Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is blessed with a great diversity of people, languages and cultures. What sets Ottawa apart from other modern cities is our rural and agricultural diversity.
Located in the center of 1.2 million people we have a 400-hectare working farm. The Central Experimental Farm
, was established in 1886 as the central research station for the federal Department of Agriculture. Since then the city of Ottawa has grown around this oasis of agricultural life.
The Farm continues that scientific focus today as the location for laboratories, research plots and an agricultural museum showing Canadian farm heritage. There is a great diversity of crops, fruits and vegetables grown on the farm. The Ornamental Gardens and Arboretum
feature 100s of different species of flowers and trees. Just about anything that is able to grow at this latitude and in the climate of eastern North America can be found growing on the farm.
The Farm and its attractions are open to the public throughout the year. Bicycling and walking in the summer, cross county skiing and snow shoeing in the winter allow residents and visitors to experience nature in the center of the city. Spring is a favourite time for children and adults; the new-born sheep, goats, cows, chickens, ducks and horses are available for public viewing. The dairy barn with twice-daily milking is another popular attraction for visitors. Millions of birds migrating on the eastern North American-Atlantic fly-way visit the farm to rest and feed in the spring and autumn. These annual migrations provide a great diversity to the local bird population.
Visitors and residents of Ottawa can experience the diversity of rural farm life while living in a modern urban environment. People can smell the crops, orchards and flowers or watch cows and sheep grazing in fields surrounded by high-rise apartments and single-family homes. This rural refuge in the city has all the sights and sounds of a working farm including the annual rituals of plowing, planting, harvesting crops and spreading manure.
The Central Experimental Farm is a National Historic Site