• Council approves community’s vision for Rideau Street Primary tabs

    Ottawa – City Council today approved the community’s Rideau Street Vision Statement and Guiding Principles that will help to inform ongoing and future development in the area from Mackenzie Avenue to the Cummings Bridge.

    “We want Rideau Street to be a world-class, cosmopolitan ‘high street’ in the heart of the city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We are eager to work with local business and residents to create a rich mix of urban activities and cultural expression that will strengthen the vibrant character of the street and appeal to people of all ages.”

    “Rideau Street is one of the premier thoroughfares in our city that links tourists and residents to our downtown core,” said Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury. “It must be an easily accessible downtown hub with shopping, arts and culture. Our goal is to make it an even more unique and exciting public place that attracts residents and tourists alike to come and experience our downtown.”

    In creating this exciting new plan for Rideau Street, City staff surveyed a broad cross-section of the local community for their input. Members of the Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Association were also key to developing the vision statement and principles that will be used as a guide for all future initiatives and projects in the area. The community requested a more rigorous maintenance program, upgrading of landscaping, new public art and lighting to distinguish the area and improve the perception of safety.

    The end result is a comprehensive plan that encompasses six guiding principles that will see Rideau Street become:

     1. A commercial “high street”

    2. A thriving social and cultural hub

    3. An accessible destination

    4. A lively, inviting and animated place

    5. A gateway to Parliament Hill

    6. A well-balanced, transportation system

    This ambitious neighbourhood project will begin with the reconstruction of Rideau Street from Dalhousie to the Cummings Bridge. The effort will include full roadway, curb and sidewalk reconstruction, replacing the existing watermains, valves, hydrants, and services. The project is planned to begin in 2012 and last for two years. Construction is subject to budget approval. Other major projects, such as Light Rail Transit, will also fit into this long-term revitalization of one of Ottawa’s most historic and key areas.

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  • Chinatown Gateway project receives prestigious award

    Ottawa – The Chinatown Gateway Arch on Somerset Street, a unique “twin-city” project with Beijing, China, was recently named Public Works 2011 Project of the Year in the Structures category by the American Public Works Association (APWA). This project was completed in October 2010 with funding from three levels of government and the strong support of the local community, individuals and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association (BIA).

    “This award is a wonderful tribute to all the exceptional people who were responsible for turning an idea into a magnificent achievement,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Visitors and residents alike are truly impressed by this imperial gateway to Chinatown and I want to thank and congratulate everyone who played a role in its creation.”

    The APWA awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance and cooperative achievement in this instance, between the City of Ottawa as the managing agency, the primary contractor, R. W. Tomlinson Limited, and the primary consultant, Delcan Corporation. The award presentation will take place in Denver Colorado during APWA 2011 International Public Works Congress & Exposition from September 18-21, 2011.

    “The Chinatown Gateway is breathtaking and already a much-loved landmark in Ottawa,” said Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes. “It is a shining example of what can be achieved when the City works with other levels of government, the private sector, residents and community groups.”

    The Gateway, at the corner of Somerset Street and Cambridge Avenue just west of Bronson Avenue, was opened on October 7, 2010 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations. The City of Beijing contributed the concept design and finishing and decorative materials. A team of traditional artisans and technicians from China assembled the decorative panels, the roof sections, and painted the gateway.

    The governments of Canada and Ontario each provided $125,000 and the Chinatown BIA provided $350,000 towards the cost of the Gateway. The BIA also contributed another $80,000 in additional expenses required to complete the project and, of its total contribution, the BIA received almost $330,000 through generous corporate and private donations. The City of Ottawa provided the space required for the construction of the Gateway at no cost, as well as $290,000 in roadwork and other modifications required to accommodate and complete the structure. The City of Beijing contributed $300,000 of in-kind services, including architectural design, premium-grade materials and the expertise of Chinese tradesmen.

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  • Ottawa to host 2012 JUNO Awards Primary tabs

    juno-awardsOttawa – The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), along with their broadcast partner CTV, announced today that the City of Ottawa will host THE 2012 JUNO AWARDS and JUNO Week events and festivities, March 26 – April 1, 2012.

    “This is great news for our City and for our tourism and hospitality sectors in particular,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The JUNO Awards not only bring visitors to our hotels and restaurants, they also help us to spread the word about Ottawa and enhance our reputation as a convenient and friendly host city for major events of all types.”

    Hosting the JUNOS is expected to generate $5 million in direct expenditures from out-of-town visitors; create 82 jobs and inject $5.3 million into the local economy.

    “The JUNO Awards and events like it provide the perfect backdrop for Ottawa’s entire tourism industry to stand out,” emphasized Noel Buckley, President & CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “This is a major opportunity for us to further develop the Ottawa brand that is so critical to the long-term success of destination marketing.”

    “This is great news for the local hospitality sector,” said Dick Brown, Executive Director of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association. “Canadians from coast-to-coast will be welcomed to our Nation’s Capital with all the world-class facilities and amenities we have to offer.”

    The JUNO Awards history dates back to 1970 when the inaugural Gold Leaf Awards were held in Toronto as an industry awards event. In 1971, it became recognized as the JUNO Awards in honour of Pierre Juneau, the first chairman of the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC). The JUNO gala was last held in Ottawa in 2003.

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