• Mayor’s City Builder Award – the Brothers Dubé (Quinn, Jan and Liam)

    Mayor Jim Watson and Ward Councillor Rainer Bloess today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to the Brothers Dubé (Quinn, Jan and Liam) for their success in the music industry, philanthropy, and inspiring young people to change the world through their creativity and passion.
    Quinn, Jan, and Liam began their musical journey in 2006 at the early ages of six, eight, and 10 years old when their mother developed cancer. As a way to lift her spirits, they began covering her favourite songs and sharing them on YouTube. After succumbing to her illness in 2008, the boys began busking on the streets of their hometown of Ottawa with the goal of inspiring people with their story and exceptional talent. The brothers were quickly labelled as “Canada’s Youngest Rock Band” and have become committed philanthropists and social activists. Through their phenomenal performances they have raised over $150,000 for causes that relate closely to their own story including their most noticed work of helping orphans in Haiti.

    The Brothers Dubé now produce and perform full-scale rock shows drawing thousands of people to their performances at some of the largest and more popular music festivals including Bluesfest, Osheaga, and the Montreal Pop Festival. Their music has also been featured on award-winning Canadian television shows including Degrassi.

    These three young and extremely talented musicians have been the recipients of several accolades for their community and charitable service. These include the 2011 United Way Community Builder of the Year Award, the Heart of Gold Award, a commendation from the Prime Minister of Canada, and a nomination for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Governor General’s Award.


  • Council approves 2014 budget process

    City Council today approved the 2014 proposed budget process and timetable to develop draft operating and capital budgets for the City of Ottawa.

    “This approved process and timetable is a roadmap to help us meet our budget targets while ensuring an informed and transparent process that will engage citizens and be respectful of their dollars,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    The 2014 budget process will commence immediately with on-line and social media consultation opportunities for residents to submit their budget priorities. In addition to the on-line consultation and any ward consultations that may be conducted by individual Councillors, this year’s budget process offers fifteen opportunities for the public to provide input at city-wide public consultation meetings and at budget meetings for standing committees, boards and commissions.

    2014 Budget Process and Timetable

    Wednesday, June 12

    Council approval of 2014 budget process and timetable; and launch of Mayor’s budget public consultation e-mail address budget2014@ottawa.ca and Twitter hashtag #ottbudget.

    Wednesday, October 23

     – Tabling of 2014 draft operating and capital budgets.

    Public consultations

     – Monday, October 28 – East District, Shenkman Centre (7:00pm-9:00pm)

     – Tuesday, October 29 – West District, Holy Trinity Catholic High School (7:30pm-9:30pm)

     – Wednesday, October 30 – South District, Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A (7:00pm-9:00pm)

     – Thursday, November 7- Central District, City Hall, Andrew Haydon Hall (7:00pm-9:00pm)

    Committee / Commission / Board budget meetings

     – Tuesday, November 5 Finance an Economic Development Committee

     – Wednesday, November 6 Transportation Committee

     – Thursday, November 7 Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

     – Tuesday, November 12 Planning Committee

     – Monday, November 18 IT Sub-committee

     – Monday, November 18 Public Health Board

     – Tuesday, November 19 Environment Committee (tax and rate supported)

     – Wednesday, November 20 Transit Commission

     – Thursday, November 21 Community and Protective Services Committee

     – Thursday, November 21 Ottawa Public Library

     – Monday, November 25 Police Services Board

    Wednesday, November 27

     – Council consideration of 2014 draft tax and rate supported budget.

    Beginning today, residents are encouraged to e-mail budget2014@ottawa.ca or use the Twitter hashtag #ottbudget to submit cost saving ideas and budget priorities for consideration.

    For further information please visit ottawa.ca/budget2014.

