• Statement from Mayor Watson and Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin on the announcement by Amazon

    Statement from Mayor Watson and Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin on the announcement by Amazon

    Although we are disappointed with the news this morning that the Ottawa-Gatineau HQ2 proposal did not make the shortlist, we are proud of the way our two cities and the community came together to put forward a competitive bid that showcased the best that the National Capital Region has to offer. A number of community leaders and economic development partners worked tirelessly over the course of the six-week bid process and delivered a proposal that highlights our region’s economic opportunities, and the world-class talent that calls it home. This strengthened regional collaboration is a legacy of our efforts; one that will help us grow our local economy and attract jobs together in the coming years.

    The proposal that Ottawa-Gatineau put forward is a template that will serve to ensure we remain attractive and competitive in the global marketplace and will help us attract global talent and investments. As Canada’s technology hub, with the most educated workforce in Canada, we believe the National Capital Region remains well positioned to attract interest from global companies looking to grow their presence in North America.

    We congratulate Toronto on making the shortlist and wish them the very best going forward. Should Amazon HQ2 find a home in Toronto, there would likely be significant economic spinoffs for the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and we would welcome those opportunities.

    Amazon decision-makers have provided positive feedback on our proposal, therefore positioning our region for future opportunities. We will continue working with Amazon in hopes of growing their existing team in Ottawa and securing other opportunities in the future.’’

    – Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa
    – Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor, City of Gatineau

  • Ottawa welcomes 2018 National Taekwondo Championships

    Ottawa – Ottawa’s reputation as a premiere destination for major sporting events continues to grow with the announcement that the city will host the 2018 National Taekwondo Championships. The championships will take place from February 15 to 18 at the EY Centre, and will determine which athletes will represent Canada at this year’s Pan Am Taekwondo Championships, the World Taekwondo Junior Championships and the Youth Olympic Games.

    Ottawa’s successful bid to host the national sporting event was announced by Mayor Jim Watson, Sonia Villeneuve, Director at Large of Taekwondo Canada, and Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, at a celebration with local athletes and community members at the Phoenix Taekwondo Martial Arts Academy. Former National Champion and Pan Am Games competitor C.J. Huard Berro took the stage to share his excitement and experience as a local athlete, and Junior National athletes performed taekwondo demonstrations for the crowd.

    The bid for the championships was a result of the City’s Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy, designed to attract world-class events to Ottawa and promote economic prosperity and growth. Since the program’s launch, the winning bids and hosted events have generated close to $250 million for Ottawa’s economy. A national event such as the Taekwondo Championships is expected to attract hundreds of athletes and visitors to the city, and generate approximately $800,000 in economic impact.

    In strategic partnership with Ottawa Tourism, the City provides $1.5 million annually to support efforts to attract large-scale sporting and cultural events. Because of the strategy, Ottawa’s international reputation as a welcoming and experienced host to major events continues to grow. Ottawa will enjoy a busy schedule in the coming year, hosting sporting events that include the 2018 Canadian Track and Field Championships, the 2018 FIVB World League and the 2019 Volleyball Canada 14U National Championships.


    “The City’s Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy continues to attract these world-class events to Ottawa, and the incredible success of this approach shows no signs of slowing. Like all the events that have been awarded to the city since we adopted this approach in 2011, the National Taekwondo Championships will have a significant impact on our local economy and enhance our visibility on the world stage.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “This will be the first time Ottawa has hosted the National Championships since 1988. I was a coach at the ’88 Ottawa event. After 30 years, Taekwondo Canada is thrilled to have the 2018 Canadian National Taekwondo Championships hosted in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. As one of the most prestigious tournaments in Canada, it will feature the very best taekwondo athletes, coaches and referees nationwide. I am confident our organizing committee will collaborate with City of Ottawa to stage an exciting tournament.”
    Wayne Mitchell, President of Taekwondo Canada 

    “Ottawa Tourism is pleased to welcome Taekwondo competitors and spectators to Ottawa next month. This national championship joins an ever-expanding roster of diverse events held in Canada’s capital, which enhances our reputation as a sport hosting destination and in turn leads to more successful bids in the future.”
    Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism

  • Register now to attend the Mayor’s Town Hall on the future of Sparks Street

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Catherine McKenney want to know what residents think about the future of Sparks Street, and invite you to join them for an opportunity to share ideas and suggestions.

