Information & Facts
Ottawa has a vast range of temperatures between summer and
winter, and is subject to unpredictable weather conditions. Winters
are generally snowy and icy; statistically Ottawa is the second
coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.
Temperatures in winter can drop as low as -25°C (-13°F) at night,
but averages are misleading because days can be much warmer. Ice
storms can occur. Summer weather in Ottawa is warm and humid, with
temperatures exceeding 30°C (86°F) fairly often, sometimes as early
as April and as late as October. Summers are usually short, though,
and spring and autumn are unpredictable, with early or late
snowfalls possible or even unseasonal heat waves.
For sightseeing purposes most visitors to Ottawa enjoy exploring
the compact downtown area on foot or bicycle. However the OC
Transpo company provides a top class integrated public transport
system. Exact change is needed when boarding buses and streetcars,
and sometimes at subway stations, but day passes and discount
tokens can also be bought. A single adult day pass is $6. Taxis are
freely available, but fairly expensive. Rates should be displayed
in the taxi cab and the meter rate should be set at one at the
start of a journey.
The official languages are English and French
(predominantly in Quebec).
The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is divided
into 100 cents. One-dollar coins are also known as loonies (due to
the picture of a loon, a type of bird, on the coin), and two-dollar
coins as toonies. Banks and bureaux de change will change money and
travellers cheques, as will some hotels, but the rate will not be
as good. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are
plentiful. US Dollars are largely accepted, though due to fraud,
larger notes might not be and change is usually given in Canadian
Canada covers six time zones, from GMT 8 in the west to GMT
-3.5 in the east.