• Ottawa 2017 Volunteers receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, with Councillors Mathieu Fleury and Jean Cloutier, recognized the Ottawa 2017 Volunteers at today’s City Council meeting by presenting them with the Mayor’s City Builder Award.

    Ottawa 2017’s volunteer force is over 2,500 strong and the presentation was to recognize everyone who has volunteered their time over the last 12 months. Over the course of 2017, volunteers have donated in excess of 25,000 hours, spanning over 100 events, including Red Bull Crashed Ice, JUNO Awards, Inspiration Village, Kontinuum, La Machine, Canada’s Table, Ottawa Welcomes the World and Miwàte.

    On a daily basis, Ottawa 2017 volunteers have demonstrated exemplary qualities including strength, initiative, kindness, hospitality, leadership and team spirit. Ottawa 2017 would not have been possible without their support. From working outside for long stretches in minus 30-degree weather during Red Bull Crashed Ice, to plus 30 degrees during 14-hour days with La Machine, they remained dedicated and smiling throughout.

    The volunteers set an example that has inspired everyone who interacted with them, from the Ottawa 2017 team to the millions of people who visited Ottawa during the year. They have set a new standard in volunteerism and their contributions will be remembered for years to come.

  • John Blatherwick receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Bay Ward Councillor Mark Taylor presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to John Blatherwick at City Council today in recognition of his many years of service as President and Chair of the Zoning and Development Committee for the Woodpark Community Association (WCA), and for his extensive volunteer work and expertise on boards for numerous community, zoning and land-use organizations.

    Mr. Blatherwick’s knowledge, skills and experience in zoning and his willingness to advise associations and constituents has been an invaluable asset to Woodpark and to other community associations in west Ottawa.

    He is a member of the City of Ottawa Committee of Adjustment, and a former member of the City of Ottawa Business Advisory Committee. His extensive experience includes being the Past Chair of the Transportation Working Group for the Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa, and Past President, and Past Director of the Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa-Carleton.

    Mr. Blatherwick is also recognized as a City Builder for his contributions as a presenter at many Planning, Economic Development, Budget, Community Service, Operations and Committee of Adjustment meetings. He also contributed to the Mayor’s Task Force on Public/Private Partnerships for Affordable Housing in 2001, and has Ontario Municipal Board experience as an expert witness, appellant, presenter and community consultant (1989 to present).

  • Qamar Masood receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – As a committed volunteer within the Pakistani community for over 20 years, Qamar Masood was presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Orléans Ward Councilor Bob Monette.

    Mr. Masood is President of the Multicultural Association of Orléans, an organization that facilitates the participation of the community in socio-cultural, education and intercommunity programs. He is a former Ambassador of Peace within the Universal Peace Federation and was the longest serving President for the Canada-Pakistan Association of the National Capital Region. He also sits on the RCMP Outreach Multi-ethnic Committee of Ottawa and is involved in fundraising efforts for the Masjid Bilal Mosque. Mr. Masood donated his catering services to the fundrasiser roast of Deputy Mayor and Councillor Bob Monette where all proceeds were donated to the preservation of St. Joseph Church.

    Mr. Masood advocates on behalf of the multicultural community of Orléans on matters affecting rights, interests and values that are consistent with the mainstream community. He has developed and promoted programs that focus on advancing education as well as social and culturally relevant attributes of the families that make up the community of Orléans. He has also raised awareness of the importance of giving back to our communities which is the continuation of the work he has been doing since 1993 on his Rogers Television show called Projection Pakistan.

     

  • Girls+ Skate 613 receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    July 13, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to skateboarding organization Girls+ Skate 613 at today’s City Council meeting.

    Girls+ Skate 613 builds community, diversity and inclusion by providing a safe space for individuals of all ages, abilities and genders to skateboard in a comfortable, encouraging environment.

    The organization began as Girls Only Sessions at the McNabb Community Centre in 2006. Girls+ Skate 613 is now a permanent initiative supported by the Ottawa Skateboard Community Association (OSCA), and membership has doubled each year since 2013.

