Ottawa - Page 2
Ontario, Canada
November 1999

R.C.M.P. Musical Ride, Major's Hill Park (postcard).

In 1958 the Government established a "greenbelt" around Ottawa to avoid uncontrolled urban sprawl as well as provide future parks and public open space. The Greenbelt, which Gréber called "the Capital's emerald necklace", forms a semi-circular belt of about 17,600 hectares running in a continuous 44.8 kilometres arc on the outer edge of the urban area. Presently, some of the land is leased, some is in public use, some is used for research and development activities, and large tracts have been set aside for the conservation of the water table and the preservation of animal and plant life

Radienxe and Qzedell monkeying around inside the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum.

The 1980s saw the Capital assume its role as the cultural showcase for the nation. New festivals such as Winterlude, the Canadian Tulip Festival and the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival were launched; the National Arts Centre Orchestra developed into one of the world's pre-eminent orchestras; and new museums and galleries rose throughout the city. Two new buildings, in particular, captured people's imaginations. The National Gallery of Canada, inaugurated in 1988, now houses the most comprehensive collection in the world of Canadian art as well as masterpieces from Europe, Asia and the Americas. The Canadian Museum of Civilization, opened the following year, traces Canada's intriguing history from prehistoric times to the present. Visitors come face-to-face with longhouses and totem poles, life-size reconstructions of historic Canadian scenes and larger-than-life movies in the museum's OMNIMAX and IMAX theatre.

From atop the parliament building's "Peace Tower". Other federal offices can be seen including the Canada's Supreme Court in the foreground.

As protectors of the Dutch Royal Family during World War II, Ottawa holds a special place in the hearts of the Dutch nation. Acknowledging the warmth and welcome received in Canada during the war, the Dutch Royal Family has made an annual gift to Ottawa of thousands of tulips. In the spring, city streets are lined with beds of tulips which number in the millions. Thereare so many things, ranging from a stable work force to clean air and plenty of green space, to a multicultural population that make the NRC so special and unique. As the nation's capital, Ottawa is the seat of federal government which is one of the largest employers in the region accounting for approximately 20 per cent of the total workforce.

front courtyard of Canada's national parliament

High technology is an important player in the employment picture, with over 650 such firms issuing pay cheques to more than 36,000 employees. Other major employers include the hospitality industry, with more than 27,000 jobs, and the health/life sciences field (including hospitals, government laboratories, universities and the private sector), with over 18,000 jobs. There are more than 75 life sciences companies in Ottawa-Carleton employing over 1,500 people with sales in excess of $360 million per year. Such a healthy work force accounts for one of the highest disposable incomes in the country. This, along with reasonable housing prices, clean air and low crime rates make it easy to understand the attraction of Metro Ottawa and the Outaouais.

the backside of the parliamentary grounds overlooking a cliff and a river

In winter, Canada's Capital Region plays host to one of the nation's largest and most famous festivals, Winterlude. Staged over three consecutive weekends in February, it consists of more than 120 fun-filled in-and-outdoor activities which, after close to 20 years, attract over 1.2 million visitors. Events include musical shows, professional figure skating, snow sculpting and ice carving competitions, the world's largest skate-a-thon, and a bed race that draws crowdsfrom miles around. In Hull, Jacques Cartier Park is transformed into a winter wonderland, the world's largest children's snow playground. The Rideau Canal, which bisects the downtown and stretches 7.8 km from downtown Ottawa to Dow's Lake, celebrated, in 1995, 25 years as the world's longest open-air skating rink. This skater's paradise is "the" place to be during Winterlude.

The text materials above were excerpts from the Canada's National Capital Commission's "A Capital in the Making" and from