• Mayor Watson announces the completion of 30 new community gardens

    Ottawa — Today at the Agri 150 experience Good Food Celebration hosted at Just Food Farm, Mayor Jim Watson announced the completion of 30 new community gardens. This milestone was reached a year early and surpassed the original goal of building 20 new community gardens by 2018.

    In 2014, Mayor Watson committed to making the nation’s capital even greener and more sustainable by adding $15,000 a year in additional funding for the Community Garden Development Fund. The City of Ottawa has had a community garden action plan since 2004. The program, which is called the Community Gardening Network, is administered by Just Food Ottawa.

    Just Food receives $47,000 from the City of Ottawa annually for core operational costs for the Community Gardening Network program, and $95,000 for the Community Garden Development Fund, which directly funds new and expansion community garden projects in almost every Ward.

    The additional funding has helped Just Food support the development of 30 new community gardens, and helped expand 4 existing community gardens. This brings Ottawa’s Community Gardening Network to a total of 94 community gardens across the city.

    “Community gardening is a valuable community activity that contributes to civic participation, neighbourhood revitalization, environmental awareness and healthier lifestyles,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am pleased that the additional funding has allowed Ottawa’s community garden network to grow so much, leaving a lasting green legacy for all to enjoy.”

    “We are extremely thankful for the City’s continued and strengthened investment into community gardens,” said Moe Garahan, Executive Director of Just Food. “Thousands of dedicated Ottawa residents join in our 20th anniversary celebrations this year, having planned, organized, led, and maintained both household and shared garden plots over two decades, to create places where both good food and community continue to grow.”

  • Ottawa launches Canada’s first on-street test of an Autonomous Vehicle

    Ottawa – Ottawa is the first Canadian city to launch testing of an on-street autonomous vehicle (AV) communicating with live City infrastructure. Until now, testing of AVs in Canada has been done in closed, segregated areas. By partnering with BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC), Ottawa now has the facilities and technology to further the advancement of driverless car testing on active public streets.

    Mayor Jim Watson celebrated this milestone with partners from BlackBerry QNX, Invest Ottawa, and the Kanata North Business Association as the car took its first spin around the Kanata North Technology Park. At the live demonstration, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX, rode in BlackBerry’s autonomous drive concept car. During the ride, the car stopped at a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing, allowing people to cross the road.

    The test area, which loops around the Kanata North Technology Park, is equipped with the latest technology from BlackBerry QNX, along with Codha Wireless, Luxcom and NovAtel. The City’s Traffic Services have optimized the infrastructure within the test route area for communication with autonomous vehicles via Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) transmitters at the traffic lights, re-painted street lines in the test area, and accelerated installation of controllable LED street lights.

    The City and BlackBerry QNX are working collaboratively with organizations such as Invest Ottawa and the Kanata North Business Association, as well as researchers and academics at Algonquin College, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa to further establish Ottawa as Canada’s AV capital. Together, these industry leaders will bring the emerging connected car and AV technologies, products, services and applications developed in Ottawa to the global market.

    This milestone in AV testing brings Ottawa a step closer to its vision of being a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles, a highly competitive designation that will allow further advancement of driverless car testing. The City and Ottawa’s technology community are committed to working together to ensure that the testbed is continually being updated with leading-edge technology. In the next phase, Nokia will be joining the testbed to add LTE and 5G capability to the route, based on their experience deploying connected car solutions in Germany and elsewhere.

    Quotes

    “Ottawa has established itself as an innovative and smart city, is home to a diverse technology hub, and has the expertise, new technology and talent needed to spark autonomous vehicle innovation. With support from BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center and by working closely with all our partners, we are facilitating smart initiatives and research, and fueling innovation and job creation in Ottawa.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

     

    “Thanks to the City of Ottawa, our AVIC was able to help establish a functional, real-life test route for our autonomous vehicle concept car, which will benefit our growing ecosystem of customers, partners and developers. Anybody who has driven in Ottawa in February knows that no matter who is behind the wheel, driving isn’t easy when it comes to ice, sleet and snow. We believe these conditions coupled with the City’s commitment to supporting research and development from BlackBerry and its partners, makes Ottawa a fantastic place to advance autonomous vehicle technology.”
    John Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Blackberry QNX

