Ottawa, Ontario is the capital city of Canada located across the Ottawa River from the city of Gatineau, Quebec. It is home to the Canadian Legislature buildings and its population is about 800,000 people, although it is often combined with Gatineau as a combined metropolitan area. Ottawa houses many embassies and consulates and is a very international city.
Ottawa is home to the National Hockey League team, the Ottawa Senators, who have recently become one of the better teams in Canada. The city's pleasant climate in summer allows for the popularity of many outdoor sports, such as running along the river valleys, soccer, football and baseball. In the winter, the Rideau canal becomes a large outdoor skating rink.
The city has many Universities and colleges and has a highly educated population. The University of Ottawa is a research-intensive University and Carleton University enjoys a very high status as one of the preliminary schools in Canada, especially in the fields of public service.
Ottawa is home to many great landmarks, including the Canadian Parliament buildings and the National Gallery of Canada, which houses the most notable Canadian art works and some European and American pieces. The building itself is located on Sussex Drive, close to the parliament buildings, and is worth seeing in its own right.
The Parliament buildings are located on Parliament Hill and are spectacular examples of Gothic revival architecture. The buildings are utilized for government proceedings, but are also open to the public and are understandably one of the most significant tourist attractions in Canada.
Ottawa boasts many unique restaurants, with many international cuisines. The Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro highlights the culinary influences of the Canadian aboriginal people in a fine dining atmosphere. For more traditional steak and seafood, Eighteen restaurant is elegant and serves high quality meals.
Ottawa has many pubs, but for a great low-key atmosphere, head to the Clocktower Brew Pub, which has a fantastic summer patio and excellent beer. Live music and fun are on the menu at Zaphod Beeblebrox, a nightclub with a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme. The energy of the night depends on the band playing, so be sure to bring a sense of adventure and a towel!