• Mayor’s City Builder Award – Marie-Eve Chainey

    Mayor Jim Watson, Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury and Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward Councillor Tim Tierney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Marie-Eve Chainey for her tireless work raising public awareness and funds to help people living with chronic kidney disease.

    In late 2001 while on an exchange program in Spain, Marie-Eve, a rising track-and-field athlete, was diagnosed as having kidney failure due to a rare blood disorder called Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS). She returned to Canada in February 2002 and survived on transfusions and dialysis but had to use a wheelchair and was not able to perform basic functions independently. Her situation began to turn around when she started nocturnal dialysis every night while she slept. She gained her strength back, worked hard to regain her fitness, went to uOttawa to study nursing, and joined the university track and field team. In July 2010, after struggling with kidney disease for eight years, she was able to compete in high jump at the National Track and Field Championships.

    Marie-Eve and her doctors believe patients with kidney disease do much better if they strive to be as fit as it is possible for each individual to achieve.

    As a result, she brought together a few dedicated medical professionals and family members to form the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project — a not-for-profit organization committed to education and public awareness about chronic kidney disease and prevention.

    Through Alive to Strive, Marie-Eve is also involved with The Active Living Grant Program, which provides funding to help people within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network area who are living with kidney disease to participate in fitness activities.

    In April 2015, the annual Alive to Strive Race raised over $30,000 for the Alive to Strive Active Living Grant program and over $15,000 for three related charities, including the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and Ottawa Hospital Kidney Research Centre.


  • Celebrating its heritage and a new, green future, Lansdowne Park officially opens


    Ottawa – After an intensive construction period, Lansdowne has its park. Mayor Jim Watson and Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko today officially opened the new Lansdowne Park, and were joined for the opening event by City Councillors, partners from the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), and many of the professionals, stakeholders and organizations who helped design and build the newest attraction in Ottawa’s parks system.

    “Exactly 13 months ago today we were breaking up the last of the pavement at the old Lansdowne,” said Mayor Watson. “What has emerged is extraordinary. This new park is rooted in the heritage of Lansdowne and our community. At the same time it has been transformed into a modern, urban destination that will resonate in the hearts and minds of visitors as much as the former fair grounds did for past generations.”

    The 18-acre, intricately designed urban park includes expanses of lawn, courtyards, a heritage orchard, a farmers’ market square, an outdoor skating rink, a water feature and a children’s play area. Overall, the new Lansdowne will feature about three times more green space and four times more trees than the old site, as well as 20 event spaces available for community use.

    “Our community is happy to see this additional green space at Lansdowne,” said Councillor Chernushenko. “It will be a great space for both recreation and relaxation. And with connections between Bank Street, the Rideau Canal and many cycling and walking pathways, the park will help unite residents of nearby neighbourhoods.”

    City Council gave initial approval to the Lansdowne Partnership Plan in 2009. The overarching vision was to develop the 40-acre site into an urban destination that increases recreation and green space in the urban core, is accessible by many modes of transportation, preserves and enhances visitors’ understanding of local heritage and culture and exemplifies the City’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The final partnership agreements with OSEG were approved in 2012 initiating two years of construction activities across the site.

    “The development and planning for the new Lansdowne showed us that good design matters,” said Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning Committee. “The beautiful park that we have today is the result of a commitment by City Council to seek the assistance of Canada’s best urban designers and architects and to entice the world’s best designers with an open competition that produced a first-class design worthy of this historic site.”

    In recognition of the importance of heritage to the new Lansdowne, a representative of Ontario Heritage Trust presented Mayor Watson with a special heritage plaque during the event. Another plaque, commemorating the official opening of Lansdowne Park, was also unveiled during the event. Both will be prominently displayed in the park.

    “Lansdowne Park completes the vision of transforming this historic site into a destination for all,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “Lansdowne Park is an example of how Ottawa is applying smart growth by incorporating active recreation, new green space and innovative design to create places that  benefit residents from across the City.”

    The City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department will be responsible for the ongoing programming and management of the urban park area. A range of programs with local community partners will be offered at Lansdowne Park beginning this fall and will include a Christmas farmers’ market, 2015 Winterlude events and programming at the outdoor refrigerated skating rink. Lansdowne Park and TD Place will also be among the six venues across Canada hosting the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

    Ottawa residents are invited to help celebrate the opening of Lansdowne Park with an old-fashioned carnival and picnic in the park on Saturday, August 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit ottawa.ca for details, or follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates.

