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9 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Ottawa

We all know some basic facts about Ottawa. It's cold. It feels really small even though it's a decently sized city. The only interesting activity here happens downtown.

Okay, no, I mean serious facts. It's home to the longest skating rink in the world. It's the political headquarter of the country. We have a bakery that sells "Obama cookies".

Whether you're a history expert or just someone who likes knowing extra facts to impress people at parties, here are 9 facts about Ottawa you probably didn't know. 


1. The Canadian Museum of History is the most visited museum in all of Canada.


Yes, people do visit this place for reasons other than Prom night. The Museum attracts over 1.2 million visitors a year.

2. It's actually the seventh coldest capital city in the world.


Even though it may feel like the first on the list, people who live in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Estonia probably feel different.

3. The statue of Samuel De Champlain at Nepean Point is actually holding his Astrolabe upside down.


The Astrolabe isa navigational instrument that Samuel De Champlain is supposed to be holding, outstretched before him. Unfortunately the sculptor of this statue had no idea what it was - so poor Samuel is holding his upside down. Oops.

4. Not all of the tulips for the Tulip Festival come from the Netherlands.


While 20,000 tulips continue to come from the Dutch Royal Family and Dutch Bulb Growers Association, the Tulip Festival actually hosts a total of around 3 million tulips a year. The rest of these are purchased from various Dutch and Canadian distributors.

5. Rockliffe Park is home to a home made out of copper and glass.


Belonging to British entrepreneur Michael Cowpland, this unique $14-million home is a common spot for dream house hunting.

6. Parliament Hill was home to an actual colony of cats. Seriously.


While the colony officially closed in 2013, an entire colony and structure had been built for over 30 cats who lived behind the Hill as early as the 1930s. They were originally brought in as a natural solution to deal with a "mild plague of rats and mice in the basement of the then brand-new Centre Block", but ended up staying for years - with designated cleaners and guards to bring them food and care for them.

7. Ottawa has more scientists, engineers, and PhD's per capita out of every city in Canada.


I'm pretty proud of this one. We also have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

8. In addition to being the world's longest skating rink, the Rideau Canal is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Declared in 2007.

9. Originally, the city wasn't even named Ottawa.

Named after Lieutenant Colonel John By, the engineer of the Rideau Canal, Ottawa was called Bytown until it was renamed by Queen Victoria in 1855, and then declared capital city of Canada in 1857.

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