• Elgin Street – Let’s support our businesses!

    As you know, the Elgin Street Renewal project officially began yesterday. This project includes a road closure of Elgin Street from Somerset to Catherine streets for this first phase of construction. While the street may be closed to vehicular traffic, Elgin is walkable and central, so it’s easy to continue to visit your favourite restaurants, shops and services in the heart of Centretown.

     I’m excited to share that businesses along Elgin Street have come together to develop “I DIG ELGIN”, a community-led campaign featuring the people, places and events that make the visit to Elgin Street worth the trip. They are planning some exciting events for 2019, so be sure to follow them on social media (@idigelgin) and check out their website.

     I also want to remind you of the free parking at City Hall after 6 pm on weekday evenings and all day on weekends and statutory holidays. It makes for an inexpensive trip to come support our cherished Centretown restaurants and shops.

     I encourage you all to continue to support the dynamic business community we benefit from on Elgin Street, and to tell your friends and colleagues about your favourite places to visit. Let’s make sure Elgin Street remains a great downtown destination during construction by supporting these local businesses and #IDIGELGIN. I know these hard-working entrepreneurs and their staff will appreciate our patronage and support throughout 2019.


  • Mayor Jim Watson opens Kaleidoscope exhibit

    Mayor Jim Watson opened an exhibit at the City Hall Art Gallery today, featuring the latest additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection. The exhibition, entitled Kaleidoscope: 2018 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection, is on display at the City Hall Art Gallery between December 6, 2018 and January 30, 2019.

     The exhibition features 68 artworks representing 43 artists. Nineteen of these artists are new to the Collection.

     The kaleidoscope was selected as a symbol for this exhibit to highlight the diverse grouping of work and to encourage viewers to expand their awareness and see things in a new light.


  • Ali Tejpar receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Ali Tejpar at City Council today, in recognition of his leadership in youth engagement and his community service.

    A member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee since 2017, Mr. Tejpar was instrumental in launching Ottawa’s first Mayor for a Day contest in 2018. Working closely with Mayor Watson and his office, Mr. Tejpar developed the contest to engage Ottawa students in grades nine through 12 on how to improve the city. His work included designing the application process, marketing the contest and implementing the project. The contest was such a success that a second Mayor for the Day contest will run in early 2019.

    Mr. Tejpar is heavily involved with his community through volunteerism. He has worked with the World Economic Forum’s Ottawa Hub, developing community projects such as the myCanada150 photo contest. He has been a portfolio lead with the Economic Planning Board of the Ismaili Council of Ottawa, arranging workshops on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and leadership for immigrants and newcomers. Mr. Tejpar has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Ottawa.

    While Mr. Tejpar finishes his Juris Doctor/Master of Arts dual degree, he has also volunteered as a member of the University of Ottawa Faculty Council, advocating for better mental health resources for students.


  • New parking permit one more step toward making Ottawa a Music City

    Ottawa – The City of Ottawa unveiled its new Musician and Artist Parking Permit today at Queen St. Fare, a new music venue and food hall.

    As owners of the permit, Queen St. Fare can loan it to musicians and artists, allowing them to load and unload their equipment worry-free when parked in a loading zone near the venue’s entrance.

    Permits cost $50 each and can be purchased by venues that frequently host musical acts.

    This permit is the latest initiative from the Ottawa Music Strategy, which has an ultimate goal of turning Ottawa into a Music City. Approved by Council earlier this year, the strategy outlines the City’s commitment to the music industry by outlining a series of actions to be taken over the next two years.

    The strategy was developed in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, a membership-based non-profit organization that represents and serves the local music industry and its stakeholders. Other projects within the music strategy include:

    • The MadeMill Innovation Pod, a multi-use mobile technology studio designed for entrepreneurs. It was developed at Bayview Yards by protoypeD TEAM and provides a creative space that can be used in a multitude of ways.
    • #ottmusik: a lineup of music provided by 25 local singers, bands and musicians that plays for anyone waiting on hold after calling the City of Ottawa.
  • Elio Marcantonio receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Barrhaven Ward Councillor Jan Harder presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Elio Marcantonio at City Council today, in recognition of his work to bring the community together and establish a BMX track in Barrhaven.

    Elio Marcantonio formed the Nepean BMX Association, a non-profit organization, and developed a BMX racing track on Strandherd Drive to provide a new recreational facility for the community. Mr. Marcantonio acquired the land in Barrhaven with the help of Councillor Harder, and spent hundreds of hours designing and building the state-of-the-art track.

    The Nepean BMX Association is an inclusive and family-friendly organization that promotes a healthy and positive lifestyle. It is one of the fastest growing and largest BMX associations in North America. Mr. Marcantonio, his wife, son and two daughters all race BMX at the track.

    Since hosting its first race in June 2013, the Nepean BMX track has created a positive economic benefit for the area and has become an important part of the community. The track brings in riders from across Ontario, the rest of Canada and the eastern United States for races. Mr. Marcantonio, along with association members and volunteers, works continuously to improve the track, which hosted the Capital City Nationals in 2015, 2016 and 2018.


  • Council recognizes outgoing Councillors

    City Council, meeting for the last time in this Term of Council, today highlighted the contributions of the outgoing Councillors.

