What has (councillor) Jan Harder done for Barrhaven?
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Did you know?
That Barrhaven
is the fastest growing area of the city, just 20 km southwest of Ottawa's downtown core.

Before municipal amalgamation in 2001, Barrhaven was a neighbourhood in the City of Nepean with fewer than 35,000 people. With the many new developments being built, Barrhaven's population will surpass 100,000 in just a few years.

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Section of Greenbank Road to fully close Saturday night
Wednesday, March 26, 2015

Beginning on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 11 p.m. Greenbank Road will be closed to vehicular, cycling and pedestrian traffic in both directions between Malvern Drive and Berrigan Drive/Wessex Road. The road will be closed to prepare for a new detour. Greenbank Road will reopen on Sunday, March 29 in the afternoon.

Traffic should avoid the area during this weekend closure. Portable Variable Message (PVMS) signs will also be on site.

OC Transpo Route 170 will be detoured during the period Greenbank Road is closed. For further information please visit octranspo.com.   

Construction crews will be onsite overnight from Saturday night to Sunday morning to complete the work necessary to open the detour. This work will include moving the crossing and its signal system to the detour. When Greenbank Road reopens on Sunday, March 29, 2015, traffic will use a new temporary roadway between Malvern Drive and Berrigan Drive/Wessex Road to facilitate the Greenbank Road widening project. The City of Ottawa is working closely with VIA Rail to ensure that the new detour opens safely to all traffic.

The detour will provide two lanes for vehicles, which is the same as the section of road it replaces, and an asphalt multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. The detour will have a reduced speed limit of 50 kph. The detour will be in place until the construction of the new underpass is completed.

During construction, there will be a greater need for all road users to share the road safely. When navigating through the detour, be cautious and watch out for construction vehicles and workers, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. Signage along the detour will emphasize the need to slow down and share the road.
The Greenbank Road Widening project is about keeping our community and economy moving forward through strategic investments in a number of transportation, water, and sewer projects to build a better city and create jobs. For current traffic and construction information around the city, visit ottawa.ca.


March 25, 2015 City seeks sponsors for Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa
Wednesday, March 26, 2015

The City of Ottawa is seeking local, national and international companies as sponsoring partners for the 150th anniversary celebrations of Canada’s Confederation in 2017. 

The City’s Ottawa 2017 Bureau has posted a notice on MERX, the government procurement system, to ensure fairness and transparency for the sponsorship process.

The nation’s capital will be the main stage for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, with more than 11 million visitors and residents expected to take part in the year-long celebrations. A dynamic series of celebrations throughout the 150th-anniversary year is being planned, including one-of-a-kind events of international calibre. The City estimates that visitors will spend $320 million during the year.

A number of sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available for companies with a cash or in-kind investment, or a combination of both. At the lead partner level, the Ottawa 2017 Bureau is looking to secure three to four companies that would be tied to all events and programs starting in 2015, leading up to the full year celebrations in 2017, and continuing into early 2018. 

Further information about sponsorship opportunities is at ottawa.ca/2017sponsorship.


Still looking for free winter activities?
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The City of Ottawa reminds residents of some activities offered by the City that you might want to enjoy while the weather cooperates.

Skating on the Canal is over for this year, but the SENS Rink of Dreams at City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) is still open. Come enjoy the brisk outdoor air as you skate with friends and family. While at City Hall, be sure to take in the Karsh-Masson Gallery, the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, all free of charge.

If you’re looking for a new place to skate, you can check out the Lansdowne Park Skating Court. Weather permitting, it will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Follow the City on Twitter @ottawacity for last-minute changes to the status of both rinks or visit ottawa.ca for updates and news on when the rinks will close for the season.

If you can’t make it to Lansdowne or to the SENS Rink of Dreams, there are other facilities that offer public skating, and RBC is making sure that public skating sessions held on Saturdays and Sundays are free until Sunday, March 29. Check out ottawa.ca to find an arena that suits your schedule.

At Lansdowne Park, you can get an up-close look at the future of Ottawa transit aboard the full-sized mock-up of the trains that will serve as the backbone of Ottawa’s new light rail transit system. Until the end of March, the Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicle is on display seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Aberdeen Pavilion. Visitors can explore this fast, safe, reliable vehicle and learn more about the O-Train Confederation Line.


City invites feedback on Confederation Line West Extension
Monday, March 23, 2015

The City of Ottawa invites residents to take part in a public consultation on Monday, March 30 about plans for the Confederation Line West Light Rail Transit (LRT) Extension.

The City and the National Capital Commission (NCC) Working Group recently announced an agreement in principle that would allow a portion of the LRT extension between Dominion and Cleary stations to be fully buried under the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. The public consultation about the recommended corridor will take place in Jean Pigott Place at City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) and will offer residents the opportunity to learn more about the proposal and to provide feedback. The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m., including a presentation at 6:30 p.m.

The preferred integrated transit solution meets the NCC’s criteria while protecting the Byron Linear Park and Rochester Field and meeting the City of Ottawa’s affordability requirements. The solution also:

  • Maximizes greenspace by re-instating existing Parkway lanes of traffic closer together
  • Develops a park of national significance along the shoreline
  • Protects the trees and landscaped buffer between the Parkway and adjacent urban areas
  • Enhances existing pathways and creates new pathways and two new crossings under the Parkway
  • Reduces annual bus trips on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway by more than 450,000
  • Increases useable shoreline park space by 38 per cent

The Western LRT extension is one of three environmental assessment studies currently underway as part of Stage 2: the City’s plan to add 19 new stations and 30 kilometres to our LRT network, extending it farther east, west and south by 2023.