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Mark O’Neill

    Mayor Jim Watson and Ward Councillor Doug Thompson today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mark O’Neill for his outstanding community service and public advocacy leading to the implementation of the 911 universal emergency phone number, the advanced-care paramedic system and the adoption of mandatory CPR training in local schools.
    June 22, 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of 911 service in Ottawa and the National Capital Region. Before that date, residents had to navigate a total of 27 emergency numbers.

    In 1984, as a 21-year-old political science student at Carleton University and community activist, Mark O’Neill joined Ottawa General Hospital doctor Justin Maloney, his brother Mark, and Geri Migicovsky to form Action 911, a grassroots organization with one goal: to convince local leaders to establish a 911 system for the capital region.

    The group rallied public support over the next four years and, on June 22, 1988, the 911 system took its first call. In 2012, the 911 call centre answered 290, 976 emergency requests for service.

    In 1993, Mr. O’Neill again helped found a public advocacy campaign called Action Paramedic, aimed at lobbying the Ontario Ministry of Health to upgrade the skills of all ambulance attendants to advanced-care paramedics, which would bring hospital-level care to the site of emergencies and save more lives.

    One of the members of Action Paramedic was then-Ottawa South MPP Dalton McGuinty. Five years ago, as premier of Ontario, he spoke about the success of Action Paramedic:

    “It just speaks to the power of a community,” he said, adding that his experience with Action Paramedic informed the province’s decision to put CPR training into high schools in 1994 and the new pilot program in Ottawa to put defibrillators into schools. “All of that started because of our community-based experience in Ottawa.”

    Paramedics were made the norm in Ottawa in 1994 following a study, which led to paramedics being approved not only for Ottawa, but 12 other municipalities in Ontario.

    A CPR project inspired the Ontario government in 1999 to make CPR part of the province-wide curriculum.

    Mr. O’Neill has said he never forgot the lessons he learned from his work with Action 911 and Action Paramedic: “If you have the right issue, a small group of concerned citizens really can have a huge impact.”

    Today, Mr. O’Neill is President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, which includes the Canadian War Museum.

    Throughout his professional career, Mr. O’Neill has been an enthusiastic and dedicated community volunteer. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, and has been the Secretary-Treasurer of the Club since 2011. He has been actively engaged in his parish, St. John the Evangelist in Osgoode, since 1998.

    In 2012, he received the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his commitment to the Friends of the Canadian War Museum.


  • Blog: Progress at the new Lansdowne

    After decades of indecision and conflict, one thing residents keep telling me is that it is great to finally see Lansdowne moving forward!

    If you look at the site, you see several cranes up and hundreds of construction workers hard at work. I check in on the project about once a week, whether it is by driving by on my way to an event or visiting my parents who live across the street.

    When the project is complete, Lansdowne will be a complete community – with opportunities for entertainment, shopping and recreation activities and will link together the neighbourhoods of the Glebe and Old Ottawa South. It will be an attraction worthy of a G8 capital city.

    You will be able to enjoy:

     – A new stadium (home to the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Ottawa Fury FC)

     – A refurbished Civic Centre (home to the Ottawa 67s)

     – About three times more park space (18 acres)

     – About four times more trees

     – 20 event spaces, including several squares and courts for community events

     – 7.2 kilometres of sidewalks and pathways

     – Five pieces of public art (including retention of three existing historical pieces)

    View the design plans for the new Lansdowne Park.

    New stadium

    In February 2013, I was pleased to throw two lucky pennies in the foundation for the south side stands, which are now rising out of the ground. I can’t wait to see the iconic wooden veil that will cover the stands – it will be a beautiful complement to the Rideau Canal.


    There’s also good news for the “North Siders” as the north side stands are getting a new roof and the Civic Centre is being refurbished.

    Our new CFL team has general manager Marcel Desjardins in place and will be participating in the expansion draft later this year. Our NASL team has hired Marc Dos Santos as their head coach. Be sure to visit the team websites to sign up for updates.