    What do you think the City should consider as it develops a plan to revitalize the Sparks Street pedestrian mall?Register now(link is external) for the Town Hall meeting, where you will have the chance to share your ideas with Mayor Watson and Councillor McKenney, hear from the project team and submit comments about the future look, feel and possible programming of this public space.

    Saturday, January 13, 2018
    Council Chambers, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
    8:30 am to noon
    Opening remarks at 9 am

    Please register to attend(link is external) by January 11, 2018. If you cannot attend the meeting, you can still share your feedback by answering our questionnaire(link is external) about the future of Sparks Street

    For more information: Sparks Street Public Realm Plan.

  • 2017 – From Ottawa the old to Ottawa the Bold

    It was nearly six years ago, during my State of the City address in January 2012, that I announced the creation of the City of Ottawa’s Canada 150 Anniversary TaskForce. This TaskForce quickly gained momentum, and in 2015, it incorporated into the organization we know today: Ottawa 2017. At its helm since 2014, the one and only Guy Laflamme. Through infinite creativity and contagious energy, Guy envisioned and delivered a year of sesquicentennial celebrations that will be part of our history forever.

    Ottawa 2017 did an incredible job of making Ottawa THE place to be to celebrate our Canada’s 150th anniversary. It will be impossible to forget some of this year’s events, which transformed our city, captivated our imagination and elevated Ottawa onto the international scene.

    The 2017 celebrations were ignited on December 31st, 2016 with the lighting of the Ottawa 2017 Cauldron by a First Nations scared fire, which was carried by more than 400 youth from City Hall to Parliament Hill, to reignite the Centennial Flame.

    Following the Ottawa 2017 kick-off was an epic year of celebrations filled with special arts and culture programming, unique culinary experiences, many large sporting championships, and never-before-seen performances and events.

    From seeing athletes hurl down an impressive ice track between Parliament Hill and the Château Laurier at speeds of more than 50km/h during Red Bull Crashed Ice, to experiencing the future LRT system through light and sound with Kontinuum, to being mesmerized by Kumo the giant spider and Long-Ma the dragon-horse as they roamed the streets of Ottawa – this past year has been nothing short of spectacular.

    Throughout the year, Ottawa 2017 has captivated us with blockbuster events like the JUNO Awards and JUNO Week, Mìwàte – the Illumination of Chaudière Falls, Canada’s Table in front of Centre Block, the Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge on July 2nd, Sky Lounge, the 105th Grey Cup and Festival, and the NHL100 Classic outdoor hockey game.

    But Ottawa’s 2017’s strength was also in numbers, as Ottawa saw record crowds rushing to town this year. Over 230,000 guests celebrated at an astounding 43 national days and events organized by 85 embassies and high commissions during Ottawa Welcomes the World at Lansdowne Park.

    More than 325,000 people made their way underground to the future Lyon Station of LRT for the multimedia show Kontinuum, and got a glimpse into the future of Light Rail Transit in our city.

    But the most impressive crowds we saw were definitely the 750,000 people who immersed themselves into the magic that La Machine brought to our city over four days in July. Long-Ma and Kumo will forever be engraved into our hearts and memories, and their story has changed the way the world views our city.

    This influx of visitors was successfully supported by our region’s hospitality sector – our hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions – who put in a special effort throughout the year.

    Preliminary numbers show that hotel occupancy rates increased on average by 5%, and by 17% in average room revenues. Some downtown hotels were at full-capacity on a number of occasions, and hotels in the suburbs saw a significant increase in occupancy. The Shaw Centre welcomed almost double the number of conventions and delegates this year compared with previous years, with organizations and associations bringing their gatherings to Ottawa in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

    Ottawa’s hotel revenue growth outperformed every other major city in Canada. This clearly shows that our investments have paid off for our tourism sector, and that our hospitality industry is thriving. As we step into 2018, we will continue to work with our tourism partners to keep this momentum going for years to come.