A further public consultation to review the overall recommended plan for the Stage 2 Confederation Line West Extension is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29. Additional information about upcoming and future public consultation opportunities, project updates and contact information can be found on ottawa.ca/stage2. Materials presented at all public consultations will also be posted on the website for those unable to attend.


Early birds can register now for Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital
Monday, March 16, 2015

The City of Ottawa and Tim Hortons are pleased to announce the annual Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital campaign, which will take place from April 15 to May 15. Early-bird registration is now available.

Registration is quick and easy:
Go to ottawa.ca, or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to register for the cleanup. The new interactive map on our website will show you which locations have already been claimed, allow you to register your own project site and choose the cleanup supplies that you need.
Select a location such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area that requires litter pickup, graffiti removal or cleanup.

Win prizes
Volunteers who register their cleanup project before April 14 have a chance to win one of many early bird prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Volunteers who submit a final cleanup report by May 31 will be eligible for more prizes.

Cleaning the Capital is a city-wide event that brings together neighbours, communities and friends to help keep Ottawa clean and green! Last year alone, 80,000 volunteers collected almost 140,000 kg of litter from 1,400 locations.

This is a great opportunity for families and friends to work together on community cleanup projects that help make Ottawa clean, green, graffiti-free and litter-free. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.


Where parents go to get in the know – Ottawa Public Health launches new online parenting initiative
Monday, March 16, 2015

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched a new interactive web portal today to help parents access relevant, reliable and local parenting information online.

The Parenting in Ottawa portal was developed in response to the increasing use of the web to find information, support and community resources. Research shows that a large majority of parents are using online channels to find information and to stay connected with other parents. Parenting in Ottawa is designed to cover everything from planning for a family to getting through the teenage years.

“This newly launched Parenting in Ottawa portal will complement many of the services already offered to Ottawa parents,” said Councillor Shad Qadri, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “Ottawa Public Health is a national leader in providing timely and relevant online health information to residents, and this new tool is a great addition to their toolbox.”

Parenting in Ottawa provides access to credible, evidence-based information in easy-to-navigate formats. Parents and families will learn about local community resources and events and be able to connect virtually with experts from various organizations. Furthermore, parents will also have access to the recently launched and very popular Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page; where parents can interact live with other parents and with a Public Health Nurse weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“For parents, each stage in a child’s development has new rewards, but also new challenges. We wanted to create an online space that supports all parents, is highly interactive and is easy to use,” said Sherry Nigro, Manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health. “Another of our objectives is to connect people with local community resources.”

“As a first-time mom, I'm always looking for great parenting and health-related advice. The Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page provides a reliable resource to parents in Ottawa,” said Sara Zahiri, active user of the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page. “It’s nice to have a local resource that parents can depend on to get accurate, current information on parenting issues.”

This web portal will provide access to parenting information on subjects such as:

  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • the growth and development of your child
  • mental health
  • when to worry, when not to
    healthy eating
  • immunization
  • how to talk to your child and teen about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • how to talk to your child and teen about puberty and sexuality
  • community services for your family

For more information on pregnancy and parenting, please visit ParentinginOttawa.com or call the OPH Information Line at 613-580-6744. You can also follow OPH on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.


OC Transpo operates revised schedules for March Break
Friday, March 13, 2015

OC Transpo will operate a reduced weekday schedule during the March Break (March 16 to 20) when schools are closed.

Bus arrival times may be adjusted slightly compared to the usual weekday schedule, and during rush hour most routes will have one or two fewer trips. All school routes numbered in the 600s and special school trips on regular routes will not operate. The O-Train Trillium Line schedule will remain the same.

Holiday schedules are available at www.octranspo.com. Automated schedule information is also available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus your four‑digit bus stop number.

For more information and travel planning assistance, call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 or visit www.octranspo.com.


Algonquin College joins U-Pass program, now 71,000 students-strong
Friday, March 13, 2015

OC Transpo, Algonquin College and Algonquin Students’ Association officials signed a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) Agreement today. Algonquin College is the fourth local post-secondary institution to adopt the U-Pass, which will make Ottawa’s U-Pass program one of the largest and most successful in Canada with 71,000 participants.

“We are proud to work with our college and university students to make transit more affordable and convenient,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Through the U-Pass program and investments like light rail transit, student transit will continue to improve in the years ahead.”

Starting this September, approximately 16,000 eligible students at Algonquin will pay an incidental fee of $192.70 per semester for a U-Pass, compared with $403 (regular routes) or $497 (regular and express) for four months of adult transit passes.

“We’re pleased to welcome Algonquin students to the U-Pass program, offering huge savings for existing riders,” said Ottawa Transit Commission Chair, Councillor Stephen Blais. “Transit is the convenient, environmentally sustainable way for students to commute, and we hope the U-Pass will attract even more Algonquin students to let OC Transpo do the driving."

Algonquin College will be well-served by the Stage 2 light rail transit project, with a stop at Baseline Station. From there, students and other west-end residents will be able to get on the O-Train Confederation Line to travel downtown or as far east as Place d’Orléans. The Stage 2 project includes 30 kilometres of rail and 19 new stations, and will link Ottawa’s three largest post-secondary institutions by rail.

“Our first priority at Algonquin College is student success,” said Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen. “Providing safe and reliable transportation for our students will enable them to travel to the campus and around the city — one less concern during a busy term. Progressive cities and post-secondary institutions know how important this is.”

"I would like to thank Algonquin students for making their voices heard and for being patient during this process,” said Algonquin Students' Association President Christina Miller. “Thanks to your support, U-Pass is finally here!"

