Ottawa (c-enaudio=Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, located on the north bank of the Ottawa River; together they form the National Capital Region (NCR).
The 2006 census had the city's population as 812,129, and the metropolitan population as 1,130,761. In 2009, Ottawa-Gatineau's population was estimated at 1,220,674, fifth among census metropolitan areas in Canada. Mercer ranked Ottawa with the second highest quality of living of any in the Americas, and 14th highest in the world. It was also considered the second cleanest city in Canada, and third cleanest city in the world.
Founded in 1826 as Bytown and incorporated as "Ottawa" in 1855, the city has evolved into a political and technological center of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous minor annexations and ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and major amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area.
The name "Ottawa" is derived from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning "to trade". Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley was home to the Algonquin people prior to the arrival of Europeans during the fur and subsequent lumber trade eras. Initially an Irish and French Christian settlement, Ottawa has become a multicultural - bilingual city with a diverse population.