    Recognizing that girls, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups do not have the same opportunities in sports, OSCA and Girls+ Skate 613 are dedicated to empowering individuals who might not have other opportunities to participate in this sport. Girls+ Skate 613 and OSCA work together to support barrier-free skateboarding by providing equipment, facilitating spaces for skating, hosting events, providing resources and education, and fundraising.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

    Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

    The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

    For additional information, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


     

    16G-269   094

     

    Three men receive Commendations for Bravery for their role in fire rescue

    July 13, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais presented City of Ottawa Commendations for Bravery to realtor Geoff Walker and asphalting workers Owen Cole and Alex Deschamps at today’s City Council meeting. The three honorees helped to rescue two men from a house fire on Melette Crescent in the Avalon community of Orléans on June 18.

    Mr. Walker, Mr. Cole and Mr. Deschamps happened to be driving by when they heard a dog barking and saw smoke coming from a townhouse. Mr. Walker broke a window and they entered to look for people inside who might be incapacitated. They found and evacuated two men, one of whom was unconscious.

    The fire destroyed four of the six homes in a row of townhouses and significantly damaged the other two, as well as another house behind the row. At least 20 people were displaced because of the fire.

     

     

  • Al and Betty Arseneault, Crystal Beach–Lakeview outdoor rink volunteers, receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Bay Ward Councillor Mark Taylor presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Al and Betty Arseneault at today’s City Council meeting.

    The Arseneaults are longtime residents of Crystal Beach-Lakeview. Their love of outdoor sports – hockey, skating and curling in particular – fondness for their neighbourhood, and enthusiasm for building community come together in their commitment as volunteers, working with the City’s Seasonal Recreation branch, to construct, create and maintain an outdoor arena and separate three-sheet curling rink in Lakeview Park each winter.

    Al is well known as the first volunteer rink operator in the city to get his boards in place, the first to coax skate-worthy ice out of an early cold snap, the most meticulous at maintaining the ice (it’s near NHL quality), and very quick to clear any snowfall. This means the retired public servant has to make himself available 24/7 during the outdoor skating season to flood and groom the ice, sometimes trucking loads of Zamboni ice shavings from nearly indoor arenas to fill in spots after a melt. Al also helps the Seasonal Recreation staff to train and coach new rink volunteers each fall at the start of the winter season.

    The curling rink has three full-size sheets with all the correct markings, and the Arseneaults host an annual Lakeview Outdoor Bonspiel that is always fully booked with enthusiastic curlers from all over the Ottawa Valley. Local indoor curling clubs lend the rocks for curling events.

    Thanks to Al and Betty, Crystal Beach-Lakeview and area residents, from young kids wobbling on their first pair of skates to seniors enjoying a game of shinny, are fortunate enough to have free high-quality winter recreation opportunities at their local park.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

    Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

    The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

  • Downtown truck tunnel study by Ontario and City starts

    Ottawa – The Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa have finalized an agreement to study a possible tunnel to address the problem of heavy inter-provincial truck traffic in downtown Ottawa. The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Ontario Transportation Minister, signed the agreement providing 50 per cent of the funding towards the study and a preferred proponent has been chosen by the City of Ottawa to carry out the work.

    The Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa are equally cost-sharing a technical study that will cost approximately $750,000 and will take approximately 18 months to complete. The well-known international engineering consulting firm Parsons has been hired to undertake the study.

    “As our cities grow, we have a responsibility to find feasible solutions to keep people, goods and services moving,” said Minister Del Duca. “We are working with the City of Ottawa to reduce truck traffic downtown while keeping our economy moving forward.”

    ‘’I am committed to finding a real solution to the heavy truck problem in Ottawa; it has gone on for too long. What we need is a sustainable solution,” said Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier.  “The partnership between the Province and the City is one step closer to making this happen.”

    “This study is a step toward improving the quality of life for residents in Lowertown and Sandy Hill, said Mayor Jim Watson.  “I thank the Province of Ontario for helping to explore a potentially practical solution to a long-term problem in Ottawa.”

    “I am happy to see progress on a project that is critical to the residents of Rideau-Vanier,” said Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury. “I brought forward a motion last year to find a solution that will finally rid our downtown streets of interprovincial truck traffic.”

    In November 2013, City Council unanimously approved Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) which will serve as the blueprint for transportation investments throughout the City of Ottawa over the next 20 years. During this discussion, Council also approved initiating a feasibility study for a downtown tunnel that would establish an alternate connection between Highway 417 and the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge for trucks and vehicles that travel through the downtown area without stopping. If the study determines that such a project is feasible, there would be a subsequent environmental assessment study that would include extensive public consultation.

