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It ranked 2nd nationally and 24th worldwide in the quality of life index and is consistently rated the best place to live in Canada.The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade".and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, and numerous national museums.Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada.Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area.The canal's military purpose was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing a particularly vulnerable stretch of the St.
Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left re-supply ships bound for southwestern Ontario easily exposed to enemy fire during the War of 1812.
Ottawa's former industrial appearance was vastly altered by the 1950 Greber Plan.
Prime Minister Mackenzie King hired French architect-planner Jacques Greber to design an urban plan for managing development in the National Capital Region, to make it more aesthetically pleasing and thus more befitting a location serving as Canada's political centre.
It was redeveloped as a ceremonial centre in 1938 as part of the City Beautiful Movement and became the site of the National War Memorial in 1939 and designated a National Historic Site in 1984.
A new Central Post Office (currently the Privy Council of Canada) was constructed in 1939 beside the War Memorial because the original post office building located on the proposed Confederation Square grounds had to be demolished.
Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.