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City News

April 16, 2014

Easter schedule changes

The City of Ottawa would like to remind residents of the following schedule changes for Friday, April 18 (Good Friday), and Monday, April 21 (Easter Monday).

Client services:

  • The City’s Provincial Offences Court, located at 100 Constellation Crescent, will also be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, April 22.
  • The City’s 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention.  Call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons living with a hearing-related disability, call TTY: 613-580-2401.

Garbage, green bin and recycling collection:

  • There will be no curbside green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Good Friday’s pick-up will take place on Saturday, April 19 and Easter Monday’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, April 22. In addition, the collection of green bin, recycling materials and garbage will be delayed by one day for the week of April 21. For curbside collection enquiries, refer to the collection calendar tool.
  • There will be no multi-residential collection of bulky items, green bin and recycling container collection on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Good Friday’s pick-up will take place on Saturday, April 19 and Easter Monday’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, April 22. Recycling container collection and green bin will also be delayed by one day for the week of April 21. However, multi-residential garbage collection is not delayed and collection will take place on its regular scheduled day during the week of April 21.
  • The Trail Waste Facility is closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Parking:

  • All City of Ottawa parking regulations and restrictions will apply during this time.

Transit services:

  • OC Transpo will operate a Sunday schedule on Good Friday. On Easter Monday there will be minor weekday schedule reductions and the cancellation of all school routes numbered in the 600s and supplementary school trips. On Good Friday, as well as Saturdays and Sundays, a family may travel all day with a $7.95 DayPass, which can be purchased from the bus operator when you board. A ‘family’ can include up to six people with a maximum of two ages 13 or older. Call 613‑560‑1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613‑741‑4390 or visit octranspo.com.   
  • OC Transpo Sales and Information Centreswill be closed Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday with the exception of the Rideau Centre office, which will be open Easter Monday from
    8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The OC Transpo Information Centre (613‑741‑4390) will operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Good Friday and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Easter Monday,
  • The OC Transpo Customer Relations Department (613-842-3600) will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Recreation services:

  • Some pools, fitness centres and some arenas will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday with modified schedules for public swimming, skating and fitness classes. Most pools, fitness centres and arenas will be open on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Please check with ottawa.ca or the facility of your choice for details.
  • Many registered programs at swimming pools, community centres and arenas are cancelled on Good Friday and Easter Monday. However, clients should check with their facility to confirm, as some exceptions will apply.

Ottawa Public Health:

  • Site program – Site office at 179 Clarence Street will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, however, the site mobile van will be operating on a regular schedule from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Cultural services:

Archives Services:

  • The City of Ottawa Archives Reference Services and Gallery 112 will be closed from Friday, April 18 to Monday, April 21 for Easter weekend.

Municipal child care services:

Ottawa Public Library:

All branches, departments and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. They will operate as usual on Saturday, April 19.

April 3, 2014

Construction activity will increase again this spring and summer 

The spring and summer months will see an increase in construction-related activity across the city – including an unprecedented $51-million investment towards the road surfacing program.

The planned road resurfacing work will prepare roadways for increased traffic flow stemming from the Confederation Line construction. It is also timely in strategically addressing the large incidents of potholes on Ottawa roadways, which has become a familiar story of this winter’s toll on the roads in many Canadian and northern U.S. cities.

As part of the Confederation Line construction, the widening of Highway 417 will be ongoing over the spring and summer months. Other construction projects are already underway or will begin this spring. These include sewer and watermain work, infrastructure improvements, and cycling and pedestrian facilities. 

Ottawa residents will also see some results of the city’s transformation, with the expected fall completion of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge project and the Hunt Club extension project.

Again this year, construction will result in traffic delays. However, the City has put mitigation measures into place to help minimize traffic impacts – including enhanced monitoring, strategic timing of construction projects, off-peak work, where possible, increased rush-hour bus trips to and from the city’s east end, improved coordination with other partners, and advanced notifications on the variable messaging signs.   

Ottawa residents are commended for their efforts and adjustments over the past year to help reduce traffic congestion. Again this spring and summer, residents are reminded to plan routes in advance, consider staggered work hours, car pooling, to take advantage of transit, and explore biking or walking (also combined with transit). 

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute, including:

  • Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
  • City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining city-wide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
  • Interactive traffic map– showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
  • Ottawa Nav – now with new enhancements and features. Blackberry version will be ready soon.
  • Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
  • Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city
  • Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca, and you can follow us on Twitter.

    Additionally:

  • Residents can also seek information by calling 3-1-1 or visiting a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.
  • Permanent and mobile variable message signs are installed across the city to inform motorists of road closures, lane reductions and other traffic changes.
  • Constant and accurate transit and traffic information will be made available at ottawa.ca, on Twitter and through the media.

 

April 1, 2014

Second Wildlife Series session focuses on homes and gardens

The City of Ottawa will be marking National Wildlife Week with the second session of its Wildlife Speakers Series on Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in Andrew S. Haydon Hall (Council Chambers) at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. The topic of this session is Backyard Biodiversity: Welcoming nature into your yard, not your home.   

The featured guest speakers are Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl, Conservation Coordinator, from Nature Canada, Canada’s oldest nature conservation charity, and Bill Dowd, CEO of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, Canada’s largest wildlife control company that partners with SPCAs/Humane Societies and animal control departments in communities across Canada.

Ms. Kirkpatrick-Wahl is a conservation biologist, who is currently working on the NatureHood program, which aims to connect people with nature in urban environments – right in their backyards.

Mr. Dowd has more than 25 years of experience in helping people live with wildlife around residential settings.  He is respected as an expert in the field.  

In addition to the presentations, there will be a nature slideshow and an environmental exposition from 6 to 9 p.m. in Jean Pigott Place for residents to learn more about Ottawa’s wildlife and natural environment and local environmental initiatives. Participants will include the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Ontario Electronic Stewardship will also have a booth and will be accepting old electronic equipment for recycling.
                
The City will hold two more events in the Wildlife Speakers Series this year. The series is intended to increase residents’ knowledge and appreciation of wildlife and promote coexistence through understanding and respect.  All of these events are free of charge.

The next session is planned for June on the topic of white-tailed deer.

March 28, 2014

City of Ottawa to participate in Earth Hour 2014

On Saturday March 29, the City of Ottawa will join the hundreds of millions of people around the world participating in Earth Hour 2014 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

This year, the City will be switching off lights in City buildings at City Hall, Mary Pitt Centre and Ben Franklin Place. Where feasible, additional lights will be turned off and operating systems will be either turned off or minimized to reduce power consumption during that hour.

Hydro Ottawa will also be turning the lights off at all of their facilities for Earth Hour as well as tracking the drop in power consumption.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to join with the City and turn off your lights for one hour to support this powerful global call for action on climate change and energy conservation.

For safety reasons, all safety lights and required operational equipment will remain on at City Hall and all other City facilities observing Earth Hour. Lights located at the Rink of Dreams will also remain illuminated for safety reasons.

March 25, 2014

Call for proposals: Karsh-Masson Gallery 2015 exhibition season

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists, artist collectives and curators working in visual arts, media arts and fine craft to propose an exhibition. Proposals will be reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions will be presented at Karsh-Masson Gallery in 2015.

Karsh-Masson Gallery
Eligibility
Fees
Assessment criteria and process
Proposal guidelines and requirements
Copyright and moral rights
Confidentiality and privacy
Deadline and notification
Contact Karsh-Masson Gallery

Karsh-Masson Gallery proudly bears the names of renowned portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh and painter Henri Masson in honour of their outstanding achievements. This 1500 square-foot gallery presents exhibitions, artist talks, guided tours and panel discussions. Exhibitions feature the work of professional artists working in visual art, media art and fine craft, including:

•Solo, two-person and group exhibitions
•Curated exhibitions and circulating exhibitions from other institutions
•Exhibitions from universities and the diplomatic sector
•Exhibitions from the City of Ottawa Art Collection
Karsh-Masson Gallery is now located on the main level at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. The gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free.

Karsh-Masson Gallery floor plan [PDF - 163 KB]

Eligibility

This call for proposals is open to professional visual artists, artist collectives and curators who are emerging, mid-career or established, and working in visual arts, media arts, fine craft, design and other new art forms.

Preference is given to applicants who live, or have lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa, however national and international applicants are encouraged to apply.

A professional artist is someone who has completed specialized training in his or her artistic field or who is recognized by his or her peers as a professional artist, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.

Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last two (2) consecutive years are not eligible to apply. Full-time City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The peer assessment committee will only consider one exhibition proposal per applicant.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community in areas such as gender, official language, ethnicity and disability. Proposals from First Nations, Inuit and Métis applicants are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Fees

Exhibiting artists will receive an exhibition fee as outlined by the 2015 CARFAC Fee Schedule.

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not reimburse expenses related to travel, transportation of artwork and accommodation, nor are per diem fees paid.

Assessment criteria and process

Proposals for Karsh-Masson Gallery’s 2015 exhibition season will be reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on artistic merit; regional importance and innovation; professionalism and cohesiveness of the artwork samples; the written proposal statement; the proposal’s relevance to the Public Art Program’s mandate; and appropriateness of the proposal to the public nature of the gallery space.

Each peer assessment committee is made up of three art professionals who review proposals using publicly stated assessment criteria. Peer assessment committee members are invited to participate by City employees. Members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment.

The composition of each peer assessment committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas, and culture-specific communities.

The members of the peer assessment committee are different for each call for proposals. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member or nominating a candidate, please contact us.

Proposal guidelines and requirements
•A complete proposal must include the support material listed below.
•Support material must be saved on a CD, DVD or USB device in a PC compatible file format. Write your name and contact information on the CD, DVD or USB device.
•Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please contact us.
The following support materials are required:

1. Proposal statement
One (1) electronic copy of a proposal statement describing the proposed exhibition’s content and a coherent theme for the show (two pages maximum). File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, RTF, OTF, DOC, and DOCX.

2. Proposal synopsis
One (1) electronic copy of a synopsis summarizing the proposal statement (80 words maximum). Your synopsis will be referred to during deliberations as a quick reference for the peer assessment committee. File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, RTF, OTF, DOC, and DOCX.

3. Current résumé
One (1) electronic copy of a current artistic résumé (three pages maximum). Résumé must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s résumé and indicate one contact person. File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, RTF, OTF, DOC, and DOCX.

4. Image / media list
One (1) copy of an image or media list that includes the following information about each example of artwork submitted: artist’s name, title of artwork, date of creation, material and support, metric dimensions, and duration of artwork (if applicable). File formats must be PC-compatible and include PDF, TXT, RTF, OTF, DOC, and DOCX. For an image / media list template, please contact us.

5. Digital images and/or film, video or new media files
Ten (10) digital images, or ten (10) minutes total of film/video/new media content, that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.  Number images in order of creation (most recent artwork first).

•Artists who wish to include a combination of digital images and film/video/new media content:
◦Submit a maximum of ten (10) files with no more than ten (10) minutes of content total on one (1) CD, DVD or USB device.
◦For each minute of film/video/new media, subtract one (1) digital image. 
•Curated, two-person and group exhibitions are to submit a maximum of ten (10) files.
•All support material must be saved as a file on a CD, DVD or USB device (no zip disks, website hyperlinks, email, or presentations such as PowerPoint).

•Support material that requires specialized software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed will not be reviewed.
•CDs, DVDs and USB devices will not be returned. Please retain a copy for your records.
•You are responsible to test your support materials to ensure readability.
•The City of Ottawa is not responsible for any loss or damage to support material.
Image files must be:
•PC-compatible JPG, TIFF, or BMP format
•72 dpi, no larger than 2 MB each. RGB format with a recommended maximum of 1240 pixels (length or width).
•Named with the number corresponding to the image list number, followed by title, year of creation, material and support, and metric dimensions, each separated by an underscore (not a period). Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. Strict adherence to naming convention is necessary for images to be successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee.
Image file naming examples:

01_Title_ date_material and support_metric dimensions.jpg
02_Reason Over Passion_1968_quilted cloth assemblage_257 x 302 cm.jpg  
03_Untitled 2_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
04_Untitled 2 detail_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
05_Untitled 2 alternate view_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
06_Untitled 3_2010_LED and resin_1 x 4.5 x 7 m.jpg
07_Untitled 3 view at night_2010_LED and resin_0 x 0 x 0 m.bmp
08_Untitled 4 framed_ 2006_oil paint on canvas_85 x 95 cm.bmp
09_Untitled 4 unframed_ 2006_oil paint on canvas_85 x 95 cm.jpg
10_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery_2005_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg

Film/video/new media files must be:
•PC compatible
•Viewable in Windows Media Player or QuickTime
•No larger than 500 MB each
•Named with the number corresponding to the media list number, followed by title, year of creation and medium, each separated by an underscore (not a period). Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. Strict adherence to naming convention is necessary for images to be successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee.
Film/video/new media file naming examples:

01_title_date_medium_duration.avi
02_title_date_medium_duration.mov
03_Target_2012_video_4 min 30 sec.mov

Copyright and moral rights
The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of teh artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Confidentiality and privacy
Information provided by the artist or applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and to members of the peer assessment committee. The deliberations of the peer assessment committee and personal information provided by the artist or applicant shall be dealt with on a confidential basis pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Deadline and notification
Proposals must be received by Monday, June 2, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. or postmarked on or before this date. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Applicants will be notified of the peer assessment committee’s decisions approximately two months after the proposal deadline.

Results are final. All participants are encouraged to reapply. Artistic feedback will not be provided.

Mailing address
Mail or deliver proposals to:
Karsh-Masson Gallery 2015 exhibition season
City of Ottawa Public Art Program
172 Guigues Avenue, 3rd floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H9

Do not deliver your proposal directly to Karsh-Masson Gallery. Fax or email proposals will not be accepted.

Contact us

Karsh-Masson Gallery is operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program. For enquiries or assistance, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or call 613-244-3745.

The Public Art Program is located on the 3rd floor at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Avenue (at Cumberland). The Routhier Community Centre is open from Monday to Saturday and often has extended hours. Call 613-244-4470 for current hours of operation.

March 20, 2014

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Order of Ottawa and the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching

The Order of Ottawa recognizes the professional achievements and outstanding service of exceptional Ottawa residents. This prestigious civic award honours up to 15 of Ottawa’s most deserving individuals each year. Any resident of Ottawa who has made a significant contribution in a professional capacity that has been of benefit to our community may be nominated.

The Order of Ottawa is intended to recognize those who have made significant contributions, through their professional endeavours, to life in the city in any of the following areas: arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment and other fields that benefit Ottawa.

The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, which will be presented at the Order of Ottawa awards ceremony on Thursday, November 20, 2014, recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment that have been the hallmarks of Brian Kilrea’s career. Mr. Kilrea is a retired hockey head coach, general manager and player, and is best known for his 35-year association with the Ottawa 67’s. He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, has played and coached in the NHL and, with more than 1,000 career victories, he is the most successful coach in Canadian junior hockey history.

Nominations for the Order of Ottawa or the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching may be completed online or by filling out a nomination form in pamphlets that are available at your local community centre, public library, or at any client service centre. The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 12, before midnight. Nominations submitted for previous years are no longer valid but resubmissions will be accepted and given full consideration.

Investiture ceremonies were held in November 2012 and 2013 and each year 15 celebrated individuals were awarded the honour. A list of Order of Ottawa inductees is prominently displayed on a wall on the first floor of City Hall. Nominations from the public are reviewed and 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, Library Services.

More information on both awards can be found online at ottawa.ca/orderofottawa.

Nominations by immediate family members, self-nominations, and posthumous nominations will not be accepted. Elected municipal, provincial and federal officials are not eligible to be considered for this award while they are in office.

March 19, 2014

Early birds can register now for Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital

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.

March 14, 2014

Road closures during St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The City of Ottawa is advising motorists to expect delays due to road closures to accommodate the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 15 starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until about 1 p.m.

The parking entrance to Ottawa City Hall on Elgin Street will be open as usual; however, the Laurier Avenue entrance will be closed between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The following roads will be closed:

  • Westbound lanes on Laurier Avenue between Nicholas Street and Elgin Street (7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
  • Laurier Avenue from City Hall to Bank Street
  • Bank Street from Laurier Avenue to Wellington Street
  • Wellington Street from Bank Street to Portage Bridge

Roads will reopen as the parade passes. The parade will start at Ottawa City Hall on Laurier Avenue, travel west on Laurier Avenue, turn right on Bank Street, then left on Wellington Street ending at the Portage Bridge.

 

March 6, 2014

Camp FFIT returns with firefighter training camp for young women

Ottawa Fire Services, in partnership with Fire Service Women Ontario, is pleased to announce an application call for Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training) 2014. 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 at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 23, 2014.

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 fifth year, will take place:

Date: August 11 to 15
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.

February 26, 2014

It’s time to register for spring and summer recreation programs

It’s time to register for City of Ottawa spring and summer programs. The Recreation eGuide and Mon cyberguide francophone des loisirs are now online at ottawa.ca. 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.

  • Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by touchtone phone (613-580-2588) on Monday, March 3 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, March 4 during regular business hours.
  • Registration for all other classes including summer camps begins online and by touchtone phone on Wednesday, March 5 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, March 6 during regular business hours.

To register you will require a client barcode and family PIN numbers.

Information about classes is available online only. Residents who do not have access to the Internet at home or at work are encouraged to visit City recreation facilities or libraries with public Internet access, or visit any Client Service Centre or recreation centre where customer service staff can help with registration.

Please note: The swimming pool at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex will remain closed until further notice. The City will inform residents when a new opening date is confirmed.

February 20, 2014

City seeking public input on two commemorative naming proposals

The City of Ottawa’s Commemorative Naming Committee is conducting public consultations on two separate naming proposals.

Naming the front yard of Ottawa City Hall’s Heritage Building “Nelson Mandela Square.”
Naming a new par located at 226 Leamington Way, “Foot Guards Park.”

Nelson Mandela Square – (Ward 14 - Somerset)
In recognition of Nelson Mandela’s lifelong devotion to democracy and equality, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name the front yard of Ottawa City Hall’s Heritage Building as “Nelson Mandela Square.”

Nelson Mandela was an internationally recognized leader who, from the age of 26 until his death at age 95, dedicated his life to the peaceful termination of the South African apartheid regime, laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa, and the promotion of human rights and freedoms.

In 1993, Nelson Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. In 2001, Nelson Mandela became the first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen and the first foreign leader with membership in the Order of Canada.

In September 1998, Nelson Mandela visited the Human Rights Monument, in front of Ottawa City Hall’s Heritage Building, and unveiled a plaque honouring John Peters Humphrey.

View the online proposal for “Place Nelson Mandela Square.”

Foot Guards Park – (Ward 22 – Gloucester South Nepean)
In recognition of their historical significance to the community, to the City of Ottawa and to Canada, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name a new park at 226 Leamington Way, “Foot Guards Park.”