     

    “Ottawa is a global leader in autonomous vehicles and related technologies, leveraging decades of innovation and industry leadership in information and communications technologies (ICT), next-generation networks, wireless, and related hardware and software. Our region has the expertise and capabilities required to develop, commercialize, and adopt new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solutions. These technologies can be integrated into global supply chains and sold around the world.  This new testbed adds critical capability to our ecosystem, enabling innovators to test and commercialize these AV technologies.”
    Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards

     

    “We are very proud that today, Canada’s largest technology park launches Canada’s first on-road autonomous vehicle test route connected to live City infrastructure. With over 40 Autonomous Vehicle technology companies located in the Kanata North Technology Park along the test route itself, and Canada’s largest cluster of advance networking, software, cybersecurity, and IoT expertise for Autonomous Vehicles – the contributions these companies will make to the global advancement of Autonomous Vehicle technology is invaluable.”
    Jenna Sudds, President and Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association

     

    Quick Facts

    • There are over 70 companies in Ottawa’s autonomous vehicle ecosystem, led by BlackBerry QNX, that are directly contributing their expertise, technology and intelligence to connected cars and autonomous vehicles.
    • The test route is made possible by many partners working together:
      • BlackBerry QNX, a leading developer of mission-critical software that forms the foundation for connected and autonomous vehicles, will use the test route to further advance its software and technology development in this field. BlackBerry QNX’s operating system also powers the traffic management system used by the City’s Traffic Services.
      • NovAtel’s GNSS GPS base station, installed on BlackBerry QNX’s building, and Codha’s DSRC technology, installed in the City traffic lights, can communicate directly with authorized AVs, and enable them to take appropriate action.
      • In-kind contributions and donations of AV technology and systems from other leading industry partners including NovAtel and Codha Wireless.
      • Critical funding and support from the City of Ottawa, Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for the National Capital Region, and the Kanata North Business Association, which is home to Canada’s largest technology park.
    • Ottawa is home to BlackBerry QNX’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center.
    • The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC) was created to advance technology innovation for connected and autonomous vehicles, independently as well as in collaboration with private and public sector organizations and research institutes.
    • Building on the company’s 20 years of experience and leadership in the automotive industry, the centre will germinate new ideas and transform innovative concepts into reality through advanced engineering projects and demonstration vehicles tested on real roads.
    • Carleton Research has recently secured funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP).  As part of the program, which is led by Defense Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science and in partnership with Public Safety Canada, Carleton Research will be given $974,000 over three years for research on securing new connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
    • To help aid the University’s research, BlackBerry QNX has signed a charter with Carleton University to provide technical expertise in the area of automotive software development.

    Resources:

  • Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Councillors Marianne Wilkinson and Allan Hubley, recognized Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker’s dedication to the community at today’s City Council meeting by presenting them with the Mayor’s City Builder Award.

    Kay Dubie began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre in The Craft Group as a volunteer knitter and soon became and continues to be the Chair of the Kanata Seniors Craft Group. In this role she coordinates the operations of the group, which includes sponsorship of seniors’ services in the community, notably donating $10,000 to the local Hospice Care Ottawa facility.

    In September 2010, Kay became the Vice-President of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc., a local community association that advocates for seniors’ needs in the community. Part of her role with the Council was to implement an annual seniors’ games program.

    Kay then became President of the Kanata Seniors Council, leading the board through its various operations, Council Cafe, Instructional Computer Training Program, Travel Trips and other services for seniors in the community. Kay is now Past President of the board.

    Kay’s unwavering commitment to the Kanata Seniors Council Inc. and the partnership between the Council and the City of Ottawa is reflected in the quality of services available to seniors in the community.

    Liz Tucker has been a long-time resident of Kanata. She began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre as a front desk receptionist where she greeted many friends and neighbours and introduced other seniors to the activities available at the Centre. She quickly expanded her volunteer role to join the Centre’s Special Event Team where she helped to coordinate and implement special events for the members of the Centre. In January 2010, Liz became the Treasurer of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc.