    Now that we bid farewell to 2017 and welcome the New Year, I invite you to reflect on the incredible year that was Canada’s 150th birthday, and how these once-in-a-generation celebrations have forever changed our beautiful city. Thank you for being here, for Canada’s Big Year.

  • City Council approves Budget 2018, keeping its 2% tax cap commitment to Ottawa residents

    Today, City Council approved a balanced, affordable and progressive Budget 2018. The City’s 2018 operating budget will be $3.4 billion and the capital budget $729 million.

    I am proud that for the fifth year in a row, we have honoured our commitment to residents and kept the tax increase at two per cent or less, while also continuing to build a prosperous city that is safe, secure and environmentally sustainable.

    Council received an update from City Treasurer Marian Simulik, with the latest tax revenue information for the year. The City expects it will end 2017 with a surplus, due in part to $10 million in greater than expected assessment growth. Council unanimously voted to use the $10 million to renew additional infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and buildings. Council will approve the allocation of this spending in early 2018.

    Budget 2018 demonstrates Council’s commitment to growing our city by investing in what matters most to residents: investing in public transit, continued protection of our critical infrastructure and assets, keeping our communities safe and vibrant and making the environment a top priority.

    Highlights of the approved Budget 2018 include:


    • Increase of $2.3 million for winter maintenance, for a total of $68.3 million, to support all modes of winter travel, including the new O’Connor Street and Main Street cycling lanes
    • 8% increase since 2016 for road repair, totalling $8 million, including an increase of $600,000 to repair potholes
    • Increase of $5.6 million for road surfacing, a 17% increase, totalling $39.2 million
    • $5.5 million to expand pedestrian and cycling facilities
    • $3.5 million for the Barrhaven rail-safety program

    Public transit:

    • Implementation of the new deeply discounted EquiFare (50% off the single fare ride), increasing the total EquiPass/EquiFare subsidy to $3.7 million from $2.7 million, an increase of 37%. The EquiFare complements the EquiPass discounted monthly pass, implemented in 2017
    • $9.8 million in additional funding to expand transit service and increase route frequencies for growing areas of the city. Some examples include Wateridge Village in the East end, Abbottsville Crossing in Kanata, Bradley Estates in Orléans and Findlay Creek in the South. The 2018 plan also includes replacing 80 OC Transpo buses, refurbishing 85 more buses and road and signal projects that will improve transit speed and reliability, as well as improving transit stops and stations
    • More than $550 million on construction of the Confederation Line in 2018, creating jobs and a greener future
    • $60 million for preliminary planning and procurement for Stage 2 of the Confederation Line light-rail transit project, which will add 39 kilometres and 23 more stations to Ottawa’s light-rail system, by going faster and farther West to Moodie Drive and Algonquin College, farther East to Trim Road, and farther South to Riverside South and Bowesville, with a link to the Ottawa International Airport

    Community and Protective Services:

    • $1.3 billion in operating expenses for community and protective services, including $293.2 million for Emergency and Protective Services, $695.9 million for community and social services, $300.8 million for recreation, cultural and facility services, and $38 million for parks
    • The majority of the $48.9 million in capital spending will go towards parks, recreation and culture, with $21.4 million earmarked to renew parks and buildings. Highlights include renewing the Nepean Sportsplex, the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex and the Howard Darwin Arena. The City will also replace play structures at Alta Vista Park, Greely West Park, Blue Rock Park and Beaton Park
    • Hiring 14 new paramedics and one additional emergency response vehicle, adding to the 36 paramedics already hired in the 2014-2018 Term of Council
    • Hiring 25 new police officers
    • Additional funding to deliver children’s services: $17.9 million in subsidies to support families most in need of high-quality child care to reduce and/or eliminate the current waitlist
    • Increase of $1 million for agencies that receive renewable community funding, for a total of $23.5 million, and $100,000 of existing funding reprioritized to create a one-time, non-renewable project fund for agencies not currently receiving funding
    • A 3% increase for a total of $11.3 million to base funding for Arts and Culture, allowing the sector to manage inflationary costs and cope with growth and minimum wage pressure
    • Parks and recreation registration fees capped at 2%


