She was laid down on 12 September 1930 at Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth and launched 30 September 1931. She was finished at Hawthorn Leslie, Newcastle upon Tyne and commissioned into the Royal Navy as in 1932. She was decommissioned from the RN on 15 June 19938 when she was commissioned into the RCN at Chatham as HMCS Ottawa (H60).
Originally stationed with the RCN's Pacific Fleet, Ottawa was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet following the outbreak of World War II and was assigned to convoy duty in the North Atlantic.
During the first year of the war, Ottawa conducted convoy escort duties in the western Atlantic. In the fall of 1940, Ottawa was deployed to Scotland to assist in local escort operations. Ottawa assisted HMS Harvester (H19) sink the Italian Marcello class submarine Faa di Bruno in November. She returned to Canada in spring 1941 and was assigned to the RCN's Newfoundland Escort Force where she continued her service in the waters of that country.
Ottawa was the leader of Escort Group C-4 for convoys ON-105, HX-133, ON-116, SC-96 and ON-127. On 14 September 1942 at 02:05 local time, while escorting Convoy ON-127 east of St. John's, Newfoundland, Ottawa was torpedoed by U-91. Less than 30 minutes later, unable to maneuver, she was hit by a second torpedo. The second attack broke her in half, sinking her. 114 crew lost their lives, including the commanding officer, while 65 survivors were rescued by nearby vessels.