    In addition to her responsibilities as Treasurer, Liz also stepped forward to implement the annual seniors’ games program. The launch of the Far West Fun Fest began in May 2011 and saw 200 seniors participate in over 20 activities in a two-week period. This program is still going strong. Outside of Liz’s involvement with seniors, she is still an active volunteer with the Friends of the Library, Beaverbrook Branch, assisting with fundraising to augment the services available to the community.

  • Mayor’s Annual Christmas Card Contest

    It may not be snowing yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas!

    Once again this year students from elementary schools across the city will have the opportunity to participate in my annual Christmas Card Contest!  As part of this fun initiative, we feature our favourite holiday themed artwork from a local student as the cover of my 2017 Christmas Card!

    Elementary school children from all Ottawa schools and school boards are eligible to participate. To enter the contest, students can submit their artwork on a ‎4 1/8″ x 9 1/2″ piece of paper, which is the size of a standard business envelope, no later than October 30, 2017.

    On all submissions, please ensure that each piece of art has the student’s name, their teacher’s name, their grade and their school’s name clearly marked on the back of the artwork. The student whose artwork is selected will be presented with a congratulatory certificate at Ottawa City Hall to thank them for their participation.

    Submissions can be mailed to:

    Office of Mayor Jim Watson

    City of Ottawa

    110 Laurier Avenue West

    Ottawa, Ontario

    K1P 1J1

    I look forward to seeing your creative and festive Christmas Card artwork!

    Jim Watson

    Mayor, City of Ottawa

  • Sample local food, Beau’s beer, and enjoy live music – including a performance by Eva Avila – all while exploring a local farm

    Ottawa 2017’s newest Agri 150 experience takes place this Saturday

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, is pleased to announce a new Agri 150 experience. A free, fun-filled day will unfold this weekend at the Just Food Farm with Good Food Celebrations.

    Good Food Celebrations (Free)                                                                                               

    Saturday, October 14 (rain or shine)
    11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    The Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court

    Residents and visitors are invited to celebrate the importance of good food, grown both locally and globally. Participants will be able to:

    • Discover the new community pavilion, new solar project showpiece, and the newly renovated community barn;
    • Take a wagon ride or walking tour and learn more about what is growing at the farm;
    • View a new community art show and new food forests;
    • Listen to live musicians, including Canadian singer/songwriter Eva Avila;
    • Hear two inspiring young speakers who connect local to global food;
    • Taste local food samples* (free samples created by Red Apron, food options for purchase, and people are also encouraged to bring their own picnics);
    • Enjoy a free sample of Beau’s craft beer* (19 years +).

    * Food and beverage samples while quantities last.

    This event brings together the whole community to celebrate growing good food for all!

    Good Food Celebrations is a FREE event. Participants are asked to RSVP in advance for planning purposes: www.goodfoodcelebrations.ca.

    Presented in collaboration with Just Food, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Bullfrog Power, Ontario150 and Savour Ottawa.

    Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. Unique events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.

    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.

    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.

  • Experience Mìwàte!

    Free dynamic lighting experience at the Chaudière Falls

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are thrilled to launch Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls. The experience officially opens to the public tomorrow at 7 p.m., offering the first public access in decades to one of the region’s most impressive natural landmarks.

    ABOUT MÌWÀTE

    Based on an original concept by Ottawa 2017, Mìwàte was created and produced by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Moment Factory, in collaboration with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, and in consultation with representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities. This dynamic illumination of Chaudière Falls celebrates the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their cultures.

    A rich soundscape accompanies the experience. Vincent Letellier led the team of composers for Moment Factory, with additional creative contributions from David Maracle, and regional music artists as well as Pikwakanagan community members who spoke some of the words and phrases that are heard as part of the production in Anishnaabe.

    In addition to the illumination, participants are invited to explore the Algonquin Awareness Exhibit, which shares information on the presence of Indigenous Peoples in the region. This special exhibit is presented on site by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan.

