Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were immediately constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location.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".
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He also laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal.
Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes, historically 'Upper Town' was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas 'Lower Town' was predominantly French, Irish and Catholic.
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