North America

Ottawa: Did you know?

  • The Ottawa region was long home to the Odawa or Odaawaa, meaning “traders” First Nations people. The Odawa are an Algonquin people who called the river the Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi, meaning “Great River”.
  • 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.
  • Ottawa is the place many people cite as the beginning of the Cold War. A Soviet clerk named Igor Gouzenko defected from the Soviet Embassy with several secret documents. At first the police did not want to see the papers, but eventually when they did, they discovered a Russian spy ring operating in Western countries.
  • The Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink. Ice skaters can glide 7.8 kilometres through the heart of Ottawa on the Rideau Canal, which becomes the world’s longest skating rink each winter.

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