    • $12 million to renew the City’s rural infrastructure, including more than $8 million to rehabilitate bridges and bridge culverts
    • $1.8 million for Richmond Bridge on McBean Street, $760,000 for Ashton Bridge on Ashton Station Road, $520,000 for Peter Robinson Road Bridge and $470,000 for Monaghan Bridge on Old Richmond Road
    • $3.1 million to reconstruct and upgrade roads in the rural area, including renewing guiderails

    Affordable housing:

    • $15.7 million to provide more than 100 new affordable rental or supportive housing units and to support accessibility modifications and renovations for more than 100 low-income seniors and people with disabilities


    • $15.1 million more for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services, for a total of $365.2 million. Of this, $201.6 million will go towards renewing and growing the City’s water infrastructure
    • $2 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Green Fleet initiatives and for energy management

    Budget 2018 makes secure and affordable investments in Ottawa’s social and physical infrastructure, which will pave the way to a progressive future for our city and residents. It emphasizes affordability, progressive growth, neighbourhood security, quality of life and environmental sustainability.

    I am proud of the progress we have made together as a city. Our economy grows stronger, we are adding jobs and attracting families and businesses, quality of life for all our residents is improving, and we have secured a sustainable financial blueprint for 2018 and beyond.

  • 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.

  • Senator Murray Sinclair receives the Key to the City

    Ottawa – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator, at a ceremony at City Hall. The key was presented to Senator Sinclair in recognition of his illustrious and distinguished career as a Jurist, Scholar, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and Senator.

    Senator Sinclair, appointed to the Senate in 2016, was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge and Canada’s second. He is known for his representation of Aboriginal people and his knowledge of Aboriginal legal issues. Senator Sinclair led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada which studied the abuse of aboriginal children and youth at Indian Residential Schools. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools.


    “It is an honour to present the City’s highest award to Senator Murray Sinclair. His many contributions as a lawyer, judge and senator have had a positive and lasting impact on all Canadians. His work as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was invaluable in giving a voice to aboriginal youth and children who have suffered in Residential Schools, and in helping our nation take steps towards reconciliation with First Nations.”
    – Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    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 Honourable Murray Sinclair

    • The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator, served the justice system of Manitoba for over 25 years and was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in March of 1988 and to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in January 2001.
    • He was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge and Canada’s second.
    • Murray Sinclair served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
    • He participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015.
    • He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.
    • Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures.
    • He has been recognized with numerous awards including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 10 Canadian universities.
    • The Honourable Murray Sinclair was appointed to the Senate of Canada on April 2, 2016.

    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.

  • Don Winchester receives the Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, Barrhaven Councillor Jan Harder, and Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor Michael Qaqish presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today at City Council to Don Winchester, the President of the Barrhaven Seniors’ Council, for his many contributions to the community. 

    Don Winchester and his wife Marilyn have been active in the community since moving here from Calgary in 2011. He reached out to Councillor Harder who was interested in starting a seniors group in Barrhaven. That led to a meeting in December, 2013 with Mayor Watson, Councillor Harder, and seniors from the community to discuss the need for programs and services for older adults in Barrhaven.

    In 2014 Don became the Co-founder and President of the Barrhaven Seniors’ Council, a popular and active organization in the community that is now a registered charity with almost 600 members. Don is being recognized for his energy, leadership and enthusiasm in delivering programs and services to seniors. Before the Council was active, seniors had to leave the community for programs. Now they enjoy bridge and euchre clubs; social activities, chair exercises and other outings closer to home.

    Don’s motivation and leadership in steering this group to success has given members new friendships and a sense of community through weekly activities and the best potlucks in the neighbourhood. As the Senior Advisor of the Project Steering Committee for the Barrhaven Community and Cultural Centre, Don’s dream is to have a quality, new centre for programs and services for the seniors of Barrhaven.



  • Get your (video) game on, Ottawa!

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017 and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are excited to launch the Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo, which begins today and runs until Saturday.

    This Ottawa 2017 Signature Event offers residents and visitors an opportunity to test their gaming skills in a fun and interactive environment, while also learning about new and existing locally-based game companies.

