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Ottawa has the highest standard of living in the nation and low unemployment.It ranked 2nd nationally and 24th worldwide in the quality of life index and is consistently rated the best place to live in Canada.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.Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years.Many missionaries would later follow the early explorers and traders.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.
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.
Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.
He also laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal.
The first maps of the area used the word Ottawa, derived from the Algonquin word adawe ("to trade", used in reference to the area's importance to First Nations traders), to name the river.
Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.