• Airport Parkway bridge opening makes city more accessible, welcoming Primary tabs

    Ottawa – Ottawa’s reputation as a walking- and cycling-friendly city got another boost today with the opening of the Airport Parkway Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge.

    Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae officially opened the bridge, calling it an important link between communities on both sides of the parkway and a means to promote safe and convenient cycle travel in the south end.

    “Beyond adding to Ottawa’s cycling infrastructure, this new bridge creates an iconic gateway for those entering the nation’s capital from the airport,” said Mayor Watson. “Looking ahead to 2017, that role will be even more important as Ottawa becomes the place to celebrate the 150thanniversary of Canada’s Confederation.”

    “This bridge will certainly make a grand and striking portal into the city,” said Councillor McRae, “but perhaps more important will be the value it brings to the local community. Residents will enjoy shorter commute times with a direct link to the South Keys transit station and the O-Train. They will have better access to nearby recreational space and retail areas, and the shops and businesses in adjoining neighbourhoods will benefit from the increased traffic.”

    The new connection will also improve access to the Sawmill Creek Cycling and Pedestrian Pathway, which opened earlier this summer. New LED lighting along the bridge and pathway from Cahill Drive West and Plante Drive to the South Keys Transit Station will greatly enhance security and safety in the evenings.

  • Minister Baird, Mayor Watson agree to work together on light rail

    OTTAWA, ONTARIO – John Baird, Minister Responsible for the National Capital Commission and Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and His Worship, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson today issued the following statement:

    “Both the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa have committed to taking the next 100 days to continue to work constructively along with the NCC toward a solution on this transit issue.

    “Moving forward, we have agreed to stay in close contact, meet on a more regular basis on a range of regional issues, and maintain a positive dialogue as we work together for the betterment of our great Capital.”


    Government of Canada contact:

    Adam Hodge

    Press Secretary

    Office of the Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.




    City of Ottawa contact:

    Brook Simpson

    Press Secretary

    Office of Mayor Jim Watson

    City of Ottawa

    613-580-2424, ext. 21526


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Carol Burrows

    Mayor Jim Watson and Ward Councillor Peter Clark presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Carol Burrows today for her five decades of advocacy for seniors’ rights and continuing volunteer work to improve the quality of life of Ottawa’s seniors and older adults.

    Mrs. Burrows, at 78, is not spending her upper years in warmer climates and leisure pursuits. Rather, she continues to work with many Ottawa organizations that help and advocate for seniors. Her personal focus is on affordable supportive housing for seniors, particularly women and those who have the lowest incomes or are homeless.

    She started working for a better quality of life for seniors in the 1970s, when she was in her 20s. She was managing a Lighthouse program at a local school, where she arranged an evening program to help teach people how to care for their elderly parents. She also developed a pilot project that encouraged grade six students to spend at least one afternoon a week with seniors at a nearby nursing home. The pilot was a huge success and became permanent.

    The long list of organizations she has worked with, and helped steer as a director, includes:

     – Cornerstone, an emergency shelter and supportive housing facility for homeless women
    – Community Care Access Centre
    – Council on Aging of Ottawa
    – Carefor Health and Community Services
    – Champlain Local Health Integration Network
    – United Way Ottawa Seniors Affordable Supportive Housing Task Force

    Mrs. Burrows has received numerous awards and citations for her work, including the Council on Aging of Ottawa’s 2008 Margaret Griffiths Award

  • Ottawa to host 2017 Canadian Videogame Awards

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson announced today in an online video that Ottawa will host the Canadian Videogame Awards in 2017.

    “As Canada’s most-wired city, Ottawa is an ideal place to host the Canadian Videogame Awards,” said Mayor Watson. “In conjunction with the awards the City will also host a videogame championship. We will even project semi-final and final matches onto the exterior walls of several buildings in the city, making this an exciting addition to the growing list of programming for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. For the computer industry, and gamers everywhere, Ottawa will be the place to be in 2017.”

    Ottawa is currently home to 23 videogame companies and Canada is the third-largest producer of videogames in the world. The worldwide videogame market was worth an estimated $93 billion in 2013.

