• Ottawa 2017? There’s an app for that!

    Download the free Ottawa 2017 App
    to elevate your experience at events throughout the year
     

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce the launch of the Ottawa 2017 App, powered by Ottawa 2017 Premier Partner Bell.

    The free experiential App offers the latest information and updates on Ottawa 2017 programming as well as unique multimedia features to enhance the experience of residents and visitors at events taking place in the nation’s capital throughout Canada’s sesquicentennial year.

    Available for iOS and Android, the Ottawa 2017 App enables users to access exclusive content. They can also take control of the action at specific events with interactive functions, share their experience with other Canadians and take part in Ottawa 2017 celebrations from every corner of the country.

    On December 31, for the Ottawa 2017 New Year’s Eve kick-off event, App users will be able to download their very own virtual torch, which looks like the ones that more than 400 youth will be carrying in the Fire of Friendship Torch Relay. A countdown to the lighting of the Ottawa 2017 Cauldron will cue users to light up their virtual torch, which will also turn on the camera flashlight.

    Year-round, a virtual photobooth will enable App users to take photos using a variety of special filters. The first filters will be very festive with a New Year’s Eve theme. New filters, themed around other Ottawa 2017 events, as well as more interactive features will be added on an ongoing basis throughout the year-long celebration.

    To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150#ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138710500@N02/

    Videos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://vimeo.com/ottawa2017/albums

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

  • Council approves 2017 Budget – improving core services and maintaining two per cent tax commitment

    Today, City Council approved the 2017 Budget, focussing on strengthening core municipal services and long-term affordability. The budget maintains Council’s commitment to limiting the property tax increase to two percent.

    The budget also places emphasis on supporting core community priorities such as social infrastructure, safety, the environment, support for the arts and efforts to promote economic growth. Substantial investments are also made in active transportation, improved transit services, and programs that support our most vulnerable residents.

    Taking into account the provincial upload of social services, the city is increasing the level of investment in the Community and Social Services budget by $5.92 million in City money, which is a 3.1 per cent increased investment over last year. This includes the money for the EquiPass, Community Sustainability Fund, and increasing the inflationary funding from 1.5 to 2 per cent for community agencies.

    One of the key social investments is the introduction of the new EquiPass, which provides residents living below the low income cut-off with a 50 percent discount on a monthly adult transit pass. When it comes into effect this spring, a single person will see a $56 savings every month (close to $672 per year) – leaving more household finances for necessities – such as food, clothing and accommodation. EquiPass is the largest one-time increase in financial support for public transit in the City’s history.

    In addition, the City’s ongoing efficiency reviews – which included the recent corporate alignment – helped secure accumulated savings for both 2017 and 2018. The new alignment enabled the City to operate within its means and optimize its ability to deliver programs and services in an effective and cost-efficient manner.

    The budget also includes a 1.25 percent increase in the total amount generated from transit fares and limits the surcharges for water and sewer services to an increase of five percent. In addition to capping the residential property tax at two percent, the transit levy was set at 2.5 percent, and the garbage fee rose slightly by $2, amounting to approximately $72 per year for an urban home assessed at $395,400 and $60 per year for a rural home assessed at the same amount.

    Budget 2017 continues Council’s commitment to strengthen the long-term vision of an affordable, caring, sustainable and prosperous city. City-wide highlights include:

    An Affordable City
    • Limit the proposed tax revenue increase for the City-wide levy to two percent
    • Continue setting money aside to reduce the funding gap for the maintenance of City assets
    • Maintain the Rate-Supported Water and Sewer Charge increase at five percent

    A Caring City
    • Introduce the new EquiPass, a transit pass to assist residents earning below Statistic Canada’s low income cut-off
    • Invest in city-wide safety by adding 24 new paramedic positions and five new emergency response vehicles to maintain our Paramedic Service’s ability to meet legislated response time targets
    • Maintain our $16-million investment in affordable housing and homelessness programs
    • Invest in community agencies currently receiving Community Funding that deliver a wide range of programs and services
    • Improve road safety by expanding the red-light camera program and funding new street lighting, traffic control devices and crossing-guards
    • Strategic investments in parks and recreation infrastructure and support to recreation programming
    • Increase funding for arts infrastructure and programs that support the long-term marketing and growth of our festivals and other arts, culture and heritage projects that will be chosen by the community

