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City of Ottawa
Confirmation of Arms and Supporters
June 15, 2001
Vol. IV, p. 113
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Argent a cross wavy Azure charged with a like cross Argent between in the first quarter the Royal Crown proper and in the fourth quarter a maple leaf Gules on a chief also Gules an astrolabe Argent between to the dexter two arrows in saltire points upwards Argent surmounted by an Indian canoe paddle erect Or and to the sinister a spade and pick axe in saltire Argent surmounted by a grenade Or fired proper;
A white pine fructed proper charged with a bezant thereon an oak tree eradicated and fructed proper;
On a grassy mound strewn with white pine cones dexter a timber trimmer of the date 1850 holding in the exterior hand a trimming axe head downwards and on the sinister an officer of the Civil Service Rifle Regiment all proper;
ADVANCE OTTAWA EN AVANT;
The wavy blue and white cross represents the junction of the Ottawa River and the two tributaries, the Rideau and Gatineau rivers, which determined the location of the community. The Royal Crown honours the naming of Ottawa as the Dominion of Canada’s capital by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1857. The maple leaf is another reference to Ottawa as the capital of Canada. The canoe paddle and arrows symbolize the Outaouais Nation, who were the first occupants of the region. The astrolabe represents Samuel de Champlain, the first European to explore the region in 1613. The pick and shovel crossed behind a grenade allude to the Royal Engineers who, under Lieutenant-Colonel John By, built the Rideau Canal and founded Bytown, the original name of Ottawa.
The white pine honours the role this natural resource played in attracting settlers into the Ottawa region and is also a reference to what was considered one of the Ottawa Valley’s principal economic assets. The roundel featuring an oak tree alludes to the former seal of Bytown.
The timber trimmer refers to Ottawa’s historic timber trade industry. The officer of the Civil Service Rifle Regiment indicates that this unit and its successors, composed of volunteers from the civil service, have served in Ottawa since 1865.
The phrase is adapted from the city’s original motto, “City of Ottawa • Advance”.