    Dates and times for Mìwàte:

    • October 6 to 22, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    • October 23 to November 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    The lighting display runs in a continuous 10-minute loop. It takes about 30 minutes to enjoy the entire experience.

    Spectators can view Mìwàte from the new public space overlooking the falls that is part of Hydro Ottawa’s Chaudière Falls expansion project. Information about eh experience and nearby parking can be found at: http://www.ottawa2017.ca/magnificence-of-chaudiere-falls/.

    As a complement to Mìwàte, visitors are encouraged to visit the Kabeshinân Minitig Pavilion located on Victoria Island.

    QUOTES

    “We’re delighted to welcome residents and visitors to appreciate the Chaudière Falls up close and to see Mìwàte, a new experience to discover, celebrate and share Indigenous culture. I’d like to thank Hydro Ottawa for making these historically significant falls accessible for all to enjoy, as an important legacy of Canada’s 150th anniversary.”
    –– Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

    “On behalf of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, I am very pleased to be a part of Mìwàte – the illumination of Chaudière Falls. The illumination is in honour of the falls and to show the beauty and strength of the Ottawa (Kitchissippi) River at this renowned site.”
    –– Chief Kirby Whiteduck, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation

    “The Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls project provides residents and visitors in the Ottawa-Gatineau region with the opportunity to experience the Chaudière Falls in an inspiring and magnificent way. This dynamic show provides onlookers with a window into the rich traditions and cultures of Indigenous Peoples, and helps bring us together as we work toward lasting reconciliation.”
    –– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

    “The beautiful Chaudière Falls are a stunning backdrop to a sound and light experience that honours the traditions and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of this land. This is a moment for celebration – and for reflection.  I encourage everyone to visit this magnificent site of environmental and cultural significance.”
    –– The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport

    “Mìwàte is a celebration that brings everyone together to share in this re-introduction of Chaudière Falls into the public imagination. After marking Canada’s 150th anniversary deep underground in a train tunnel with Kontinuum, Moment Factory is honoured to have the opportunity to apply our creativity and innovation to highlight this natural treasure here in the national capital.”
    –– Éric Fournier, Partner and Executive Producer, Moment Factory

    “CIBC is honored to support this collaborative project that celebrates Indigenous Peoples and showcases the beauty and magnificence of this treasured natural landmark. To witness this light show against the beautiful Chaudière Falls will create a memorable experience for all those who attend.”
    –– Monique Giroux, Vice President, Sponsorships, Communications and Public Affairs, CIBC

    “Mìwàte was a key component of the list of events I created as part of the Ottawa 2017 plan, as it was essential to pay tribute to and celebrate Indigenous culture, and there’s no better site to do that than at Chaudière Falls. As one of the last big Signature Events that Ottawa 2017 is producing for our country’s sesquicentennial, we’re proud to welcome residents and visitors back to this impressive natural site, one of the late Jean Pigott’s dreams.”
    –– Guy Laflamme, Executive Director and Producer, Ottawa 2017

    Ottawa 2017 is thrilled to present this project as one of its Signature Events and thanks our lead partner CIBC, our 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.

    To make this moving event happen in its picturesque location, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with Moment Factory, Hydro Ottawa, the City of Ottawa, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities and the National Capital Commission.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations 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.

    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.

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

    About Moment Factory

    Moment Factory is a multimedia studio with a full range of production expertise under one roof. The team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. With its headquarters based in Montreal, the studio also has offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, New York City and Paris. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations. Productions span the globe and include such clients as Los Angeles Airport, Nine Inch Nails, Microsoft, NFL, Sony, Toyota, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Madonna and Royal Caribbean.

  • My remarks at the Bike Ottawa AGM, October 2, 2017

    Check against delivery

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

    Bonsoir Mesdames et Messieurs.

    It is a pleasure to join all of you this evening for the Bike Ottawa Annual General Meeting.

    I would like to thank Bike Ottawa, your President, Gareth Davies, and your Board, for welcoming me tonight.

    I don’t have to tell any of you that Gareth is a tireless cycling advocate here in Ottawa, who was recently named the recipient of this year’s Bruce Timmermans Award for the individual category.