    Gamers are invited to join this FREE two-part event:

    • From Monday, November 13 to Friday, November 17, participants have the chance to play the new Super Mario Odyssey in different locations across the city and win prizes from Porter, VIA Rail and Roots. Local gaming companies will also be featured.
    • On Saturday, November 18, participants can compete for a $10,000 prize pool with an open bracket tournament featuring Rocket League and FIFA 18.

    Additionally, on November 18, a special expo will highlight locally-based game companies, as well as international game developers. Participants are invited to come and see what local companies are up to and how important Ottawa’s game development industry is on a global scale. They can meet local talent, developers and publishers, plus get the opportunity to play all kinds of new games!

    Among the participants:

    Fishhead Studios
    Nintendo Canada
    SkyPyre Studios
    Snowed In Studios
    Tulip Crush

    NEW special feature on the Ottawa 2017 App: FLAPPY GOOSE!

    As a nod to the Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo, the team at Bell has designed a uniquely Canadian version of the classic video game Flappy Bird. Users can also check out the new fall filters in the photo booth. To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, powered by Bell, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.


    “I’m very pleased to have a week of celebrations that showcase the forward-thinking talent and creativity of Ottawa’s technology sector. The Canadian Videogame Competition & Expo is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to get to know these up-and-coming local companies and learn about the impact that they’re having on the gaming industry.”
    –– Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

    “Ontario is an incubator of creativity and innovation. The Canadian Videogame Competition & Expo is part of our commitment to encourage and engage our youth – our future leaders. Ontario150 is supporting efforts to remind us how much we, as Ontarians, have to be proud of living in our incredible province, and all that we can and will accomplish working together.”
    –– The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport

    “The Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo is a celebration of our continued success in the technology industry. I included this component as part of the Ottawa 2017 plan to engage youth and young adults, while showcasing Ottawa as a technology city.”
    –– 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 dynamic event happen in locations across the city, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with Swaf Media, Nintendo Canada, Bell, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism, the Government of Ontario and Makerspace North.

    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.

  • Order of Ottawa inductees and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching recipient announced for 2017

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson today announced the 17 residents who will be inducted into the Order of Ottawa this year, as well as the 2017 recipient of the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.

    This year’s Order of Ottawa ceremony will take place at City Hall on November 16.

    Those who will be invested by Mayor Watson into the Order of Ottawa for 2016 are: Steve Barkhouse, Thomas d’Aquino, C, Jane Dobell, Édith Dumont, Safaa Fouda, Claude Gingras, Lawson A.W. Hunter, Guy Laflamme, Dr. Bernard Leduc, Cyril Leeder, Todd Nicholson, Drs Lucy and Rod Rabb, Jozef Straus, William Tupper and Sheila Whyte.

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee was selected as a 2016 Order of Ottawa recipient however was unable to attend this ceremony. He will be honoured at the 2017 ceremony.

    Stephen Dean will be presented with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, a City award that recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.

    The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

    This prestigious civic award was established in 2012 by Mayor Watson and members of City Council. Recipients of the Order of Ottawa are 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 Library Services.

    For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa and the full biographies of the recipients on the Order of Ottawa section on the Awards and Recognition page on ottawa.ca.


    “The 2017 inductees join an illustrious group of residents who have been recognized and celebrated for having significantly contributed to the City through their professional accomplishments. In addition to making positive change in the city, Order of Ottawa recipients inspire others to do the same.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    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.

    Abridged biographies of recipients

    Steve Barkhouse

    Steve Barkhouse is the Founder and President of Amsted Design-Build, an award-winning design build company that employs over 60 employees and has completed over 1500 projects across the City of Ottawa. Amsted has won several consumer awards and Mr. Barkouse has served on numerous boards and committees including the Algonquin College Board of Governors, as well as the College’s multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign cabinet to build the new Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence. Mr. Barkhouse hires and supports carpentry apprenticeships and acts as a personal mentor to students.

    Amsted Design-Build also supports numerous charities, organizations and initiatives over the past 25 years including CHEO, the Ottawa Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice Care Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Roger’s House and the Kanata Blazers Hockey Team.

    Thomas d’Aquino

    An Ottawa resident for over forty years, Mr. d’Aquino continues to serve in leadership positions in the corporate world and in the not-for-profit sector.  After serving as a Special Advisor to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Mr. D’Aquino spent thirty years as the Ottawa-based Chief Executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, now known as the Business Council of Canada.  In recognition of his leadership, he was named a Distinguished Lifetime Member of the Council.

