• Committee responds to long-term care reviews by recommending immediate $1.8 million for 35 new staff, critical equipment and technology upgrades

    Ottawa –Today, the Audit Committee and the Community and Protective Services Committee each received independent reviews of the City’s long-term care homes. At the Audit Committee, Auditor General Ken Hughes presented a review of the management of medications and an investigation into the reporting of a 2017 incident at a long-term care home. At the Community and Protective Services Committee, Greg Fougère, a consultant hired by the City to review its long-term care homes, presented his findings, which followed 240 interviews over several months.
    These reviews are the third and fourth independent reviews of the City’s long-term care services following the issuance of a Compliance Order to the City by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The other two reviews were the Compliance Plans approved by the Ministry and a comprehensive stakeholder engagement exercise. All four reviews took place over the same time, from late 2017 to early 2018. The results that came from each review were consistent, and complemented or built on the others. Each of the reviews and resulting work plans were shared with stakeholders, along with regular updates.  The constant feedback loop allowed staff to review and refine their work plans to reflect the findings and recommendations of the reviewers, and address the gaps identified.     
    The result is a consolidated work plan with 84 specific recommendations in the areas of staffing, quality improvements in policies and programs, investments in capital and technology infrastructure, communications, and resident care and service delivery improvements. Of the 84 recommendations, 18 have been completed, 43 are in progress and 23 have not yet been started.
    The Community and Protective Services Committee heard that additional staff are needed to ensure that residents receive more personal and nursing care than they do now. The Mayor and Chair Diane Deans moved that 35 additional support staff be hired as soon as possible in 2018, with an immediate, part-year investment of $800,000. This motion was approved by the Committee.                     
    This is in addition to the recommended $1-million capital investment for urgent equipment upgrades of items like beds and lifts, and for staff training and improved technology at the long-term care homes. The Finance and Economic Development Committee will consider this recommendation tomorrow.
    While many of the 84 recommendations do not have budget implications, staff will bring forward any additional funding needed to implement the work plan through the 2019 budget process.
    “I am pleased that we could bring forward this proposal to immediately hire 35 additional Personal Support Workers, which will help us address some of the most pressing challenges identified. I wish to thank City staff and Greg Fougère for their efforts on this file, and I look forward to working with them to ensure we provide better services to our seniors living in long-term care homes.”
    Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa
    “The Auditor General has done thorough, timely work with two audit reports involving the City’s long-term care homes. I thank the Auditor General and his team for work that will result in more support for our staff, stronger management and better service for the more than 700 residents of our long-term care homes.”
    Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair, Audit Committee
    “Our external expert, Greg Fougère, has produced valuable insights into the strengths and areas for improvement in the City’s long-term care. The city needs to address the concerns raised in a comprehensive and timely manner. I thank the staff who have worked so hard to maintain quality care in our homes through this period of examination. I thank our residents, their families and the hundreds of volunteers who help in the homes for their ongoing support through a challenging time. Our goal is to improve care and support staff to provide the best possible quality of life for residents.”
    Councillor Diane Deans, Chair, Community and Protective Services Committee
    The Committee’s recommendation for urgent investment in the front-line staff that provide direct care to residents, along with the capital funds being recommended tomorrow, will allow staff to move more quickly on the changes that are needed to close the gaps in our long-term care homes. If approved by Council, this will make a material difference to our residents, their families and our staff beginning this year.”
    Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

    Mayor Watson calls new gallery a “premier hub for our rich, vibrant and diverse Arts Community.”

    OTTAWA ON, APRIL 28, 2018 Today the new Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) opened to the public, offering a new centre for culture in the city. The inauguration marks a significant moment for Ottawa’s cultural landscape and artistic community, as the new OAG houses galleries for special projects, a permanent collection and the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art.

    Along with the expanded space, the OAG debuted a spectacular exhibition showcasing the region’s rich art history. Àdisòkàmagan / Nous connaître un peu nous-mêmes / We’ll all become stories, is a landmark exhibition of unparalleled scale honouring over 6,500 years of art making in Ottawa-Gatineau.

    “The province welcomes this exciting addition to Ottawa’s cultural scene,” said Daiene Vernile, Ontario Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport.  “The new, expanded space allows the Ottawa Art Gallery to provide an inclusive place to showcase the wonderful breadth of historic and contemporary Canadian art.”