The Governor General’s Foot Guards have served Canada since they were established on June 7, 1872 as the senior reserve infantry regiment in Canada. The Regiment is comprised of over 200 soldiers and officers, with three companies and a band.

Since 1879, the Regiment has been headquartered in Ottawa and, as such, the Foot Guards have been a fixture in the National Capital Region for over 141 years, providing a functional and ceremonial presence throughout the Ottawa area.

As an Army Reserve Unit of the 33rd Canadian Brigade Group, they were included in the ‘Freedom of the City’ given by Mayor Jim Watson earlier this year.  It is very fitting therefore, to name this park ‘Foot Guards Park’ in the same year.

View the online proposal for “Parc Foot Guards Park.”

February 18, 2014

Coyote expert will be first guest in City’s Wildlife Speakers’ Series

Dr. Stan Gehrt, world renowned wildlife ecologist from Ohio State University, will provide insight on how people in urban and rural developments can coexist with coyotes, at the first event of the City’s Wildlife Speakers’ Series at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 28, at Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive).

Dr. Gehrt is the lead investigator in the Cook County Coyote Project, which has been studying the coyote population in the greater Chicago metropolitan area since 2000.  This project has led to many interesting discoveries about how coyotes behave in different settings, and how they interact with humans and other animals.

Dr. Gehrt will share his extensive knowledge and experience to provide a better understanding of coyotes – including how and why they live in settled areas. He will also show how residents can avoid problems with coyotes, such as taking simple preventative measures around their properties.

In addition to the presentation, information booths will be on display from 6 to 9 p.m. for residents to learn more about Ottawa’s wildlife and natural environment.
               
The City will hold three more events in the Wildlife Speakers’ Series this year. The series is intended to increase residents’ knowledge and appreciation of wildlife and promote coexistence through understanding and respect.

The next event is planned for April on the topic of Backyard Biodiversity.  For more information on the coyote presentation, visit ottawa.ca.

February 13, 2014

Family Day schedule changes

The City of Ottawa would like to remind residents of the following schedule changes for Family Day (Monday, February 17).

Recreation services:

Rink of Dreams, located on Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, is open on Family Day for the Mayor’s Annual Family Day Skating Party, weather permitting.

Most recreation facilities will be modifying their hours of operation on Monday, February 17. There may be changes to schedules and program cancellations in order to provide special programming for the Family Day holiday. Additional swimming and skating sessions will be offered at many sites. Please check schedules at ottawa.ca or with the facility of your choice.

Client services:

Ottawa City Hall and all seven Client Service Centres, including the Government Service Centre located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, will be closed on Family Day, Monday, February 17. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 18.

The City’s Provincial Offences Court, located at 100 Constellation Crescent, will also be closed on Family Day, Monday, February 17. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 18.

The City’s 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention.  Call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons living with a hearing-related disability, call (TTY): 613-580-2401.

Garbage, green bin and recycling collection:

There will be no curbside green bin , recycling or garbage collection on Family Day, Monday, February 17. Family Day’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, February 18. In addition, the collection of green bin, garbage and recycling materials will be delayed by one day for the week of February 17. For curbside collection enquiries, refer to the collection calendar tool.

There will be no multi-residential bulky items, green bin and recycling container collection on Family Day. Family Day’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, February 18. Collection will also be delayed by one day for the week of February 17. However, multi-residential garbage container collection is not delayed and collection will take place on its regularly scheduled day during the week of February 17.

The Trail Road landfill site is closed on Family Day, Monday, February 17.

Transit service:

OC Transpo will operate a revised weekday schedule with minor reductions on Monday, February 17. Special school trip routes numbered in the 600s and Route 201 will not operate. The O-Train schedule will remain unchanged. A family may travel all day with a $7.95 DayPass, which can be purchased from the bus operator when you board. A family includes up to six people with a maximum of two aged 13 or older. Call 613-560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com. 

OC Transpo Sales and Information Centres will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on February 17, except the Rideau Centre office, which will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The OC Transpo Telephone Information Centre (613‑741‑4390) will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The OC Transpo Customer Relations Department (613-842-3600) will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Parking:
All City of Ottawa parking regulations and restrictions will apply during this time.

Ottawa Public Health:
Ottawa Public Health Information Line (OPHIL) and AIDS-Sexual Health Info Line – Closed

Sexual Health Centre and Satellite Clinics – Closed

SITE program – SITE office at 179 Clarence Street is closed, however, the Site mobile van will be operating on a regular schedule from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Dental Clinics – Closed

Well Baby Drop-in – Closed

Cultural services:
Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, Nepean Museum and Shenkman’s Arts Centre are open for Family Day events.

City of Ottawa Archives, arts centres, galleries, theatres,Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and Billings Estate National Historic Site will be closed on Family Day. However, clients should check with ottawa.ca or their facility to confirm holiday hours, as some exceptions may apply.

Archives Services:
The City of Ottawa Archives Reference Services and Gallery 112 will be closed on Saturday, February 15 and Monday, February 17 for the Family Day weekend.

Municipal child care services:
City-operated Child Care Centres are closed on Family Day, Monday, February 17.

Ottawa Public Library:
All branches, departments and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed on Family Day, Monday, February 17. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, February 18.

February 7, 2014

Free public Wi-Fi access coming to 25 City facilities

Free Wi-Fi access will soon be available to the public at 25 City facilities, thanks to a five-year sponsorship agreement unveiled today between the City of Ottawa and IceNet Wireless, an Ottawa-based wireless internet company and a division of EION Inc. This is the latest sponsorship under the City’s Community Champions Program.

The City of Ottawa issued a request for proposals last year seeking a company to provide no-cost Wi-Fi service while generating revenue for the City. The winning proposal by IceNet Wireless met these criteria and included a guaranteed $315,000 in revenue over five years for the City and bilingual support for Wi-Fi users.

“Ottawa residents have been calling for Wi-Fi access in City buildings and today we are able to answer that call,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This Community Champions partnership gives residents a service they need, at no cost to the City, and generates $63,000 in revenue per year. It is truly a win-win deal.”

Services will be installed over the coming months in several recreation complexes and community centres across the city as well as the ByWard Market Building, Ben Franklin Place and City Hall. The 25 locations will all be online by July.

“The new Wi-Fi service will allow parents to work or check their e-mail while waiting for their children to finish up activities at their neighbourhood arena or swimming pool,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of Community and Protective Services Committee. “This makes our recreation facilities more functional for families and provides a higher level of customer service to all users of our facilities.”

“Whether at work or at play, Ottawa residents want to stay connected to each other and to the world, and technology helps us do that” said Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair of the Information Technology Sub-committee. “I’m pleased that upgrades to our City’s infrastructure, like this one, help give Ottawa residents that connectivity they deserve.”

“I’m very pleased that IceNet is able to work with the City of Ottawa to provide public WiFi access,” said Kalai Kalaichelvan, CEO of IceNet Wireless. “We will also launch a Multi Media platform that includes high definition digital displays, online access and web services, allowing businesses to better connect and communicate with Ottawa residents. I am proud that IceNet Wireless is the latest Community Champions Partner and I look forward to seeing this partnership grow.”

The Community Champions Program is a partnership initiative that invites businesses, community organizations, foundations and individuals to sponsor City of Ottawa facilities, programs, services and community initiatives.

The 25 facilities due to receive free Wi-Fi in the coming months are:

Ben Franklin Place/Centrepointe
Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex
ByWard Market Building
François Dupuis Recreation Centre
Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven
Goulbourn Recreation Complex
Greenboro Community Centre
Heron Road Community Centre
Hunt Club – Riverside Community Centre
Jack Purcell Community Centre
Jim Durrell Recreation Centre
Kanata Leisure Centre
Kanata Recreation Complex
Nepean Sportsplex
Ottawa City Hall
Overbrook Community Centre
Plant Recreation Centre
Pinecrest Recreation Complex
Ray Friel Recreation Complex
Richcraft Recreation Complex
Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
Ron Kolbus-Lakeside Gardens
Splash Wave Pool
St-Laurent Complex
Walter Baker Sports Complex

January 30, 2014

City Hall’s Winterlude activities celebrates Ottawa’s wintry present and past

During Winterlude, City Hall is the place to celebrate Ottawa’s wintry present and past. Winterlude activities run every weekend from January 31 to February 17.

One of this year’s free activities will showcase the history of how residents thrived in Ottawa’s winters. Visitors to Jean Pigott Place each Winterlude Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., will discover sports and other entertainments of day’s past, along with famous local characters who survived our snow and cold in the early days. This exhibit, which will change each weekend, features contributions from 10 local museums from the Ottawa Museum Network

“Winter is definitely entrenched into our city’s culture and history,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “That’s why it’s great to see City Hall as a host site for the Winterlude celebration, with both indoor and outdoor activities, including the popular Rink of Dreams. It truly makes City Hall a people place for all seasons.”

“We are pleased to have our community museums take part in this historic look back on how our city’s people made the most of winter,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee.”      

Other City Hall Winterlude activities also include the Rink of Dreams in Marion Dewar Plaza, and the 10th annual Enbridge free pancake breakfast on Saturday, February 1 at 10 a.m.

Visitors to City Hall can also take in other free activities including a visit to the Karsh-Masson Gallery, the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

Again this year, visitors can take advantage of the free Winterlude Sno-Bus shuttle. It will operate on all three Winterlude weekends, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The service, which is sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Commission, travels between Confederation Park (across from City Hall) and Dow’s Lake on a 10 to 15-minute frequency.     

For more information and the Rink of Dreams hours and condition, visit ottawa.ca and visit octranspo.com or call 613-741-4390 for Sno-Bus details.

January 28, 2014

Ottawa Public Health encourages parents to Have That Talk for mental health

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is pleased to launch a mental health video campaign to help parents discuss mental health with their child or teen.  The Have That Talk campaign offers a video series that’s designed to answer common questions parents have about their child’s mental health such as how to know if your teen is stressed, depressed or suicidal and where to find mental health services for children in Ottawa. 

“I am proud that the Have That Talk campaign offers Ottawa parents the information they may need to have for those difficult conversations with their children,” said Councillor Diane Holmes, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “By supporting parents  to talk openly about mental health with their children, we are taking important steps to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and help to connect individuals to programs and services sooner.”

Mental health conditions affect one in five Canadians and 75 per cent of these conditions start during the teenage years. Only 30 per cent of Ottawa youth who had rated their mental health as “poor” had seen a mental health professional at least once during the previous year. 

“We know that as children transition to high school, bullying, low self-esteem and stress can have negative impacts on mental health,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health. “It’s crucial that parents have relevant and accessible information, and tools to help them have that talk with their children about their mental health.”  

The Have That Talk campaign is being featured as part of Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day. Today, Bell will donate five cents for every text, mobile and long distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers along with every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of the Bell “Let's Talk” Day image. Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell “Let’s Talk” Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.

“Supporting youth mental health programs is an important part of the Bell ‘Let’s Talk’ mental health initiative and we congratulate Ottawa Public Health on this innovative approach to helping parents whose children may be struggling with mental health,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell’s “Let’s Talk” initiative. “By talking openly, we can all help to reduce the stigma and improve mental health. I invite everyone to join the conversation about mental health.”

To view the Have That Talk videos, visit HaveThatTalk.com. For more information on mental health, visit ottawa.ca/MentalHealthResources or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook, Twitter (@OttawaHealth), Tumblr, or Pinterest.

January 24, 2014

RBC to offer free public skating to help residents stay active

Residents can enjoy free public skating on weekends at local arenas, thanks to a commitment from RBC. The City and RBC today announced a new sponsorship agreement that will help the Ottawa community stay active and improve their skating skills.

Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee, recognized RBC as the latest sponsor of the City’s Community Champions Program. Jeff Boyd, RBC Regional President, Ontario North and East, also received a Certificate of Recognition in the “Leader” category.

“RBC is a true community leader and their generous contribution will help promote skating and healthy active living in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “This Community Champions partnership will benefit children and families by supporting opportunities to learn and enjoy skating, and who knows, this may even inspire some future skating champions or hockey players.”

The RBC commitment is worth $200,000 over three years and will support free public skating in City arenas on Saturdays and Sundays at all scheduled free skates from January to April and September to December. In addition, children will benefit from the RBC Try it Out! Skating Animation Program, which includes 25 hours per week of basic instructional and play animation (organized recreational skating) that will be available at a number of public skating locations and times.

“The value of this agreement only tells part of the story since these learning and practicing opportunities help develop skills, expertise and self esteem,” said Councillor Taylor “This sponsorship will help to encourage young skaters to further improve their skills in a Learn to Skate class.”

"It's a privilege to partner with the City and give back to this great community that has given so much to us," said Jeff Boyd. "We believe investing in this great initiative not only demonstrates RBC's continuing commitment to kids and families to be healthier, happier and more active, but brings to life our five-year $100 million Believe in Kids Pledge intended to improve the well-being of one million kids — mind, body and spirit."

The Community Champions Program is a partnership initiative that invites businesses, community organizations, foundations and individuals to sponsor City of Ottawa facilities, programs, services and community initiatives.

January 23, 2014

March Break camps offer adventures in your neighbourhood

School will be out from March 10 to 14 for March Break and the City is offering a week of fun-filled activities with over 100 action-packed camps in sports, arts, swimming and more.

Register now for March Break camps. Find your neighbourhood adventure online at ottawa.ca/recreation:

Take to the ice with hockey, skating and curling camps.
Try aqua camps, indoor soccer or rock climbing.
Wow family and friends with talents developed in computer, magic or movie camps.
Star on stage in acting, singing and dance camps.
Get messy with clay, paints and glue.
Work on your leadership skills and make new friends.

Ottawa’s largest selection of camps comes with enthusiastic and trained leaders. Our programs offer top value and quality you can trust.

Registration can be done online, by phone (613-580-2588) or visit a recreation facility or Client Service Centre where customer service staff can help with all your registration needs.

 

January 14, 2014

Minimal Traffic Impacts Planned on Airport Parkway this Week

From Tuesday, January 14, 2014 until Thursday, January 16, 2014 a crane and bucket lift will be used to conduct on-site visual research in the vicinity of the Airport Parkway Pedestrian-Cycling Bridge. There will be minimal traffic impact during this time. 

Traffic signs will be in place to remind motorists of the activity. Commuters are reminded to exercise caution around work areas.

For information about city construction projects please visit ottawa.ca

December 16, 2013

Active and creative gifts for everyone

Give the gift of a healthy, active and creative lifestyle with City of Ottawa Recreation and Culture gift certificates.

It’s the perfect gift for everyone on your list, making your holiday shopping easy! Gift certificates can be used for memberships or hundreds of classes and activities including fitness, pottery, ballroom dance, swimming, skating, basketball, martial arts, yoga, and playgroups.

Available at any City of Ottawa recreation or culture facility. For more information visit ottawa.ca.

December 13, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174

Starting Sunday, December 15 there will be off peak lane reductions on Highway 417 in both directions between Parkdale Avenue and Walkley Road and on Highway 174 between Montreal Road and the Hwy 417/174 split. These reductions also include 2 closed lanes in each direction, overnight between Parkdale Avenue and the Hwy 417/174 split.

In addition to lane reductions, full closures will occur at 15-minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the following dates:

Monday, Dec 16 to Saturday, Dec 21

  • Hwy 417 in both directions between Parkdale Avenue and Rochester Street
  • Hwy 417 westbound between Walkley Road and the CNR overpass
  • Hwy 174 westbound between Montreal Road and Blair Road

Tuesday, Dec 17 to Wednesday, Dec 18

  • Hwy 417 in both directions between Metcalfe Avenue and the Vanier Parkway

During these periods, Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.

In addition to the above lane reductions and closures, the following access ramps will experience overnight closures:

Sunday, Dec 15 to Friday, Dec 20

  • The southbound Walkley Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The northbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound

Sunday, Dec 15 to Saturday, Dec 21

  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound

Monday, Dec 16 to Friday, Dec 20

  • The northbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound
  • The southbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound – this closure will not occur simultaneously with the southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound closure.

Tuesday, Dec 17 to Wed, Dec 18 (these closures will not occur simultaneously)

  • The northbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound

Signage will be in place to advise drivers of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather-dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction between Nicholas Street and the Split. The additional lane will be used for bus rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.
The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:
OttawaNav – the City’s mobile application for real time construction and traffic information.
City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city
Further details and other information concerning City road works are available on ottawa.ca.

December 6, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174

Starting Sunday, December 8 there will be off peak lane reductions on Highway 417 in both directions between Parkdale Avenue and Walkley Road and on Highway 174 between Montreal Road and the Hwy 417/174 split. These reductions also include 2 closed lanes in each direction, overnight between Parkdale Avenue and the Hwy 417/174 split.

In addition to lane reductions, full closures will occur at 15-minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the following dates:

Monday, Dec 9 to Saturday, Dec 14

  • Hwy 417 in both directions between Parkdale Avenue and Rochester Street
  • Hwy 417 westbound between Walkley Road and the CNR overpass
  • Hwy 174 westbound between Montreal Road and Blair Road

Tuesday, Dec 10 to Wednesday, Dec 11

  • Hwy 417 in both directions between Colonel By Drive and the Vanier Parkway

During these periods, Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.

In addition to the above lane reductions and closures, the following access ramps will experience overnight closures:

Sunday, Dec 8 to Saturday Dec 14

  • The northbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Walkley Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound

Monday, Dec 9 to Friday, Dec 13

  • The northbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound
  • The southbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound – this closure will not occur simultaneously with the southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound closure.
  • Hwy 417 eastbound off-ramp to St. Laurent Boulevard

Tuesday, Dec 10 to Wed, Dec 11 (these closures will not occur simultaneously)

  • The northbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound
  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound

Signage will be in place to advise drivers of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather-dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction between Nicholas Street and the Split. The additional lane will be used for bus rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.
The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:
OttawaNav – the City’s mobile application for real time construction and traffic information.
City of Ottawa Traffic Report– outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city

Further details and other information concerning City road works are available on ottawa.ca

November 20, 2013

City unveils new real-time commuting app for residents

The City of Ottawa and Ryerson University spinoff company Flybits officially released a mobile application called Ottawa Nav today, a commuting tool that delivers up-to-the-minute, customized road information to commuters. The free app is available today for iOS and Android devices.

“Our city is going through significant transformation over the next few years to keep our economy moving,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This new app offers another means to connect with residents and provide additional on-demand information to give residents better navigation through Ottawa and to help reduce traffic congestion.”

Flybits has mapped the city into a multitude of zones, associating contextual data with every location. As commuters move throughout the city, they will receive useful and relevant information in real time based on their location and travel preferences. Managed through a secure web console, City staff can easily provide up-to-the minute updates and notifications within a zone—making critical information instantly available to everyone.

With no infrastructure dependencies and the ability to scale quickly, powering Ottawa Nav with Flybits technology is helping Ottawa to further its reputation in being one of Canada’s connected cities. 

