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Ottawa Tourism Trivia – Did you know?

The Chaudière Falls were called “asticou” by the Algonquin Indians, who viewed the Falls as a crucial trading point and a sacred ceremonial location. 

A football team called the Ottawa Senators won the Grey Cup in 1925 and 1926. These days “the Senators” are Ottawa’s National Hockey League team. 

One man - an electrical engineer and philanthropist named Thomas Ahearn personally financed the Champlain Bridge, which was built over the Ottawa River in 1928. 

A Victorian-era Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne, founded both the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the National Gallery of Canada. 

In 1829, the first “timber slide” was built to allow huge cribs of timer to bypass the Chaudière Falls. Famous visitors to Ottawa were treated to the sport of “shooting the slides”, including Edward VII, George V and the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. 

Champlain himself named Rideau Falls after he remarked that they made an overhanging curtain or “rideau”. 

The Rideau Canal was begun under the direction of Lt. Col. John By in 1826 and ended in 1832. The total bill was less than four million dollars. 

The building which now houses the Bytown Museum was originally the Rideau Canal Commissariat Building and is the oldest stone building in Ottawa, dating from 1827. 

The motto of the City of Ottawa is “Advance-Ottawa, En Avant”. 

If backpackers staying in the Ottawa International Hostel see ghosts, it’s no surprise. The hostel was the city’s first jail and the site of Canada’s last public hanging. 

Cows and cornfields have a home within Ottawa’s city limits – the 480-hectare (1,200-acre) Central Experimental Farm. 

At the Cineplus theatre at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, visitors can enjoy movies filmed in either of two huge formats – the museum houses the worlds’ only combination IMAX™/OMNIMAX™ theatre. 

Ice skaters can glide 7.8 kilometres (4.5 miles) through the heart of Ottawa on the Rideau Canal, which becomes the world’s longest skating rink each winter. 

The Royal Swans, which glide up and down the Rideau River from May to November, were presented to Ottawa by Queen Elizabeth II in 1967 to commemorate Her Royal Highness’ visit to the capital during Canada’s centennial year. 

Behind Parliament Hill is “Cat Hill”, home to scores of wild cats, raccoons and squirrels. Every day without fail, a self-appointed caretaker feeds the menagerie. 

If you feel your feet tingle when you walk along Wellington Street, it may be because the world’s single largest gold depository is stored in the Bank of Canada gold vaults under the busy thoroughfare. 

Ottawa’s National Research Council houses one of the world’s most accurate clocks, with an accuracy better than 0.1 second. 

In 1945, the Netherlands gave 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank Ottawa for providing refuge to the Dutch royal family during the Second World War. 

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