Secondly, Ottawa was located approximately midway between Toronto and Kingston (in Canada West) and Montreal and Quebec City (in Canada East).Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway.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 city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade".The following year, the town would soon be named after British military engineer Colonel John By who was responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project.
Local populations used the area for wild edible harvesting, hunting, fishing, trade, travel, and camps for over 6500 years.
It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario.
Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Many missionaries would later follow the early explorers and traders.
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.