    Gareth, thank you for your hard work bringing people together to collaborate and make cycling safer in Ottawa.

    We have a lot of experience in the area of cycling here with us tonight, and I want to thank all of you for being here and for sharing your insights with us.

    For more than three decades, Bike Ottawa has been promoting cycling as a safe, fun and environmentally-friendly form of active transportation.

    We are fortunate to have a tremendous, diverse and active cycling advocacy community within our city.

    Rarely a day goes by without an individual or advocacy group contacting their Councillors Office, my office or staff to ask for improvements or to address issues.

    It is this type of ongoing collaboration that leads to tangible improvements on the ground.

    In fact, the initial deployment of automated bike counters in 2009 was thanks to one of your volunteer-led initiatives.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bike Ottawa for their continued advocacy of cycling in Ottawa, and for their partnership to make cycling even better in our city.

    As a growing city, we have many competing interests that I hear about from residents, stakeholders and Councillors every day.

    And I am proud of the progress we have made as a cycling-friendly city.

    Being a cycling-friendly city includes not only the healthy benefits of an active lifestyle, but also the reduction of congestion for all commuters, by getting people out of their cars and onto the bike lanes and pathways.

    We are investing more than ever in active mobility and we are increasing our emphasis on awareness campaigns around issues impacting cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

    Just last year in Budget 2017, we included more than $8 million of investments in cycling infrastructure through the Community Connectivity Program, the Cycling TMP Cycling Strategic Initiatives and through investments in paved shoulders.

    This investment will help us reach our goal of adding another 72km of cycling facilities to the City’s growing network by 2018.

    Budget 2017 also included:

    • $1.5 million to implement projects in the Pedestrian Plan;
    • $5 million for various sidewalk improvement projects across the city.

    When combined with funding from other levels of government – the total investment directly attributed to cycling and major bike/pedestrian structures within this Term of Council will hit $80 million.

    This is a historic, record investment in cycling and active transportation.

    To put that in perspective, this is compared to $27 million spent in the last Term of Council – which represents a 270 per cent increase.

    While there is more work to do, this is something we can be very proud of.

    This is in addition to the cycling facilities that are constructed as part of road renewal and new road construction programs.

    One such example of this is the new Main Street cycle tracks, part of our complete streets plan.

    These cycling tracks, as one neighbour told me, humanized our streets.

    The commitment to active mobility is a true partnership, with the Federal and Provincial governments.

    Their support has helped us leverage local resources, which has translated into tangible improvements citywide.

    The NCC is also a partner as they work to expand their network through the greenbelt, as well as make ongoing investment to fill-in missing links.

    These relationships are important, as we need their collective help in creating a fully connected network.

    We are actively working with our partners to eliminate ‘missing links’ in the cycling network and some major cycling/pedestrian infrastructure projects that are making a significant difference in our city include:

    • The Adàwe Crossing, connecting Overbrook and Vanier with Sandy Hill and the downtown core;
    • The O’Connor Street Bikeway;
    • The Main Street Bike Tracks that I mentioned earlier and;
    • The Mackenzie Avenue cycle track, a unique partnership between the City, the NCC,

    In addition, construction just started on a new $21 million dollar pedestrian/cycling bridge over the Rideau Canal, from Fifth Avenue to Clegg Street.

    My thanks to Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre and to Catherine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Centre, for their tireless efforts on this exciting project.

    The Clegg Street Bridge will not only provide pedestrian and cycling connections to Lansdowne Park, but it will also improve access to Hurdman and Lees LRT stations.

    The bridge will create an alternate crossing to the Bank Street Bridge, connect the downtown bike network to Old Ottawa East and Main Street, and will improve access to the Old Ottawa South via Riverdale Avenue.

    We also made a bold step towards a more cycling-friendly city in 2011 with the Laurier Bike Lanes pilot project.

    This 1-kilometre long cycling facility almost immediately became one of the top routes for cycling commuters, including students through the busy downtown core.

    Today, the Laurier Bikes Lanes are a key part of a 12-kilometre link from Vanier to Westboro, with only one remaining gap of less than 100 metres, which will be addressed after the LRT bus detour is removed.

