Brief history of Ottawa
The area of Ottawa was first inhabited by the Algonquin people (although the name of the city is derived from that of the Odawa First Nation). After the arrival of Europeans in the region during the early 17th century, the Ottawa River was used by fur traders to transport their goods, and the first major settlement in the area, Hull (originally known as Wrightsville), was established in 1800 on what is today the Quebec side of the river. Twenty-six years later, Bytown was founded on the opposite side of the river by LieutenantColonel John By when developing the Rideau Canal. The region then became increasingly prominent due to its role in the timber trade. In 1855, Bytown was renamed Ottawa and two years later became the capital of the Province of Canada, an area that encompassed modern Quebec and Ontario. Since this province's founding in 1841, its capital shifted from place to place, with Quebec City, Toronto, Montreal and Kingston all spending time in the top slot. With confederation in 1867 and the creation of Canada as a nation, Quebec and Ontario became separate provinces, so each received its own provincial capital: Quebec City for Quebec, and Toronto for Ontario. Ottawa now became capital of Canada as a whole.