Eligible students at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa and St. Paul University already have U-Passes that are active for the fall and spring semesters. In total, this fall, 71,000 local college and university students will receive a U-Pass as part of their incidental student fees.


Camp FFIT returns with firefighter training camp for young women
Friday, March 13, 2015

Ottawa Fire Services, in partnership with Fire Service Women Ontario, is pleased to announce an application call forCamp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training) 2015. Young women between the ages of 15 and 19, who meet the application criteria, are invited to apply.

Camp FFIT is designed to educate young women about the career of firefighting. Participants will have an opportunity to perform many tasks, including, but not limited to:

  • Search and rescue
  • Auto extrication
  • Forcible entry
  • Catching hydrants
  • High rise operations and aerial ladder climb
  • Wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)
  • Fighting simulated kitchen and car fires

Applications are available now at ottawa.ca and must be returned to Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre located at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 22, 2015.

Participants will have an opportunity to speak to men and women who work at Ottawa Fire Services, as well as firefighters from neighbouring communities and students who have graduated from the pre-service firefighter training programs at Algonquin College and La Cité Collegial. Camp instruction will be offered in English.

Camp FFIT, now in its sixth year, will take place:

Date: August 17 to 21, 2015

Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre
898 Industrial Avenue

For questions, please email campffit@ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1.


City committed to management oversight improvements
Thursday, March 12, 2015

City management agrees with all 45 recommendations in the six new audits and two fraud and waste-related reports tabled today by Auditor General Ken Hughes in his 2013 Annual Report. Many recommendations have already been implemented and the remainder are underway.

“I would like to acknowledge the important role that the Auditor General plays in helping the City identify practices and processes that need more consistency, rigour and improved oversight,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “Management is committed to finding better ways to monitor, measure and assess the work we do in order to improve overall performance, streamline operations and deliver value to Ottawa residents.”

Highlights of key recommendations already implemented or in progress:

Audit of Ethics

  • Management agrees with all eight recommendations.  The implementation of all recommendations is underway, with significant progress made on four of them.
  • Results of an all-staff survey suggested the ethical climate at the City is quite strong.
  • The City’s Code of Conduct is sound and the Fraud and Waste Hotline for reporting alleged violations is effective.
  • Future circulations of the Code of Conduct will highlight the existing whistleblower protection clause to enhance awareness among staff that retaliation for reporting violations is not tolerated.
  • The allocation of an FTE (Full Time Equivalent position) to implement all of the recommendations in this audit will be identified for Council consideration in the draft 2016 Budget.

Audit of the Environmental Legislated Approvals Process

  • Management agrees with all five recommendations; three of the recommendations have been implemented and the remaining two will be implemented this year.
  • The City has a strong understanding of the environmental assessment (EA) process and performs EAs efficiently.
  • The City does extensive public consultation during these studies, including gathering feedback and compiling and considering comments.

Audit of Specific Contracts and Processes in Fleet Services Branch

  • Management agrees with all eight recommendations; four of the recommendations have been implemented and implementation of the remainder is underway.
  • The audited parts and tire contracts were competitively awarded.
  • The Auditor General’s recommendations have been incorporated into the new standing offer process.
  • The City will engage a private and independent Fairness Commissioner to ensure all bids for the parts contract receive a thorough, fair and equitable review.

Audit of OC Transpo Business Planning Process for Cancellation of Bus Trips

  • Management agrees with the two recommendations; both will be implemented this year.
  • Superintendents and Transit Supervisors of the Transit Operations Control Centre have a consistent understanding of which routes are considered priority and should not be cancelled; and which routes should be used to fill a service priority.
  • The review of the Trip Cancellation Standard Operating Procedure will be completed by the end of Q2 2015 and any required changes will be implemented and reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Management will communicate service delivery issues that are known in advance to customers immediately, and will communicate when a previously scheduled trip is able to resume operation.

Audit of OC Transpo Business Planning Process for Lost and Found

  • Management agrees with all seven recommendations; five of the seven have been implemented and the remaining two are currently being implemented.
  • A competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the lost and found contract was initiated by OC Transpo in late 2014; the RFP incorporated enhanced financial reporting, electronic tracking systems and security measures to protect both information and contents.
  • The practice of allowing employees to keep unclaimed lost and found items was discontinued.
  • Agreements authorized under delegated authority, are reported to the Transit Commission and Council.

Audit of IT Governance

  • Management agrees with all nine recommendations; six of the nine recommendations have been implemented and implementation of the remaining three is underway.
  • The City has hired a new Chief Information Officer / Director of IT Services.
  • The IT Governance Model has evolved over the past number of years with the Senior Management Committee (SMC) assuming direct oversight of the IT Roadmap and its implementation in April of 2014. 
  • As part of the planning process for identifying departmental and/or corporate initiatives requiring ITS resources, client departments are required to complete a corporate business case which specifies the business value and any expected performance measures, such as the estimated return on investment (ROI) and planned project timelines.

Fraud and Waste Review of City’s Acquisition of Land for Soccer Fields

  • Management agrees with all three recommendations; two of the three recommendations have been implemented and implementation of the remaining one is substantially complete.
  • Management will ensure that appraisals for all property acquisitions are completed in accordance with the City’s Acquisition Policy and that supporting documentation is retained in accordance with the City’s Corporate Records Management Policy.
  • Finance staff, in conjunction with the City Clerk and Solicitor department, have reviewed the circumstances around the issuance of the donation tax receipt and confirmed that the City’s Donation Receipt Policy/Procedures and Canada Revenue Agency legislative requirements were adhered to.

