Posted December 31, 2013
I can just picture her announcing that Ottawa would be the new capital, and larger cities such as Quebec City, Toronto, and Montreal looking at one another and saying, “What? Who? Why?”
You know, if cities could talk!
Actually, Canada then (and to some extent now) was a little bit like two different countries. In Canada East (once called “Lower Canada”), the French-speaking people were primarily Catholic and conservative. In Canada West, (once called “Upper Canada”), the English-speaking people were primarily Protestant and reformist.
If Queen Victoria had chosen Quebec City or Montreal as capital of the entire nation, the people of Ontario (Canada West) would have been quite unhappy. If she had chosen Toronto, of course, the people of Quebec (Canada East) would've been unhappy. Ottawa was on the border between the two regions and was therefore a compromise.
Also, Montreal and Toronto were quite close to the U.S. border. The War of 1812 had shown that they were vulnerable to American attack—and Ottawa was some 70 kilometers (more than 40 miles) away, and (at that time) surrounded by dense-and-protective forest. Still, Ottawa could easily be reached via the Ottawa River and a canal.
|Ottawa sculptor John Ceprano stacks up rocks |
each summer to create an interesting sculpture.
Fun things about Ottawa
- An old jail (the county gaol) has been made into hotel.
- Supreme Court justices, members of Parliament, and lawyers take part in an annual “Lawyer Play” to raise funds for the Great Canadian Theatre Company.
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