    All in all, we’re on track to start cheering on our professional football and soccer teams in summer 2014. One year later, we will welcome the world as we host nine games for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I’m also hoping to see Ottawa host the Grey Cup and maybe even an NHL Outdoor Classic at our amazing new stadium in the coming years.

    Urban park

    We broke ground on the urban park in July 2013, which will truly be a crown jewel in our city. That’s right: we’re finally putting the “park” back into

    Lansdowne Park!

    Local landscaping company D&G Landscaping will be responsible for constructing the urban park, which includes expanses of lawn, courtyards, a heritage orchard, an outdoor skating rink and a children’s play area. I think this will be the most transformative piece of the entire project as you will see almost three times more park space and four times more trees on the property.

    My favourite piece of the urban park is the Great Lawn, the pentagon shaped green space next to the canal you see in the project images. It will be almost as large as the lawn on Parliament Hill — a great place to have a picnic with your family or read a book.

    While areas of the park will be substantially complete for the opening of the stadium in summer 2014, all the final features are expected to be finished in the summer of 2015.

    Community relations

    As with any major infrastructure project, there is noise and dust on the construction site. This is short-term pain for significant long-term gain. I want to commend our contractors and City project staff for monitoring and mitigating potential headaches for the surrounding community.


    A neat part of the project: to reduce noise and emissions, we actually have a full working concrete plant on site. This helps to reduce truck traffic on area roads and reduces emissions from vehicles traveling to and from the site.

    We have maintained a good working relationship with the local business improvement area and community groups by conducting regular site tours and meetings. The Glebe BIA has been a tremendous partner and even hosted a barbecue for hundreds of Lansdowne construction workers in June. I’m proud of how well everyone is working together and look forward to this continued partnership in the months ahead.

    Stay up-to-date

    The City sends out updates on a regular basis to update residents on construction. You can also follow the construction progress with frequent updates at ottawa.ca/newlansdowne. If you would like to receive e-mail notices, you can subscribe on ottawa.ca. I would also encourage you to connect with the Ottawa REDBLACKSand Ottawa Fury FC as excitement builds over the next year.


  • City Hall heats up with summer activities

    Ottawa – Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza is the place to be this summer with free weekly programs and special events for every taste and interest, morning noon and night.


    “Whether it is the winter or the summer, inside or outside, we are making City Hall a real people place,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This summer will feature some great new attractions for residents of all ages.”


    “The schedule of activities at City Hall this summer showcases a diversity of cultural and recreational talent in Ottawa,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of Community and Protective Services Committee.


    “I hope everyone makes plans to visit Ottawa City Hall sometime this summer.”
    Regular programming begins July 9 and ends August 27, except where otherwise noted. All events listed are free. No registration required. For more information on all of these events visit the City’s website, ottawa.ca.
    (This list does not include events at City Hall hosted by outside organizations which may require fees or registration.)


     – 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. – YM-YWCA Outdoor Boot Camp
     – Noon to 1 p.m.- Hatha Yoga
     – 2 to 9 p.m. – Summer Art Market


     – 7:30 to 9 p.m. Circus Jam

     – Noon to 1 p.m. – Taoist Tai-chi

     – Noon to 1 p.m. – performances by Odyssey Theatre

     – Running clinics (Time TBD)

     – 6 to 11 p.m. – Outdoor Salsa, sponsored by Azucar! Latin Dance Company and Salsa Force

     – 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.- Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health’s Pow Wow Pump
     – 6 to 9 p.m .(July 11 to August 1) – Be in the Band (in partnership with RBC Bluesfest)


    In addition to the weekly schedule, additional free special events are planned, including:

     – Roller Derby Weekend

     – Silent Movie Night

     – Chamberfest Music

     – Creative Mornings… and more!


    Follow the City on Twitter for updates @ottawacity.
    Ottawa City Hall, located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, is home to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, the Barbara Ann Scott exhibit, the Rink of Dreams and host to a number of community and special events and festivals. It has quickly become the people place for all seasons.