Fraud and Waste Review of City Funding to the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama

  • Management agrees with all three recommendations; all three have been implemented.
  • Processes for improved tracking; follow-up and documentation for Section 37 and 41 agreements under the Planning Act; and tracking of community benefits and loan agreements have been put in place.
  • Management has put greater controls in place to monitor deficits and will be in a better position to decline funding to groups that may pose a risk to the City in terms of their ability to repay loans or honour financial obligations.
  • Management will continue to include provisions to reduce annual funding amounts owing to the City and will work with Legal Services and Finance to identify and collect amounts owing that are at risk and initiate claims to improve recoveries.

The Fraud and Waste Hotline serves as an additional mechanism to advance Council’s vision of increasing public confidence in City government through increased transparency and accountability. Management takes swift action to resolve issues, including applying disciplinary measures if appropriate.


Reminder that your interim property tax bill is due
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ottawa property owners are reminded that the interim property tax bill, which was mailed out during the last week of February, is due on Thursday, March 19.

You can now view, print and pay your property tax bill by visiting ottawa.ca and selecting the “My ServiceOttawa” tab to register your tax account. This service is also available for water and sewer bills.

You can pay your property tax bill:

  • through your financial institution
  • online at ottawa.ca
  • by sending a cheque to the City of Ottawa
  • at any City of Ottawa Client Service Centre during regular hours of operation

Once your interim bill is paid, you may manage and pay future tax bills by signing up for the City’s
pre-authorized tax debit plan or registering for epost™.

If you have not yet received your bill, please call the City’s Revenue Branch at 613-580-2444. Additional information about your interim property tax bill is available online at ottawa.ca.


City Council approves 2015 budget
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

City Council today approved the 2015 Operating and Capital Budgets, limiting the total residential property tax increase to 2 per cent, while moving ahead with significant city-building projects such as Light Rail Transit, Arts Court, and the Bayview Innovation Centre.

“This budget was designed to ensure Ottawa maintains momentum on the major initiatives already well underway across the region that are helping to enhance our reputation as a progressive, thriving and growing city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “A new crime prevention strategy and increases to affordable housing are also among the budget’s centrepieces.”

The 2015 budget promises investment in affordable housing, community facilities and crime prevention, while keeping taxes and user fees affordable. The transit fare increase has been capped at 2.5 per cent and recreation fees will increase by no more than two per cent. The garbage fee remains frozen for a third consecutive year.

“The 2015 Budget does a good job of balancing competing interests and desires, while ensuring the provision of day-to-day services and important infrastructure,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “I want to thank residents, the Mayor, Councillors and staff for all their input and effort in the development of the budget.”

  • Budget 2015 promises key investments that improve Ottawa’s reputation as a liveable city for all residents and businesses:

A Caring City

  • Fund a strategy for crime prevention and gang activity.
  • Increase funding for maintenance of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation assets.
  • Enhance and increase funding for the School Crossing Guard Program.
  • Deliver funding for commemoration of the victims of the tragic September 2013 bus-train collision.
  • Involve the City in the renewal of the Ottawa Pride Festival.

A Sustainable City

  • Support the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan, which will see the expansion and improvement of cycling networks and multi-use pathways across the city to make cycling a safe and convenient option for residents.
  • Move the Ottawa River Action Plan forward with the construction of the central storage tunnel, putting in place the last elements of funding from federal partners to match investments from the City and Province.
  • Increase funding for tree planting by $125,000 to $1.3 million.\

A Prosperous City

  • Modernize Ottawa’s transit system through Light Rail Transit (Stage 1 and Stage 2).
  • Continue the construction of the Confederation Line, the light-rail transit line from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture, which is the backbone of the City’s planned light rail network.
  • Prepare for the transition from construction of the Confederation Line to full operations in 2018.
  • Launch the Western Transitway expansion as the City continues to seek funding for Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit system that will extend to neighbourhoods in the east, west, and south.

An Affordable City

  • Limit the Rate-Supported Water and Sewer Charge increase to 6 per cent, as approved in the latest Long Range Financial Plan.
  • Freeze garbage fees for the third consecutive year.
  • Limit the average OC Transpo fare increase to 2.5 per cent, while also providing a $4.2-million investment in new and improved service, including increasing bus routes and approximately 5,700 more Para Transpo trips.
  • Reduce 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) City positions, excluding the Ottawa Police Service.

For more information about the Budget, visit ottawa.ca/budget2015.


NCC–City Working Group achieves breakthrough agreement for the alignment of the western light rail transit extension
Friday, March 06, 2015

A Working Group comprised of representatives from the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Ottawa has reached an agreement in principle that would allow the City’s western light rail transit (LRT) extension to be fully buried under the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. This integrated solution meets the NCC’s conditions and the City of Ottawa’s affordability requirements, while advancing the creation of a waterfront linear park.

This innovative solution was achieved following an intensive 100-day review process, led by a working group consisting of three city councillors, four NCC Board members, the City Manager and the NCC’s CEO.

This group began meeting in December 2014, with the goal of finding a mutually satisfactory solution for the western extension of Confederation Line between the Dominion and Cleary stations.

Supported by technical and urban planning expertise, the Working Group developed two viable and fully buried tunnel options: one under the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, and one passing through Rochester Field and under the Byron Linear Park.

The recommended alignment would see the western LRT fully buried under a reconstructed and realigned Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. The NCC Board members of the Working Group believe that this buried option meets the two NCC Board of Directors’ conditions: to provide unimpeded continuous access to the corridor lands and shorelines, and to have minimal impact on the landscape quality and experience. It also meets the City’s objectives of protecting the Byron Linear Park, and the existing green corridor through Rochester Field from Richmond Road to the waterfront, while remaining within the project budget envelope.