    During this time, he served as a member of the Board of Governors of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.  He was the Founding Chair of the Heritage Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation and has been a long-time philanthropic supporter of the National Arts Centre. A Gold and Diamond Jubilee medal recipient, Mr. d’Aquino chairs the North American Forum and is a member of an international advisory group assisting The Vatican with the Sport in the Service of Humanity Initiative led by Pope Francis.

    Jane Dobell

    Education and literacy have been a common theme in Ms. Dobell’s personal and professional life in Ottawa over the past 50+ years.  She is a professional educator, having served both as Director of the Language Programme Branch of the Secretary of State as well as Ottawa Board of Education Trustee and sometime Chair.

    She has been incredibly active in her community where she has previously served on the Rockcliffe Park Village Council and Rockcliffe Park Residents’ Association. She has played a leading role in two separate book fairs which collectively have raised seven-figure profits for the Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ottawa Public Library to support library and literacy programs.  Ms. Dobell has served as a Board member on various educational institutions including Algonquin College, the University of Ottawa, as well as on the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board.

    Édith Dumont

    Édith Dumont, Director of Education for Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO), has spent over 25 years with the organization. She serves as an advocate for the rights of women and linguistic minorities. Ms. Dumont is recognized for her commitment to school communities and today’s youth. Her passion for education makes her an inspiring ambassador and she has spoken around the world. Ms. Dumont has created global innovative partnerships with the likes of the European Union, FC Barcelona and the Cosmodome, in Laval, to benefit her students and broaden their education

    Ms. Dumont has served on several boards including Groupe Média TFO, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Ottawa Network for Education and Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques. She has chaired the Conseil ontarien des directrices et directeurs de l’éducation de langue française and is a member of Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones.

    Safaa Fouda                      

    Safaa Fouda is a pioneering female engineer who moved to Canada from Egypt in 1969 and became one of the first female Canadian recipients of a PhD in Engineering. Since 1981, Dr. Fouda worked at CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Natural Resources Canada, developing novel technologies and catalytic processes for transforming natural gas into transportation fuels and chemicals. She retired in 2005 as Deputy Director General for the CANMET.

    Following her work career, Dr. Fouda has devoted herself to philanthropic and community work, especially in helping vulnerable communities and in cross-cultural bridge building, peace-building and Muslim/non-Muslim relations. She served on the board of directors on the Multifaith Housing Initiative and has been involved with a variety of other community groups. Dr. Fouda has received several recognitions including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Ontario’s “Leading Women Building Communities” award and in 2015, was recognized with the Mayor’s City Builder Award for outstanding volunteerism.

    Claude Gingras

    As the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Trustee of Ginsberg, Gingras & Associates, an Ottawa-based management consulting firm helping clients to overcome business, management and organizational challenges, Claude Gingras has over 30 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of Canadian industry. He has helped make Ginsberg, Gingras & Associates the undisputed leader in the field of bankruptcy trustees by introducing innovative practices and expanding its field of expertise.

    Mr. Gingras has been a leader in Ottawa’s francophone community. He served for 20 years as President, Fondation Franco-Ontarienne and helped protect, preserve and promote Ontario’s Francophone culture. Mr. Gingras chaired and sat on numerous local fundraising campaigns, including the Ottawa General Hospital and La Cité Collégiale.

    Lawson A.W. Hunter

    Lawson Hunter is one of Canada’s best renowned regulatory and government relations counsels. For several years, he was Canada’s senior civil servant responsible for the drafting of the federal Competition Act. From 1993 to 2003, he was a partner of Stikeman Elliott and head of the firm’s Competition/Antitrust Group. He was Executive Vice-President and Chief Corporate Officer of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., responsible for overseeing regulatory, governmental relations and corporate affairs. He has been recognized by organizations such as CD Howe, the University of New Brunswick and by Chambers and Partners.

    Mr. Hunter has been heavily involved in Ottawa’s arts community. He is the current Chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery and has invested in its expansion and growth. In fact, the new third floor gallery at the new OAG will be called the Lawson A.W. Hunter Permanent Collection Gallery. He has also been a key member on fundraising committees for the NAC and Opera Lyra.