    Mayor Jim Watson presented departing Councillors with commemorative photographs as a token of appreciation for their dedication and service to the City and its residents. Councillors Bob Monette, Jody Mitic, Marianne Wilkinson, Shad Qadri, Mark Taylor, David Chernushenko and Michael Qaqish each received a framed photograph of a scene of significance in their wards.


  • Proud To Be Me receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Proud To Be Me.

    Proud To Be Me was established in 2011 by Cindy Cutts and Jody McCombe. Their goal was to empower youth and provide the tools they need to reach their potential. The organization raises funds for community supports, resources and programs that help empower and educate youth in a way that promotes inclusion and anti-bullying. The organization recognizes the importance of providing an environment of empathy, acceptance, responsibility and opportunity.

    Proud To Be Me has provided grants to help build child- and youth-friendly communities, support healthy and active children and youth, create mental health and wellness programs, promote acceptance and prevent bullying.

  • Billings Bridge Pacesetters Walking Club receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to the Billings Bridge Pacesetters Walking Club, with Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko.  The Billings Bridge Pacesetters Walking Club was recognized for its contributions to osteoarthritis research and for 25 years of community support.


    The Billings Bridge Pacesetters Walking Club is a social walking and knitting club that produces blankets, scarves, mittens and hats for seniors and children.

    The club started 25 years ago at the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre as a way to promote social interaction and reduce isolation among seniors. The group keeps active through walking and knitting, and donates much of its knitting to those in need. Wool blankets are made for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and local retirement residences. Members also knit hats, scarves and mittens for clients of the Snowsuit Fund.

    The Billings Bridge Pacesetters Walking Club has supported the University of Ottawa on studies of the health benefits of walking and knitting for older individuals with osteoarthritis.

  • Mayor Watson presents Order of Ottawa and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson inducted 16 of Ottawa’s most outstanding residents into the Order of Ottawa during a ceremony this evening at Ottawa City Hall.

    Those inducted by Mayor Watson into the Order of Ottawa are: Julian Armour, Bernie Ashe, Graham Bird, Dr. Angela Cameron, Monique Doolittle-Romas, Marie-Claude Doucet, Barbara Farber, Emily Glossop, Elizabeth Graham, Lawrence Greenspon, David Rattray, Dr. Marc Ruel, Brian Tardif, the late Robert J. Wilson and Kathy Wright.

    Inderpreet Singh, one of the recipients selected to receive the award, was unavailable to attend this evening. He will be honoured next year during the 2019 Order of Ottawa ceremony.

    The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching was presented this evening to Aldège Bellefeuille, who was recognized for his dedication to youth and youth football in Ottawa. For more than a decade, Mr. Bellefeuille has been a coach and executive with the Orléans Bengals Football Club.

    A list of this year’s Order of Ottawa inductees will be prominently displayed on a wall on the first floor of City Hall, alongside the recipients from previous years.

    This civic award recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, and other fields that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

    Recipients of the Order of Ottawa were chosen by a selection committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Public Library.

    For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa visit the Order of Ottawa page on ottawa.ca. For more information on this year’s recipients, read their biographies.


    “Tonight we celebrate exceptional residents who have gone far beyond the ordinary in their professional work. From business to community service, education to fundraising and philanthropy, Francophone affairs, arts and science to sports, medicine and events management, these new Order of Ottawa inductees inspire others to become community leaders and make Ottawa a better place for all.”
    Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

  • Letter to Minister Mulroney regarding the economic statement made by Minister Fedeli,

    November 21, 2018


    The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, M.P.P.
    Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
    11th Floor, 720 Bay Street
    Toronto, Ontario M7A 2S9


    Dear Minister Mulroney,

    We closely followed the economic statement by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Vic Fedeli, in which he announced the elimination of three positions of independent officers of the Legislative Assembly, including that of the French Language Services Commissioner.

    As you probably know, more than 145,000 Ottawa residents—representing more than 15% of the population—are Francophones. The City of Ottawa is therefore required to provide French language services to its residents under both the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, and its Bilingualism Policy. Through the French Language Services (FLS) branch, the City rigorously carries out its responsibility for managing and reviewing all complaints regarding the delivery of French language services, as well as for responding to such complaints. The FLS branch also works closely with City departments to ensure compliance with the Bilingualism Policy, as well as the continuous improvement of programs and services that are offered to our residents in French.

    It is important for us to see an equally clear commitment on your part, in order to ensure that these residents will receive services offered by the Province and its agencies in their language, as required under the French Language Services Act. The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner was working to promote and raise awareness of these services. It also served as an independent and credible authority to which the Francophone population could turn when shortcomings were found within the provincial government and its agencies. We are highly disappointed by the elimination of this position, which marks a setback for the Franco-Ontarian community.

    The City will therefore pursue the ongoing efforts of City Council and the municipal government to work with our residents and Francophone groups in order to improve the delivery of French language services. We would appreciate it if the Government of Ontario could do the same.




    Jim Watson

    Bob Monette
    Deputy Mayor

    Stephen Blais
    Councillor, Cumberland

    Jean Cloutier
    Councillor, Alta Vista


    Mathieu Fleury
    Councillor, Rideau-Vanier