“The solution is like a mini-traveller information centre right on their mobile device,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “The system is flexible to enable City staff to communicate the relevant traveller information based on the motorist’s location and the situation, in a safe, reliable and convenient fashion.”

The app’s functionality differs depending on whether the user is a driver or a passenger. While driving, the mobile app delivers relevant audible information to users informing them of events occurring in their area of travel, including construction projects, collisions and other unplanned incidents.

For increased safety, Ottawa Nav will also provide, where applicable, notifications of a reduced speed limit in construction and school zones. While in passenger mode, users can tap into the City and Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s traffic cameras to access real time images to view traffic conditions near their immediate location.

This system was designed and developed by Flybits Inc., a Ryerson University spinoff company and Canadian leader in context-aware intelligent mobility solutions. The Flybits platform features scalable software that enables City staff to share pertinent applications, web pages and other information instantly without any infrastructure investment or demands. Powered by Flybits, Ottawa Nav is a one-stop-shop platform for residents seeking traveller and mobility information in the City.

“Ottawa is the first city to deploy a context-aware computing strategy,” explained Dr. Hossein Rahnama, Founder of Flybits - Director of Research and Innovation - Ryerson Digital Media Zone. “The system senses and interprets contextual parameters—such as location, day, time, mobile and personal preferences—surrounding each individual user, delivering relevant and customized services to make the most out of their mobile experience.

Ottawa Nav is launching with a focus on intelligent traffic solutions, but the same framework can be used to disseminate all useful information pertaining to Ottawa. By utilizing this powerful tool to connect city services and make them available to residents in real time, the City of Ottawa has become a pioneer in the discovery and actualization of a smarter, more connected city.” 

In addition, the system’s scalability also gives the network the capability to remain current with new transportation technologies and upgrades in the future.

In May 2012, City Council approved the Transportation System Management Plan to promote safe and efficient movement of goods and people, to reduce traffic congestion and fuel consumption, and to optimize existing infrastructure. Today’s release of Ottawa Nav supports two of three key objectives of the plan: TSM Innovation, Collaboration, and Technology Solutions, and Traveller Information Systems (TIS). 

The Ottawa Nav application is now available for free on the Apple AppStore and Google Play for Android devices. Other platforms will become available in the future. For further information or view a video about Ottawa Nav, please visit ottawa.ca.

November 15, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174

Starting Saturday, November 16 there will be additional off peak lane closures on Highway 417 in both directions between Parkdale Avenue and Walkley Road and on Highway 174 between Montreal Road and the Hwy 417/174 split.

Sunday, Nov 17 to Friday, Nov 22

  • The right lane of Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly in the vicinity of Innes Road and the CN overpass.
  • The northbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.
  • The right shoulder of the northbound Walkley Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.
  • The right shoulder of the northbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.

Sunday, Nov 17 to Saturday, Nov 23

  • There will be alternating off-peak lane closures on Hwy 417 in both directions between Nicholas Street and the Hwy 417/174 split.
  • There will be alternating off-peak lane closures on Hwy 417 westbound between Walkey Road and Innes Road.
  • The left lane of Hwy 417 will be closed during off-peak periods in both directions between Rochester Avenue and Parkdale Avenue. The centre lanes will also be closed overnight.
  • Hwy 417 eastbound will be fully closed between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Eastbound motorists will be required to take alternate routes.
  • The right lane of Hwy 417 will be closed during off-peak periods in both directions between Colonel By Drive to Bronson Avenue.
  • The acceleration lane of the northbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.
  • The southbound Innes Road on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.
  • The right shoulder of the westbound Hwy 417 off-ramp to Parkdale Avenue will be closed during off-peak periods.
  • The right and left shoulder of Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions between Innes Road and the Cyrville Road overpass during off-peak hours.
  • The right shoulder of Hwy 174 westbound will be closed between Blair Road and Montreal Road during off peak hours.
  • The left shoulder of the Hwy 417 off-ramp to Bronson Avenue will be closed during off-peak periods.

Sunday, Nov 17 to Sunday, Nov 24

  • The right shoulder of the northbound Parkdale Avenue on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed during off-peak periods.
  • St. Laurent Boulevard will be reduced by one lane in each direction nightly between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road.

Monday, Nov 18 to Tuesday, Nov 19

  • The eastbound Hwy 417 off-ramp to St. Laurent Boulevard will be closed nightly.

Monday, Nov 18 to Friday, Nov 22

  • There will be alternating off- peak lane closures on Hwy 174 in both directions between Montreal Road and Blair Road.
  • The southbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.

Monday, Nov 18 to Saturday, Nov 23

  • Hwy 417 westbound will be closed in the vicinity of Bayswater Avenue to Parkdale Avenue and in the vicinity of Innes Road to Walkley Road for 15 minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes through these areas.
  • Hwy 174 westbound will be closed nightly between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Tuesday Nov 19 to Wednesday, Nov 20

  • Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions in the vicinity of Vanier Parkway to Lees Avenue for 15 minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.
  • The northbound St. Laurent Boulevard on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound will be closed nightly.
  • The northbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.

Wednesday, Nov 20 to Thursday, Nov 21

  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound will be closed nightly.
  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed nightly.

 

Signage will be in place to advise drivers of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction between Nicholas Street and the Split. The additional lane will be used for bus rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.
The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:
Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city

Further details and other information concerning City road works are available on ottawa.ca.

October 28, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174

Starting Sunday, October 27 the following additional off peak lane, ramp and shoulder closures on Highway 417 in both directions are scheduled to occur between Parkdale Avenue and Walkley Road and on Highway 174 between Montreal Road and the Hwy 417/174 split.

Friday, Oct 25 to Monday, Oct 28

  • The southbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed for the weekend, beginning 11 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday.

Sunday, Oct 27 to Friday, Nov 1 (Beginning Sunday evening)

  • The right shoulder of the westbound Hwy 174 will be closed in the vicinity of Montreal Road to Blair Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
  • The right and left shoulder of Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions between Innes Road and the Cyrville Road overpass, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
  • The left shoulder of the eastbound Hwy 417 off-ramp to Bronson Avenue will be closed nightly and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
  • The right shoulder of the northbound Parkdale Avenue on-ramp to Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
  • The left shoulder of the westbound Hwy 417 off-ramp to Parkdale Avenue will be closed overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct 28 to Wednesday, Oct 30

  • The eastbound Hwy 417 off-ramp to Vanier Parkway will be closed nightly.

Monday, Oct 28 to Friday, Nov 1

  • Hwy 417 will reduced to 2 lanes in each direction between Nicholas Street and the Cyrville Road overpass, daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Hwy 417 will be reduced to 1 lane in each direction between Nicholas Street and Cyrville Road overpass.
  • There will be alternating lane closures on Hwy 417 westbound between Walkley Road and Innes Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • There will be alternating lane closures on Hwy 174 westbound from Montreal Road to Blair Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • The northbound St. Laurent on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound will be closed nightly.
  • St. Laurent Boulevard will be reduced by one lane in each direction nightly between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road.

Tuesday, Oct 29

  • The right lane of Hwy 417 westbound will be closed overnight between Bronson Avenue and Booth Street.

Tuesday, Oct 29 to Wednesday, Oct 30

  • Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions in the vicinity of Vanier Parkway to Lees Avenue for 15 minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.

 Wednesday, Oct 30

  • The left lane of the westbound Hwy 417 will be closed overnight between Rochester Street and Parkdale Avenue.

Thursday, Oct 31

  • The right lane of Hwy 417 eastbound will be closed overnight between the Kent Street off-ramp and Metcalfe Street.

Thursday, Oct 31 to Saturday, Nov 2

  • The northbound Vanier Parkway on-ramp to Hwy 417 westbound will be closed nightly.

Signage will be in place to advise commuters of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction, between Nicholas Street and the Split. The additional lane will be used for bus rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city
Information about additional construction activity will be shared with the public prior to work commencing.

Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca.

October 24, 2013

City launches LRT tunnel “Roadheader” naming competition for Grade 4 classes

The City of Ottawa is pleased to join with local school boards to launch a competition to name the three “Roadheader” excavation machines that will dig the Confederation Line LRT project’s downtown tunnel. The City officially launched construction on the tunnel on October 11.

“Students in Grade 4 today will be entering high school by the time the Confederation Line opens and will be among the first new wave of riders that will use the system,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I think this is a wonderful opportunity to engage our young people in this city-transforming project.”

Grade 4 classes from the Ottawa-Carleton District School board, the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, and the Ottawa Catholic School Board are invited to submit their suggested names for the three roadheaders to their teachers. The City is requesting two English names and one French name; each Grade 4 class may submit one name for consideration.
School boards have until 12 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, November 7, to submit the proposed names, including the name of the school and class that submitted them. The submissions will be reviewed by the Mayor, Councillor Deans (Chair of the Transit Commission) and Councillor Egli (Chair of the Transportation Committee) and the selected names will be announced later in November at an event that will feature the students from the winning classes as well as representatives from the City’s federal and provincial funding partners.

The Confederation Line Transit Project is a $2.13 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. This project is the first stage in the City’s future rail network. The 12.5 kilometre electric light rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5 kilometre tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core.

For more information, visit ottawa.ca/confederationline.

October 24, 2013

Public consultation on Draft Budget 2014

The City of Ottawa’s 2014 draft budget was tabled on October 23. The public will have the opportunity to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget by attending one of four regional budget consultations hosted by the City. Contact your City Councillor’s office to confirm which meeting they will attend.

East/Rural East
Monday, Oct 28
7 to 9 p.m.
Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre
245 Centrum Boulevard, Orléans

West/Rural West
Tuesday, October 29
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Holy Trinity Catholic School
180 Katimavik Road, Kanata

 South/Rural South
Wednesday, October 30
7 to 9 p.m.
Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A
1701 Woodroffe Avenue, Nepean

*Central District
Thursday, November 7
7 to 9 p.m.
City Hall, Andrew S. Haydon Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa
Available live on Rogers TV, Cable 22

*The session at City Hall on November 7 will include assistive listening devices and simultaneous translation. If any accessibility requirements, such as ASL sign language interpretation or CART services, are needed please call the City’s Accessibility Coordinator at 613-580-2424, ext. 16654, or e-mail accessibilityoffice@ottawa.ca.

Council will consider for approval 2014 budget recommendations received from all Committees of Council and relevant Boards at its regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Wednesday, November 27.

To comment and provide feedback on Draft Budget 2014:

  • Attend one of the four regional public consultations
  • Register as a public delegation at a Standing Committee budget review meeting
  • E-mail budget2014@ottawa.ca
  • Use the Twitter hashtag #ottbudget
  • Contact your City Councillor
  • Call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or fax 613-560-2126
  • Visit ottawa.ca/budget2014 for further information

October 22, 2013

Waste Reduction Week encourages residents to think about what they throw away

Waste Reduction Week, October 21 to 27, challenges Ottawa residents to think about what they throw away and to learn about the many services the City offers to protect our environment by increasing waste diversion:

Green bin
Blue box
Black box
Take it back
Give Away Weekend
Household Hazardous Waste Depots

The week will be highlighted by two waste diversion events: a Household Hazardous Waste Depot on Sunday, October 27, and the always popular Give Away Weekend, on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27.

Give Away Weekend

One person’s trash is another’s treasure! Set your gently used items out at the curb on October 26 and 27 for the Fall Ottawa Give Away Weekend. Tour your neighbourhood and city to find hidden treasures.

Rules for setting out items
Place items like clothes, furniture, sports equipment,  books and more at the curb
Place stickers or signs on items with the word "FREE"
Health Canada advises that used children's items should not be placed at the curb for Give Away Weekend.

At the end of the day, remove uncollected items that can be donated to a local charity.

Household Hazardous Waste Depot

Items such as paints, stains, pool chemicals and fluorescent tubes don’t belong in a landfill. Drop them off for free at the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot.

Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 150 Tunney's Pasture Drive
Tunney's Pasture Parking Lot at Goldenrod Drive and Sorrel Drive

Residential electronic waste such as computers, TVs and cameras are also accepted at this site.

For more information about the City of Ottawa’s waste reduction programs visit ottawa.ca.

October 21, 2013

Getting your flu shot in Ottawa has never been easier

Today, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched the 2013 Influenza Immunization Campaign at the OPH Immunization Clinic at 100 Constellation Drive. Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches, Board of Health Chair Councillor Diane Holmes, Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health and Amira Abdalla, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Pharmacists Association, announced residents have better access to the flu vaccine through more convenient options throughout the City of Ottawa.

“Anyone can get the flu and getting the flu shot is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick,” said Deputy Mayor Desroches. “With more than 340 physicians’ offices and walk-in clinics and close to 140 pharmacies in Ottawa offering the vaccine this year, Ottawa residents now have increased opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu.”

“Thanks to OPH’s extensive distribution network and partnerships, I am pleased that we are offering increased access for all residents to get the flu vaccine throughout our community,” said Councillor Holmes. “With the vaccine available in more locations, getting the flu shot is now more convenient and accessible for all residents, including those who are at greater risk for complications from the flu including young children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions.”

This year, OPH is offering 22 community clinics throughout the city starting October 26 through to November 28, and residents can also visit public clinics taking place at six Ottawa hospitals. As pharmacists can only administer the flu vaccine to residents over the age of five, OPH will also be holding flu vaccine clinics by appointment only for children under five years of age and for their parents and siblings at the OPH Immunization Clinic located on the main floor at 100 Constellation Drive.

“Getting sick with the flu can last several days and for people with other health issues, it can lead to serious illness,” said Dr. Levy. “In the last year alone, the flu and complications from the illness resulted in more than 3,600 hospitalizations in Ontario, including 120 in Ottawa. Alongside good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, getting the flu shot is the best protection against becoming ill.”

“Ottawa pharmacists welcome the opportunity to join forces again this year with OPH to make the flu vaccine more accessible and convenient for residents,” said Amira Abdalla, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Pharmacists Association. “Last season, Ottawa pharmacists gave more than 42,000 flu shots to local residents and we anticipate that with a two-fold increase of pharmacies offering the vaccine this year, visiting your local pharmacy for your flu shot will continue to be a popular option for residents ages five and older.”

Residents can visit ottawa.ca/flu for a complete list of OPH clinics and participating pharmacies offering the flu vaccine or visit the Ontario flu locator to find the nearest location offering the flu vaccine. Along with getting the flu shot and to keep you and your family healthy, it's important to remember these three things:

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
• Stay at home if you are sick

For more information, please visit ottawa.ca/flu or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook, Twitter (@ottawahealth), Tumblr or Pinterest.

October 15, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highways 417 and 174

Starting Tuesday, October 15 there will be additional off peak lane closures on Highway 417 in both directions between Nicholas Street and Walkley Road and on Highway 174 between Montreal Road and the Hwy 417/174 split.

Tuesday, Oct 15 to Friday, Oct 18

• The northbound St. Laurent on-ramp to the westbound Hwy 417 will be closed nightly.
• The right lane of Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions between Nicholas Street and Cyrville Road, daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Both the right and centre lanes of Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions nightly between Nicholas Street and Cyrville Road.
• The right lane of eastbound Hwy 417 will be closed overnight between Cyrville Road and Innes Road.
• The right shoulder of Hwy 174 westbound will be closed in the vicinity of Montreal Road to Blair Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
• The right and left shoulder of Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions between Innes Road and Cyrville Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
• There will be alternating lane closures on Hwy 174 in both directions from Montreal Road to the 417/174 split, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
• There will be alternating lane closures on the westbound Hwy 417 between Walkley Road and Innes Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
• The right shoulder of the Aviation Parkway on-ramp to the eastbound Hwy 417 will be closed nightly.
• St. Laurent Boulevard will be reduced by one lane in each direction nightly between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road.

Wednesday, Oct 16 to Thursday, Oct 17

• The southbound St. Laurent on-ramp to the eastbound Hwy 417 will be closed nightly.
• Hwy 417 will be closed in both directions in the vicinity of Vanier Parkway to Lees Avenue for 15 minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however, motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.

Signage will be in place to advise commuters of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction, between Nicholas Street and the Split. The additional lane will be used for bus rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes
City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours
Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417
Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city
Information about additional construction activity will be shared with the public prior to work commencing.

Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca.

October 9, 2013

Upcoming blasting work at Queen and Kent

The next phase of Construction at the central shaft site for the Confederation Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project, near the south east corner of the Queen and Kent, will require the use of explosives/blasting. This site will serve as a third entry point for the tunnel excavators. Blasting will commence on Friday, October 11, 2013 (weather permitting) and will last for a period of approximately seven weeks. Blasting will be conducted Monday through Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. During periods of blasting, there will be construction staff on site to direct pedestrians as required.
Residents and businesses located within 150 metres of the blast site were first notified of the blasting program the week of September 9, 2013. Additional notices will be provided 48 hours before blasting is undertaken. Prior to each blast, the blast site will be cleared of all persons and secured. This will be followed by a series of warning whistles that will be sounded to alert all persons in the vicinity:

Five short whistles – One minute to blast
Three short whistles – Blast is imminent
One long whistle – Blast is all clear

All blast vibration levels are carefully monitored to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines and regulations and to alleviate the possibility of damage to nearby structures.The Confederation Line Transit Project is a $2.13 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. This project is the first stage in the City’s future light rail transit network creating a 12.5-kilometre electric light rail transit system between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will alleviate transit congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit ottawa.ca

September 27, 2013

Ottawa Fire Services will be knocking on doors next week

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) firefighters will be out in the community between September 30 and October 6 to encourage residents to install, test and ensure that smoke alarms in their homes are operating. This is the second of two eight-day blitzes OFS planned for 2013 as part of its annual Wake Up campaign. The first blitz took place in the spring.
During this period homes throughout the city will receive visits from firefighters. The Ontario Fire Code requires homes to have a working smoke alarm on each floor.
Homeowners who need new or additional smoke alarms will be given information on how to acquire an alarm rebate through the website safetathome.ca. Homeowners who do not have any working smoke alarms may have one immediately installed for them, or be provided with new batteries.

Visits will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 2 and 4 p.m. on weekends. Firefighters will be in uniform and residents are not obligated to provide them access to their home. This is a courtesy call only.
Subdivisions built in the last five years are less likely to receive visits. If no one is home when OFS comes calling, fire safety information will be left in the mailbox.

Firefighters visit Ottawa homes in this manner year round and have been doing so since the Wake Up program began in 2005. For more information about smoke alarms and Ottawa Fire Services, visit ottawa.ca.

September 26, 2013

Ottawa will celebrate Culture Days across the city

The City of Ottawa is celebrating the fourth annual Culture Days weekend from September 27 to 29. Culture Days features free, hands-on interactive activities that invite the public to discover and participate in the cultural life of their communities.
Activities around the city will include visual arts, music, dance, theatre, architecture, heritage, film and video, literature, culinary arts and new media.

Culture Days is part of a national movement that represents the largest-ever collective public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in Canada.
Residents can customize their weekend by accessing My Culture Tools, an online planning tool that will help them create a personalized agenda of weekend activities.

