• #Ottawa4FortMac raised $ 128 580 for Fort McMurray relief efforts

    On June 8, Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Senators player Chris Phillips hosted #Ottawa4FortMac, a western themed fundraiser in support of the Canadian Red Cross’s emergency appeal and the United Way’s relief efforts directed towards helping the residents of Fort McMurray rebuild their lives and their community.

    Dozens of local businesses joined them in their commitment to helping those who have been affected by the devastating Fort McMurray fires, by providing the necessities needed to bring the fundraiser to life, from event production and performing artists to pizza and beer.

    Together, Mayor Watson, Chris Phillips and the generous sponsors and donors raised $ 128 580.44.

    Hundreds of people gathered at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park and enjoyed the performances of Kira Isabella, the River Town SaintsThe AbramsJordan McIntosh and Meghan Patrick, courtesy of Ottawa’s New Country 94 and Bell Media.

    Operational logistics for the evening were generously donated by Brookstreet Hotel, Avant-Garde Designs, Event Design Group, Lamarche Electric, Securitas and Mediaplus Advertising.

    Food was provided by Delta Ottawa City Centre, Gabriel Pizza, Milano Pizzeria, Beneci Pizzeria, Crust & Crate Public House, Newport Restaurant, Bakery Baby, Lone Star Texas Grill, Papa Jacks and Sobey’s Barrhaven.

    Samplings of beer were provided by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., Beyond The Pale Brewing Company, Bicycle Craft Brewery, Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery, Broadhead Brewing Company, Cassel Brewery, Clocktower Brew Pub, Dominion City Brewing Co., Kichesippi Beer Company, Lowertown Brewery, Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. and Waller Street Brewery and kept cool with ice provided by Levy Restaurants.

    Mayor Watson and Chris Phillips would like to thank all the generous sponsors, donors, attendees, and supporters, and are proud of the compassion and leadership that Ottawa has expressed.

  • Fall for the Arts: Mayor Watson announces the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts

    Today, Mayor Jim Watson announced the first Mayor’s Gala for the Arts, an event to celebrate, support and grow Ottawa’s artistic and cultural scene. He was joined by Ottawa Arts Council Executive Director Peter Honeywell and Ottawa Art Gallery Director and CEO Alexandra Badzak.

    This unique dinner reception and artistic experience will showcase the vibrancy of Ottawa’s local arts community. It is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the achievements of Ottawa’s local artists, while supporting the upcoming talent of tomorrow.

    “Ottawa is a city of artists and innovators; of spectators and celebrations,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Gala will create a stage on which Ottawa’s artists and innovators can occupy the forefront, and elevate our City’s artistic scene. Together, let’s Fall for the Arts”.

    “The Mayor’s Gala for the Arts will help to elevate our project partners by bringing broader engagement and increased resources,” said Peter Honeywell, Executive Director, Ottawa Arts Council.

    “The Mayor’s support of the OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project is fundamental. Not only has the City assembled an exceptional team to lead design and construction on the project, the Mayor’s Gala will further our shared goals of building excitement and community support for the most important facility development project for the arts in Ottawa’s history- a true 2017 legacy!”, said Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery.

    Mayor Watson also announced that CF Rideau Centre and the Downtown Rideau BIA will partner as the title sponsor of the Mayor’s inaugural gala for the arts.

    Mayor Watson added that “This investment by CF Rideau Centre and the Downtown Rideau BIA in the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts is a major vote of confidence in the future of Downtown Rideau as the heart of Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District”.

    The inaugural Gala will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park. The proceeds will be directed to the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project, which is currently under construction. Click here to purchase your ticket.

    Together, let’s Fall for the Arts.

  • Downtown Ottawa is open for business with free special bus service and free two-hour parking

    This weekend, Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury and I encourage you to to spend some time in downtown Rideau and in the ByWard Market to support our local businesses and the people who work there. We want to make it easy to get to the core, so the the City will provide two hours of free parking on Sunday June 19 and 26, and free shuttles on those same Sundays from Trim, Eagleson and Fallowfield Park & Rides. More information is available by clicking here.

    We would also like to thank the crews who have been working day and night to rebuilt Rideau Street. Thank you.

     

  • The 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017: A Year of Celebrations You Won’t Want to Miss!