This solution to run the LRT extension under the realigned westbound and eastbound lanes of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway between the Dominion and Cleary stations would produce the following results:

  • the existing lanes of traffic would be reinstated closer together and directly above the fully buried rail line in order to create a new “stacked” transportation corridor to maximize the amount of continuous green space through the corridor and along the waterfront;
  • lands and landscaping elements would be restored;
  • a park of national significance would be developed along the shoreline;
  • the mature forest would be retained and enhanced;
  • pathway additions and enhancements would be created, with two new crossings under the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway into the future linear park;
  • an eventual reduction would be achieved of nearly 500,000 bus trips annually on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway; and
  • a total of 38 percent more usable shoreline parkland would be made available.

As part of the agreement, the Working Group will remain in place to resolve land use issues for the City of Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT project, and will oversee a joint value-engineering exercise to contain costs within the City’s affordability envelope for this extension.

This agreement will be submitted for approval to the NCC Board of Directors at its next public meeting. The City will provide an opportunity for the public to review the preferred option and provide feedback at an open house event on March 30. This feedback will be considered as part of the ongoing environmental assessment process for the western LRT extension.

“I am pleased with the spirit of cooperation demonstrated by the Working Group,” said Russell Mills, chair of the NCC Board of Directors, “The NCC has continuously supported light rail transit as both a city-building and a nation-building project, and this creative solution reinforces our strong ongoing working relationship with the City of Ottawa.”

“This is a historic agreement that comes as a result of a very constructive dialogue over the past 100 days. I want to thank all of the Working Group members for their hard work and creativity, which has led to the identification of this solution,” said Jim Watson, mayor of Ottawa. “This solution is an important part of the City’s Stage 2 LRT project, which will help us deliver reduced commute times, cleaner air and a stronger economy.”

“Allow me to thank the Working Group for its 100 days of hard work and the report with which it all culminated,” said Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans. “I have only just received the report and look forward to studying its two options and the recommendation. Ottawa has strong advocates in the current federal government. I look forward to reading, studying and analyzing the report and working with all concerned toward the best outcome.”


Daniel Alfredsson receives Key to the City
Thursday, FMarch 05, 2015

 On behalf of Mayor Jim Watson, Deputy Mayor Bob Monette tonight presented Mr. Daniel Alfredsson with the City’s most prestigious award, the Key to the City, during a special ceremony in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to professional hockey, and for his off-ice leadership and advocacy with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

“It is such an incredible honour to have Daniel Alfredsson back in Ottawa, and to present him with the Key to the City in recognition of his many accomplishments both as a leader on the ice and in the community,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

Daniel Alfredsson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and was drafted by the Ottawa Senators during the 1994 NHL entry draft. Affectionately known as “Alfie” by Ottawa Senators fans, he won numerous awards, including the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year during his first season, and held the position of Captain from 1999 to 2013. Daniel Alfredsson played 18 seasons in the NHL, all but one with the Ottawa Senators. He played his final year with the Detroit Red Wings, but returned to Ottawa on December 3, 2014, signing a one-day contract to retire as an Ottawa Senator. Wearing his Number 11 Senators captain’s jersey one last time, Alfie received a standing ovation from fans during a ceremonial skate around the rink before the start of Ottawa’s home game.

“Words cannot adequately express how I feel tonight,” said Daniel Alfredsson. “This city and the people of Ottawa have made our family feel so welcome during our life here. I am truly humbled to be receiving this special honour. Thank you so much.”

The City of Ottawa previously recognized the Ottawa Senators’ Captain by declaring April 10, 2010 “Daniel Alfredsson Day” in honour of his 1,000 NHL game.

In addition to his tireless work and support of the Ottawa Senators Foundation, he was also a champion for people suffering from mental health, lending his name and face in support of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health “You Know Who I Am” campaign as a way to help eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental health. Daniel Alfredsson was also a staunch supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, and made many unannounced visits to the kids at CHEO.

Mr. Alfredsson also holds the Senators record for goals, assists and points; the Senators record for highest +/- rating in a season, set in 2006-07 with a +42; the Senators record for most points in a regular season game, set in 2007-08 with three goals and four assists for seven points; the Senators playoff records for most games played, goals, assists and points; and won a gold medal for Sweden during the 2006 Olympics.

Daniel Alfredsson married his long-time girlfriend Birgitta (née Backman) on July 31, 2004. They are parents of four sons; Hugo, Loui, Fenix and William Erik.

The Key to the City was first presented in 1935 by His Worship Stanley Lewis to Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada and his wife Lady Tweedsmuir. Other Key to the City recipients include author Margaret Atwood, photographer Yousuf Karsh, actress Sandra Oh, and the Community Foundation of Ottawa.


It's time to register for spring and summer recreation programs
Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirsare now online at ottawa.ca for spring and summer programs. Choose from a wide variety of activities including swimming lessons, fitness classes and summer camps.

  • Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Monday, March 2 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, March 3 during regular business hours.
  •  Registration for all other classes including summer camps begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Wednesday, March 4 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, March 5 during regular business hours.

To register online or by phone you will require a client barcode and family PIN numbers. High volumes of online registrants are expected throughout the first week of registration, particularly the first evening, which could result in a longer registration experience than usual.

Residents who do not have access to the Internet are encouraged to visit City recreation centres or libraries with public Internet access. They can also visit any Client Service Centre or where customer service staff can help with registration. Some community centres may provide printed brochures for their local activities.