September 25, 2013

Plan protects environment, supports affordable development

The City of Ottawa’s draft 2013 Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), designed to support affordable development growth through projects that protect the environment, was tabled today at Planning Committee.

The plan charts a path for efficient building, operation, and renewal of municipal services such as water plants, sewers, stormwater ponds and wastewater-treatment and stresses affordability for taxpayers, making neighbourhoods more compact and complete, and protecting the natural environment.

“The proposed plan includes protecting the health of the Ottawa River through the Ottawa River Action Plan and its centrepiece project, the combined sewer storage tunnel” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This project will virtually eliminate overflows into the river and further improve Ottawa’s reputation when it comes to environmental protection.”

“This plan is critical for ensuring there is enough infrastructure capacity in the right areas of the municipality at the right service levels at the right time to accommodate development ─ and redevelopment ─ until 2031 when Ottawa’s population is expected to reach 1.14 million,” said Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of Planning Committee.

“The proposed Infrastructure Master Plan provides the needed investment to continue delivering the essential services that our residents depend on in their daily lives,” said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “Through these projects, Ottawa will protect and enhance the quality of our rivers and continue to deliver some of the highest quality drinking water in the world.”

As part of Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031, the City took an integrated approach to reviewing land-use, transportation and infrastructure policies and projects in the Official Plan (OP), the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), as well as in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), including the Ottawa Cycling Plan and the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan. The Official Plan was tabled at Planning Committee in June and the TMP, Cycling and Pedestrian plans will be tabled in October.

The IMP aligns itself with the OP by examining existing population and growth patterns and using the same future development and growth projections. In order to ensure demand for infrastructure is met, the IMP examines trends in demand for water and wastewater capacity, demand and supply management, and weather trends. The IMP sets levels of service expectations for water quality and reliability across the city. The report being tabled at Planning Committee contains a list of projects for each part of the city.

In combination with extensive technical evaluations, public survey mechanisms, and consultation with community and industry leaders, information is being incorporated into all of the draft Building a Liveable Ottawa plans and presented at four upcoming public information sessions.

Comments and questions can be sent to planning@ottawa.ca. A backgrounder on the Infrastructure Master Plan will be posted on ottawa.ca/liveableottawa.

September 18, 2013

Statement by Chair of Transit Commission Diane Deans Regarding the OC Transpo Accident in Barrhaven

As Chair of the City’s Transit Commission I wish to express my deepest sympathies and condolences for all of those who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones and to those who are still waiting to hear from their friends and family members.

The safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority for OC Transpo. The affects of this morning’s tragedy are widely felt and we are focused now on making every effort to provide support for the families that have been impacted.  An investigation into the accident is ongoing by Transportation Safety Board officials and the City of Ottawa is fully cooperating with the process.

A book of condolences can be found in Jean Pigott place for those who would like to express their sympathies and prayers to the families that have suffered a loss. There will also be a book of condolences available to sign at the Walter Baker Sports Centre as of 4:00 p.m. today. In addition, to recognize the victims, flags at City facilities have been lowered to half mast.

A Family Reunification Centre has been opened by the Ottawa Police Service at the Nepean Sportsplex. Families looking for more information can also call 3-1-1 or 1-866-261-9799 for information.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to all emergency responders and personnel who responded to this tragic accident. 

The City of Ottawa and OC Transpo are working on a service plan for the afternoon commute. Please follow octranspo.com for detour information, and more up to date information.

September 13, 2013

Sustainable Transportation Week provides remedies for congestion relief

Next week is Sustainable Transportation Week, which provides an opportunity for residents to explore remedies for traffic congestion relief, such as transit, cycling, walking, carpooling and staggering work hours. To help people travel around the city for work, business and leisure, the Travel and Mobility webpage on ottawa.ca is a valuable resource to get up-to-date traffic information. You can also find OC Transpo schedules and a travel planner, cycling maps, and construction and road closure reports. Also, follow @ottawa_Traffic and @ottawacity on Twitter to get updates and late-breaking information.

The City has also invited local business leaders to a summit, taking place on Thursday, September 19 at the Minto Suites, on the flexible workplace and the changing nature of work. National experts will connect with participants in this interactive discussion on the benefits of adopting the flexible approaches to work, understanding the trends, as well as how Ottawa is preparing for the transformation of the workplace. Sustainable Transportation Week will also feature the City releasing the results of the online Cycling and Pedestrian Plan Survey during the week. Over 6,000 residents provided feedback on ways to improve infrastructure, pathways, and streets designed for enhanced pedestrian and cycling travel.

The week will conclude with International Car Free Day on Sunday, September 22. The City will mark the annual event with the closing of Richmond Road to vehicular traffic between McRae and Berkley from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closed portion of the road will be for a street festival featuring local businesses, community booths and various activities for all ages.

September 13, 2013

Residents can help slow down EAB spread by not moving firewood

The City reminds both urban and rural residents that they can help slow down the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and protect our forests by not moving firewood or ash wood material.

EAB is an invasive wood-boring beetle that attacks and destroys all species of ash trees. To combat this insect, the City of Ottawa has developed a strategy that includes controlling wood movement and disposal, tree removal, selective tree injections, proactive tree planting and public outreach.

This insect spends most of its lifecycle under the bark of ash trees. It can be difficult to detect and very easily moved with firewood, logs, or branches. EAB is transferred to new locations primarily as a result of movement of infested wood.

Private property owners are responsible for removing and disposing of affected ash trees on their properties. It is recommended that the owner use a certified arborist and ensure full compliance with existing federal regulations for wood movement and disposal. Smaller branches and limbs can be placed at the curb and be disposed of through leaf and yard waste. Best practices are to limit wood movement as much as possible.

The City is responsible for maintaining or removing ash trees on City property (City road allowances, municipal parks and natural areas). As ash trees decline, infested trees located on City property will be removed and handled appropriately by City staff and contractors.

If you need to buy wood for your cottage or campsite, buy it locally and use it or leave it behind when you depart.

For more information, please visit ottawa.ca/ea or call 3-1-1

September 6, 2013

Payment cards now accepted online for property taxes

As part of continuing service improvements to residents, the City of Ottawa today launched a new online feature allowing payment cards (credit cards and Interac Online) for online payment of property taxes. Because residents have requested more flexible online payment options, MasterCard, VISA and American Express, as well as Interac Online will now be accepted to make secure online property tax payments as a new payment service.

The number of payment card transactions with the City grew to almost $1 million in 2012 with associated payment cards costs to the City of more than $2 million this year. Acceptance of payment cards comes at a cost to the City and its taxpayers. Council approved service fees to be charged for those who choose this new property tax payment option to ensure that fees are paid by only those who choose this payment channel rather than by all taxpayers.

Service fees charged by the third party provider are:

  • 1.99 per cent of the payment amount for transactions over $25
  • $0.50 for transactions of $25 or less
  • payment cards will not be accepted for transactions totalling less than $1

The City of Ottawa does not receive any part of the service fee which is charged by the City’s third-party provider, Paymentus Corporation. The service fee covers the fees charged by payment card companies and the costs of handling and processing a payment.

Providing this new user-pay option will:

  • maintain fairness and stewardship of public funds by protecting taxpayers from costs associated with payment card use by those who choose this option
  • reduce the City’s costs related to payment card fees
  • allow users to accumulate payment card loyalty rewards without the costs being borne by taxpayers
  • enable expanded access to self-serve web-based payments
  • enable the expansion of payment card use across more business lines

Credit card payments for property taxes are not accepted at Client Service Centres or by mail. Cash or cheques will continue to be accepted for all payments.

To make a property tax payment online, go to the Ottawa.ca home page, and within the ServiceOttawa box select “ Pay Your Property Tax Bill.”

September 3, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highway 417

Starting Tuesday, September 3 there will be additional off peak lane closures on Highway 417 in both directions between Nicholas Street and the 174 split.

  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Wednesday, Sept 4 – The southbound St. Laurent Boulevard on ramp to the westbound 417 will be closed nightly.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Thursday, Sept 5 – The 417 will be closed in both directions in the vicinity of the Vanier Parkway and Belfast Road for 15 minute intervals between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Ontario Provincial Police will be on hand to direct traffic; however motorists are urged to consider alternate routes.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – The right lane of 417 will be closed nightly in both directions between Cyrville Road and Nicholas Street.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – The right and left shoulders of Highway 417 will be closed in both directions between Cyrville Road and the CN overpass, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – The right shoulder of OR 174 westbound will be closed between approximately Montreal Road and Blair Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – There will be alternating lane closures on westbound 417 in the vicinity of Walkley Road to Innes Road, overnight and daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – St. Laurent Boulevard will be reduced by one lane in each direction nightly between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road.
  • Tuesday, Sept 3 to Friday, Sept 6 – One lane of Tremblay Road (westbound) between Belfast Road and Riverside Drive will be closed daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • note that the lane reductions on Ottawa Road 174 (westbound) have been removed and there are now 2 lanes westbound that merge into 1 lane near St Laurent Boulevard. Also the St. Laurent Boulevard off-ramp has reopened in a new dedicated lane that starts at the eastbound Highway 417 off ramp. Motorists are advised to keep to the right after Blair Road if they wish to use the St. Laurent Boulevard off ramp.

Signage will be in place to advise commuters of these traffic and road changes. Motorists are also reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction, between Nicholas Street and the Split, for rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of the Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes

City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours

Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city

Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417

Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city

Information about additional construction activity will be shared with the public prior to work commencing. Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca.

July 30, 2013

Demand will be high for fall and winter recreation activities

It’s time to check out the thousands of classes the City of Ottawa has to offer in the 2013 Fall-Winter Recreation eGuides. Both the Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirs are now online at ottawa.ca.

Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by touchtone phone (613-580-2588) Monday, August 12 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities Tuesday, August 13 during regular business hours.

Registration for all other classes begins online and by touchtone phone Wednesday, August 14 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities Thursday, August 15 during regular business hours.

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. Ottawa residents are encouraged to review the list of classes and registration procedures now to ensure they are ready to enrol in their favourite classes in a timely manner. Anyone registering will need a client barcode and a family PIN (Personal Identification Number).

For registration

To register you will require a client barcode and family PIN numbers. You can get one by:

  • Visiting a recreation facility or Client Service Centre
  • Calling 613-580-2588 Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except on statutory holidays) and follow the prompts
  • Create your family account online

Forgot your Barcode or Family PIN?

  • Account information can be emailed to you, if you have previously provided your email address
  • Use the PIN and Barcode lookup tool to retrieve the information
  • Call 613-580-2588 Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except on statutory holidays) and follow the prompts
  • Visit a recreation facility or Client Service Centre

With a variety of programs for the young and the young at heart, you're sure to find something that will keep you active and inspired. Discover new classes and activities browsing through the Recreation eGuide. Barcode links make online registration easier than ever.

Information about classes can only be viewed online. Residents who do not have access to the internet at home or at work are encouraged to visit City recreation facilities or libraries with public internet access, or visit service centres or recreation centres where customer service staff can help with registration.

July 30, 2013

Upcoming ramp closures and lane reductions on Highway 417

Starting Saturday, July 27 there will be additional off peak lane closures on Highway 417 in both directions between Nicholas Street and the 174 split.

  • Saturday, July 27 to Friday, August 2 – There will be a lane reduction on Hwy 417 West between Innes Road and Walkley Road overnight and daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 28 – The left hand lane on Hwy 417 West will be closed overnight from Belfast Road to Nicholas Street.
  • Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1 – The right hand shoulder on Hwy 417 East will be closed overnight between Innes Road and Walkley Road.
  • Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1 – The right hand shoulder on OR 174 westbound will be closed overnight from 1 km east of Montreal Road to 1 km east of Blair Road.
  • Monday, July 29 to Tuesday, July 30 – The left lane on Hwy 417 East will be closed from Nicholas Street to Cyrville Road, daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Monday, July 29 to Tuesday, July 30 – The left hand lane on Hwy 417 West will be closed from Cyrville Road to Nicholas Street, daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Monday, July 29 to Thursday August, 1 – There will be overnight lane reductions in both directions on Highway 417 between Hurdman Bridge and Belfast Road. Low to moderate noise levels are expected.
  • In addition to the above, lane reductions on St. Laurent Boulevard between Lemieux Street and Tremblay Road will continue until the end of August.

Signage will be in place to advise commuters of traffic and road changes and motorists are reminded to respect the reduced speed limits and use caution when travelling through construction zones. Many of these construction elements are weather dependant and may be implemented later than the dates given.

This work is being done as part of the Highway 417 expansion project, which began in May, and will add an additional lane in each direction, between Nicholas Street and the Split for rapid transit during the 2015 to 2018 phase of Confederation Line construction.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use other alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling. The City of Ottawa has tools on ottawa.ca to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

Travel Planner at octranspo.com – transit users can chart and plan routes

City of Ottawa Traffic Report – outlining citywide road closures, traffic restrictions and detours

Interactive traffic map – showing construction areas and live traffic cams throughout the city

Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) cameras along Highway 417

Cycling maps and information – detailing bicycle pathways and lanes throughout the city

Information about additional construction activity will be shared with the public prior to work commencing. Further project details and other information concerning ongoing City roadwork are available on ottawa.ca.


July 12, 2013

LRT construction work near Albert Street and Bronson Avenue

Preparatory work has begun for the excavation of the western tunnel entrance of Ottawa’s new Confederation Line light rail transit project. This construction is the first step in preparation for tunnelling from this location east under Queen Street.

Starting the week of July 8, this work will involve installing a temporary wall to support the ground around the future tunnel entrance by driving piles – long, vertical steel beams – and/or concrete foundations (“caissons”) into the ground. This will cause intermittent and repetitive banging noises. Work will take place weekdays before 6 p.m. and is expected to take up to one month. Construction will be carried out in accordance with the City’s Noise By-law and is not expected to interfere with residents’ enjoyment of Bluesfest.

The consortium carrying out the work, the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), is making every effort possible to keep noise to a minimum and the City will be monitoring for regulatory compliance.

The Confederation Line Transit Project is a $2.13 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. This project is the first stage in the City’s future light rail transit network creating a 12.5-kilometre electric light rail transit system between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit confederationline.ca.


July 8, 2013

Traffic impacts along Alta Vista in July

Starting next week, City crews conducting tree removals and intersection modernization along Alta Vista Drive may impact Ottawa commuters.
Work will take place between July 8 and 19, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., weather permitting. Select Saturdays and evenings may be required. While work is underway, there will be rolling lane reductions and shifted lanes along Alta Vista. Sidewalks and bike lanes will be closed in the removal operations area. OC Transpo service will not be interrupted, but the location of the bus stops along this stretch may be temporarily relocated to accommodate the work crews. For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) or the City’s EAB management strategy visit ottawa.ca .

May 17, 2013

City of Ottawa Proposed Wildlife Strategy

The City of Ottawa is seeking input from residents on its proposed wildlife strategy before final recommendations go to Council. The strategy aims to prevent and resolve human-wildlife conflicts by taking a balanced approach to wildlife management. Recommendations include the creation of a City Wildlife Biologist position, expansion of information available to residents on common wildlife species, and the pro-active evaluation and response to reports of habituated coyotes. The draft strategy is available for review online at Ottawa.ca until May 24th. Comments can be submitted by email to Nicholas Stow at wildlifestrategy@ottawa.ca

March 22, 2013

Bronson Avenue Safety and Operational Review (from Brewer Way to Holmwood Avenue)

In November 2012 the City of Ottawa Transportation Committee directed staff to conduct a Safety and Operational Review of the stretch of Bronson Avenue between Brewer Way and Holmwood Avenue.  The purpose of the study was to address vehicle speeds, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and collisions. The following link provides information from the staff review on the existing conditions, as well as proposed short term and medium term changes that were presented at a public open house.

http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/transportation-and-parking/road-safety

The final staff recommended changes are tentatively scheduled to be presented in a report at the April 3rd Transportation Committee meeting.  The agenda for the meeting will be available on the City of Ottawa web site at Ottawa.ca one week before the meeting. Many south-end motorists depend on Bronson Avenue as their main route downtown.  I invite you to review the information and provide me with your comments through email at diane.deans@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2480.

 

March 21, 2013

Register now to celebrate 20 years of Cleaning the Capital

The City of Ottawa and Tim Hortons are pleased to announce the annual Spring Cleaning the Capital campaign, which will take place from April 15 until May 15. Spring Cleaning the Capital is a city-wide event that brings together neighbours, communities and friends to help keep Ottawa beautiful.

Volunteers who register their cleanup project between March 15 and April 14, have a chance to win one of many early bird prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Regular registration ends May 15th.

Registration is quick and easy. First, select a cleanup location, such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area requiring tidying up. Projects can include litter pickup or graffiti removal. To register your clean up please visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).Following the event, submit an online cleanup report by May 31 to be eligible for more prizes from our sponsors.

Cleanup starter kits for litter pickup and graffiti removal projects are available to all registered volunteers upon request. Litter pickup starter kits include: disposable vinyl gloves, garbage bags as well as leaf and yard waste bags. Graffiti removal starter kits include graffiti removal wipes and gloves. All kits come with helpful project and safety information to guide your cleanup project.

For more information visit www.ottawa.ca.




February 4, 2013

Young at Art 2013 applications now available

The City of Ottawa is inviting young artists to enter the Young at Art 2013 juried exhibition for youth. Young Ottawa artists between 12 and 19 years of age will have an opportunity to showcase and celebrate their talents in a citywide event. Works selected for Young at Art 2013 will be displayed in Ottawa community galleries and will be recognized at awards presentations in the east, west and central areas of the city. This year there is a central theme of “Exploration” in honour of the 400th Anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first voyage up the Ottawa River and artists are encouraged to submit artwork that expresses this theme in any visual art medium they wish.

Application forms, details and guidelines are available online at ottawa.ca/youngatart. Forms are also available at community centres, Ottawa Public Library branches and by contacting Mike Taylor, Young at Art Coordinator at 613-580-2424, ext. 29288 or mike.taylor@ottawa.ca. Please remember that the deadline for Young at Art 2013 submissions is Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4 p.m.

 

January 8, 2013

City of Ottawa 2013 Summer Student Employment Program 

Ottawa – Students interested in summer employment with the City of Ottawa can apply online beginning Monday, January 7, 2013.

The Summer Student Employment Program is a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and insight into today's workforce, discover a career path, showcase skills and enhance academic goals.

Positions are available in the following areas:

• Administrative and Support Services
• Building, Roads, Forestry and Parks Maintenance
• By-Law Services
• Engineering and Science
• Environmental Science
• Finance and Accounting
• Information Technology and Geomatics
• Laboratory Technologist/Chemistry
• Library Services
• Parks and Recreation Services
• Public Health Services
• Recreation, Heritage, Community and Social Services
• Traffic and Parking Operations

For more information including eligibility criteria and other requirements, visit ottawa.ca. Applications will be accepted from Monday, January 7 to Thursday, February 7, 2013.