    Guy Laflamme

    Guy Laflamme has been producing major events in the Capital for over 25 years with the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. Since 2014, he has been Executive Director and Producer of Ottawa 2017, creating over 200 events and experiences to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. His previous successes have included Canada Day Celebrations, Winterlude, Mosaika and the H2K millennium show produced at the Casino Lac Leamy.

    Mr. Laflamme is also a professor with the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and with the Executive MBA program for 25 years. He has been teaching with the University of Bucharest Business School for over eight years. With his university students, Mr. Laflamme led a humanitarian project “Making Niger Our Business” to deliver half a million dollars in benefits to Niger. Mr. Laflamme was Chair of the United Way campaign for the Outaouais in 2011.

    Dr. Bernard Leduc

    Dr. Bernard Leduc has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of Hôpital Montfort since 2010. Previously, Dr. Leduc served as Chief-of-Staff at Montfort from January 2004 to November, 2009, and has 27 years of experience in family medicine. Dr. Leduc led the hospital through its Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada in 2014 and the hospital was named one of the Top 25 Employers of the National Capital Region in February 2015.

    In 2004, Dr. Leduc was awarded the Irwin Bean Award, given to the individual in the group of eligible practitioners who obtained the highest score on the certification examination in family medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is co-recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for the Family Medicine program at Hôpital Montfort in 2006-2007. In 2010 he was awarded the Ralph E. Giffin Award for his contribution to the Queen’s Executive MBA Ottawa program.

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee opened Ottawa’s first Taekwondo School in 1977. Over the past 39 years, he has shaped the lives of over 20,000 students and developed affiliated schools and clubs across the National Capital Region as well as in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Germany, Greece and Hong Kong. Grandmaster Lee founded Taekwondo Canada, and is the only internationally certified Grandmaster with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in Ottawa.

    Grandmaster Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt, the highest level attainable, making him both one of the only actively teaching 9th Degree Black Belts in the world. He was instrumental in having WTF Taekwondo recognized as both an official Olympic and Paralympic sport and he has always promoted Canada as the best country in the world in which to live and raise a family.

    (Grandmaster Lee was selected as a 2016 Order of Ottawa recipient, however, was unable to attend this ceremony and is being honoured at the 2017 ceremony.)

    Cyril Leeder

    Cyril Leeder is an accomplished business and community champion in Ottawa. He was one of a small group of leaders who brought the Ottawa Senators back to Ottawa. Mr. Leeder spent close to three decades as President of the organization. His work helped the City land the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend and the 2013 World Women’s Hockey Championship.

    Throughout his career, Mr. Leeder has established partnerships that have directly benefited the community, such as the numerous Sensplexes across the City and the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall. In 1998, Mr. Leeder founded the Annual Bell Capital Cup, the world’s largest hockey tournament. His community work has helped the Ottawa Senators Foundation, Algonquin College Sports Management Program, Ottawa Carleton Ice Partnership and the Bell Capital Cup. He coached minor hockey for 11 years and, in 2012, was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

    Todd Nicholson

    A three-time Paralympic medalist winning gold in 2006, silver in 1998 and bronze in 1994, Todd Nicholson represented Canada on the national and international stages as a member of Canada’s National Sledge Team. He won eight medals at the world sledge hockey championships. He has also competed in a number of other summer sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, triathlon, duathlon, marathons and para-skeleton.

    From 2013 until April 2017, he served as Chairman for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council and has been involved planning and administering the Games from 2012 through 2018. Nicholson was named Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. He was inducted to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Mr. Nicholson and his wife now devote their free time and energy to building The Abilities Centre Ottawa, a centre that aims to create a fully inclusive recreational facility for people of all abilities.

    Dr. Lucy Rabb and Dr. Rod Rabb

    Dr. Lucy and Dr. Rod Rabb have been family physicians in the Village of Richmond from 1969 to 2016. They have served thousands of multi-generational patients in the community, making numerous house calls. The Rabbs have provided their services to the Salvation Army Grace General Hospital from 1966 to 1999, and later to the Queensway Carleton Hospital and Ottawa Hospitals.