    A Sustainable City
    • Continue improving the City’s cycling infrastructure network with a focus on safety and convenience, featuring buffered bike lanes, enhanced cycling crossings and wider sidewalks for pedestrians
    • Invest in measures to protect the urban tree canopy
    • Build the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel – the largest Ottawa River Action Plan project
    • Rehabilitate the communal well system that serves rural Ottawa

    A Prosperous City
    • Bid on the 2021 Canada Summer Games to bring tourism dollars into the local economy
    • Continue work on the O-Train Confederation Line project
    • Invest $1.75 million to improve and expand bus service for customers in growing areas of the city
    • Invest in transportation infrastructure to support growing neighbourhoods in the west, east and south
    • Support for special events in 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary

    For further information on Budget 2017, visit ottawa.ca/budget.

    Quotes

    “Affordability and inclusiveness are the building blocks of Budget 2017,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “That means keeping the property tax increase at two percent, ensuring equitable access to transit for low income earners, and providing assistance to the most vulnerable members of our community. These steps compliment our budget investments in growth, mobility, economic development, safety and the environment – creating a vibrant city and strong local economy.”

    “The City has worked hard to find efficiencies across the entire organization,” said City Manager Steve Kanellakos. “We are creating a dynamic organization that will strengthen our core municipal services to residents and deliver on the Council priorities that enhance the lives of residents and our city’s future.”

  • Zachary Graves receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    December 14, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Knoxdale-Merivale Ward Councillor Keith Egli presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Zachary Graves at today’s City Council meeting.

    Zachary Graves leads the student run non-profit organization, Tools With Impact, which originally supported the local development of Mossuril, a village in Mozambique, through the donation of hand tools and essential building equipment. Zachary is also proudly involved in the special needs community where he volunteers as a Special Olympics Ontario Swimming Coach and a RBC Bluesfest Disabled Accessibility Team member. Zachary is a lifeguard and counselor at Camp Misquah, a camp for people with developmental disabilities, and he is also a volunteer coach for 77 Ottawa Otters Special Olympics Ontario athletes.

    In its first two years, Tools With Impact was able to raise over $21,000 and collect over $65,000 worth of tools. With these resources, Zachary’s non-profit organization successfully established the first “Tool-Lending Library” in Mossuril and plans to establish several more in Northern Mozambique when their second shipment arrives. This is providing locals with sustainable access to high-quality building and landscaping equipment. Having raised enough tools to sufficiently supply Mossuril and several neighbouring villages, Zachary decided to evolve Tools With Impact’s mission into supporting and equipping underprivileged students with school supplies and educational tools. So far this year, 375 students have worked together to raise $20,000 to purchase supplies for students in need in Mozambique, Mali and Ecuador.

  • Tim Hortons the Official Coffee of Ottawa 2017

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are proud to welcome Tim Hortons as the Official Coffee of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the nation’s capital.

    The iconic Canadian restaurant chain will serve complimentary coffee and hot chocolate at several Ottawa 2017 events including the December 31st New Year’s Eve Celebration, the Stanley Cup 125th Anniversary Tribute Weekend and Picnic on the Bridge. In addition to warming the hearts of event-goers, Tim Hortons’ popular brew will also be served to Ottawa 2017 volunteers. As well, Tim Hortons will provide financial and marketing support to Ottawa 2017, with digital menu boards in restaurants across the country promoting the celebrations.

    “We are tremendously proud that Tim Hortons, a truly Canadian brand that resonates so deeply with residents from coast to coast, has partnered with Ottawa 2017 for our city’s celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Their involvement in the festivities will enhance the experience for residents and visitors alike.”

    “We are very proud to partner with Ottawa 2017 as the Official Coffee of Canada’s 150th birthday festivities in its capital,” said Sami Siddiqui, President, Tim Hortons Canada. “Tim Hortons has been part of communities across Canada for over 50 years and we are very excited to join in the celebrations.”

    To kick-off the partnership, the Tim Hortons community cruiser made a stop on Albert Street this morning to treat commuters to a warm cup of coffee to start the day.

    “Tim Hortons is a strong Canadian brand, deeply entrenched in our communities, reaching every nook of this great country,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “One could say that a shared celebration of Canada and CIBC’s 150th wouldn’t be complete without Tims on board and, as their proud long standing partner, we are thrilled to welcome Tim Hortons to the Ottawa 2017 family.”