    ‘’The opening of the new Ottawa Art Gallery marks a significant moment in our city’s history and culture. The newly expanded facility will serve as Ottawa’s premier hub for our rich, vibrant and diverse Arts Community. Congratulations to our local arts leaders who worked tirelessly with the City to turn this 30-year-old dream into a reality. Through the collaboration between OAG, community partners and all three levels of government, Ottawa now has a new home for its most important works of arts; an exciting space to share these Canadians treasures with residents and visitors from around the world.’’
    – Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

    A major cultural investment, the new OAG spans six floors and more than 55 000 square feet of programmable space. The stunning contemporary new building offers glimpses of the urban core and includes rotating galleries for historical, contemporary and touring exhibitions, an art studio, two rooftop terraces, a large multi-purpose room and a café all provided within a barrier-free environment complete. The new OAG has fully accessible entrances, gender neutral washrooms and offers free child-care Wednesday evenings and during vernissages. Admission to the new OAG is always free and its operating hours are 9 am to 9 pm, every day.

    ‘’The new Ottawa Art Gallery has been designed with a sense of interconnectivity, manifested not only in the beautiful architecture, but also in its approach to community. You will see a gallery that is accessible, breaks down barriers to participation, a gallery that is free and open when you need it to be, a gallery that embraces diversity, a gallery for you.’’
    -Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery

    The OAG is part of a multi-use complex that also incorporates an exciting private sector mixed-use residential complex, Arthaus condominiums by DevMcGill, and a boutique hotel by Groupe Germain Hotels.

    – 30 –


    For media enquiries, or to set-up interviews please contact:

    Véronique Couillard
    Ottawa Art Gallery
    613-233-8699, x244

    Andrea Chrysanthou
    Global Public Affairs


    Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)

    OAG is Ottawa municipal’s art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.

  • Tony Mariani receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Kanata South Ward Councillor Allan Hubley presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Tony Mariani at City Council today in recognition of his dedication to volunteerism, particularly for Ottawa’s Italian community.

    Mr. Mariani has been involved with organizing Italian Week in Ottawa since 1975, putting together a week-long program of events that celebrates the history, heritage and impact that Ottawa’s Italian community has had on the City. Mr. Mariani has been instrumental in organizing an annual gala for St. Anthony’s Church for the past decade. St. Anthony’s is the unofficial home of Ottawa’s Italian community.

    Mr. Mariani, the CEO of Mar Gard Builders Limited, is also a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish Foundation Eastern Ontario and has worked tirelessly to raise funds. He has been named an Honorary Lifetime Board Member for his continued dedication.

  • The Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston receive the Key to the City

    Ottawa – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to The Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, at a ceremony at City Hall.

    The Right Honourable David Johnston was recognized for an unwavering commitment to education, learning and innovation, youth, philanthropy and volunteerism, with the distinct honour of serving as Governor General of Canada from 2010 to 2017.

    Mrs. Sharon Johnston was recognized for an illustrious career in rehabilitation science with a steadfast commitment to mental health and wellness advocacy, and her dedication to supporting Indigenous youth and families.

    During their time in Ottawa, the Johnstons encouraged all Canadians to join in the building of a smarter, more caring nation.


    “It is an honour to present the City’s highest award to the Right Honourable David Johnston and Mrs. Sharon Johnston. Both have dedicated their lives to helping others and have encouraged their fellow Canadians to do the same. Their contributions through volunteering, advocacy, philanthropy and leadership have had a profound impact on Ottawa and we are a better city for it.”
    Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

    Key Facts

    The Key to the City

    • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s most prestigious award.
    • An ornamental key is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. This practice has a symbolic meaning evoking medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. The key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.
    • Some former recipients include:
      • Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth (now, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)
      • Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands
      • Author Margaret Atwood
      • Photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh
      • The Community Foundation of Ottawa
      • Actress Sandra Oh
      • Ottawa Senators former Captain Daniel Alfredsson
      • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada
      • Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
      • TV and radio news journalist, Michel Picard


    The Right Honourable David Johnston

    David Johnston was born in Copper Cliff, near Sudbury, Ontario on June 28, 1941, the son of Dorothy Stonehouse and Lloyd Johnston, the retail manager of a local hardware store.

    Mr. Johnston attended Harvard University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963, twice being selected to the All American hockey team on his way to being named to Harvard’s athletic hall of fame. He later obtained Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University.

    Mr. Johnston’s professional career began in 1966 as assistant professor in the Queen’s University law faculty. He moved on to the University of Toronto’s law faculty in 1968, and became dean of Western University’s law faculty in 1974. He was named principal and vice chancellor of McGill University in 1979, serving for fifteen years before returning to teaching as a fulltime professor in the McGill Faculty of Law.

    In June 1999, he became the fifth president and vice chancellor of the University of Waterloo, serving until 2010. He is married to Sharon Johnston, with whom he has five daughters. They are grandparents to 14 grandchildren.

    When David Johnston became governor general, he called upon all Canadians to join in the building of a smarter, more caring nation. His seven year viceregal mandate—the third longest in Canadian history— was characterized by inclusiveness, dedication, energy and ambition in quest of a smarter, more caring Canada and a better world.