Ottawa Public Health offering free exercise program for adults 65+
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ottawa Public Health’s Better Strength, Better Balance fall prevention group exercise program is starting up again in April 2015 for adults 65+ in Ottawa.

The program will provide participants with instruction by a certified fitness instructor and education on preventing falls by Ottawa Public Health nurses.

There is no cost to participate in the program which is offered twice a week for 12 weeks. This is a beginner level class for those wishing to improve strength and balance.

Registration begins on March 2, 2015. For more information, or to register, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.


Change your clocks, change your batteries
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ottawa Fire Services reminds residents to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, at home and at the cottage, when setting clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 8.

Early detection of fires saves lives and can reduce damage to a home and its contents. Smoke alarms provide the best early warning system in the event of a fire by combining smoke detection and alarm sounding in one unit. Statistics show that fewer deaths or serious injuries occur in households where smoke alarms are installed and maintained.

Changing batteries and restocking supplies will help make sure that you and your family are ready for almost any emergency.

For more information on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, go to ottawa.ca.


Applications for Camp FFIT available March 4
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ottawa Fire Services invites young women between the ages of 15 and 19 to apply for a position in Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training), an annual camp designed to educate young women about a career in firefighting.

Participants will experience such tasks as search and rescue, aerial ladder climb, auto extrication, forcible entry, high-rise operations, as well as wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and fighting simulated fires.

They will also meet with men and women from career and part-time Ottawa Fire Services, firefighters from neighbouring communities, and students who have graduated from the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Programs at Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale.

Applications will be available on-line at ottawa.ca on March 4, 2015 and must be returned to Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 22, 2015.


Paint it Up! mural program reduces graffiti through art
Thursday, February 12, 2015

If there is a wall in your neighbourhood that keeps falling victim to graffiti vandalism, the City of Ottawa and Crime Prevention Ottawa invite you to Paint it Up!

Now in its sixth year, the Paint it Up! program offers funding for community groups and at-risk youth to create murals in areas of the city that are experiencing high rates of graffiti vandalism. The program is one component of the City’s Graffiti Management Strategy.

Since its inception in 2010, the program has involved over 800 youth, ranging in age from 12 to 22 years, working on 43 projects across the city supported by an average project grant of $5,000. Outdoor murals have proven to be effective in managing graffiti vandalism, supporting arts and culture, contributing to economic development and providing youth engagement opportunities.

Applications for the 2015 Paint It Up! program are available on the Crime Prevention Ottawa website or by calling 3-1-1. The deadline for applications is March 27th at 4 p.m.

For more information about the Paint it Up! program and how to apply, applicants are encouraged to register for a public information session by calling 3-1-1 or e-mailing CPO@Ottawa.ca.

Information sessions will be held on the following dates:

Date: Monday, February 23, 2015
Time: 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Place: Festival Boardroom, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue, West

Date:  Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Place: Workshop 2, Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill Street


Mayor Watson to host Family Day Skating Party on Sens Rink of Dreams
Monday, February 09, 2015

Mayor Jim Watson invites everyone to the Family Day Skating Party on the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall on Monday, February 16 (Family Day) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This Family Day event is hosted by Mayor Watson, in collaboration with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the City’s Winterlude partners and Ottawa Public Health (OPH). The party will feature many of your favourite local mascots, as well as free hot chocolate from BeaverTails Pastry, and warm soup, courtesy of Whole Foods. The Tim Hortons/Rogers TV Community Cruiser will also drop by with free coffee and Timbits.

Complimentary skate sharpening will be available from the Public School Board of Eastern Ontario.

OPH will take part in the festivities, alongside partner Thinkfirst, Ottawa Chapter, providing assistance with helmet fitting and showing how residents can stay warm and safe with a thin hat, balaclava or cotton hijab worn with a helmet.

The Sens Rink of Dreams features LED lighting, a heated change hut, picnic tables and benches. It operates annually from November to March from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. While at City Hall, you can also visit the Barbara Ann Scott exhibit, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and the Karsh-Masson Gallery.


Greenbank Road Widening Detour
Friday, February 06, 2015

Beginning on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11 p.m. Greenbank Road will be closed to vehicular, cycling and pedestrian traffic in both directions between Malvern Drive and Wessex Road. The road will be closed to prepare for a new detour. Greenbank Road will reopen on Sunday, February 8 in the afternoon.

Traffic should avoid the area during this weekend closure. During the road closure, traffic will be detoured to Woodroffe Avenue. Portable Variable Message (PVMS) signs will be on site.

OC Transpo Route 170 will be detoured during the period Greenbank Road is closed.

For more information about the Greenbank Road widening project, please click here.


City celebrates Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital
Friday, February 06, 2015

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, and Bill Houldsworth of Tim Hortons, celebrated the efforts of Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital’s 2014 campaign participants and sponsors at a ceremony at Centrepointe Studio this morning.

“It’s always inspiring to see the City, the business community and legions of volunteers work together to show pride in their community,” said Mayor Watson. “The goals and the values expressed through Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital are shared by Ottawa residents in every ward, from the urban core, to rural communities to bustling suburbs.”

Every year, the spring and fall events attract more than 80,000 participants who give back to their communities through litter pick-up and graffiti removal projects. Since 1994, Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital participants have collected over 1.7 million kilograms of waste from Ottawa’s parks, roadways, bus stops, woodlots, ravines, shorelines and pathways.

“Not only is the number of volunteers who sign up for Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital truly inspiring,  the sheer volume of work they accomplish is incredible,” said Councillor Egli. “The value of their contribution to their neighbourhoods, and the City as a whole, is immeasurable.”

