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The National Capital Region is an official federal designation for the Canadian capital of Ottawamarker, Ontariomarker, the neighbouring city of Gatineaumarker, Quebecmarker, and the surrounding area.

The National Capital Region consists of an area of 5,319 square kilometres that straddles the boundary between the provinces of Ontariomarker and Quebecmarker. The area of the National Capital Region is very similar to that of the Ottawa-Gatineau Census Metropolitan Area, although the National Capital Region contains a number of small neighbouring communities that are not contained within the CMA. When all the communities are added, the population is 1,451,415. Ottawa-Gatineau is the only CMA in the nation to fall within two provinces.

The National Capital Region is not a separate political jurisdiction, although the National Capital Commission is deeply involved in political, cultural, and land use planning matters in the National Capital Region. Proposals have sometimes been made to separate the National Capital Region from its two respective provinces, and transform it into a separate capital district, like the District of Columbiamarker in the United Statesmarker or the Australian Capital Territorymarker. Such proposals have never come close to passage, and there does not currently appear to be any political will or necessity to pursue this option.

Parts of the National Capital Region are recognized as bilingual regions for language-of-work purposes.

In 2006, the National Capital Commission completed work on the long-discussed Confederation Boulevard, a ceremonial route linking key attractions in National Capital Region on both sides of the Ottawa River.


Ottawa is located in the sub-region of Southern Ontario called Eastern Ontario. Gatineau is located in southwestern Quebecmarker. It is situated close to where the Canadian shield and the Saint Lawrence Lowlands intersect. The area has several major fault lines and small earthquakes do occur somewhat regularly. The Gatineau Hills are the foothills of the Laurentian Mountainsmarker and located in the region. They supply great skiing and snowboarding opportunities within minutes of the city.


The NCR has numerous attractions, including world famous festivals, national museums, famous buildings and architecture, sports and entertainment. Ottawa has some of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in North America.


The annual music festival Bluesfestmarker, the world renowned winter festival Winterlude, the Canadian Tulip Festival, RCMP musical ride, Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, Buskers festival, the biggest Canada Day celebrations in the Nation.

Museums and buildings

Ottawa and Gatineau have a number of national museums. The most prominent museums are the Canadian Museum of Civilizationmarker, Canadian Museum of Naturemarker, Canada Science and Technology Museummarker, National Art Gallerymarker, National Arts Centremarker, Canada Aviation Museummarker.

Some of the 's famous buildings are the Parliament Hillmarker, the Prime Minister's home 24 Sussex Drivemarker, the Governor General's home Rideau Hallmarker, the Canadian Museum of Civilizationmarker, the National Gallery of Canadamarker, the Supreme Court of Canadamarker, the Royal Canadian Mint, the American Embassymarker and the National Librarymarker.

Sports and entertainment

The National Capital Region has many sports teams. The Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League play in Ottawa's west end. The Senators have one of the most successful attendance records in the league with over capacity crowds at almost every game. Ottawa is also home to a successful Ontario Hockey League, the Ottawa 67's. Gatineau is home to the 2007-2008 QMJHL champions, the Gatineau Olympiques.

The Ottawa area has two universities, Carleton Universitymarker and the University of Ottawamarker, which compete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The Carleton Ravens are nationally ranked in basketball, and the Ottawa Gee-Gees are nationally-ranked in football. Algonquin Collegemarker also has numerous national championships. The Université du Québecmarker in Gatineau is not well known for its sport teams.


The NCR has several major freeways including the 417, 416, 5, 50, 174, and the Ottawa River Parkway.

The 417 is Ottawa's major east-west commuter expressway. It runs from Highway 17 in Renfrew Countymarker through Ottawa and exits at the 417-174 split. It than continues towards Montrealmarker and stops at the Ontario-Quebec border and becomes Quebec Autoroute 40.

The 416 starts at the 401 near the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridgemarker and continues north for 75 km until it ends at the 417 in Ottawa's west end.

Public transportation is handled by OC Transpo on the Ontario side, and the STO on the Quebec side. OC Transpo has about 1,000 buses which run on city streets and an expansive transitway.

OC also has a light rail system named the O-Train, which is still in the development stages. The system uses Bombardier Talent Trains and has just over 2 million riders per year. A massive expansion is currently in development to link the western suburbs and the eastern suburbs to downtown, as well as to continue expansion south.

The STO has around 300 buses that serve the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.

Area codes

The NCR uses the area codes 613 on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, and 819 for the Quebec side. Another area code, 343, will commence sometime between December 2010 and September 2011 on the Ontario side as the 613 exhausts.

Although located in different area codes, Ottawa and Gatineau have local dialing with each other. Previously, the two cities had exchange protection in place, meaning that a local exchange code in Ottawa could not also be assigned in Gatineau, although this is no longer the case as ten-digit local dialing has been in place since 2006.

Cities, towns, and populations within Ottawa-Gatineau CMA

Source: 2006 Census of Canada
Hull sector of Gatineau.
City or Town Population
                                     | 20,790
Ottawamarker 812,129
                                     | 13,883
Cantleymarker 7,926
Chelseamarker 6,703
Denholmmarker 604
Gatineaumarker 242,124
La Pêchemarker 7,477
                                     | 4,348
Pontiacmarker 5,238
                                     | 9,539

Other towns within National Capital Region

While not officially in the CMA, the following municipalities (most of which are adjacent to the CMA) are included in the National Capital Region, due to their close economic and social ties with Ottawa.
Municipality Population
Alfred and Plantagenetmarker
                                     | 8,654
Arnpriormarker 7,158
Beckwithmarker 6,387
Carleton Placemarker
                                     | 9,453
Casselmanmarker 3,294
Mississippi Millsmarker
                                     | 11,734
North Dundasmarker
                                     | 11,095
North Grenvillemarker
                                     | 14,198
North Stormontmarker
                                     | 6,769
The Nationmarker 10,643
Lochabermarker 456
                                      | 477
Lowmarker 852
Montebellomarker 1,039
                                      | 706
                                      | 2,247
Plaisancemarker 1,004
Thursomarker 2,436

See also


  9. Statistics Canada. 2006 Census data

External links

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