 

December 24, 2012

Cold weather caution 

Ottawa – As the temperature drops, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and Ottawa Paramedic Services would like to remind residents to take precautions against the cold this winter. Please see below for some cold weather tips to help everyone have a safe and healthy winter season.

Dress for the weather

The key to staying warm is dressing in layers. Make sure the outer layer protects you from wind and wetness. Mittens or gloves, hats and scarves are also important to protect exposed skin from frostbite.

Monitor weather forecasts and storm warnings

Check local weather forecasts so you can prepare and dress for the conditions:

•At -15 Celsius, hypothermia is of increasing concern and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can result in severe injury and even death
•With a wind chill of -25, the risk of frostbite increases substantially. OPH issues frostbite advisories to local agencies and community partners whose clients are the most vulnerable to the cold such as the homeless and small children
•When the wind chill reaches -35, a frostbite warning is issued to the public at large to advise everyone to take extra precautions against the cold
Watch out for falls

Footwear with good traction is recommended when surfaces are slippery. Ice-grips slide overtop most footwear to prevent slipping. Consider carrying a small amount of sand, grit or non-clumping cat litter with you to sprinkle on icy patches. The City has placed bright yellow grit boxes in over 40 locations around Ottawa for residents to use. The yellow grit boxes are located close to steep hills and in areas where there are many pedestrians and/or seniors. Residents are encouraged to spread the grit on slippery spots on sidewalks and other problem areas.

Help for homeless people

Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to cold weather. Please call 3-1-1 if you see someone living outdoors in extreme cold. There are services available to help homeless people which include:

•Emergency sleeping spaces in Ottawa shelters
•Street outreach services to encourage homeless people to come in from the cold
•Provision of emergency transportation and other services by the Salvation Army

To seek assistance for a homeless person, concerned citizens are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or the Help for the Homeless Phone Line at 613-580-2626. Calls are answered by the City of Ottawa Call Centre on a priority basis and referrals are made to the appropriate services.

Look for our live extreme weather updates on Twitter @OttawaHealth.

Check out ottawa.ca/health for many more tips on dressing for cold weather and how to spot the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.

For more information, visit ottawa.ca/health or call 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth) for the latest news from OPH.

 

December 21, 2012

City’s approved sledding hills open 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa has opened its 56 approved sledding hills. Outdoors enthusiasts are invited to sled while weather and hill conditions permit, and to keep personal safety in mind while sledding.

Approved sledding hill locations and safety tips are available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

 

December 19, 2012

City Council approves Confederation Line, construction to begin in spring 2013 

Ottawa – The Confederation Line, the biggest capital project in the City of Ottawa’s history, was approved by City Council today in a unanimous vote.

Council endorsed the selection of the Rideau Transit Group, a consortium of world-leading engineering firms, to build the Confederation Line at a fixed capital price of $2.1 billion. The Confederation Line is the 12.5-kilometre light rail transit (LRT) project that is the backbone of Ottawa’s new rail and rapid bus public transit system, with 13 rail stations.

“Today marks a tremendous accomplishment for our Council and our City,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Together we provided staff with clear direction that this project must be delivered on time and on budget. Working with our partners in Infrastructure Ontario, we have an impressive and comprehensive plan to get us there. I congratulate all of my Council colleagues and the talented, dedicated team that helped us reach this milestone.”

The City will enter into a formal agreement with RTG to design, build, finance and maintain the LRT line from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station. With this in place, construction is expected to begin in late February, when RTG will begin widening Highway 417 between Nicholas Street and the 417/174 split. The two additional lanes being added will be used for express bus service while the Transitway is closed for LRT conversion.

“With Council’s endorsement, Ottawa will begin to build its transit system for a guaranteed price,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “This project is designed to grow our transit system to meet the City’s long-term demand. Once completed, the system will be fast, efficient, comfortable and ready to serve the residents of Ottawa for generations to come.”

Funding for the Confederation Line is being provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City will also allocate up to $192 million of its Federal Gas Tax fund receipts to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing $600 million in direct grant contributions. In addition, the City will allocate $287 million of its Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

“We are building for Ottawa’s future and the shovels will soon be in the ground,” said Nancy Schepers, the Deputy City Manager for Infrastructure and Planning. “Maintaining our mobility will be crucial. With the support of Council, and our new partners in Rideau Transit Group, we have a solid team and a solid plan that includes maximizing mobility options through construction and beyond.”

Residents can continue to view the detailed designs of the Confederation Line by visiting confederationline.ca.

 

December 18, 2012

Ottawa to host 2014 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa will welcome thousands of figure skaters, fans and tourists when it hosts the 2014 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships, Skate Canada announced today. The event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the competition, which began in 1914 at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa.

“This cornerstone event is a welcome addition to the many world-class tournaments, events and conferences that are choosing to come to Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Hosting events like this one is a great way to showcase our magnificent city, while generating significant economic benefits for our local economy.”

The event, which will be held January 9 to 15, 2014 at Scotiabank Place, is expected to generate an estimated economic impact of close to $4 million for the City of Ottawa. The City has committed to provide a $50,000 investment towards the event.

This marks the 14th time the event will be held in Ottawa. Ottawa last hosted the championships in 2006.

The event is the final qualification opportunity for the athletes who will be named to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Promoting the nation’s capital as an ideal location for major national and international events and conventions is a cornerstone priority for the City’s economic development plan. Through a partnership between the City and Ottawa Tourism, a major events office is helping to bring more high-profile events to the capital.

Ottawa has recently seen success in attracting major sporting events to the city. In 2013, Ottawa will host the IIHF Women’s World Championships and the ITU Duathlon World Championships. Ottawa will also be one of the official host cities for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Our strategy is simple – bid more, win more, host more,” said Mayor Watson. “We are seeing the results of this strategy with more world-class events coming to Ottawa, which not only enhances our city’s national and international reputation, but also helps strengthen our local tourism and hospitality sector.”

 

December 17, 2012

Make food safety part of your holiday menu 

Ottawa - Whether you are eating at home or at one of Ottawa’s many restaurants, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents to keep food safety top of mind during this busy and festive time of year.

Residents can avoid foodborne illness by following safe food handling, storage and cooking practices at home, and by choosing restaurants that consistently meet safety guidelines.

Health Canada estimates that there are between 11 and 13 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada every year. Foodborne illness –sometimes called food poisoning– usually results from eating food or drinking water contaminated by disease-causing bacteria or the toxins they produce. Here are some tips that will make this Holiday Season safer for you, your loved ones and your guests.

Preparation, thawing, storage and sanitation:

•Wash your hands for at least 15 seconds with soap and water, especially after sneezing, smoking, coughing, using the washroom, touching pets, changing diapers, or touching raw meats or eggs.
•Wash all vegetables and fruits, including those that you peel or cut, such as melons, oranges and cucumbers.
•Thaw foods in the refrigerator – turkey or chicken should be thawed in the refrigerator and never at room temperature.
•Be sure to cover and store raw meat or marinades on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to avoid spilling liquids on ready-to-eat foods.
•Wash, rinse, and sanitize utensils, cutting boards, and food preparation surfaces and be sure to use separate work areas to avoid cross-contamination of raw and ready-to-eat foods. Remember, your hands can also transfer bacteria from raw to cooked foods.
Cooking:

Cook all ground beef, pork and fish products until it registers an internal temperature of 71°C/158°F on a cooking thermometer for 15 seconds.

Turkey and stuffing:

•Cook turkey and stuffing separately.
•Cook turkey until it registers an internal temperature of 82°C/180°F on a cooking thermometer for 15 seconds.
•Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
Raw egg products:

Prepare foods that may contain raw eggs such as eggnog, hollandaise sauce and caesar salad dressing, fresh every day using pasteurized eggs.

Deli meat, soft cheeses and appetizers:

•Keep cold foods such as cheese and meat platters at a temperature of 4°C/40°F or below. Tip: Place the serving dish over cubed or crushed ice.
•Keep hot foods such as appetizers at a temperature of 60°C/140°F or above. Tip: Use a hot plate, slow cooker or chafing dish.
Dining out

Did you know that OPH Restaurant Inspections are posted online? Inspectors visit food establishments, both on a routine and complaint related basis, to make sure any deficiencies are quickly corrected, and prepare a report about each visit. This report is posted online shortly after the inspection and includes any deficiencies found at the establishment.

Food poisoning can feel like the flu. Symptoms may include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever. If you suspect that your health has been compromised because of food, contact your family doctor or visit a walk-in medical clinic.

For more food safety tips, visit ottawa.ca or to report a suspected food-borne illness call Ottawa Public Health information at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on our blog, Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).

 

December 15, 2012

City Winter Operations crews clear the way for safety in a snow storm 

Ottawa – Maintaining Ottawa roads, sidewalks and bus stops is a top priority for City snow clearing crews during and after a snow storm.

“Even in inclement winter conditions, residents can have confidence that our snow removal crews are hard at work clearing our transportation network and keeping our City moving,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Clearing the way and getting residents safely to their destination is a high priority for the City during a snow storm.”

As City crews clear the roads during or after a snowstorm, motorists are reminded to be patient and remain a safe distance behind working snow plows. It is important to never pass a snow plow on the right. Snow plows are wider than the average vehicle with large blades that extend a meter or more out of the vehicle and into the neighbouring lane. Passing a snow plow on the right could result in severe, even fatal, collisions.

“During a winter storm, our priority is ensuring the safety of motorists and residents as they travel around the city, but motorists also play a role in keeping our roads safe by making smart decisions when driving near a snow plow,” said Councillor Wilkinson. “Crowding, passing or cutting off a plow not only puts the driver at risk, but also the snow plow operator.”

The City snow clearing crews maintain an area covering 2,796 km², spanning more than 90 kilometres from east to west. Crews prioritize and optimize snow and ice removal procedures based on the Council-approved Maintenance Quality Standards that were established to ensure the safety and accessibility of the transportation network. These standards make certain a consistent level of snow clearing service is provided to residents.

Residents can keep informed of winter storm conditions by signing up for e-Alerts and Twitter notifications, listening to local media, or by visiting ottawa.ca. Under normal winter storm conditions the City will deploy approximately 550 pieces of equipment and operators to deliver winter road maintenance services.

For more information about City snow clearing procedures and how the City prioritizes snow and ice management services, please visit ottawa.ca.

 

December 15, 2012

Plasco Commercial Facility Agreement Finalized 

Ottawa – The Plasco Commercial Facility Long-Term Waste Conversion Agreement and the associated agreements have been finalized.

The agreements are in accordance with the terms and conditions approved by Council in December 2011 and will advance the City’s goals of maximizing waste diversion and reserving municipal landfill capacity for residential waste.

“The City took rigorous steps to protect the interest of taxpayers when negotiating this contract. I am looking forward to Plasco building the commercial facility”, said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee.

“The finalization of the commercial agreement represents an important milestone in the City’s ongoing partnership with Plasco Energy Group Inc.”, said City Manager, Kent Kirkpatrick.

The agreement provides for the City to supply and Plasco to process 109,500 tonnes of City waste annually for a minimum 20-year term, plus four five-year extensions at the option of the City. All construction, operating and maintenance costs are the responsibility of Plasco. The Plasco Conversion Facility will process 130,000 tonnes of total waste per year. The City has the right of first refusal to supply the total.

An alternate location to 3704 Moodie Drive, Lot 10, Concession 4 Rideau Front (at the corner of Moodie Drive and Trail Road), which has the property zoning in place that is compatible with the City’s Official Plan, was selected for the commercial facility lease. A report on the commercial lease will be forthcoming to the Environment Committee and Council for consideration and approval in the New Year.

 

December 10, 2012

Holiday Season schedule changes 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa reminds residents of the following schedule changes for Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas Day), Wednesday, December 26 (Boxing Day), and Tuesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day).

Client services:

•Ottawa City Hall and all seven Client Service Centres, including the Government Service Centre located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The Metcalfe Client Service Centre will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27. The North Gower Client Service Centre will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27. The West Carleton Client Service Centre will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27. Business will resume as usual on Wednesday, January 2.
•The City’s Provincial Offences Court, located at 100 Constellation Crescent, will also be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Business will resume as usual on Wednesday, January 2.
•The City’s 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention. Call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons with a hearing-related disability, call (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Garbage and recycling:

•There will be no curbside or multi-residential green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Christmas Day. Christmas Day’s pickup will take place on Boxing Day, and Boxing Day’s pick-up will take place on Thursday, December 27. New Year’s Day pick-up will take place on Wednesday, January 2. In addition, the collection of garbage, green bin, and recycling materials will be delayed by one day for the weeks of December 24 and 31. For curbside collection enquiries, refer to the collection calendar tool.
•The Trail Waste Facility will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
•Christmas trees will be collected on the same day as the green bin. Please remove all decorations.

Transit service:

•OC Transpo will operate a reduced schedule December 23 to January 5. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, service will operate on a Sunday schedule. On Boxing Day a Saturday schedule will operate. On December 24, 27, 28, 31 and January 2-4 service will operate on a reduced weekday schedule. Special school services will not operate from December 24 to January 4. Call 613- 560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com.
•OC Transpo Sales and Information Centres at Lincoln Fields, St. Laurent and Place d’Orléans Stations will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and will close early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. However, Sales and Information Centres will be open on Saturday December 29 and Saturday January 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Rideau Centre Sales Office will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and will close early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at 5 p.m. Rideau will be open on Boxing Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
•The OC Transpo Information Centre (613-741-4390) will operate reduced hours on Christmas and New Year’s Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Boxing Day from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
•The OC Transpo Customer Relations Unit (613-842-3600) will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and will operate reduced hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 24, 27, 28, and 31, and January 2 to 4.

Ottawa Public Health:

•Ottawa Public Health Information Line (OPHIL) and AIDS line – closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
•Sexual Health Clinic is closed on Christmas Eve Day (December 24), Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve Day (December 31) and New Year’s Day.
•Site office is open from 8:30 a.m.to 1 p.m. on December 24 and 31
•Site mobile van schedule is as follows:
Monday, December 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christmas Day – closed
Wednesday, December 26 – regular schedule
Monday, December 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New Year’s Day – regular schedule
•Dental Clinics – Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
•Well Baby Drop-in – Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Recreation services:

•Recreation facilities will be operating on modified schedules during the holiday season, including modified swimming, skating and fitness schedules. Most recreation facilities are closed and public swimming, public skating, aqua fitness and fitness classes are cancelled on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Please check with ottawa.ca or the facility of your choice for details, as some exceptions will apply.
•Registered programs at swimming pools, community centres and arenas are cancelled during the holiday season, however, clients should check with their facility to confirm, as some exceptions will apply.

Cultural services:

•Most programming at arts centres, archives, galleries, museums and theatres will not be offered on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. However, clients should check with ottawa.ca or their facility to confirm holiday hours, as some exceptions may apply.

Municipal child care services:

•All Municipal Child Care Centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. However, during the Holiday Period – December 24, 2012 to January 1, 2013, the following exceptions apply:
Beausoleil – Closed

Borden Farm – Closed

Charmian Craven – Closed

Dr. E. Couture – Open Dec.24, 27, 28 and 31

Elsie Stapleford – Closed

Esther By – Closed

Fisher Heights – Closed Dec. 24; Open Dec. 27, 28 and 31

Foster Farm – Closed

Huron – Open Dec.24, 27, 28 and 31

Pinocchio – Closed

Quatre Saisons – Closed

St. Luke’s – Open Dec.24, 27, 28 and 31

Tournesol – Closed

Woodbridge Court – Open Dec. 24 only

Woodroffe – Closed

Library services:

•All branches and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Branches and services will operate normally from December 27 to 30. On December 24 and 31 all Library locations except for some rural branches will be open as usual and close at 3 p.m. Check the OPL website for complete details.

 

December 6, 2012

Stay fire safe while staying warm in winter 

Ottawa – Ottawa Fire Services wants to remind residents of the importance of fire prevention and safety as they heat their homes over the winter months.

Any time of year, it is important to ensure that all required smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are tested regularly to ensure they are working properly. Also, develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family.

Fire safety for the winter months:

•Heating appliances such as space heaters should not have anything combustible close by and need at least one metre (three feet) of space around them. Inspect the electrical cord attached. If it overheats, you have a fire hazard.
•Ensure electrical and heating systems and chimneys are regularly checked by a professional, especially prior to the winter season when they are in maximum use.
•Keep young children and pets away from space heaters and fireplaces.
Additional fireplace tips:

•Open the damper before lighting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool enough to touch.
•Ensure a fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
•Do not store combustible materials such as paper or wood too close to the fireplace.
•Use a screen in front of the fireplace opening to protect children and to prevent embers from escaping and igniting carpets, etc.
•Use dry, well-seasoned wood in small amounts.
•Never overload your fireplace.
•Never use charcoal starter fluids, gasoline or any flammable substance to start fires.
•When using artificial logs, burn only one at a time and follow instructions on the wrapping.
•Always place the ashes in a metal container and take them outside the house.
Carbon monoxide reminder:

There must be an adequate supply of air for complete burning or else an excessive amount of carbon monoxide may accumulate indoors. Ensure that your wood stove or fireplace is not competing, for long periods of time, with your clothes dryer, kitchen, bathroom and attic vent fans, central vacuum cleaners and kitchen barbecues, all of which exhaust air from the home and starve the furnace or the fireplace of oxygen.

For more fireplace safety tips go to ottawa.ca.

 

December 5, 2012

Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project contract – on time and on budget 

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, together with Premier Dalton McGuinty and Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, were on hand this morning for the announcement that City staff will be recommending to Council that the international consortium known as the Rideau Transit Group be awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project, which includes the building and financing of the Highway 417 widening project from the Nicholas Street on ramp to the split with Highway 174.

“Today is an exciting milestone for this important project,” said Premier McGuinty. “It will create jobs, help the environment by taking cars off the road and contribute to a better quality of life for the people of Ottawa.”

“Our Government is pleased to invest in this important job-creating project for a new light rail corridor that will make public transit faster and more efficient for Ottawa residents,” said MP Galipeau. “This project demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with municipal and provincial partners to support infrastructure improvements and transit solutions for the 21st century.”

“Council set a strong direction for this procurement to deliver an excellent light rail system that comes in on time and on budget. I am proud to say that we have succeeded,” said Mayor Watson. “Given the importance of this project to Canada’s national capital and its close relationship with our sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017, I am also pleased to announce that the City will be naming this system the Confederation Line.”

Rideau Transit Group’s proposal outlines a construction schedule that will see project construction substantially complete by the end of 2017 and in service by 2018. Moreover, the Rideau Transit Group has agreed to a fixed price contract of $2.1 billion, meaning the City and Ottawa taxpayers will not be financially responsible for cost overruns related to construction.