    “Tim Hortons is an emblematic Canadian corporation that touches the everyday lives of Canadians,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “This partnership will assist us in reaching Canadians across the country during Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations.”

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138710500@N02/

    Videos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://vimeo.com/user39239007/videos

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.
    About TIM HORTONS®
    TIM HORTONS®, part of Restaurant Brands International, is one of North America’s largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, TIM HORTONS® appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of June 30, 2016, TIM HORTONS® had more than 4,400 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. More information about the Company is available at www.timhortons.com.

    About Restaurant Brands International
    Restaurant Brands International Inc. is one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant companies with approximately $23 billion in system sales and over 19,000 restaurants in approximately 100 countries and U.S. territories. Restaurant Brands International owns two of the world’s most prominent and iconic quick service restaurant brands – TIM HORTONS® and BURGER KING®. These independently operated brands have been serving their respective guests, franchisees, and communities for over 50 years. To learn more about Restaurant Brands International, please visit the Company’s website at www.rbi.com.

    For further information, please contact: mediainquiries@timhortons.com

  • My poem for Mayor Naheed Nenshi – 2016 Grey Cup bet

    As tradition would have it, the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, and I placed a bet on who would win the 2016 Grey Cup: the Ottawa RedBlacks or the Calgary Stampeders. As we all know, the Ottawa RedBlacks came back from Toronto with the 104th Grey Cup in hand. To honour our bet, my good friend Mayor Nenshi wore the RedBlacks’ jersey at his City Council on December 5, sent over a dozen donuts from Jelly Modern Doughnuts, donated to the Ottawa Food Bank and read a poem I wrote for him aloud during his Council meeting. I look forward to next year’s Grey Cup bet, and to our RedBlacks defending their championship right here in Ottawa, as we host the 2017 Grey Cup!

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star
    How I wonder why the Stampeders were subpar
    Up above the world so high
    Are the RedBlacks, I can’t lie

    When my hopes of winning were gone,
    And all I could shout was come-on!
    Mayor Watson showed me the light
    And said “don’t worry, you’ll be alright”

    Once again, Ottawa proved to be the bigger shark
    And blew us right out of the park
    I should have been chanting Go RedBlacks Go!
    And high-fived their mascot Big Joe

    The truth is, I envy Ottawa
    The whole city leaves me in awe
    They do everything better than Calgary
    And their people are lovely and merry

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    I’ve learned my lesson from Mayor Jim
    I know better now, next time I’ll listen to him

  • Vehicle testing marks next big milestone for O-Train Confederation Line

    Ottawa – A major milestone in the O-Train Confederation Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project was celebrated today as the first light rail vehicle (LRV) assembled in Ottawa began testing on the track between Blair and Cyrville stations. Vehicle testing along the alignment from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture will continue until the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018.

    David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, along with other dignitaries from all levels of government, participated in a photo opportunity with the LRV in celebration of this milestone.

    The O-Train 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 and the Province of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project and $287 million of provincial gas tax transfers. The remaining project funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

    The Rideau Transit Group is the private sector partner responsible for this first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-kilometre electric light rail line will provide rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and will connect to the O-Train’s Trillium Line at Bayview Station. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will reduce congestion through the downtown core.

    Quotes

    “The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with all orders of government to support infrastructure projects that create jobs and help the middle class grow and prosper. The O-Train Confederation Line will transform how people get where they need to go safely and efficiently, and I am pleased to see how well the project is moving ahead thanks to the tremendous effort by all involved.”
    David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

    “This is great news for the City of Ottawa – we are one step closer to delivering an efficient and world-class transit option for commuters. Construction on the O-Train Confederation Line project supports our objectives of developing an integrated transportation network across Ontario that will help manage congestion, connect people to jobs and improve the economy and our quality of life.”
    The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Provincial Minister of Transportation

    “Today’s milestone is significant as the first light rail vehicle assembled in Ottawa undergoes testing, demonstrating that we are on track to delivering a first-class transit system to our residents in 2018. This is a celebration of all the work that has taken place to date and is a glimpse of the future of transit for our city.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Quick Facts

