Kanata is a major suburb of the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario. It is about 22 km (14 mi) west of the city's downtown core. Before it was amalgamated into Ottawa in 2001, Kanata was one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada and the fastest-growing community in Eastern Ontario. Located just to the west of the National Capital Commission Greenbelt, it is one of the largest of several communities that surround central Ottawa.
The area that is today Kanata was originally part of the Township of March and was first settled by Europeans in the early nineteenth century. One site dating from this era is Pinhey's Point.
It remained mainly agricultural until the 1960s when it became the site of heavy development. Modern Kanata is largely the creation of Bill Teron, a developer and urban planner who purchased over 3,000 acres of rural land and set about building a model community. Unlike other suburbs, Kanata was designed to have a mix of densities and commercial and residential properties. It had large amounts of open space and was to be surrounded by a greenbelt. A reflection of the garden city movement, the area was divided into a series of communities, each of which was intended to have its own commercial centre and unique culture. These include Beaverbrook, Glen Cairn, Bridlewood, Katimavik, Hazeldean, Morgan's Grant, and Kanata Lakes. The first street to be built was Tiffany Crescent in 1964. The community grew rapidly due to the influx of hi-tech workers looking to capitalize on the new economical cityscape. The Province of Ontario incorporated Kanata as a city in 1978 out of the Township of March, and portions of the Township of Goulbourn and the Township of Nepean (subsequently the City of Nepean).
On September 20, 1998, the city of Kanata dedicated a cenotaph in Village Green Memorial Park dedicated to those who served their country in war and peace. The Kanata Avenue–Castlefrank Road overpass next to Royal Canadian Legion National Headquarters, opened in December 2003 and renamed Valour Bridge on December 1, 2006, is dedicated to all Canadians who have served in defence of freedoms in the great battles and campaigns since the turn of the 20th century
Kanata has become an important hi-tech centre. DEC was one of the pioneer technology companies in Kanata. The DEC campus has been successively Digital, Compaq, and HP, and is now occupied by the Gilmore Printing group of companies. Kanata remains home to many of the major hi-tech employers of Ottawa, such as Ericsson, Avaya, Juniper Networks, Research In Motion (now BlackBerry), Mitel, March Networks, Nokia, Bridgewater Systems, DragonWave, Solace, Protecode, Dell Canada, HP, Smart Technologies, Norpak, MDS Nordion, Breconridge, AMCC, Cisco Systems, Inc., and Ciena. Nortel Networks and the former Bell-Northern Research had a major campus of buildings just outside the Kanata boundary to the east. The hi-tech industry is clustered along March Road, in the Kanata North Business Park and Kanata Research Park, and along Eagleson Road, in the Kanata South Business Park.
Kanata is home to Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Drive. The home arena of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League, some Ottawa 67's hockey games, and many large concerts, such as Bryan Adams, who opened the arena with a show on 15 January 1996, it was known as the Palladium (pre-construction-1996), the Corel Centre (1996–2006), and Scotiabank Place (2006–2013).