    The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced funding of $5 million to Ottawa 2017 (Celebrations Ottawa Inc.). Minister Joly was accompanied by Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, and Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    Through this investment, Ottawa 2017 will offer a diverse range of activities to highlight the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada’s Capital Region. Residents and visitors are invited to show their pride in being Canadian and participate in 12 full months of bold, immersive and inspirational experiences.

    Ottawa 2017 events will include the celebration of foreign national days, performing arts presentations highlighting Canada’s provinces and territories, an underground multimedia experience projected in one of Ottawa’s future light rail transit stations, a Canadian videogame competition projected in monumental proportions onto buildings across the city, and a host of activities related to the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup®, a national treasure.

    The 150th anniversary of Confederation gives Canadians the opportunity to get involved in their communities and to celebrate together our shared values, our achievements, our majestic environment and our country’s place in the world.

    To make 2017 a memorable year of celebrations for all Canadians, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in Canada-wide, regional and local projects to increase Canadians’ awareness and invite them to participate in the many events taking place throughout the year.

  • My message in the wake of the Orlando tragedy

    It was with great sadness that I learned this morning of the horrible tragedy that happened in a nightclub in Orlando overnight, where the lives of 50 members of the LGBTQ community were taken. This was the deadliest shooting in the history of the United States. My condolences go to the families and friends of the victims, and to our American friends who are mourning this loss.
     
    I have been advised that a vigil organized by Capital Pride will be held at 8 p.m. this evening at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street. As a show of solidarity to those who are mourning this loss within their community, I have asked that the Pride flag be flown in front of the Heritage Building, and that the American flag be flown at Marion Dewar Plaza, both until sundown on Thursday, June 16. 
     
    We are fortunate to live in a city and a country that embrace diversity, and where people are free to love who they wish to love. But this act of hate and terror reminds us that we must keep making progress until this climate of acceptance is extended to all members of the LGBTQ community around the world.
     
    There is simply no reason for this senseless act of violence. We will keep those affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers, and we wish them strength in their battle against hatred, discrimination and extremism.
    Jim Watson
    Mayor
  • Historic transit win for Ottawa residents

    On June 3, the Province of Ontario announced an investment of $1 billion towards the City’s Stage 2 LRT initiative, plus 50 per cent of the cost associated with extending the O-Train system to the airport and from Place d’Orléans to Trim. This is a total investment of $1.16 billion. This is an historic vote of confidence in the future of the City of Ottawa.

    This is also the single largest one-time infrastructure investment by the Province of Ontario in the economic transformation of our city.

    My stated goal as Mayor of the City of Ottawa, working with my Council colleagues, is to ensure that we continue to expand our LRT system to meet the needs of our residents – we don’t want to put shovels away in 2018 once the Confederation Line is complete.

    With the Province’s support, we can keep building on this momentum as we work to extend LRT farther west to Bayshore and Algonquin College, even farther east to Trim, and farther south to Riverside South and to the Ottawa Airport.

    The Province’s investment strengthens our ability to deliver a reliable, world-class, environmentally sustainable LRT system.

    By reducing traffic congestion and better connecting our city, this project will support our region’s economic success – boosting Ottawa’s competitive edge and the ability of local firms to compete with the world, while welcoming a greater number of visitors from around the globe with a modern light rail system that will enhance the visitor experience in our magnificent city.

    Stage 2 will see us further expand Ottawa’s O-Train network to a system with more than 50 kilometres of rail. The reach of this investment will bring 70 per cent of the city’s population to within five kilometres of a station by 2023.

    This is a game-changer for Ottawa – for our local economy, for our environment, for spurring smart growth, and for our quality of life.

    It will provide fast, comfortable and convenient connections between our residential areas, our largest employment areas, major retail outlets, and key cultural and recreational destinations.

    It will also support our efforts to build an education and innovation powerhouse, anchored by our four post-secondary institutions – the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale.

    As for improving the quality of life for our Ottawa residents – we know an hour spent in gridlock is an hour away from family and other much more productive endeavours.

    Stage 2 will take more than 10,000 cars off the road, it will dramatically reduce the number of buses on our streets and roads, and will help fight gridlock in our fast-growing city.

    The system will integrate stations into the urban fabric of our neighbourhoods and will improve walking and cycling, as well as providing a transit system that is accessible to all.

    Friday’s funding announcement symbolizes the progress we have made as a city.

    I am very proud that Council unanimously carried the proposal to build the Confederation Line, followed by the unanimous decision to build Stage2.

    Without that teamwork, we would not be here today.