“Tim Hortons is proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital campaigns and we are dedicated to supporting this valuable initiative to keep our communities beautiful,” said Bill Houldsworth, local restaurant owner. “We look forward to the campaign’s continued success to combat litter and graffiti through community cleanup projects across the city.”

The 2015 spring Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital campaign will take place April 15 to May 15. Participants can register online at ottawa.ca/clean beginning March 15.


Have your say on the Draft Budget 2015 public consultations
Friday, February 05, 2015

Ottawa residents have an opportunity to learn more about the City’s Draft Budget 2015 and ask questions at one of four multi-ward budget consultations occurring February 9 to 14. 

Here are the dates, times and locations of each consultation session:

  • Central District – Monday, February 9, 7 to 9 p.m.
    Andrew S. Haydon Hall, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • West District – Tuesday, February 10, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
    Holy Trinity Catholic High School Cafetorium, 180 Katimavik Road (Kanata)
  • South District – Wednesday, February 11, 7 to 9 p.m.
    Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue (Nepean) 
  • East District – Thursday, February 12, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
    Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre, 245 Centrum Boulevard (Orléans)

Residents who are interested in attending, but are unsure which district session best applies to them, can contact their Councillor’s office.

The Central District consultation will include simultaneous translation, while assistive listening devices will also be featured at the Central District session.

However, individuals needing any special accessibility requirements – such as ASL sign language interpretation or CART services – are asked to contact the City’s Accessibility Coordinator at 613-580-2424, ext. 16654, or by email at accessibilityoffice@ottawa.ca.

For those who cannot attend one of the sessions, the Central District consultation will be broadcast live on TV Rogers, Câble 23, with the English tape-delayed rebroadcasts appearing on Rogers 22 at noon on both Tuesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 12. Details on Budget 2015 are also available on ottawa.ca/budget2015.

In addition, residents also have opportunities to have their say on Budget 2015 by contacting their Councillor, by email atbudget2015@ottawa.ca, or on Twitter by using #ottbudget.


Greenbank update
Friday, January 23, 2015

Construction continues on the Greenbank Road Widening project.   Currently, the Greenbank Rd detour is being constructed east of existing Greenbank Rd at the VIA railway.  The detour is being constructed to minimize traffic disruptions to the public while work continues on the overall project.  Before the Greenbank Road detour can open, work must occur on the railway track.  This work must occur overnight when there is no train traffic.  City and VIA rail representatives will be on-site while work is done and all safety requirements will be in effect.  Please be advised night-time work is planned during the evening of January 23 and overnight to January 24 and, if necessary, during the evening of January 24 and overnight to January 25.   

Once the detour road construction is complete and the new railway signals and controls have been installed and commissioned, Greenbank Road traffic will be directed onto the detour.  Work on the railway must occur at that time, as well, and will be scheduled for overnight as well.   The detour is planned to open early in February 2015.  Drivers will be notified of the upcoming change by Portable Variable Message Signs along Greenbank Road.  Police will also be on site when the detour opens to direct traffic, as needed.  Public Service Announcements and Twitter will also be used to inform the public when the detour opens.  The detour will be in effect for about two years. The Greenbank detour provide two lanes for traffic as well as a multi-use pathway to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.


Ash Removals at Stinson Park
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Please note that Councillor Harder has received notice from the Forestry Services Branch that ash removals in Stinson Park are scheduled to start tomorrow. The removals are expected to take 3-4 days.

Please click here for more information regarding the removal and replanting plans.


City seeks public input on proposed zoning amendment
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a zoning review to determine appropriate locations for new, local commercial zones within residential neighbourhoods, and is seeking public input at an upcoming meeting on the proposed zoning regulations and the rezoning sites in six wards.

Date:    Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Time:  6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Many existing stores and services located in predominantly residential areas have residential zoning, which does not permit businesses other than what currently exists.

The goal of the review is to create a zoning By-law amendment that will, where appropriate, permit small-scale local businesses to continue contributing to their community. The proposed amendments also identify new locations and corridors for commercial opportunities in areas that currently only permit residential uses. 

Existing legal non-conforming commercial operations such as mom-and-pop stores in residential neighbourhoods will be reviewed as candidates for the proposed zoning changes. Without the By-law amendment, these businesses, and opportunities for other appropriate businesses, could disappear over time without the ability to reopen.

The proposed local commercial zones will be pedestrian and cyclist oriented.

The meeting will consist of a brief presentation, after which residents may review the rezoning sites by Ward and speak with City staff.

Residents are encouraged to visit ottawa.ca/neighbourhoodstores to view location maps and proposed zoning regulations and to provide any comments by February 6, 2015 to ensure they will be considered in the evaluation of the study.


Reminder: Coffee House THIS Saturday
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just a friendly reminder that I will be holding my first Coffee House of the New Year at the new Minto Recreation Complex--Barrhaven on Saturday January 17th. If you can, please stop by, grab a coffee and chat with me in the lobby about the 2015 Budget, Winter Road Maintenance, Winter Recreation, and anything else that might be on your mind. 

On that day the Recreation Complex architect, Perkins + Will, is also sponsoring public skate and swim from 10 am to 4 pm. Two tours per hour highlighting the LEED features of the building will be held by Perkins + Will, so if you haven’t seen the beautiful building yet, here is your opportunity to get the grand tour. Have a look at the lovely art presented by the Artists of Stonebridge, who will be present at the event.

Recreational staff will have some promotional information tables on topics like drowning prevention and upcoming programs.

I hope to see you there!


Skating season begins on outdoor rinks
Monday, January 12, 2015

Thousands of volunteers are preparing the City’s outdoor rinks and, weather permitting, many rinks will be open for skating.

