Ottawa is the capital of Canada. The city has a population of 812,000, making it the fourth largest municipality in the country and second largest in Ontario. The cities of Ottawa-Gatineau have a population of 1,168,788, the country's fourth largest metropolitan area. (The National Capital Region which encompasses Ottawa-Gatineau and surroundings has a population of 1,451,415) Ottawa is located in the Ottawa Valley in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. The city lies on the banks of the Ottawa River, a major waterway that forms the boundary between Ontario and Quebec.
There is no federal capital district in Canada. Ottawa is a municipality within the Province of Ontario. Although it does not constitute a separate administrative district, Ottawa is part of the federally designated National Capital Region, which includes the neighbouring Quebec municipality of Gatineau. The population of the National Capital Region was estimated by Statistics Canada to be 1,168,800 in 2007. As with other national capitals, the word "Ottawa" is also used to refer by metonymy to the country's federal government, especially as opposed to provincial or municipal authorities.
Ottawa is governed by a 24-member city council. The members of this council are elected by the residents of Ottawa. Each councillor represents one ward within Ottawa. The mayor however represents Ottawa as a whole. City council responsibilities include the maintenance and efficacy of the following services: fire department, paramedics, police department, water, transit, recycling, garbage, and sewage. The current mayor of Ottawa is Larry O'Brien.
Ottawa boasts the highest number of residents with a post-secondary education in Canada, a bilingual rate of 44 per cent, and more engineers, scientists, and PhDs per capita than any other city in the country.
In Ottawa, immigrants make up 21.1 per cent of the total population. Of these, 38.2 per cent - 63,705 people in all - arrived between 1991 and 2001.