Ottawa is Canada's capital. With over a million citizens, it is Canada's fourth-largest city, and Ontario's second-largest city. Across the Ottawa river is Gatineau, Quebec.While most Ottawans are English-speaking, 15% speak French natively, making Ottawa Canada's largest Francophone city outside of Quebec. Visitors come to Ottawa to see Parliament Hill, as well as the national museums.
Ottawa started as a humble lumber town called Bytown; it was named after Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers who oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, much of which was done by hand, between 1826 and 1832.
Today, the major economic sectors are the public service, travel and tourism and the high-tech industry, which has earned the city the name "Silicon Valley North".