  • City Council approves Arts Court redevelopment and Ottawa Art Gallery expansion

    Ottawa – City Council today approved the Arts Court redevelopment and the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) expansion, marking the culmination of a longstanding vision for a municipal arts centre for the visual, performing, literary and media arts and for the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown.


    The $34-million capital project will include:
     – a new and larger Ottawa Art Gallery;
     – a new 250-seat multi-purpose and film screening room within the new OAG space
     – a new 120-seat black box theatre and four classrooms for the University of Ottawa
     – repurposing of space vacated by the OAG and reallocation to the major media arts partners
     – development of a connection between new construction and existing buildings on four floors to establish a truly integrated and functional facility.


    The project will be financed with no new borrowing and without incurring any new debt.
    The City will now initiate the procurement process for the design and build phase of the facility and for the sale of private sector tower development rights.


  • Mayor Watson proclaims Franco-Ontarian Day in Ottawa

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed Franco-Ontarian Day in Ottawa at a ceremony this morning to mark the 38th anniversary of the first raising of this emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community. Franco-Ontarian Flags were raised at 10 City locations but remain at half-mast to commemorate the victims of last week’s tragic collision between a train and a bus.

    “The flag represents the spirit of Francophone culture in Ontario which has a rich history in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “Proclaiming this special anniversary honours our city’s Francophone community and celebrates its heritage and joie de vivre.”

    In 2010 the provincial government proclaimed September 25 of each year as Franco-Ontarian Day to officially recognize the contribution of Ontario’s Francophone community to the cultural, historical, social, economic and political life of the province.

    The City of Ottawa is a proud partner of the newest Monument de la Francophonie at the University of Ottawa. The Franco-Ontarian Flag will also be raised at the following City locations in compliance with the current flag protocol:

     – Heritage Building entrance on Elgin Street

     – Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Boulevard

     – Kanata Client Service Centre, 580 Terry Fox Drive

     – Ben Franklin Place Client Service Centre, 101 Centrepointe Drive

     – Ottawa Police Service headquarters, 474 Elgin Street

     – OC Transpo headquarters, 1500 St. Laurent Boulevard

     – By-law and Regulatory Services, 735 Industrial Avenue

     – Ottawa Paramedic Headquarters, 2465, Don Reid Drive (ceremony at 10 a.m.)

     – Ottawa Fire Services headquarters, 1445 Carling Avenue

     – Centre d’accueil Champlain (Champlain Long Term Care facility), 275 Perrier Avenue

    The Franco-Ontarian Flag was created in 1975 by Laurentian University history professor Gaétan Gervais, and first year political science student Michel Dupuis. It was officially recognized as the emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community in the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act of 2001.

  • City Hall adds summer sizzle with free summer activities

    Ottawa – The City has officially launched its free weekly summer programming at Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza– providing programs for everyone, morning, noon and night.

    The free weekly programs, running now to August 27, range from physical fitness to dance and artisan markets to music. Each day holds a different series of morning, noon-hour and evening programs – which includes YM-YWCA Tuesday morning boot camps, and Wednesday evening’s outdoor salsa lessons and dancing.

    ““Whether it is in the summer or the winter, inside or outside, we are making City Hall a real people place,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “By opening up City Hall and offering new programming, we are energizing the downtown core with exciting options for residents of all ages.”

    On Thursdays, starting tomorrow to August 11, from 7 to 11 p.m. will be a special evening that focuses on music, mind and art, called Expressions, in partnership with RBC Bluesfest Be in the Band. Youth bands and local art groups will combine their talents to raise awareness of mental health.

    “The summer programming at City Hall, as well as other programs in local parks, is a product of our community support and spirit,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee. “Each program organizer is providing their services on a voluntary basis. Without their generous support, we could not provide this type of free programming and entertainment for our residents to enjoy.”

    In addition to the weekly schedule, special events are also planned such as an outdoor silent movie presentation and a roller derby weekend on July 19 and 20 – featuring the Rideau Valley Roller Girls and Capital City Derby Dolls.

    The full list and details of the summer programming events at City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza are available at ottawa.ca.