Funding for the Confederation Line is being provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City will also allocate up to $192 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing $600 million. In addition, the City will allocate $287 million of Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

The report and Rideau Transit Group’s designs and construction schedule are available on the OLRT project website www.ottawalightrail.ca. In addition, the City will be hosting a number of design showcases for Ottawa residents to see Rideau Transit Group’s proposals first hand and have their questions answered by project staff.

The staff recommendation will be reviewed by the Committee of the Whole on December 12 and then by Council on December 19.

 

November 30, 2012

Skating season now open on the Rink of Dreams 

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, along with Cyril Leeder, President of Senators Sports and Entertainment, lit the boards around the Rink of Dreams tonight, launching the second outdoor skating season of downtown Ottawa’s newest attraction.

“The Rink of Dreams was a huge success in its inaugural season, and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more skaters during the second year,” Mayor Jim Watson said. “City Hall is now much more of a people place, with great attractions inside and outside for the whole family.”

Immediately following the lighting, children and families, took the first official skate.

Weather permitting; the Rink of Dreams will open every day, from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., including holidays, until the end of the skating season in March 2013. A heated change hut at Marion Dewar Plaza is open every day from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. More information is available at ottawa.ca.

During his remarks, the mayor reminded Rink of Dreams visitors that they can warm up inside Ottawa City Hall by visiting one of three exhibits, all of which have are free of charge:

•Barbara Ann Scott Gallery
•Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame
•City Hall Art Gallery

The Rink of Dreams first opened January 25, 2012. It was installed at Marion Dewar Plaza in a partnership between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Senators Foundation as part of the foundation’s Sens Recreational Investments in Neighbourhood Communities (RINC) program. The two groups combined to break ground on a second Sens RINC project at Jules Morin Park on Tuesday, November 20.

 

November 28, 2012

Budget 2013 approved with the lowest tax change in six years 

Ottawa – City Council has approved a budget for 2013 that delivers the lowest tax change in six years – 2.09 per cent – while at the same time continuing to invest in the municipal services and infrastructure that matter most to residents.

“This budget addresses the needs of residents and businesses by investing in areas that will enhance existing City services, while maintaining the City’s prudent approach to our long range finances,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It is no secret that our task this year was made more difficult by provincial changes to social service funding. I want express my gratitude to all those residents who participated in the budget process, as well as commending my Council colleagues on fulfilling our commitment to delivering a predictable tax change.”

Budget 2013 continues to find efficiencies through the ongoing freeze of Mayor and Councillors’ office budgets and a reduction in the City’s staffing costs of approximately $3.5 million. ServiceOttawa will also deliver an additional $8.8 million in savings in the coming year by providing citizens with more efficient ways to access many City services, such as permits and licenses, online 24/7.

City recreation fees will remain frozen again next year and 2013 will see the continuation of Ottawa on the Move. This important program of strategic infrastructure investments in road, sidewalk, water, cycling and sewer projects will help build a better city, create needed jobs, and help prepare the city for the coming Light Rail Transit project. The program assists in the rehabilitation of aging infrastructure in all areas of the city.

“With this budget, resources are allocated appropriately to advance Council’s priorities so that we can deliver responsive and efficient services to the residents of Ottawa,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “The City is focused on delivering Council’s measured plan to fund today’s priorities, while establishing a solid foundation for the years to come.”

For the owner of an average home assessed at $314,500, the 2013 budget will mean an annual property tax increase of $67 for urban homeowners and $50 for rural homeowners.

Highlights of the Budget 2013 are:

•$14 million of continued funding for Council’s poverty and homelessness initiative;
•$4.6 million of realigned and reallocated funding to offset changes in provincial priorities which will preserve the majority of benefits for the most vulnerable and low income residents, including the creation of a one-time emergency transition fund;
•$5.5 million to increase the annual contribution to Capital Funding for infrastructure maintenance and renewal as recommended in the recently approved Long Range Financial Plan;
•$4.9 million to improve safety and mobility with new traffic control signals, intersection control measures, pedestrian countdown signals and the Pedestrian Facilities Program and Audible Signal Program;
•An additional $500,000 for initiatives identified in the Older Adult Plan resulting from last year’s Seniors Summit;
•$2 million for accessibility retrofit work to existing buildings and parks;
•$975,000 combined operating and capital funding to increase the forest cover and combat the Emerald Ash Borer, bringing total investment to $1.8 million;
•New and expanded parks and recreation facilities across the city;
•$1 million for the review of the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan;
•$1 million, combined capital and operating funding for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan;
•2 per cent increase for social service and health agencies, cultural, community and recreation funding;
•$2.5 million for ongoing environmental remediation and greening of the City fleet; and
•$2 million for design work for a pedestrian footbridge crossing the Rideau Canal at Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street.
•also approved increasing a transition fund from $250,000 to $500,000 to address extreme hardship experienced by individuals in need resulting from the provincial changes in discretionary benefit coverage. The money is being drawn from another area of the Community and Protective Services Committee budget.

The draft rate-supported budget for water and sewer services for 2013 and 2014 will be tabled at a special Environment Committee meeting in January 2013.

For more information about the budget, visit ottawa.ca/budget2013.

 

November 27, 2012

Ottawa Public Health helps seniors prevent injury from falls 

Ottawa - Today, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) hosted a half day falls prevention seminar, bringing together community partners including physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists and public health professionals from across the region to share and exchange ideas. The keynote address was delivered by nationally recognized falls prevention expert, Dr. Vicky Scott, Senior Advisor on Falls and Injury Prevention with the British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit and the Ministry of Health.

“One in four older adults experience a fall every year,” said Dr. Rosamund Lewis, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “We understand many of the factors that lead to falls, and small changes in our homes and communities can go a long way to reducing the risk. That’s why it’s important to collaborate as partners to tackle this important issue.”

“Injury from a fall often results in chronic pain, disability, reduced quality of life and is the main reason why older adults lose their independence,” said Dr. Scott. “We know that most falls and fractures can be prevented – applying this knowledge to practice is the challenge.”

OPH recently launched a comprehensive falls prevention strategy, focusing on awareness, education, personal health plans, and screening clinics where seniors at risk of falling can be referred.

As part of their awareness campaign, OPH recommends that older adults:

•Have an annual check up every year including a physical, a review of medications, and an eye exam
•Do aerobic physical activity for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) each week
•Perform strength and balance activities such as lifting weights and Tai Chi at least twice a week
•Eat three daily servings of foods high in calcium such as milk, yogurt and fortified beverages
•Take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU if they are over 50
•Make their home safe by keeping it well lit, removing trip hazards, installing secure grab bars in bathrooms and sturdy hand rails on both sides of stairs.

For more information on OPH’s falls prevention strategy and seniors' safety please call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth) for the latest public health information.

 

November 19, 2012

Mayor’s 12th Annual Christmas Celebration at Ottawa City Hall 

Ottawa – Join Mayor Jim Watson for the Mayor’s 12th Annual Christmas Celebration on Saturday, December 8 from 3 to 7 p.m. at its new location – Ottawa City Hall.

There will be fun-filled activities for the whole family to enjoy both inside City Hall and outdoors on Marion Dewar Plaza, so dress appropriately.

Enjoy skating on the Rink of Dreams, hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides and roast marshmallows outside on Marion Dewar Plaza. Inside City Hall meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, create a craft in Santa’s workshop, have your face painted, and enjoy live performances. As a special treat, savour chocolate by Lindt.

OC Transpo will offer free bus rides on all routes to and from City Hall from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. to children 11 years and under when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.

To help those in need and to share in the spirit of the holiday season, admission to this sponsored event is a non-perishable food donation to the Ottawa Food Bank.

The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Celebration is made possible by the generosity of the many corporate sponsors. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.

 

November 9, 2012

Winter overnight parking regulations will be in effect from November 15 until April 1 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa is reminding residents that winter overnight parking regulations are in effect beginning November 15. These regulations ensure that the City’s snow-clearing crews are able to keep Ottawa’s roads safe and clear for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, and motorists. Your safety is a top priority for the City of Ottawa.

Between November 15 and April 1, when a snowfall of 7 cm or more is forecast by Environment Canada, parking is not permitted on all Ottawa streets between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. This includes any forecast for a range of snow more than 7 cm, such as a snowfall forecast of 5 to 10 cm. Vehicles parked on the street when a restriction is in effect will be ticketed, even if it does not snow. Vehicle owners who have a municipal on-street parking permit are exempt from winter overnight parking restrictions.

Be in the know about snow. Sign up to receive e-mail or Twitter notifications of overnight parking restrictions at ottawa.ca. After you sign up, you will receive an e-mail or Twitter alert via @ottawacity, every time a winter overnight parking restriction goes into effect or is lifted. The service is free and you can unsubscribe at anytime.

You can also find out if an overnight parking restriction is in effect by calling 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or by tuning in to local media.

Residents should also keep in mind that snow may be removed from city streets even when no snow is forecast. When day-time or night-time snow removal operations are planned, temporary “no parking” snow removal signs will be posted before snow removal begins. Vehicle owners are reminded not to park on streets where temporary “no parking” snow removal signs are placed. Vehicles parked during planned snow removal will be ticketed and towed to a nearby street. This restriction applies to all vehicles, including those with on-street parking permits.

For more information on winter overnight parking regulations, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

 

November 5, 2012

Ottawa Public Health flu vaccine clinics continue 

Ottawa - Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is helping residents stay healthy this season by offering flu vaccine clinics at no cost. The flu vaccine is also available at doctors’ offices, community health centres, walk-in clinics, and select pharmacies.

The following is a list of OPH flu vaccine clinics scheduled for this week:

Tuesday, November 6
West Carleton Community Complex
5670 Carp Road, Kinburn
3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 7
Jim Durrell Recreation Centre
1265 Walkley Road, Ottawa
3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 8
City of Ottawa Facility
100 Constellation Drive, Nepean
3:30 to 8:30 p.m.
* By appointment only

Saturday, November 10
Ottawa Technical Secondary School
485 Donald Street
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 13
Fred Barrett Arena
3280 Leitrim Road, Ottawa
3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The flu spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated objects. Even if you do not have flu-like symptoms, you can still spread the virus to others. Protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick this flu season by getting the flu vaccine. It is safe and easy.

The flu vaccine is recommended for all residents over six months of age.

For more information and full clinic listings visit ottawa.ca/flu , watch for daily updates on Twitter (@ottawahealth) and Facebook, or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY:613-580-9656).

 

November 2, 2012

City puts the wrap on graffiti vandalism 

Ottawa – Ottawa’s traffic signal control boxes along Bank Street (Queen Street South to Riverdale Avenue) will soon be sporting a new look.

Traffic signal control boxes along the Bank Street corridor will be covered in colourful vinyl wrap as part of a pilot project in an attempt to reduce graffiti vandalism within the city, and to lower the costs of removing graffiti from City owned property.

The wrap is coated with an anti-graffiti sealant which makes graffiti removal quicker and easier.

“Graffiti is an ongoing and expensive maintenance issue in most major cities, and Ottawa is no different”, said Mayor Jim Watson. “By finding innovative ways to reduce graffiti, we all benefit from not only a more beautiful city, but significant cost savings related to removing graffiti from public property.”

Installation of the graffiti resistant wrap is expected to reduce costs associated with graffiti removal. In 2011 alone, the pilot project area on Bank Street cost the City $4,460 for graffiti removal on traffic signal control boxes. City wide, expenditures for graffiti maintenance of traffic signal control boxes during the same time period exceeded $35,000.

“Vinyl wrap have been implemented in many Canadian municipalities as an effective tool in reducing graffiti”, stated Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “As part of the City’s ongoing Graffiti Prevention Program, I am confident we will have the same success in Ottawa.”

Canada Post recently installed graffiti resistant vinyl covers on their mail box cabinets, and the cities of Surrey and Burnaby, British Columbia use wrap on their traffic signal control boxes as a part of their graffiti management strategy.

For more information on what the City of Ottawa is doing to prevent graffiti and how the public can help, visit ottawa.ca.

 

November 2, 2012

Horticulture Building begins trek to new digs at Lansdowne 

Ottawa – The Horticulture Building began a 150-metre journey east today, to its new home as part of the revitalization of Lansdowne. The building will arrive at its new location next week at the east end of the Aberdeen Pavilion, mirroring its original home.

“Moving the Horticulture Building is part of restoring this architectural jewel, allowing it to become an active anchor between Ottawa’s heritage and the dynamic public space in the urban park,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Together the Horticulture Building and Aberdeen Pavilion will form a gateway, with the Rideau Canal as the backdrop that will link the Farmers’ Market, festivals, sports and cultural events that will happen at Lansdowne.”

During the last 20 years, the Horticulture Building, like many buildings at the site, has deteriorated greatly. The redevelopment is an opportunity to save the building and restore it to its original form and prominence on the site. Moving the building is the best way to ensure the structure is conserved, adapted for new public uses and not overwhelmed by new, taller mixed-use buildings.

To prepare for the move, 480 tonnes of steel beams were installed inside the building to strengthen and support it. The building was then lifted almost 90 cm off the ground by 60 hydraulic jacks. These jacks have now been removed and replaced with 48-wheeled dollies that will roll the building to its new location.

The relocation process has been carefully planned to protect the integrity of the building. The building moves at a walking speed and makes frequent stops in order to allow the wheels to be recalibrated and ensure it reaches its exact new location on top of the eastern corner of the parking garage.

The City of Ottawa hired CDS Building Services to conduct the move. The local company, based in Stittsville, is one of only a handful of firms worldwide with the expertise to undertake this type of structural move, while preserving the integrity of this historically significant building.

The Horticulture Building, constructed in 1914 to the design of Francis Sullivan and architect Allan Keefer, is a rare example of an exhibition hall and an excellent Canadian interpretation of the Prairie Style of architecture. Sullivan was the only Canadian student of Frank Lloyd Wright and brought Wright’s Prairie Style to Canada, marked by its horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves and windows grouped in horizontal bands, all features clearly visible in the Horticulture Building.

Bleachers have been set up at the ball diamond east of the site for anyone interested in watching the building’s progress. The building’s journey can also be seen via web-camera on ottawa.ca. It is expected that the building relocation will continue on Saturday.

For more information on the redevelopment of Lansdowne visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne.

 

November 1, 2012

Remembrance Day schedule changes 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa reminds residents of the following schedule changes for Remembrance Day (Sunday, November 11). The flags at all City of Ottawa will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise to sunset to honour the memory of all Canadians who have served their country in time of war.

Client services:

•Since Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday, Ottawa City Hall and all seven Client Service Centres, including the Government Service Centres located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, will be closed on Monday, November 12. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, November 13.
•The City’s Provincial Offences Court, located at 100 Constellation Crescent, will also be closed on Monday, November 12. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, November 13.
•The City’s 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention. Call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons with a hearing-related disability, call (TTY): 613-580-2401.

Garbage and recycling:

•Curbside green bin, recycling, garbage, and leaf and yard waste collection will take place on its regular day with no changes to the collection schedule.
•Multi-residential garbage and recycling container collection will take place on its regularly scheduled day with no changes.
•The Trail Road Landfill site will be open on Monday, November 12.

Transit service:

•OC Transpo will operate a Sunday schedule on November 11 and a regular weekday schedule on Monday, November 12. War veterans who wear their medals or uniforms may ride OC Transpo, Para Transpo and Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) for free during National Veterans’ Week – November 5 to 11. On November 11, buses will pull over to the side of the road (where it is safe to do so) to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. The Last Post and Reveille will be played over the radios of OC Transpo buses. OC Transpo operators may also wear red on November 11 in support of Canadian Forces troops. Call 613- 560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com. STO will also operate a Sunday schedule on November 11. Riders are invited to consult the User’s Guide, visit Plani-Bus on the STO web site at www.sto.ca or call 819-770-3242 for more details. The INFOBUS system also provides the exact time that the next two buses are scheduled for at a particular stop by dialling 819-778 plus the bus stop number.
•On November 11, a family can travel all day with one $7.75 DayPass. A “family” includes up to six people with a maximum of two ages 13 or older.
•OC Transpo Sales and Information Centres will be closed, November 11, and November 12 with the exception of the Rideau Centre office, which will be open from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on November 11 and from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on November 12.
•The OC Transpo Information Centre (613-741-4390) will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 11 and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on November 12.
•OC Transpo Customer Relations Department (613-842-3600) will be closed on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12.

Ottawa Public Health:

•Ottawa Public Health Information Line (OPHIL) and AIDS line – closed Monday, November 12
•Sexual Health Centre and clinics are closed Monday, November 12; however, the Site mobile van will be operating on a regular schedule from 5 p.m.to 11:30 p.m.
•Dental Clinics – Closed Monday, November 12
•Baby Express Drop-ins – Closed Monday, November 12

Recreation services:

•Pools, arenas and fitness centres will be open for public swimming, aquafitness, skating and fitness classes with regular schedules on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12. Please check with ottawa.ca or the facility of your choice for details.
•Registered programs at swimming pools, community centres and arenas will be operating on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12, however, clients should check with their facility to confirm, as some exceptions will apply.

Cultural Services:

•Most programming at arts centres, archives, galleries, theatres and museums will not be offered on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12, however, clients should check ottawa.ca or their facility to confirm, as some exceptions may apply.

Municipal child care services:

•City-operated Child Care Centres will be closed on Monday, November 12.

Library services:

•All branches, departments and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11. Regular hours will resume on Monday, November 12.

The City of Ottawa informs residents of the following parades and ceremonies being held in the various communities in and around Ottawa commemorating Remembrance Day.

Parades and Ceremonies:

•Bells Corners – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Bells Corners Branch 593), Centrepointe Drive between Constellation Drive and Chrysalis Way, and to the ceremonial site.
•Eastview/Vanier – 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Eastview Branch 462), north on Cyr Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion (294 Cyr Avenue) and Montreal Road, east on Montreal Road between Cyr Avenue and Hannah Street, and north on Hannah Street between Montreal Road and Marier Avenue, and to the Vanier Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Kanata – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Kanata Branch 638), east on The Parkway between Earl of March High School (4 Parkway) and Teron Road, south on Teron Road between The Parkway and Colchester Square, Colchester Square, and to the Kanata Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Manotick/South Carleton – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (South Carleton Branch 314), east on Beaverwood Road from the Royal Canadian Legion to Manotick Main Street, north on Manotick Main Street from Beaverwood Road to Bridge Street, east on Bridge Street from Manotick Main Street to Dickinson Street, south on Dickinson Street from Bridge Street, and to the Manotick Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Metcalfe – 10:45 a.m. to noon, ceremonial service at the Metcalfe Cenotaph in front of Old City Hall.
•National War Memorial – 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command.
•Navan – 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Colonial Road between Henn Drive and Delson Drive, and to the Navan Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Orléans – 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 632),Vimont Court and Taylor Creek Boulevard between Vimont Court and the Royal Canadian Legion at 800 Taylor Creek Boulevard, and to the Orleans Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Osgoode – 10:45 to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Osgoode Branch 589), Victoria Street between Eighth Line Road and Louise Street, and to ceremonial service at Osgoode Cenotaph in front of Municipal Building.
•Richmond – 10:45 a.m to 11:45 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Richmond Branch 625), Perth Street between the Richmond Shopping Plaza and the Richmond Memorial Park for the ceremonial service.
•Stittsville – 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Stittsville and District Branch 618), north on Stittsville Main Street between the Royal Canadian Legion, (1480 Stittsville Main Street) and Warner-Colpitts Lane, and west on Warner-Colpitts Lane between Stittsville Main Street and the Stittsville Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
•Strathcona – 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, November 4, Royal Canadian Legion (Strathcona Branch 595), Main Street between Hazel Street and Beckwith Street (Beckwith Memorial Gate) for the ceremonial service.
•West Carleton – 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 3, Royal Canadian Legion (West Carleton (Branch 616), Constance Bay Road between McConnell Lane and Allbirch Road, and Allbirch Road between Constance Bay Road, and to the Royal Canadian Legion for the ceremonial service.
•Westboro – 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480), north on Winston Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion and Madison Avenue, east on Madison Avenue between Winston Avenue and Churchill Avenue, south on Churchill Avenue between Madison Avenue and Richmond Road, and west on Richmond Road between Churchill Avenue and Broadview Avenue, and wreath laying and ceremonial service at the Westboro Cenotaph.

