – readable, transparent, tasty. In the center of the capital, it smells not of gasoline and exhaust, but of grass, needles, freshness and flowers. The plants are comfortable here, in Ottawa that just does not grow, however, in a slightly modified form. The birch leaves are rounder and with a smooth edge, the oak has round acorns and the leaves are smoother – either the climate has changed them that way, or on Canadian soil everything looks a little different – I don’t know.
There is no mention of industrial pipes smoking and smoking. But there is a large port and high technologies are developing.
The residents of Ottawa are so unhurried and unhurried that it does not at all connect with the pace of life in the capital – and they live just like that, and that suits everyone.
The city, in addition to the French and English-speaking parts, is divided into the Upper – the bourgeois, almost a symbol of power, and the Lower – the city of artisans and workers.
There are a lot of parks in Ottawa, only those who live in the city on an ongoing basis can get around everything. We were lucky to visit one of them – the park where Rideau Hall is located, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada. It hosts diplomatic meetings, official receptions, and monarchs who come to Canada stop.