    David Johnston was the 28th governor general of Canada, from October 1, 2010, to October 2, 2017.

    Mrs. Sharon Johnston

    Sharon Johnston began her working career in Kingston, Ontario, as a psychiatric occupational therapist with young adults at Kingston General Hospital, and then as a therapist at Beechgrove, a treatment centre for young children with learning and behavioural problems. When the Johnston family moved to Toronto, she worked at the Crippled Children’s Centre in Occupational Therapy.

    In 1966, Mrs. Johnston completed her studies in physical and occupational therapy at the University of Toronto. Later, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Science degree at McGill University, and obtained her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University. She also wrote an autobiographical essay for inclusion in a collection on notable women of Montréal.

    Mrs. Johnston is an avid horse-riding enthusiast. She ran a horse-training centre for 12 years out of Chatterbox Farm, in Ontario, which she shared with her husband. She published her first novel Matrons and Madams, a fictional account of life in southwestern Alberta during a colourful, post-Great War era, based on her grandmother’s experiences. In June 2016, Mrs. Johnston was appointment Honorary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces.

    Mrs. Johnston was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She and Mr. Johnston have five adult daughters and 14 grandchildren.

  • City announces shortlist of five teams to design new central library

    Ottawa – A new milestone has been achieved in the project to create a new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada joint facility. A City of Ottawa Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process for professional design services, initiated in May of 2017, has resulted in the selection of five shortlisted teams from 33 submissions received. The shortlisted teams have been invited to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

    The shortlisted teams are (in alphabetical order):

    • Bing Thom Architects (Canada) – GRC Architects (Canada)
    • Diamond Schmitt Architects (Canada) – KWC Architects (Canada)
    • Mecanoo International b.v. (Holland) – NORR Architects & Engineers Ltd (Canada)
    • Patkau Architects (Canada) – MSDL Architects (Canada) – GRC Architects (Canada)
    • Schmidt/hammer/lassen/ architects (Denmark) – KPMB Architects (Canada) – Hobin Architecture Inc. (Canada)

    As outlined as a requirement in the RFQ, the shortlisted teams have demonstrated a proven track record in architectural design excellence with projects of a similar size, scope and complexity, and relevant experience in buildings of national, provincial, institutional or civic importance – including libraries, archives, cultural institutions, performing arts centres or museums. 


    “This is an exciting next step forward in realizing a longstanding vision for a new central library. We are pleased to see that the competitive procurement process has produced a shortlist of stellar architectural talent from across the region, the nation and around the globe. This is a unique opportunity to create a landmark institution in our national capital; one that will serve the needs of residents as a community library branch and city-wide resource, while offering all Canadians access to Library and Archives Canada’s public-facing services and their rich and diverse collection.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “The first phase of the procurement process has produced an excellent shortlist of proponents for the architectural design services.  This brings us another step closer to making an iconic Ottawa Central Library a reality. In 2015 and 2016, we heard what spaces and services our community would like in a new facility. We know residents are eager to share ideas on the design, and we look forward to engaging them.”
    Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board

    About the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada joint facility

    On February 8, 2017, City Council approved pursuing a joint facility between Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library Archives Canada (LAC) at 557 Wellington Street.

    The Government of Canada’s 2018 Budget included funding to support Library and Archives Canada’s collaboration with Ottawa Public Library for a joint facility. With this formal federal commitment for LAC’s share of the joint facility, the City of Ottawa, OPL, and LAC are moving forward to create a new facility of national significance.

    A report to City Council and the Ottawa Public Library Board on the OPL-LAC joint facility project is expected in the spring of 2018. The report will include:

    • Governance Agreement between OPL, LAC and the City of Ottawa
    • Funding Strategy for OPL and the City of Ottawa
    • Disposal of existing Main branch
    • Parking Study Recommendations


  • Using a Presto card in Ottawa just got easier

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, Transit Commission Chair Stephen Blais, Garry Griffin, Shoppers Drug Mart District Manager, and Annalise Czerny, PRESTO’s Executive Vice-President, were at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Barrhaven today to announce that Presto card services will be rolling out to retailers across Ottawa.

    Transit customers will be able to purchase monthly passes, load funds, check their balance, and set age-based discounts at 66 Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore locations in Ottawa. The new retail locations are currently being rolled out in a phased approach, with all stores expected to have Presto services available by the end of May. For an up-to-date listing of locations, visit octranspo.com or prestocard.ca.

    The addition of 66 new outlets will make it easier for transit riders to make Presto transactions. They include 51 Shoppers Drug Mart, 12 Loblaws and three Real Canadian Superstore locations. When customers put funds on their Presto card at one of the retailer locations, the balance will be available immediately.

