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Ottawa

The Canadian capital Ottawa is in the province of Ontario and has a population of 1.2 million spread out over an area of 5,716 square kilometres. The city gained its reputation historically as an important trade centre and is now a focal point for technology and politics. Ottawa has been ranked by Mercer as having the second-highest quality of living in North America, following only Vancouver. It is Canada's second-cleanest city and globally the third-cleanest, according to Mercer's Eco-City Ranking.

Ottawa Real Estate

In 2013 the median listing price for Ottawa homes was C$359,082, up 2.5 per cent from 2012. Houses sold in Ottawa through the provincial MLS® system dropped 3.2 per cent from the previous year. The total average sale price rose 0.9 per cent in 2013, while the price of only residential-class homes rose 3 per cent.

Architecture

Ottawa's political role as Canada's governmental center has shaped much of the architecture to represent the federal role of the capital city. Government and civil buildings alike can also take on Romantic or Picturesque styles of architecture, notably the Gothic Revival-style Parliament building.

Climate

Residents of Ottawa enjoy all four seasons in a humid continental climate. Temperatures range from the mid-twenties in July to an average minimum of negative fourteen degrees in January. The city has highly variable spring and autumn months with temperatures often fluctuating between extremes. Ottawa receives approximately 940 millimetres of precipitation each year and about 224 millimetres of snowfall.

Demographics

Ottawa has a population of 1,236,324 and a population density of 196.6 people per square kilometre. The median age is 36.7. 37 per cent of the population speaks both English and French, and bilingualism has remained official government policy since 2002. The population of Ottawa is 74.2 per cent White, 23.7 per cent Visible Minority, and 2.1 per cent Aboriginal.

Main Attractions

As the capital city, Ottawa is home to many significant Canadian government buildings such as the Parliament of Canada. It is home to an eclectic combination of outdoor entertainment venues such as the popular ByWard market and Canadian Tulip Festival. Art fans enjoy the National Gallery of Canada alongside the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The province is home to several popular outdoor destinations, including the Winterlude festival and Gatineau Park.

Transportation

OC Transpo runs Ottawa's various public transit services. It includes a high-speed bus transitway running east-west through the city as well as regular, express, rural, and rural-express bus routes. The light rail O-Train runs 8 kilometres north to south and pairs up with other transit options to provide discounted or free rides for those using other modes of transit such as public buses or special passes.

Economy

Ottawa has a 2.7 per cent GDP growth rate, surpassing the Canadian 2.4 per cent growth rate. It has a high standard of living and its primary employers are the Canadian federal government and the technology field. Its high-tech focus has earned Ottawa the name “Silicon Valley North” with innovations in software development, telecommunications, and environmental technology. The city also places an emphasis on life sciences with the health sector employing over 18,000 people.