    “This event is solid evidence of an excellent partnership that exists between the City of Ottawa and the local tourism players,” said Noel Buckley, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “We are proud supporter of the Awards and look forward to many more high profile events as we ramp our efforts for the big year in 2017”.

    The 2017 Canadian Videogame Awards gala will generate up to one million dollars in local economic benefits. The associated videogame championship ‎is expected to bring many more visitors and consequently additional economic benefit. These events will also increase Ottawa’s international profile as a destination for innovative talent.

    The 2017 Canadian Videogame Awards have been brought to the City through the Bid More, Win More, Host More program, which is attracting world-class events to Ottawa as a means of promoting economic prosperity and growth. As a central component of the City’s Economic Development Strategy, the combination of bids won and events hosted has resulted in close to $42 million for Ottawa’s economy. Future events that have been confirmed, including the Brier and FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada, will result in up to an additional $37 million in local economic benefits.

  • Honouring My Father unveiled at City Hall

    Ottawa – In the days that followed the October 22 fatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial, Ottawa artist Katerina Mertikas searched for a way to express the grief shared by all Canadians and to somehow help Corporal Cirillo’s five-year-old son Marcus. She soon decided to do what she does best, and create art from the heart.

    This morning at Ottawa City Hall’s Heritage Building, Mayor Jim Watson and Mrs. Mertikas unveiled her original painting, Honouring My Father, and announced that gallery-quality prints of the painting are being sold to benefit the Marcus Cirillo national trust fund.

    Honouring My Father is a fitting tribute to Corporal Nathan Cirillo’s service to our country and the mutual love between Corporal Cirillo and his son Marcus,” said Mayor Watson. “Selling prints of the painting to help aid Marcus Cirillo’s future is a tremendous gesture by Mrs. Mertikas and Koyman Galleries. I am honoured that Mrs. Mertikas has entrusted the original painting to hang in the Mayor’s boardroom at Ottawa City Hall, where I will proudly show it to all who visit.”

    One of the prints will also hang in Jean Pigott Place on the main floor of City Hall.

    “I created this painting on the day of the shooting as a way to express my tremendous sadness for the life that was lost and the son who would now be without a father,” said artist Katerina Mertikas. “I wanted the painting to benefit Marcus in some way and I was thrilled that Koyman Galleries was able to help achieve that. The Mayor’s boardroom at City Hall is the perfect place for the original painting to hang as a reminder to everyone not to forget that awful day, that young boy and his father.”

    Prints of this painting are being offered through for $124. The gallery-wrapped limited edition prints are hand-signed and numbered by the artist. All profits will be contributed to the trust fund for Marcus Cirillo.

  • Confederation Line among best rail/transit projects in the Americas

    Ottawa – The Confederation Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project has been presented the Silver Award for Best Rail/Transit Project in the Americas.

    The award was established by P3 bulletin – a magazine and website centred on public-private sector partnerships aimed at procuring, building and managing public infrastructure – and presented on October 23 in New York City. Ottawa’s LRT project stood out among a host of projects and companies across Canada, the United States of America and Latin America.

    “This is another proud day for Ottawa and for the Confederation Line,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It is another in a string of international awards that are a testament to the City’s partnership with the Rideau Transit Group and help to reinforce this innovative project as one that will transform the way we live, move and grow the economy in Ottawa.”

    The Confederation Line was recognized for meeting and exceeding project milestones. A panel of 50 judges noted that the project combined an iconic design with the functional needs of Ottawa’s first light rail line. They described it as a “very compelling” and innovative project that hits the mark in a number of areas of good practice for P3 initiatives.

    “Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is honoured to receive this partnership award together with the City of Ottawa,” said Antonio Estrada, CEO of RTG. “The Confederation Line reflects a successful P3 model for significant transit infrastructure projects in the Americas, and we are proud to be recognized by the industry.”

    The City of Ottawa would also like to congratulate the Government of Nunavut on receiving the Gold Award for the Iqaluit International Airport Improvement Project.

    The Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. In addition, the City of Ottawa will allocate $287 million of Provincial Gas Tax revenues to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

    The project is the first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-kilometre electric light rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit http://ottawa.ca/confederationline.