Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and is also the country's fourth-largest city. Ottawa Metropolitan Area is currently the fifth in the largest of Canada's Census Metropolitan Areas. Among all of Canada's large cities, Ottawa has the most educated people and remains a very active educational hub in the country, registering numerous educational, research, and cultural institutions. As a result, Ottawa registers the lowest unemployment level alongside the highest living standards in Canada. Ottawa has a convenient location on the Ottawa River's southern bank to the southeastern part of Ontario and is bordered by Gatineau Quebec. The city was founded in 1826 under the original name of Bytown, before being incorporated as Ottawa on the 1st of January, 1855. Over the following years, Ottawa grew rapidly and was Canada's political center in no time. Today, Ottawa is not only the political hub of Canada, but is also the economic, education, cultural, and tourist hub in its region. On the Parliament Hill stands the mighty Center Block, the main building consisting of the country's parliamentary complex. It is the most outstanding structure in Ottawa and houses both the Senate chambers as well as the House of Commons. The National War Memorial structure is another stunning landmark in Ottawa, standing tall in the arch shape with bronze soldier sculptures therein. Then there is the ancient Fairmont Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, a vast, intricately designed building that is today used as a hotel. Modern architecture has been featured in the vast National Gallery of Canada, the ever-scenic Rideau Waterway, the massive Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and the tall glass buildings of the Kanata Research Park. The glass skyscrapers, together with the ancient Victorian architecture, forms a beautiful sight of the city, not forgetting its impressive surroundings of natural forestry, rivers, lakes, parks, and scenic planted gardens.
Ottawa enjoys a humid continental climate of Köppen Dfb, marked by four distinct seasons. The overall characteristics are warm to hot, humid summers, cold, snowy winters, and highly varying weather trough springs and autumns. Ample sunshine is received throughout the year, and the wind speed remains moderate. Scorching days are rare, with the average maximum temperature going as far as 29.3°C (84.7°F). Snowfall begins as early as mid-October, albeit in traces, and lasts through April! On the ground, accumulation goes as high as 45cm and is excellent for skating and skiing for the cold lovers. The temperature is in the highs of -3.5°C (25.7°F) and lows of -14.3°C (6.3°F) on average, and there are only three hours of sunshine on average per day. Summer enjoys highs of 26.6°C (79.9°F) and lows of 16.2°C (61.2°F) on average, alongside ample sunshine of up to nine hours per day. The season receives much of the rainfall, albeit in low amounts accumulating to approximately 92.7mm (3.6") in the wettest month. The most popular time to visit Ottawa is between May and August, during summer. This is the only period that is free of snow traces, and it is crowned with beautiful weather for outdoors, as well as numerous events and festivals to enjoy. July brings the much anticipated Bluesfest Concert to Ottawa, amid wild attendance from across the globe. Winterlude festival during winter has many activities and entertainment for those who brave the cold.