    The Laurier Bikes Lanes are part of a longer continuous facility that has hit peaks of 4,000 cycling trips in a single day – which is wonderful news!

    For instance, since the Laurier Bike Lanes were installed, on average 34,632 monthly trips have been recorded on this important East-West route for cyclists, totaling 2.6 Million bike trips since their opening in 2011.

    I have also heard from many residents – and not just cyclists – about the major impact that the Adàwe Crossing is having on their lives.

    The crossing is being heavily used both by cyclists and pedestrians – in fact, as of last night, we have recorded 1.477 million crossing since its opening in December 2015.

    Just under half of those crossings were made on bicycle.

    With a new public sports centre soon to open at the former site of the Rideau Tennis Club, which will bring more sports to the 105-year-old facility, we are sure to see this number grow moving forward.

    Within the Greenbelt, we have already achieved a five per cent cycling modal share, and we are on track to meet our target of 8 per cent by 2031.

    By 2018, The Cross-Town Bikeway network will be 70 per cent completed within the wards depicted above once implemented.

     LRT / TRANSIT

    In addition to the investments and progress made specifically on cycling and pedestrian connectivity, our Light Rail Transit project will also have a significant positive impact on cycling across our city.

    Starting next year, we will see new cycling infrastructure coming on-line as part of the Confederation Line project.

    Integrating the Stage 2 LRT alignment and stations with local pedestrian and cyclist networks was one of the key principles of the project.

    Two excellent examples of leveraging the LRT corridor to extend the cycling network are:

    • The new pathway between the Rideau River at the University of Ottawa Lees Campus, which runs directly downtown; and
    • As part of the Stage 2 LRT extension – a major new pathway inter-connecting the Doug Thompson and Sawmill Creek pathways which together provide a connection to Osgoode Village.

    These are just two examples of how staff is working to integrate a multi-use pathway system into the planning of our future rapid transit system.

    Rural

    Although cycling commuting is typically concentrated where population density is the highest in the inner wards, the demand for improved cycling facilities is also being felt across the city and within suburban and rural communities.

    To meet this growing demand, this year you will see the construction of important new pathway linkages in the suburban areas, including:

    • The Shefford Road Pathway;
    • The Trans-Orleans Pathway;
    • A link between Harthill Way and Halley Street in Barrhaven;
    • As well as safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians along sections of Campeau Drive.

    This opens up active mobility options for nearby residents – to get to work or to explore the areas in which they live.

    In addition, cycling can become an important first link for long-range commuters when they use our new LRT system.

    That is why we are working to ensure strong connectivity to public transit and improved bike storage and parking at transit hubs, such as new bike shelters and enclosed bike parking areas.

    As you would know, getting more residents in the habit of cycling to transit can free-up park and ride spots, reduce congestion and make the combined trip more attractive than taking your vehicle downtown.

    This year, we have also taken the first steps in promoting the rural areas as cycling destinations.

    As you can see behind me, we have developed three major pathway corridors across our rural areas – the Prescott-Russell Pathway; the Doug Thompson Pathway; and the Ottawa-Carleton Pathway – and we are expanding the network of roadways with paved shoulders to facilitate cycling.

    Cycling Safety

    I know that an issue on top of mind of many cyclists is also cycling safety.

    The good news is that the collision trends related to cycling are decreasing and moving in the right direction.

    But we know there is always more work to be done in this area.

    There are still too many bad motorists, and yes, bad cyclists.

    We need to continue to educate and to enforce all traffic rules for both.

    In high volume areas, new design standards and complete streets are providing more separation and protection for cyclists.

    Behind me is an image of a new protected intersection at Dynes Road and Fisher Avenue.

    This will be the first fully protected four-way intersection in Ottawa, which should be fully operational by the summer of 2019.

    Improving safety requires the development of new habits and awareness by all road users – motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

    We need to work in partnership to ensure that our roads are safe for everyone

    I am encouraged at what we have achieved together – particularly since 2011.

