Legend has it that in the mid-19th century, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as Canada’s capital by closing her eyes and pointing a finger at a map. In reality, perhaps political savvy rather than blind chance guided her to this once-backwater logging town known for saloons and bar fights. Settled by neither the French nor the English colonists, Ottawa was the perfect compromise. Forced to try to forge national unity while preserving local identities, Ottawa continues to play cultural diplomat to larger Canada as it attempts to forge national unity while preserving local identities. Meanwhile, government, universities, and tourism drive life in the city itself.