Ott'awa, one of the largest rivers of British North America, rises nearly 300 miles due north of Ottawa City, flows 300 miles west to Lake Temiscamingue, and thence 400 miles south-east, and falls into the St Lawrence by two mouths, which form the island of Montreal. During its course it sometimes contracts to 40 or 50 yards; elsewhere it widens into numerous lakes of considerable size. Of its many tributaries the chief are the Petewawa, Bonnechere, Madawaska, and Rideau on the right, and the Coulonge, Gatineau, and Rivieres du Lievre and du Nord on the left. These, with the Ottawa, form the means of transit for the largest lumber trade in the world.
Ottawa, the capital of the Dominion of Canada, is situated upon the south bank of the Ottawa River, 120 miles from its influx into the St Lawrence at Montreal. The river here forms the splendid Chaudiere Falls (200 yards wide and 40 feet high), above which a suspension bridge spans the river, and which supply the motive-power for the numerous lumber-mills, flour-mills, factories, etc. East of the city the river Rideau forms a second fall. The Rideau Canal (1827) passes through the centre of the city, and connects with the Rideau Lakes, and so with the great lakes beyond. Opposite the city, to the NE., the Gatineau River joins the Ottawa. The industries of Ottawa are mostly connected with lumber. In the winter thousands of men are engaged in cutting timber and drawing it to the streams, and in the spring the freshets carry the rafts down to the mills. Flour, iron wares, bricks, leather, and matches are also manufactured. The parliamentary buildings, constructed in the Italian Gothic style after 1860, when the Prince of Wales laid the foundation-stone, are placed on a bluff on the bank of the Ottawa. These structures, including the handsome library building and the Victoria Tower (180 feet high), cost altogether about $8,000,000. The residence of the governor-general - an old-fashioned, ugly building, called Rideau Hall - is about a mile from the city. The. post-office, city-hall, banks, and telegraph-offices are handsomely built of stone. Ottawa is the place Of residence of the bishop of Ontario (Church of England), and of the Roman Catholic bishop of Ottawa, who has a cathedral here. There are a normal school and a collegiate institute, a very large college conducted by the Oblate Fathers, a ladies' college, a musical academy, an art school, a well-equipped geological museum, and the parliamentary library, with 140,000 volumes. The city was begun in the last years of the 18th century by a settler named Wright, of Boston, Massachusetts, who built himself a residence near the Chaudiere, and called the village which he founded Hull. The construction of the Rideau Canal (1827) stimulated the settlement, which was called Bytown. In 1854 its name was changed to Ottawa, and the town was created a city. Pop. (1861) 15,000; (1871) 21,545; (1881) 27,412; (1901) 59,120, about one-half being Roman Catholics. In 1858 Ottawa was chosen as the administrative capital of Canada. The first parliament met here in 1865.
Ottawa, (1) capital of La Salle county, Illinois, at the confluence of the Fox and Illinois rivers, 82 miles by rail WSW. of Chicago. It has a spring rich in bromine and iodine, and manufactures glass, flour, cutlery, tiles, fire-proofing, organs, and pianos. Pop. 10,600. - (2) Capital of Franklin county, Kansas, on the Osage River, 68 miles by rail SW. of Kansas City, with a college, foundry, and railway-shops, manufactures flour, furniture, carriages, and soap. Pop. 6948.