    In 2013, Ottawa became the first city in Canada to receive the Gold Bicycle Friendly Community Award, and we continue to be a leader in cycling infrastructure.

    Looking ahead, our focus will continue to be on network connectivity, increasing quality and safety of facilities and intersections, and making cycling and active transportation effective options for accessing public transit.

    I am confident that we will continue to work together towards these common goals.

    Thank you. / Merci beaucoup.

     

     

  • Ottawa 2017 wins national award for Most Innovative PR Campaign

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017 and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are thrilled to have received the distinction of Most Innovative PR Campaign at the 2017 Explore Canada Awards of Excellence.

    The awards recognize excellence and creativity in promoting and inspiring travelers to explore our country.

    The prize was awarded today during Destination Canada’s 14th Annual GoMedia Canada, a premier international travel media event, held this year in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Ottawa 2017 beat out the other finalists in the category, IHG – Intercontinental Hotels Group and Tourisme Montréal, to take home the top prize.

    “Our nation’s capital is the hub of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations thanks in large part to the tremendous work done by Guy Laflamme and his team at the Ottawa 2017 Bureau,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We thank Destination Canada for this recognition and look forward to welcoming even more visitors as the festivities continue in the months ahead.”

    “Our goal at Ottawa 2017 is to present our city in an edgier way, and this PR approach has been a resounding success. Not only is Ottawa being noticed on the national and international stages as an exciting destination, but here at home, residents are seeing their city in a new, more dynamic light,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director and Producer of Ottawa 2017. “We’re honoured to receive this prestigious award from Destination Canada and proud to share the accolades with local companies Mediaplus and Orkestra, both of which have been instrumental in helping us to deliver our bold vision.”

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations 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

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

    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.

  • Mayor Watson’s statement on recent verbal abuse case in City Long Term Care home

    I am appalled and furious with this news about elder abuse in one of our long term care homes. This behavior will not be tolerated and I am fully supportive of the immediate dismissals of those involved in this outrageous and callous behavior.

    I have asked staff to bring in a third party to review all aspects of our long term care residences and report back with all concerns and recommendations in a timely fashion.

    Jim Watson
    Mayor, City of Ottawa

  • Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls to open on October 6

    Media premiere October 5

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are excited to announce that Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls, will premiere the evening of Thursday, October 5 and officially open to the public on Friday, October 6 at 7 p.m.

    Created and produced by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Moment Factory, in collaboration with the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn, and in consultation with representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities, this dynamic illumination of the falls will celebrate the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their cultures.

    A rich soundscape will enhance the experience. Vincent Letellier led the team of composers for Moment Factory, with additional creative contributions from: A Tribe Called Red, David Maracle (Indigenous Mohawk composer and multi-instrumentalist), the Pikwàkanagàn Wildflowers (youth hand drummers and singers), and Pikwàkanagàn community members who spoke the words and phrases.

    In addition to the illumination, participants will be invited to explore the Algonquin Awareness Exhibit, which will share information on the presence of Indigenous Peoples in the region. This special exhibit is presented by the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn.

    Dates and times for Mìwàte:

    • October 6 to 22, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    • October 23 to November 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    The lighting display runs in a continuous 10-minute loop. It takes about 30 minutes to enjoy the entire experience.

    Spectators will be able to view Mìwàte from the new public space overlooking the falls that is part of Hydro Ottawa’s Chaudière Falls expansion project.

    As a complement to Mìwàte, visitors are encouraged to visit the Kabeshinân Minitig Pavilion located on Victoria Island.

    Ottawa 2017 is thrilled to present this project as one of its Signature Events and thanks our lead partner CIBC, our 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.

    To make this moving event happen in its picturesque location, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with Moment Factory, Hydro Ottawa, the City of Ottawa, the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn, representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities and the National Capital Commission.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations 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.

    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.

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

    About Moment Factory

    Moment Factory is a multimedia studio based in Montreal with a full range of production expertise under one roof. The team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations. Productions span the globe and include such clients as Céline Dion, Madonna, The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, NFL, Sony, Universal Studios, the City of Barcelona, Los Angeles Airport and Royal Caribbean.

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