    They have been a strong driving force behind the Richmond Refugee Relief Fund which sponsored two Vietnamese families during the migration of Vietnamese refugees to Canada in the 1970s, sponsored and provided medical care for Syrian refugees, including Heal the Children Canada, which brought Korean Children to Canada for heart surgery, fostering the children during their stay in Canada. They provided Christmas baskets to shut-ins and nursing home patients during the Christmas season.

    Dr. Lucy Rabb was one of only seven female graduates from the University of Ottawa Medical School in 1965. She became a coroner for the region, covering the area of Rockland to Arnprior for 25 years. She was Chief of Family Medicine for five years at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital and the Grace Hospital. She was also a Sunday School teacher and Sunday School superintendent for many years at the Richmond Presbyterian Church.

    Dr. Rod Rabb served as a volunteer firefighter in Richmond for 39 years, from 1971 to 2010, and was involved as a local Cub Scouts and Scout level leader with Scouts Canada.

    Jozef Straus, PhD

    With a lifetime of extraordinary achievements in technology innovation and business success in the telecommunications industry, Dr. Straus is best known for co-founding JDS Fitel in 1981 and was instrumental in its merger with Uniphase Corporation in 1999. Dr. Straus holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Alberta, Touro College, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. He is a current and past board member of various high tech companies and research organizations, including The Ottawa Partnership, the University of Ottawa’s Science Advisory Council and other Ottawa-based organizations.

    He is involved in several charitable organizations and is most proud of his past involvement as Co-Chairman of the successful Ottawa Hospital’s Legacy Campaign.  Over the last several years Jozef Straus has been very much involved in supporting activities at the National Gallery of Canada.

    William M. Tupper, PhD

    A retired businessman, geologist and professor, William ‘Bill” Tupper is a community leader in every sense.  He served as a Councillor in the Township of North Gower, as the first Mayor of Rideau Township and Regional Councillor from 1974 to 1978 and as a Member of the House of Commons from 1984 to 1988.

    Mr. Tupper has immersed himself in the history of Rideau Township, preserving Dickinson House in Manotick, and developing Dickinson Square as a heritage destination.  He was a founding member and Past-President of the Rideau Township Historical Society.  Along with his wife, he published “The Dickinson Men of Manotick”, a book chronicling the family that founded the historical village. He has been a lifelong fundraiser for organizations like the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, the United Way, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and the Association of Former Parliamentarians Education Foundation. Mentoring young people, from Boy Scouts to graduate students has been among his many priorities.

    Sheila Whyte

    Since Sheila Whyte opened Thyme and Again Creative Catering in 1991, the business has grown to include a take-home food and a retail shop and an in-house bakery. Ms. Whyte was a founding member of the advisory board for Savour Ottawa, and sits on the boards of the Culinary Management Advisory Board at Algonquin College, Ottawa Philanthropy Awards, Wellington West BIA, and the Parkdale Food Centre. She has been a champion for the Ottawa Mission Chef Program, is a judge for Gold Medal Plates in Ottawa and a member of the City of Ottawa Food Truck Selection Committee.

    Ms. Whyte has volunteered her time with other community organizations including the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the Coffee for Community Cause. She is also a founding member of The Royal Ottawa Women for Mental Health Campaign. Ms. Whyte has received numerous awards including the Ottawa Business Woman of the Year Award in 2006.

    Brian Kilrea Award

    Stephen Dean

    Stephen Dean is the driving force behind the success of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA). He has been serving as President of NCAFA since 2005 and has seen the League expand to include 15 clubs.  Mr. Dean is the President of the Nepean Eagles Football Club since 2000, also having served as coach from 1998 to 2004. Since taking over as President, the club has grown to over 700 participants and coaches in program areas such as tackle, girls touch, flag and cheer.

    He has forged strong ties with the Ottawa Sport and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and the Ottawa REDBLACKS while maintaining relationships well as Football Canada, the Ontario Football Alliance, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and local high schools. He has promoted a ‘football helps football’ philosophy and promotes a sustainable and growing vision for Ottawa youth and a strong football future in our Nation’s Capital

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