The City operates more than 250 outdoor rinks citywide. In addition to skating, rinks are often at the center of community events.

Outdoor rinks may close from time-to-time due to changing weather conditions. Visit ottawa.ca to find out the present condition of your favourite rink.

In the interim, the refrigerated ice pads at the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) and at the Lansdowne Skating Court (450 Queen Elizabeth Drive) are already open for skating. Follow the City on Twitter @ottawacity for updates or check ottawa.ca to make sure they are open.

Residents can also take advantage of the refrigerated ice pad at Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive).


City's approved sledding hills are open
Friday, January 9, 2015

The City of Ottawa has opened its 57 approved sledding hills. Outdoors enthusiasts are invited to sled while weather and hill conditions permit, and to keep personal safety in mind while sledding.

Please note that certified multi-impact helmets are strongly recommended.

Throughout the season, follow the City on Twitter @ottcity for updates or check ottawa.ca to make sure the sledding hills are open.


Register now for winter recreation fun
Friday, January 9, 2015

 Don’t miss out on the fun this winter. Register now for a City of Ottawa recreation program offered at our many locations throughout the city. The online Recreation eGuide and Mon guide francophone des loisirs offer a variety of instructional and recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Stretch your muscles and strengthen your core in the fitness studio, weight room or pool. Dance away your winter blues while moving to the rhythm and jazzy beats; get messy creating masterpieces; take up the piano, guitar or a martial art; or boost your team spirit playing volleyball, basketball or curling.

New program opportunities are also available this winter at the recently opened Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven including an indoor walking track, 25 metre lap pool, two NHL-size rinks and a full-size gymnasium.

Skating is a winter favourite and the City offers a number of learn-to-skate programs.

You can also enjoy public skating at a City arena, or join your neighbours at the community outdoor rink. A trip to the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall or the new Skating Court at Lansdowne Park makes a perfect family outing along with a Beavertail and hot chocolate. A CSA-approved helmet is highly recommended during all skating sessions.

Please note that a client barcode and family PIN numbers are required to register for recreation programs. 
Visit ottawa.ca for more information.


Open houses scheduled on Stage 2 project's Trillium Line extension plan
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The City of Ottawa has initiated an environmental assessment study on plans to extend the Trillium Line O-Train service south from Greenboro Station to the community of Riverside South (Bowesville Road), part of the Stage 2 light-rail expansion project. The environmental assessment of the Trillium Line expansion plan is examining the feasibility of stations at Gladstone Avenue, Confederation Heights and Walkley Road, as well as a new branch line to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

Residents can learn about the environmental assessment study at two open houses:

 

Tuesday, January 13

6 to 8 p.m. (presentation at 7 p.m.)

Jim Durrell Recreation Centre, Ellwood Hall

1265 Walkley Road

 

Thursday, January 15

6 to 8 p.m. (presentation at 7 p.m.)

St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall

523 St. Anthony Street

 

Both venues offer free parking. Transit users can find route information through the OC Transpo travel planner.

The Trillium Line plan, which includes options to serve the growing communities of Riverside South, Leitrim, the airport and adjacent lands, also allows for future conversion to electric light rail transit (LRT) technology. It is one of three environmental assessment studies being undertaken as part of Stage 2: the City’s plan to extend the benefits of rail to residents further east, west and south that will add 19 new stations and 35 kilometres to the LRT network.

The environmental assessment study is being undertaken in accordance with the transit project assessment process as prescribed in Ontario Regulation 231/08, Transit Projects. The study area includes the existing Trillium Line corridor, between Bayview and Greenboro stations, the Walkley Yard maintenance and storage facility, and the proposed southern extension.

Residents who are unable to attend an open house, or who are looking for additional information, can visit ottawa.ca/trilliumline. Materials presented at the open houses will be posted on the website. Comments and questions can also be directed to:

Colin Simpson, MCIP RPP

Senior Project Manager, Transportation Planning

City of Ottawa

110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor

Ottawa ON K1P 1J1

613-580-2424, ext. 27881

Fax: 613-580-2578

E-mail: colin.simpson@ottawa.ca

 


City seeks community torchbearer for Pan American Games Torch Relay
Monday, January 5, 2015

As the countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games continues, the City of Ottawa invites residents to nominate a community leader, local celebrity or role model to be a torchbearer for the Ottawa leg of the torch relay that starts in Canada on May 30, 2015.

“The Pan Am torch relay will arrive next summer en route to Toronto, and we want to celebrate a hometown hero with the honour of carrying the Pam Am flame in Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The torch relay is an opportunity to showcase our great city on the international stage, while recognizing a local person who has made a significant contribution to our community.”

“This is an amazing chance for our residents to call attention to the inspiring figures around them,” said Councillor Jody Mitic, Sports Commissioner for the City of Ottawa.

The City has been given the opportunity to pick one community torchbearer and the deadline for submissions is January 18, 2015. The selected torchbearer must be at least 13 years of age and a Canadian citizen or legal resident. Nominations can be submitted on ottawa.ca.

The Pan Am flame will be lit during a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before it travels to Canada on May 30, 2015. The torch relay will feature 3,000 torchbearers who will carry the Pan Am flame along its 41-day journey as participants share the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 Canadian communities. The flame will be passed for the last time on July 10, 2015, at the opening ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

The torch relay will incorporate alternative modes of transportation, including plane, train and boat, passing through five major cities outside of Ontario. The remainder of the torch relay legs are all in Ontario communities.

At the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, 7,600 top athletes from the Americas and the Caribbean will compete at more than 30 venues located in 16 municipalities across southern Ontario. 

 

 

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