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Ottawa > About Ottawa > Our National Capital Region

Our National Capital Region

The centre of the Region is the area known as Parliament Hill, where neo-gothic stone buildings and the spire of the Peace Tower rise from the cliffs overlooking the Ottawa River. The Centre Block of Parliament is the heart of Canadian political life, housing the Senate, House of Commons and the impressive Library of Parliament. The central tower, the Peace Tower, houses a 53-bell carillon, a huge clock and the memorial chamber commemorating Canada's war dead. 

A great leap in the development of the modern capital came in the late 1950s when the NCR was enlarged to encompass over 4,666 sq. km. of land. Hull, Ottawa and surrounding communities now form one strong capital with 15 municipalities spanning two provinces. 

There have been changes in political and administrative structures for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. Regional Government provides necessary services such as major roads, mass transit, social services, garbage and recycling services. Local municipal governments look after areas such as licensing, city planning and local parks and roads. With the new provincial law, Bill 143, Regional Council is now directly elected, new local and regional ward boundaries have been created, and in 1995, the police became the responsability of one Regional Police Services Board, with the amalgamation of the three local police forces (Ottawa, Nepean, Gloucester).

The NCR has maintained its reputation as a great place to live. From the spires of Parliament Hill and the smooth curves of the Museum of Civilization to the tulips along the Rideau Canal in the spring or the colored leaves of autumn in the Gatineau Hills, the region revels in its diversity.

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