 

October 31, 2012

Changes to curbside waste collection begin this week 

Ottawa - Several important changes to the City’s solid waste collection schedule begin this week. Your residual household garbage will now be collected every two weeks. Your green bin will continue to be collected every week.

Blue and black box recycling will continue to be collected on alternating weeks but your schedule may have changed. Check your Collection Calendar or visit ottawa.ca to confirm what to put at the curb this week!

As part of these changes, 158,000 households will have their residual waste and recycling collected on a new day. The City of Ottawa has informed residents through a personalized letter. You can confirm your collection day by checking your Collection Calendar online at ottawa.ca.

Residents can also sign up to receive personalized reminders about their collection schedule via e-mail, phone or Twitter by visiting ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1 (613-580-2400).

One of the best ways to adapt to bi-weekly waste collection is to reduce the total amount of waste a household produces. Maximize the use of the City’s recycling programs. A list of tips was compiled on ottawa.ca to help you get the most out of your green bin. You can place out an unlimited amount of recycling each collection day.

 

October 30, 2012

Snow Go programs ready to clear the way this winter 

Ottawa - Seniors and persons with disabilities can now register for the City of Ottawa’s snow removal assistance programs.

The Snow Go Program helps seniors and persons with disabilities find reliable contractors and/or individuals to clear snow from their private driveways and/or walkways. Once matched up with snow removal help, residents are responsible for making payments directly to the individual or contractor.

Eligible seniors and persons with disabilities can also apply to the Snow Go Assist Program, which provides financial assistance and pays for a portion of their snow removal costs. Approved participants may be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of the cost of snow clearing per event, up to a seasonal maximum of $250.

This is the sixth year the City of Ottawa is partnering with the Seniors Citizens Council and local home support agencies to deliver these two winter programs.

For more information about the Snow Go Program matching service and the Snow Go Assist Program, including eligibility criteria and application process, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 to request the name of the home support agency that services your neighbourhood (TTY: 613-580-2401).

 

October 25, 2012

Public consultations being held for City of Ottawa Budget 2013 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa’s 2013 draft budget was tabled on October 24. The public will have the opportunity to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget by attending one of four regional budget consultations hosted by the City. Contact your City Councillor’s office to confirm which meeting they will attend.

*South/Rural South
Monday, October 29
7 to 9 p.m.
Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A
1701 Woodroffe Avenue, Nepean

*East/Rural East
Tuesday, October 30
7 to 9 p.m.
Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre
245 Centrum Boulevard, Orléans
Available on TV Rogers, Cable 23
*Simultaneous translation will be available.

*Central District
Thursday, November 1
4 to 6 p.m.
City Hall, Andrew S. Haydon Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa
Available on Rogers TV, Cable 22

*The session at City Hall on November 1 will include assistive listening devices and simultaneous translation. If any accessibility requirements, such as ASL sign language interpretation or CART services, are needed please call the City’s Accessibility Coordinator at 613-580-2424, ext. 16654, or e-mail accessibilityoffice@ottawa.ca.

*West/Rural West
Wednesday, November 7
7 to 9 p.m.
John G. Mlacak Community Centre, Halls C&D
2500 Campeau Drive, Kanata

Council will consider for approval 2013 budget recommendations received from all Committees of Council and relevant Boards at its regularly scheduled November 28 City Council meeting.

To have your say and provide feedback on Budget 2013:

•Attend a consultation closest to you
•Register as a public delegation at a Standing Committee budget review meeting
•Go to ottawa.ca/budget2013 for further information or use the Twitter hashtag, #ottbudget
•e-mail budget2013@ottawa.ca, use the Twitter hashtag #ottbudget, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401), or fax 613-560-2126.

 

October 24, 2012

Budget 2013 continues progress, delivers lowest percentage change in six years 

Ottawa – Today City Council tabled Budget 2013, which controls costs, finds efficiencies, and makes important investments in infrastructure and services. Budget 2013 proposes a 2.09 per cent tax rate, which is the lowest in six years, and well below the 2.5 per cent cap committed to by City Council.

“Budget 2013 reflects the priorities of Ottawa families and businesses by investing in the programs they depend on, while delivering services more efficiently,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The third budget for this Council continues the progress that has been made in putting the City on sound financial footing.”

The draft budget proposes that City Council continue its freeze on City recreation fees, and Mayor and Councillors’ office budgets, for the third year in a row. The City will reduce its workforce again this year, this time by 139 Full Time Equivalent positions. ServiceOttawa will see an additional $8.8 million in savings, providing citizens with more efficient ways to access permits, licenses and other services 24/7.

Budget 2013 includes the second year of Ottawa on the Move, a program of strategic infrastructure investments in road, sidewalk, water, cycling and sewer projects to build a better city and create jobs, while helping prepare the city for Light Rail Transit. The program will also assist in the rehabilitation of aging structures in all areas of the city. Funds are proposed to design Clegg/5th Avenue pedestrian bridge, as well as continue the implementation of the East-West bikeway from Vanier to Westboro.

“This budget continues to deliver on the priorities that were set by Council in previous years and demonstrates the commitment of City staff to continue to provide responsible financial management and respect for taxpayer dollars,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick.

Budget 2013 includes a number of initiatives that respond to pre-budget feedback expressed by residents, while making progress on priorities established by Council.

Highlights include:

•$14 million of continued funding for Council’s poverty and homelessness initiative
•$4.4 million of realigned and reallocated funding to offset changes in provincial priorities which will preserve the majority of benefits for the most vulnerable and low income residents
•$5.5 million to increase the annual contribution to Capital Funding for infrastructure maintenance and renewal as recommended in the recently approved Long Range Financial Plan
•$4.9 million to improve safety and mobility with new traffic control signals, intersection control measures, pedestrian countdown signals and the Pedestrian Facilities Program and Audible Signal Program
•$500,000 for the Older Adult Plan coming out of last year’s Seniors Summit
•$2 million for accessibility retrofit work to existing buildings and parks
•$975,000 combined operating and capital funding to increase the forest cover and combat the Emerald Ash Borer, bringing total investment to $1.8 million
•New and expanded parks and recreation facilities across the city
•$1 million for the review of the Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan
•$1 million, combined capital and operating funding for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Plan
•2 per cent increase for social service and health agencies, cultural, community and recreation funding
•$2.5 million for ongoing environmental remediation and greening of the City fleet
Budget documents are available at ottawa.ca/budget2013.

The draft budget will be discussed at Council Standing Committee meetings and four public consultations this fall. For further information on the draft budget or details about these meetings and how residents can participate, visit ottawa.ca/budget2013.

 

October 18, 2012

City launches Green Express Lane service for development applications 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa announced today progress on the Mayor´s 2012 Budget commitment of removing barriers in the processing of development applications for developers, residents, and businesses proposing to use environmentally friendly technologies or designs as part of their development.

“I am proud that the City of Ottawa has invested in its staff and put in place a program that will ensure that developers who are striving to do the right thing for the environment don’t experience unnecessary delays due to their use of new materials, construction techniques, or building design,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

To ensure that planning applications that have strong green components to them are processed in a timely fashion, the City has provided training for 22 planners and engineers to pursue their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate credential. This designation, awarded by Canada’s national green building organization, the Canada Green Building Council, recognizes that these professionals have an understanding in green building principles and practice as well as the LEED accreditation process.

“The number one thing that the development industry told us when we consulted with them was that they didn’t want special treatment, rather, they asked that they not get dragged down by delays that can accompany innovative proposals. Just like an express lane offered to travellers, we assign these applications to professionals knowledgeable in green building who can get these applications processed and to the departure gate quickly and with as few hiccups as possible,” said Planning Committee Chair Peter Hume. “The backbone of the Green Express Lane therefore are these trained staff who will now be assigned to green applications and be responsible for championing them through the development review process from start to final approval,” concluded Chair Hume.

For residents wishing to undertake smaller green projects at their homes and businesses that often only require a building permit, the City has put together new information guides for permit applications for solar domestic hot water systems as well as for photovoltaic panels to assist applicants through the permitting process. “Our goal is always to process the permit application as timely as possible,” said Chief Building Code Official Arlene Gregoire. “We hope that by providing practical information to assist applicants with their submissions, we can make it easier for them to get their permits on-time and on the first go around.”

The Green Express Lane service for development applications and the Building Code Services’ branch efforts are part of the Planning and Growth Management department’s service-oriented cultural renewal agenda, aimed at providing better service to its clients and building stronger relationships with Ottawa’s neighbourhoods.

Further information on permits for green projects can be found at: http://ottawa.ca/en/licence_permit/building_code/perm_reg/projects/index.htm or at buildingpermits@ottawa.ca

 

October 17, 2012

City accepting applications for the Better Neighbourhood Program 

Ottawa - Applications for the City’s new Better Neighbourhoods Program will be accepted starting today.

This program is part of the Neighbourhood Connection Office, which helps residents and community groups identify, prioritize and implement projects aimed at improving their neighbourhoods.

The program offers assistance to qualified groups for the development of resident-driven improvement projects aimed at addressing identified short-comings in the community or enhancing the community experience. The program is part needs assessment and part project implementation. Selected neighbourhoods will work with City staff to identify opportunities, and to plan and implement projects chosen by the community.

Projects will be supported financially by the City up to a maximum of $30K. Opportunities for neighbourhood-level projects that could be supported through the program might include making streets more walkable, park revitalizations or artistic initiatives such as street painting. Projects requiring elevated levels of funding may be referred to the City of Ottawa’s budget priority setting process.

In addition to improving the neighbourhood, these projects will provide opportunities for building relationships among residents, community groups and the City of Ottawa, leading to a stronger sense of community.

Three to four neighbourhoods will be selected for the program in 2013 and another three to four in 2014. Interested neighbourhood or community groups can submit applications until Tuesday, November 27, 2012.

Application criteria can be found on the City’s website and includes: having support from your Ward Councillor, volunteer capacity to support the projects. Priority will be given to neighbourhoods that are not actively involved in other City planning initiatives during the 2010-2014term of Council.

The focus of the Better Neighbourhoods program is urban/suburban neighbourhoods.

Date: Tuesday 16 October 2012
Contact: City of Ottawa - Media Relations (613-580-2450), mediarelations@ottawa.ca 
NR: City implements initiatives promised at spring Planning Summit 
Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Planning Committee Chair, Councillor Peter Hume, outlined today the successful implementation of several initiatives flowing from this year’s Planning Summit last April – the Guaranteed Application Timelines Initiative, the Zoning Consistency Team, and the Better Neighbourhoods Program.

“Engaging and working with residents, community leaders, businesses and developers is an important part of building Ottawa as a vibrant, liveable and economically-thriving city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “As I stated in my budget speech last year and at the Planning Summit, these efforts to connect with the public must be matched by effective planning processes and a renewed service culture internally at the City. Today, we are highlighting steps that have been taken to make these improvements.”

In this light, the City’s new Guaranteed Application Timelines Initiative (GATI) is an effective way to better ensure applications are processed within Council-approved timelines – if the application is not processed on time, the next similar application is free. GATI applies to five applications, including part lot and demolition control, and standard plan of condominium.

In addition to GATI, the Zoning Consistency Team has been created to undertake targeted and quick zoning reviews of individual properties or a group of properties in close proximity upon written a request from the Ward Councillor. In these cases, the team will ensure the zoning is appropriate in the context of the Official Plan and planning policies and recommend zoning changes to Council if required. While the Official Plan is reviewed every five years, some neighbourhoods transition quickly, and this team will help to provide ongoing certainty in planning decisions.

“We are making these changes within the Planning and Growth Management Department to improve planning processes,” noted Councillor Hume, Planning Committee Chair. “At the same time, the City is also increasing its efforts to support residents and businesses who wish to undertake small projects to benefit their neighbourhoods.”

One of these public-facing initiatives is the Better Neighbourhoods Program administered by the Neighbourhood Connection Office (NCO) that helps get residents involved in identifying neighbourhood priorities and improvement opportunities, as well as supporting residents with neighbourhood-driven projects – such as revitalizing a park or reclaiming roadway for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists.

The Better Neighbourhoods Program is accepting applications on ottawa.ca/neighbourhoods until November 27. Three to four neighbourhoods will be selected for 2013 to work with City staff to identify, prioritize and implement small-scale projects. The City will finance up to a maximum of $30,000 for a project.

On a larger scale, the City has incorporated the feedback from discussions at the Planning Summit into the priority areas of focus for the Official Plan (OP), Transportation Master Plan (TMP), and Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) reviews. Preliminary recommended policy changes related to high-rise buildings, employment lands, urban design, transit-oriented development will be released in January 2013.

For more information on these and other planning initiatives, visit ottawa.ca.

 

October 15, 2012

City performs well in municipal benchmarking survey 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa fares well among 16 municipalities in the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) 2011 Performance Benchmarking Report released today.

The report compares the performance of 16 participating municipalities from Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, including Ottawa, and presents performance results for 2009, 2010 and 2011 in several key public service areas.

“This report indicates that we are performing substantially better than the 2011 OMBI median in a number of significant service areas,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This is an encouraging report that validates the hard work of all City staff in providing excellent service to residents and it also helps us to focus on additional areas for improvement.”

Highlights for the City.

(Areas where Ottawa is performing substantially better than the 2011 OMBI median)

In the 2011 OMBI Performance Benchmarking Report, Ottawa:

•Has the second highest New Residential Units Created per 100,000 Population (757.85).
This is one per cent higher than Ottawa's 2010 result (747.6).
•Is tied for the lowest Net (Municipal) Operating Expenditure per Emergency Shelter Bed Night ($9).
•Has the second highest Annual Library Uses Per Capita (39.6) and the second highest Electronic Library Uses per Capita (19.2). The City also has the second lowest Library Operating Costs per Use and the second highest Average Number of Times in Year Circulating Items are Borrowed.
•Recorded the quickest Social Assistance Response Time to Client Eligibility (Days) (4.9).
•Ranks second highest in Sports and Recreation for the Number of Participant Visits Per Capita (Directly Provided Registered Programs) (2.36) and highest for Annual Number of Unique Users for Directly Provided Registered Programs as a Percent of Population (15.5%).
•Continues to rank second highest for the Number of Conventional Transit Trips per Capita in Service Area (123.9) and continues to rank highest for Passenger Trips per In-Service Vehicle Hour (53.79).
•Has the second lowest Operating Cost for Garbage Collection per Tonne-Residential ($79.76) and had the lowest costs in 2009 and 2010.
•Has the second lowest Operating Cost of Wastewater Treatment/Disposal per Megalitre Treated (MPMP) (178.37).
“The OMBI report provides us with valuable measures to understand the number and types of services that the City delivers, the resources used for these services, and the qualitative and quantitative outcomes for residents,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “This is an important tool for sharing best practices and to keep us accountable in our continued effort to provide quality services to all Ottawa residents.”

OMBI is a collaboration between 16 municipalities in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba and the corporate entity OMBI. Led by the Chief Administrative Officers and City Managers in each participating municipality, OMBI fosters a culture of service excellence in municipal government. It does this by creating new ways to measure, share and compare performance statistics to help councils, staff and citizens understand where their administrations are performing well and where they can make improvements. OMBI also enables experts in each of the participating municipalities to share ideas on operational practices so that they can find new ways to improve service delivery.

 

October 13, 2012

Heron Road Bridge reopens 

Ottawa - The Heron Road Bridge has reopened, ahead of schedule and on budget. Work began on the Heron Road Bridge in February 2011, with completion of the North Bridge in December 2011 and an anticipated completion date for the South Bridge of mid-November 2012. Construction work continues on Heron Road in both directions just east of the bridge.

The Heron Road Bridge Rehabilitation project is a $15 million construction project to rehabilitate the bearings, expansion joints and pavement of the bridge, and also includes waterproofing, barrier replacement, sidewalk widening, rebuilding of the approaches and utility relocation.

The Heron Road Bridge is partially funded through Ottawa on the Move. Ottawa on the Move will see $340 million of capital projects completed from 2012 to 2015 and is about renewing our infrastructure and 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.

 

October 11, 2012

Mayor Watson hands off the ball to OSEG to build the new Lansdowne 

Ottawa – Today Mayor Jim Watson and Roger Greenberg, Ottawa Sport and Entertainment Group (OSEG) partner, finalized the relationship between OSEG and the City handing off the ball to begin the next phase of construction that will revitalize Lansdowne.

“Today is an exciting day for the City of Ottawa as we get started on building the new Lansdowne,” said Mayor Watson. “We’ve talked about it, consulted with the community and national and international experts in design and engineering, put countless hours into the planning and now we’re doing it – we’re building the new Lansdowne. I am excited to see this site restored to be a civic landmark residents across our city will be proud of and enjoy for many years to come.”

The rejuvenated Lansdowne will include a renovated Frank Clair Stadium and all new south side stands that will host a CFL and professional soccer team, a revitalized Civic Centre that will be home to the Ottawa 67s as well as other events, an underground parking garage, an urban village along Bank Street including a mix of shops, restaurants and homes and 18.5 acres of park space, plazas and public areas.

““This is a time of pleasure and excitement,” said Mr. Greenberg. “The pleasure comes from finalizing the creation of our partnership with the City. The excitement in looking ahead to the work that will transform this site into a central gathering place for sports, entertainment, shopping, recreation and, for many, living.”

Construction work at Lansdowne will begin on October 15, as the contractor, Pomerleau Inc, begins to mobilize their operations at the site.

In May 2012, City Council approved some preparation activities at Lansdowne, including soil remediation, demolishing the Coliseum Building and stabilizing and relocating the Horticulture Building. This work is on track to be complete by the end of this year. Work at the Horticulture Building is on schedule to be finished in March 2013.

