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Ottawa was founded in 1826 and named the capital of Canada in 1857 by Queen Victoria. Gatineau, right across the Ottawa River from it, was founded in 1800. In 1900, construction of the Alexandra Bridge was completed by the Canadian Pacific Railway providing a convenient connection between the two cities.
One of the greatest advantages of the bridge is its pedestrian/bicycle lane on the outside of the structure. Everyday 3300 pedestrians and cyclists use this lane to cross from one side of the Ottawa River to the other.
One of the neatest experiences you can have in Canada is visiting Ottawa and then crossing by foot to Gatineau. In less than twenty minutes you will transport yourself not only from one province to another, but you will cross from one culture into another. Ottawa is predominantly an English speaking city, whereas more than 78% of the residents in Gatineau speak French. You will notice the change immediately once you cross over. If you’re not fluently bilingual in French and English, it is a humbling experience.
When you’re in Ottawa, make sure you take advantage of the Alexandria Bridge and walk to Gatineau.