    I am also proud of the tremendous support we have received from the people of Ottawa since launching our proposal to bring LRT to Ottawa and to build it with a downtown tunnel.

    Demand for LRT is growing across our city as residents seek a sustainable alternative to the worsening gridlock.

    Ottawa used to be the laughing stock of the province after north-south rail was cancelled. That is no longer the case.

    We are moving forward with a bold plan with the unwavering support of the Province of Ontario. In the coming months, we will work with the Government of Canada to secure their contribution to Stage 2 LRT as well.

    My commitment to the residents of Ottawa is to stay the course and pull out all the stops to see this vision through.

    The Province’s funding commitment is a very important stop en route to our goal of building a world-class transit system for the residents of Ottawa.

     

  • Ontario Committing More Than $1 Billion for Stage 2 LRT in Ottawa

    Today, the Province of Ontario announced more than $1 billion in funding towards the City of Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT expansion project. This historic investment in our City will boost our economy, connect our city and improve the quality of life of residents.

    Read the official Province of Ontario News Release below


     

    News Release

    Ontario Committing More Than $1 Billion for Light Rail Transit in Ottawa

    June 3, 2016

    New LRT Will Create Jobs, Drive Growth and Improve Quality of Life

    Ontario is committing more than $1 billion toward the City of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) expansion project to help grow the economy, reduce travel times and connect people to jobs.

    Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the investment in Ottawa today. The funding represents the largest provincial transit investment in Ottawa’s history. New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people across the region. The expanded LRT will also lower greenhouse gas pollution, improving air quality and fighting climate change.

    The Stage 2 LRT project will add 30 kilometres of new rail and 19 new stations, extending the LRT network to the east, west and south. Ontario’s funding commitment will also help support the capital costs of two additional extensions: a spur to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and an extension to Trim Road in Orléans. These will add 6.5 kilometres of new rail and three stations. Construction on Stage 2 is expected to start in 2018, once the Stage 1 Confederation Line is completed. Stage 2 is expected to enter service in 2023.

    Ontario’s funding for Stage 2 is part of the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — $160 billion over 12 years — for projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. The planned investments would support 110,000 jobs on average every year across the province. In 2015, Ontario announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life.

    Investing in priority transit infrastructure is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

    Quick Facts

    • Ontario has already committed up to $600 million towards the Stage 1 LRT project, called the Confederation Line — a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded with the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa.
    • Stage 2 will extend the Ottawa LRT network to the east from Blair to Place-d’Orléans Station; to the west from Tunney’s Pasture to Bayshore Station and southwest to Baseline Station; and to the South from Greenboro Station to Bowesville in Riverside South.
    • Ontario’s commitment of more than $1-billion will also support two additional extensions, a two-stop spur from the Trillium Line to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, and a one-stop extension of the Confederation Line further east from Place-d’Orléans Station to Trim Road in Orléans.
    • Construction is expected to generate nearly 24,000 person-years of employment, or nearly 1,000 full-time jobs.

    Additional Resources

    Quotes

    “Our investment in the Ottawa LRT will make a big difference in people’s everyday lives. It’s one of a number of historic investments in infrastructure that our government is making. It will help to create jobs and grow our economy now and for years to come.”
    — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

    “The province remains committed to working with the City of Ottawa as it moves forward with implementing its Stage 2 LRT project. We know how important public transit is to managing congestion, curbing emissions, creating jobs and building communities.”
    — Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

    “Ontario’s funding of Stage 1 and now Stage 2 of LRT is a major contribution to the economy and quality of life of Canada’s capital city; an efficient and complete transit system is a necessity for our dynamic city.”
    — Bob Chiarelli, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean

    “This is the largest one-time infrastructure investment‎ by the province of Ontario in the economic transformation of our city. On behalf of the City of Ottawa, I would like to thank the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and local caucus members for this historic vote of confidence in Ottawa’s future.”
    — Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

  • Ottawa 2017 welcomes Bell as Premier Partner, announces La Machine – a North American first coming to Ottawa

    I am proud to announce that Bell is joining Ottawa 2017 at a Premier Partner and as the Official Media Partner for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations in the nation’s capital. Together, we announced an Ottawa 2017 Signature Event. A North American first, La Machine will captivate audiences with its ambulatory urban theatre on the streets of downtown Ottawa next summer. Watch this video, courtesy of La Machine, for a glimpse of their larger than life production: https://vimeo.com/168814587

    Read the complete Ottawa 2017 News Release.