    • 33 of 34 Alstom CITADIS light rail vehicles (LRVs) are being assembled at the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF), located on Belfast Road.
    • Vehicle and system testing began this fall and will continue up until the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018.
    • One of the initial tests is related to dynamic envelope testing where foam pads are affixed to the vehicle as it runs along the alignment – powered by the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) – to ensure that adequate clearances are maintained from overhead wires, OCS poles, tree branches etc.
    • Residents will see rail vehicles travelling varying distances for testing purposes with no passengers on board.
    • Residents are reminded to stay off the tracks and not to trespass on the alignment, as energized OCS and moving vehicles are hazardous.
    • Vehicle movements will continue at low speeds between Blair and Cyrville stations to enable testing of the functions of various components of the vehicle and systems.
    • Some of the final panels and markings on vehicles will be added in the later stages of testing.
    • Testing will be ongoing as required until 2018, giving residents many opportunities to see the vehicles on the test track (Blair Station to just east of Tremblay Station) initially, and later along the whole alignment.
    • Approximately 100 jobs have been created in Ottawa for the assembly of LRVs.

    Website

    O-Train Confederation Line LRT project

    Video

    LRTV

  • Statement by the Federal National Capital Region Government Caucus, the Ottawa Provincial Government Caucus and the Mayor of the City of Ottawa

    A better location for the Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital – the former Sir John Carling Building site

    December 2, 2016 – On Thursday, November 24, the NCC approved a staff recommendation to offer Tunney’s Pasture to The Ottawa Hospital as the site of the future Civic Campus.

    On Tuesday, November 29, the Board of Governors of The Ottawa Hospital announced its decision to not support the recommendation of the Tunney’s Pasture property, citing key concerns around access, costs and timelines.

    Today, the Federal National Capital Region Government Caucus, the Ottawa Provincial Government Caucus and the Mayor of Ottawa committed to working together to fast-track the approval of the former Sir John Carling Building site as the preferred location for the new Civic Campus – and to get on with the important work of building a better Civic Campus for all residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. Together the group represents eleven federal MPs, five provincial MPPs and the Mayor of the City of Ottawa.

    The approximately 50 acre site is located at the northeastern corner of the Central Experimental Farm. The former Sir John Carling Building site does not include any research fields and will have a minimal impact on agricultural lands or recreational greenspace.

    The site’s central location provides easier access to the Queensway from both directions for Ottawa residents and patients who travel to the Civic Campus from the East and West and from throughout Eastern Ontario. It also provides easier access to residents from the South end of Ottawa via the Veterans’ Memorial Highway (416) or via Prince of Wales Drive.

    The site is within 100 metres of the Trillium Line, which will connect to the Confederation Line at Bayview Station once the Confederation Line opens in 2018.

    The Ottawa Hospital believes the former Sir John Carling Building site addresses their key concerns with regard to access, costs and timelines. Our community deserves a 21st century hospital and we are committed to bringing world-class health care to the City of Ottawa. This recommendation has the full support of the Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors.

    Not only does this site bring all parties together, it addresses the views of the community that the site be located in the downtown core while being easily accessible by public transit.

    Today, our group has written to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for the NCC, informing her of its support for the former Sir John Carling Building site as the future home of the new Civic Campus.

    The Statement on a Better Location for the Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital has been endorsed by the following elected officials:

    Federal National Capital Region Government Caucus Members

    Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change & MP, Ottawa Centre
    Hon. Andrew Leslie, MP, Ottawa-Orléans
    David McGuinty, MP, Ottawa South
    Karen McCrimmon, MP, ‎Kanata Carleton
    Anita Vandenbeld, MP, Ottawa West-Nepean
    Chandra Arya, MP, Nepean
    Francis Drouin, MP, Glengarry – Prescott – Russell
    Steve MacKinnon, MP, Gatineau
    Greg Fergus, MP, Hull Aylmer
    Will Amos, MP, Pontiac
    ‎Stéphane Lauzon, MP, Argenteuil – La Petite-Nation

    Ottawa Provincial Government Caucus

    Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure & MPP, Ottawa West-Nepean
    Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General (Ontario) & MPP, Ottawa Centre
    Hon. Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, & MPP, Ottawa-Orléans
    John Fraser, MPP, Ottawa South
    Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP, Ottawa-Vanier

    City of Ottawa

    Jim Watson, Mayor