The International Club of Ottawa (ICO) was founded in 1970 by Isobel Adey. During her husband's appointment in Washington D.C. with the Canadian Embassy she belonged to an association called "Welcome to Washington". This club offered women who were temporarily based in Washington, friendship, activities and an opportunity to become familiar with their new surroundings.
On her return to Canada, Isobel felt that Ottawa too might benefit from a similar organization. To that end, she approached like-minded friends living in the city, some of whom had been in Washington with her. They started the club known as "Welcome to Ottawa", which proved to be a great success thanks to the dedicated Canadian members and Isobel's leadership. The the name evolved to "The International Club of Ottawa" and then to "The International Women's Club of Ottawa".
In 2018, the Canadian membership decided return to its previous name “The International Club of Ottawa (ICO) because it is more inclusive and better reflects the gender representation of the international diplomatic community.
The ICO still maintains the same aims and ideals as the original Club of friendship and shared Canadian hospitality and culture. It warmly welcomes new members.