    First-time Community Pass and EquiPass customers must have their discounts set at one of the four OC Transpo Customer Service Centres. Once set, these customers can then load a monthly pass or funds at any of the locations across Ottawa or online.

    Transit customers will continue to be able to use the four OC Transpo Customer Service Centres, three ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres, and ticket machines at Carling, Carleton, Mooney’s Bay, and Greenboro stations to purchase their Presto products. Presto cardholders are also able to load funds and check their balance online at prestocard.ca.

    Presto cards purchased at Shoppers, Loblaws and Superstore locations will have a new black design. However, whether cards are black or green, they will still function exactly the same way.

    For more information, please visit octranspo.com or prestocard.ca.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


    “The added convenience of an additional 66 new retailers in Ottawa will be a real benefit to our transit customers, who will be able to purchase OC Transpo fares when they are out for everyday errands. With store locations all across the city, people will be able to avoid the long lines at the end of each month just to load a pass onto their Presto card.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “Making transit more convenient is key to increasing ridership and managing congestion in our communities, and that is why we are expanding access to PRESTO and working with our municipal partners, like the City of Ottawa, to expand public transit for commuters and families across our province.”
    Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation

    “We’re happy with the rollout of PRESTO to date and we know this service will be a huge time saver for our customers. Today’s announced expansion means more convenience for transit riders in the province.”
    Ken Kirkwood, Senior Director, Category Management, Shoppers Drug Mart

    We’re so pleased to be offering Ottawa transit riders more convenient options for buying and loading their PRESTO cards through our partnership with Loblaw. This is a significant expansion of the existing PRESTO retail network in Ottawa and we know it will make it easier for Ottawa transit riders to choose and use PRESTO. This also helps us move toward our goal of making transit a more convenient and accessible choice for everyone.”
    Phil Verster, President and CEO, Metrolinx

    Quick facts

    • Presto card transactions can be made online or at 77 locations across the city, including:
      • 51 Shoppers Drug Marts
      • 12 Loblaws
      • Three Real Canadian Superstores
      • Four OC Transpo Customer Service Centres
      • Three ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres
      • Four ticket machines at Carling, Carleton, Mooney’s Bay, and Greenboro stations
    • Cost to purchase a Presto card is $6
    • Using a Presto card instead of cash saves users .05 cents on every single-fare ride.

    OC Transpo

    Social media

  • Dallas Greeley receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward Councillor, Riley Brockington, presented Dallas Greeley with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting.

    Dallas Greeley first started volunteering with the Billings Estate National Historic Site tea room 12 years ago. Since then she has branched out to support City of Ottawa museums in other areas, including children’s programs, site maintenance such as painting fences and gardening, Doors Open Ottawa, as well as mentoring, training and interviewing prospective volunteers. Dallas has proven her reliability and passion for public service. She is a valuable ambassador to both the public and other volunteers.

    Contributing over two thousand hours, Dallas has been a leading example of community involvement on the front line of museums by delivering exceptional customer service and by contributing feedback, ideas, and suggestions for improving operations.

    Dallas’ record of volunteerism at the museum is unrivalled at over these twelve years. She has spent a great deal of time ensuring that visitors of all ages feel welcome and accommodated during their museum visits and many of them enquire about her on subsequent visits.


  • Mayor Watson announces the winners of the Mayor for a Day contest

    Ottawa — Mayor Jim Watson announced today the winners of the first Mayor for a Day contest. Madison Richmire, a grade 10 student from A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, and Jackson Millenor, a grade 10 student from St. Peter Catholic High School, were selected for their exceptional and innovative ideas on how to make Ottawa a better place to live.

    Madison’s active transportation and recreation suggestions of adding more OC Transpo bus routes, additional bike paths and creating more outdoor spaces and sport facilities for youth would help improve the way residents travel and move through our city. Jackson’s ideas of converting all street lights to LED technology, retrofitting City parks and outdoor public spaces and creating multipurpose gathering spaces in libraries and modernising their technology equipment would benefit the environment, help bring people together and create new community hubs.

    The two winning students have been invited to be Mayors for a Day on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Madison and Jackson will chair the City Council meeting alongside Mayor Watson, accompany the Mayor at various community and city events and learn more about how municipal governments work.

    The Mayor for a Day contest was organized by the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC) in partnership with the City of Ottawa and Mayor Jim Watson’s office, as a way to promote youth engagement on municipal politics and civic issues. It took place from February 2 to 28 and was open to all Ottawa high school students in grades 9 to 12. Participants were invited to submit their ideas on how to improve the city for their chance to experience a day in the life of the Mayor. Over 90 applications with more than 250 ideas from students from high schools across the city and from all school boards were received. Submitted ideas from all participants will help inform the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee’s Youth Action Plan (YAP), as part of OYEC’s current citywide youth consultations.