PopulationMetro: 1,020,000
Canada’s capital is as smart, welcoming and put-together as the Canadian prime minister who calls it home.

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is quite literally one of the cleanest, brightest destinations in the world, which it showed off to the world in style during the country’s 150th birthday in 2017.

Ottawa ranks #17 for (lack of) Crime and #5 for the Educational Attainment of its citizens. Many residents effortlessly slips back and forth between Canada’s two official languages, French and English, without any telltale accents.

Ottawa also excels in the quality of its built environment: the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 126 miles of functioning locks and waterways that transforms into the world’s longest natural skating rink in winter.

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In summer, there are an astonishing 375 kilometres of multi-use paths that follow Ottawa’s exceptional waterways and criss-cross its greenbelts, also connecting strollers, runners, cyclists and in-line skaters to the coast-to-coast-to-coast Trans Canada Trail and other networks.

Need to exercise your intellect to keep up with the brilliant residents? Stop off the trails at the neo-Gothic Parliament buildings; the Canada Science and Technology Museum, with its new $80.5-million upgrades; the impressive National Gallery—which has the world’s largest collection of Canadian art and important Inuit works; and the Canadian Museum of History, which opened a new hall devoted to the story of Canada in late 2017.