    The Family DayPass from OC Transpo is the perfect way for families to travel to Lansdowne on Saturday. DayPasses can be purchased from the driver for $8.10 and can be used for up to six people, with a maximum of two aged 13 or older. Event-goers should also consider riding bikes to the celebration and locking up at the free bike corral. More information on how to get to Lansdowne Park is available at ottawa.ca.

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Daniel McCarthy

    Mayor Jim Watson and Alta Vista Ward Councillor Jean Cloutier presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Daniel McCarthy for his dedication to the mission of Scouting and to enhancing Ottawa’s southeast as a healthy, caring community.

    Over the past 20 years, Mr. McCarthy has been a leader of Beaver, Cub, Scout and Venturer troops with the 101st Ottawa Scouting Group at St. Aidan’s Church in Elmvale Acres, as well as a Group Commissioner for 13 years.

    Mr. McCarthy exhibits outstanding dedication and leadership, helping youth of all ages to get the training and master the skills they need for personal development, and inspiring other adult troop leaders by example. He is a special advisor to the Venturer Company, mentoring teens at a challenging time in their lives. He also leads the 101st Group in providing exemplary support to local community services through such initiatives as organizing a Christmas appeal to help local families in need, with the Scouts gathering donations.

    In 2013, he prepared an application on behalf of the 101st Scouting Group, for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The application was approved in 2014, and the Elmvale Scouts received a grant of $8,900 that was used to replace and update camping equipment and tents, to buy equipment for backpacking, canoeing and snowshoeing, and to subsidize training for leaders as well as 15 Venturers.


  • Cities of Tomorrow – Challenge and Showcase

    May 13, 2015 – As a member of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), I have the pleasure to represent Ottawa in addressing many of the challenges large urban centres face, across our province. We have made much progress and in 2014, LUMCO launched several new initiatives including an annual contest and event, the Cities of Tomorrow Challenge and Showcase. Ontario’s Big City Mayors have challenged post secondary students from across Ontario to “think big” and submit their best ideas for solving the challenges faced by Ontario’s cities.

    Over 100 teams representing over 400 students from over 20 Colleges and Universities have begun to make submissions. The Cities of Tomorrow initiative culminates with a Showcase event, October 27-29th, 2015, at the Toronto Congress Centre. Preliminary submissions will be accepted until May 31st, and finalists in each of 4 categories will be invited to present their ideas in a live format at the showcase, where winners will be selected by a panel of judges. The contest themes are LUMCO’s 4 key priorities: transportation, finance, affordable housing, and job creation.

    The Cities of Tomorrow Showcase will be an ideal venue to interact with students and highlight and promote government initiatives related to each of the four LUMCO priorities – the contest themes. If you have any questions about the Cities of Tomorrow Challenge or the showcase please visit the website at www.citiesoftomorrow.ca or email our team at info@citiesoftomorrow.ca.

    I look forward to seeing all the great innovations and ideas brought to the Showcase and hope you will consider participating.

  • Ottawa Champions Baseball Home Opener


    As you may have heard, Ottawa’s new professional baseball team will be taking to the field this spring!


    The Ottawa Champions Baseball Club’s inaugural home opener is on Friday, May 22nd at 7:00pm (the opening ceremonies and community celebration begin at 6pm) at the Ottawa Stadium, now known as Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (RCGT Park).

    I would encourage you to show your support for our newest sports franchise in Ottawa by coming out to celebrate the home opener and taking in games throughout the summer months.The home opener will be a special community celebration for the return of professional baseball to our city.


    Tickets for the home opener and the rest of the season are available for purchase on the Ottawa Champions website: www.ottawachampions.com


    I hope to you see you at the home opener!


    Jim Watson
  • Ottawa 2017 Poster Contest


    With Canada’s 150th birthday fast approaching, we would like to invite students in Grades 1-12 from across the city to participate in a contest to create the official postcards for the Ottawa 2017 celebrations. These postcards will be sent to major cities across the country, to invite everyone to come to the Nation’s Capital to celebrate this very special anniversary. Your students can help make Ottawa THE place to celebrate in 2017!

    WHAT: We would like to see students get creative and put their artistic talents to work, with the help of their teachers, and come up with a postcard drawing or graphic design that illustrates the best that Ottawa has to offer, and why everyone NEEDS to be here to be a part of this historic celebration.

    WHEN: A selection panel of Ottawa artists will be assembled at City Hall to choose one winner from each grade.

    HOW: Schools have until May 21 at noon to submit their winning designs to their board office.

    PRIZE: The winning students, along with their classmates, will be invited to a pizza party at City Hall with the Mayor and City Councillors. The 12 winning designs will appear on thousands of print and digital postcards to be sent out across the nation!