With current construction activities progressing well, the project remains on target to have the stadium complete for the 2014 CFL season and the remainder of the redevelopment work finished by the summer of 2015.

“I look forward to sharing our progress over the next two years with Ottawa residents as we celebrate each milestone during the construction process,” said Mayor Watson.

 

October 11, 2012

Flu vaccine now available across Ottawa 

Ottawa – The seasonal flu vaccine is now available from participating physicians and health care providers throughout the city. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has distributed 73,630 doses of the influenza vaccine to these local vaccine providers and will begin offering its annual clinics on October 27.

“It’s important to remember that anyone can get the flu. As protection against the flu virus, we encourage every resident to get their flu vaccine and to take other precautions such as hand washing and staying home when you are sick,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health. “The flu vaccine is safe and is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. I invite residents to talk to their health care provider about the vaccine or attend a free vaccination OPH community clinic starting October 27 through to December 15.”

This year, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care provided three strains of influenza vaccines for distribution, including the 2009 H1N1 strain, the influenza A/H3N2 strain, and an influenza B strain.OPH will receive enough vaccine for every resident who wishes to be immunized.

Ottawa residents have several easy options for getting the flu vaccine, including:

•Through their physician or local health care provider
•At one of the OPH clinics across Ottawa. For a complete list of these clinics, go to ottawa.ca/flu
•At a workplace immunization clinic

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, it is important that you take these precautions to keep yourself and your families healthy:

•Wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer
•Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand
•Stay at home if you are sick

Physicians and local health care providers can register for the flu vaccine program by visiting ottawa.ca/flu, by emailing vaccine@ottawa.ca or by calling Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Some Ottawa pharmacies will be offering the influenza vaccine this flu season – check with your local pharmacy to inquire about possible dates and times.

The most current information about clinic schedules is available online at ottawa.ca/flu. You can also connect with OPH on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).

 

October 11, 2012

Mayor’s Youth Summit takes place at City Hall on October 12 

Ottawa - The Mayor’s Youth Summit will be held on Friday, October 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ottawa City Hall. The registered in-person participants, plus youth who will participate in the live webcast, will have a chance to share their ideas on how to make Ottawa a more youth-friendly city.

The Summit agenda is as follows:

9 a.m. Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Honourary Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Summit, open the Summit

9:25 a.m. Speeches commence, including addresses by Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Co-President of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, and Hélène Campbell, an Ottawa youth and organ donation advocate

9:45 a.m. Keynote speaker David Hale, Soshal Group

10:30 a.m. Youth Panel/Town Hall featuring various speakers

12:55 p.m. Discussion groups (held in various meeting rooms in City Hall)

2:45 p.m. Summary of discussions and closing remarks by Mayor Watson

Activities will be held at Jean Pigott Place and Andrew S. Haydon Hall, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West.

City staff and elected officials will be on hand at the Summit to participate in six discussions groups, with each group focusing on a different topic. The topics for discussion are: employment, volunteering and civic engagement, safety, health and youth entrepreneurship.

Registration for the Mayor’s Youth Summit opened on September 10 and all spaces were filled quickly. Youth can also participate in the Summit on October 12 by following along online at ottawa.ca/youth and by submitting questions or comments on Twitter the day of the event using the hashtag #ottyouth.


October 10, 2012

Council expresses interest in new gaming facility 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa today signalled its interest to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) that it supports, in principle, becoming a host city for a gaming entertainment centre.

Ottawa has been identified by the OLG as a possible host city as it seeks to modernize and expand regulated private sector gaming in the province. Council’s expression of interest does not commit the City to a gaming facility or to a site, but it does enable the OLG to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to accept bids from proponents.

No location has been proposed or shortlisted by the OLG for any possible new gaming facility. City Council retains final approval on zoning, a discussion which would occur in 2013 after the RFP process is complete.

Because of the City’s longstanding, positive relationship with the Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR) and its importance to the local economy, the City will encourage the OLG to run a fair and competitive process which provides all proponents, including the RCR, with an opportunity to compete on a level playing field and to pre-qualify the RCR as a final bidder, given their strong record of success in the Ottawa region.

City staff will develop an analysis of the potential economic benefits of a new gaming facility and Ottawa Public Health will provide advice on the health effects and social impacts, including an overview of current mitigation measures for those at risk of problem gambling. This information will be considered when a proposal is brought forward.

Once OLG’s RFP process has been completed and a preferred proponent has been selected, there will be an opportunity for additional public delegations at a future committee meeting. This is expected to occur in 2013.

If approved, a new gaming facility could generate significant new revenue for the City of Ottawa that could be used to fund infrastructure renewal, job creation and economic development

 

October 10, 2012

Council gives final endorsement to Lansdowne redevelopment 

Ottawa – City Council today approved the reports and legal arrangements to finalize the partnership with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and move forward with building the new Lansdowne.

“I’m very pleased that Council today acted to begin the real work to restore Lansdowne to its role as a central gathering place for our city as it has served in previous generations,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Together with our partners, we are building a vibrant, urban destination that is good for our economy, links the Glebe and Old Ottawa South, creates a showpiece public park and preserves our local history and the heritage of Lansdowne now and for the future.”

With Council’s approval of all of the final legal conditions and budget, the City can start the bulk of the construction work at Lansdowne. The official legal close and signing of the reports will occur on October 12, 2012.

“We’re pleased that all the final legal conditions have been satisfied and we are now able to move forward with the construction and revitalization of Lansdowne,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “This is the result of several years of work to create a solid legal relationship between the City and OSEG. We also took the time to incorporate public feedback and the recommendations of planning and architectural experts to ensure we have very high quality designs that reflect the importance of this site to our community.”

The City also announced as part of the report that the contract to complete the construction works was awarded to Pomerleau Inc, an industry leader in the construction of commercial, residential and public buildings.

Work to be carried out by Pomerleau Inc. includes building a new underground parking garage, renovating the stadium and building the new south side stands, installing site servicing and providing overall site management. This work is anticipated to begin later this month.

In May 2012, Council approved some preparation activities at Lansdowne, including soil remediation, demolishing the Coliseum Building and stabilizing and relocating the Horticulture Building. This work is on track to be complete by the end of this year. Work at the Horticulture Building is on schedule to be finished in March 2013.

With current activities progressing well, the project remains on target to see the stadium complete for the 2014 CFL season and the remainder of the redevelopment work finished by the summer of 2015.

 

October 10, 2012

City sends letters to confirm new solid waste collection day 

Ottawa – Beginning October 9, 2012 letters were mailed to 158,000 Ottawa households informing them of changes to their solid waste collection day.

Several important changes in solid waste collection are coming the week of October 29. As part of these changes, 158,000 households will have their garbage and recycling collected on a new day. The City of Ottawa is informing these residents through a personalized letter.

Residents can also confirm their collection day, consult their collection schedule, download a calendar or sign up to receive e-mail, phone or Twitter personal reminders by visiting ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1 (613-580-2400).

Starting October 29, the City will provide a Special Considerations program to collect diapers and incontinence products on the weeks without scheduled garbage collection.

Beginning October 11, 2012, residents can get more details or register for the Special Considerations program by calling 3-1-1 (613-580-2400) or by visiting ottawa.ca.

 

October 1, 2012

Residents reminded to ensure children’s car seats are properly installed during roadside checks 

Ottawa – Today, Board of Health member Councillor Katherine Hobbs, Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health and Ottawa Police Supt. Jill Skinner, announced upcoming Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) roadside car seat safety checks designed to raise awareness among parents about the importance of proper car seat installation. From October 1 to 6, Ottawa Police and Ottawa Public Health nurses will be checking vehicles for properly installed car seats.

“Unfortunately, our experience tells us that two out of every three car seats in Ottawa are improperly secured,” said Dr. Isra Levy. “That’s why I welcome these safety checks and celebrate the many partnerships, including this one with Safer Roads Ottawa that help us make Ottawa’s roads safer.”

SRO is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department. Along with community partners, they are committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment. This year’s roadside checks coincide with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s annual seat belt campaign, and mark the 13th anniversary of seatbelt legislation in Ontario.

“For decades, seat belts have been an important life-saving tool and a legal requirement,” said Supt. Jill Skinner, Emergency Operations Directorate, Ottawa Police Service. “Road safety is a priority and Ottawa Police officers continue to work with the community to ensure that drivers are mindful and comply with the law. A properly installed car seat can make the difference between life or serious injury and death in the event of a collision.”

Ottawa Public Health recently launched the A1 Secure campaign which focuses on teaching parents and caregivers three steps to quickly increase the safety of their child passengers.

Think A1 Secure for every car ride:

Armpit level for harness chest clip.

1 finger space only between harness straps and the child’s chest.

Secure child car seat to vehicle according to the child car seat user guide.

For more information on A1 Secure campaign and car seat safety visit www.a1secure.ca call 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).

 

September 24, 2012

City steps up fight against EAB 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa continues to implement its Council approved Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) management strategy, which includes tree injection, tree planting, selective tree removal and controlling the movement of infected wood. The City is proactively identifying areas for Ash tree injection and interplanting to reduce the impact on our forest cover by this invasive species.

“Maintaining our forest cover and keeping our trees is vital to our quality of life,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “In July of this year, Council invested an additional $1 million towards efforts to mitigate the damage EAB is causing.”

Ottawa is one of two cities in Ontario to test a new form of injection for use against EAB. Used previously in the United States and approved by Health Canada, Confidor is being used in Ottawa on a small number of trees as part of a partnership with industry researchers. The City continues to rely on TreeAzin, a biologically-based insecticide, for most of its tree injections.

“The City of Ottawa has shown strong leadership in the fight against EAB,” said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “These funds will help us save some of our Ash tree canopy through injections and will allow us to plant a variety of other trees to help maintain our tree inventory,” added Councillor Maria McRae.

The City is interplanting to deal with the loss of trees as a result of EAB, close to 4,000 new trees near infested Ash trees. The City is planting larger, more mature trees to minimize the impact of losing older ash trees on neighbourhood aesthetics and overall forest cover.

The City has also updated its process for notifying residents when a new tree is interplanted on the City’s right-of-way. A general notification will be sent to all residents on a street receiving new trees. Residents receiving a new tree will be given a second notice prior to the planting.

The City is continuing with the removal of heavily infested Ash trees in the fall and winter. Affected residents will be notified in advance. All Ash products will be sent to Ottawa Cedar Lumber, who won the Request for Proposal for processing and reuse.

Residents also have the option to treat Ash trees on their private property and can find out more information by visiting ottawa.ca/eab.

 

September 19, 2012

Funding applications for civic events are now available 

Ottawa - Local not-for-profit organizations, such as volunteer-based community or recreation associations, are invited to apply for funding to provide one- to two-day civic events.

To qualify, events must have free admission, foster civic pride and develop community cohesion. Each event is linked to and celebrates a civic/statutory holiday in Ontario (i.e. New Year’s Day, Family Day, Victoria Day, Ontario Civic Holiday), is held in a specific geographic district in Ottawa, and encompasses a broad range of activities and family entertainment.

This year, the application deadline has been moved to November 1, 2012 to provide community groups with extra time to plan events. Application forms are available at City of Ottawa Client Service Centres or online at ottawa.ca.

Maximum Allocation: $3,000

For more information contact 613-580-2424, ext. 24322 or 14133 or e-mail rec-info@ottawa.ca.

 

September 14, 2012

City seeks applicants for advisory committees and boards 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa is seeking volunteers to sit on the Ottawa Police Services Board, the newly restructured Accessibility Advisory Committee; Arts, Culture, Heritage and Recreation Advisory Committee; Community Services Advisory Committee; Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee; French Language Services Advisory Committee; the Built Heritage Sub-Committee; and the Cumberland Museum Board for the term ending November 30, 2014.

You can be a part of one of these new Committees, which will focus on the City’s Term of Council Priorities.

Make a difference by becoming a volunteer member of an Advisory Committee. The City will benefit greatly from your expertise, enthusiasm and civic pride and in return, you will gain insight and knowledge of how the City works.

For more information on eligibility, roles and responsibilities and the application process, please visit ottawa.ca or contact Diane Blais at 613-580-2424 ext. 28091 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or e-mail diane.blais@ottawa.ca.

 

September 14, 2012

City launches new solid waste collection campaign 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa announced changes to the City’s solid waste collection schedule beginning October 29, 2012.

•Households will have their residual garbage collected every two weeks
•The schedule of blue and black box collection may change, but frequency of pick-up remains the same
•158,000 households will be on a new collection day
•Year-round weekly pick of the green bin will continue
The City also unveiled new dual-collection trucks that will collect both organic waste and recyclable materials at the same time.

“The switch to bi-weekly residual waste collection will save the City $10 million per year over the existing system and will reduce the number of collection vehicles on the road”, said Councillor Maria McRae, Environment Committee Chair. “This will also extend the life of Ottawa’s landfill,” added Councillor Maria McRae.

The City also launched a new collection calendar web tool that will allow residents to access their collection schedule more easily.

"One of the conveniences of this new web tool pilot is its ability to offer weekly reminders to residents," explained IT Sub-committee Chair Tim Tierney. "Instead of looking outside to see what your neighbours have put out, you can log onto our website and register for weekly collection day reminders via phone, twitter or e-mail. You can choose to receive notification the evening prior or the morning of your collection day and instantly know what will be collected."

The development of the web tool will also allow the City to add solid waste collection data to the City’s Open Data Catalogue, making it available to developers who wish to create applications.

 

September 11, 2012

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge hops on board to help with transit-oriented development 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa welcomed a team of IBM experts today as they begin a three-week, pro bono consulting engagement on ways to encourage new development along Ottawa’s future Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor.

The project is being funded by an IBM 2012 Smarter Cities Challenge grant valued at US$400,000 and will be led by a team from IBM’s global technology workforce to work closely with City leaders and deliver recommendations on the City’s LRT plan.

“We are extremely privileged to receive this free work as part of the 2012 IBM Smart City Challenge,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am looking forward to their expert recommendations on how we can turn our Transit-Oriented Development plans into action, creating new destination neighbourhoods in Ottawa”

The City is planning to create compact neighbourhoods with mixes of business and residential development around the light-rail stations through the adoption of Transit-Oriented Development plans that will be presented to planning committee for approval later this fall. The first three stations of these plans will focus on revitalizing the areas around Cyrville, St. Laurent, and VIA Rail transit stations. The IBM team will gather and analyze information from a broad spectrum of stakeholders and data sources to provide the City with recommendations on the best ways to increase market interest for residential and business growth in these areas.

Ottawa was one of two Canadian cities and 33 municipalities worldwide selected from over 150 submissions in the IBM’s 2012 Smarter Cities Challenge, a 100-city competitive grant program IBM launched in 2011.As part of the initiative, the company sends a team of IBM experts to each winning city to study and make recommendations on projects of local importance. To date, teams have developed recommendations for more than 40 cities around the world, on projects related to transportation, urban planning, sustainability, health, finance, public safety and education challenges.

“We have learned a tremendous amount about the challenges facing today's cities and how IBM, through the expertise of our employees, can add value as city leaders look for solutions,” said Normand Chatelier, corporate citizenship program manager for IBM. “We look forward to helping Ottawa’s leaders build a path to more thriving communities along the LRT corridor.”

“The long-term plan for the intensification and revitalization of these urban centres will lead to growth in transit ridership,” said Councillor Peter Hume, chair of the City’s Planning Committee. “I am looking forward to IBM’s recommendations on how to create the right conditions needed to attract residents to live and work around these transit stations. This will help us maximize the return on our investment in the Light Rail project, and help make Ottawa more liveable and economically sustainable by providing growth opportunities with infrastructure expansion.”

 

September 10, 2012

Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit Project Receives Consortia Submissions 

Ottawa – Today the City of Ottawa received submissions from three industry teams to design, build, finance and maintain the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) Project.

“We have reached another important milestone today in our effort to bring Light Rail Transit to Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I know residents are pleased to finally see progress on this vital city-building project. Council is looking forward to awarding the contract later this year and getting shovels in the ground in 2013.”

Proposals have been submitted by:

  • Ottawa Transit Partners (led by Vinci Concessions)
  • Rideau Transit Group (led by ACS Infrastructure Canada)
  • Rideau Transit Partners (led by Bouygues Travaux Publics)

Each of these teams was prequalified to submit proposals after an initial Request for Qualifications was completed in October 2011. Collectively, these firms have successfully built over $100 billion in light rail projects and 2,000 kilometres of tunnels in cities across the globe.

The City of Ottawa and Infrastructure Ontario will now commence the evaluation of these submissions, and will recommend a Preferred Proponent along with their design, cost and schedule to City Council for approval by the end of this year. Construction of the OLRT Project is anticipated to begin in early 2013 and the system is expected to enter full revenue service in spring 2018.

For more information about the OLRT Project, please visit www.ottawalightrail.ca

 

September 6, 2012

Ottawa’s “youth-friendly” attributes caught on camera 

Ottawa – Youth, ages 16 to 25, are invited to snap photographs of how they see their city as part of a photo submission project that officially launched today and will be featured as part of the Mayor’s Youth Summit on October 12, 2012.

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Honourary Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Summit, and Mandi Duhamel from Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa (CAYFO) launched the Youth Pic Ottawa photo submission project during an event today at Operation Come Home, one of the community agencies partnering with the City on the Youth Summit.

“We want to know how youth see their city and what better way to do that than by asking them to capture on camera what they think makes Ottawa youth-friendly,” said Mayor Watson. “This project is an exciting way for youth to get involved in the lead up to the Youth Summit, which will be an opportunity for them to make their voices heard on issues that are important to them.”

Photo submissions will be accepted until September 28 at cayfo.ca and the images will be prominently displayed during the day-long summit at City Hall on October 12.

“Youth have a unique perspective about what makes their city special and this photo submission project gives them the opportunity to use photography to tell us what a youth-friendly Ottawa looks like and to showcase their artistic talents through photography,” said Councillor Fleury.

Registration for the Mayor’s Youth Summit officially opens on September 10. The online registration form can be found at ottawa.ca/youth. Although spaces for the Summit are limited, youth can still participate on the day of the event through a live webcast broadcast on ottawa.ca/youth or on Twitter by using the hashtag #ottyouth.

The Summit is an opportunity for Ottawa youth to discuss important youth-oriented issues, while learning about City and community services that are available to help them achieve their goals. Youth attending the Summit will help shape their City by engaging in discussions around employment, civic engagement, arts and culture, safety, and health.

 

September 4, 2012

Nominate an outstanding resident for the Order of Ottawa 

Ottawa – Nominate an outstanding resident now for the City’s new Order of Ottawa award.

The Order of Ottawa recognizes outstanding residents who have made significant contributions to the city through their professional accomplishments in any of the following areas: arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment, and in any other field that benefits Ottawa.

Nominations for the Order of Ottawa can be completed online at ottawa.ca. Nomination pamphlets are also available at local community centres, Ottawa Public Library branches or Client Service Centres. The deadline for submission of nominations is Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

The Order of Ottawa, which was created this year by City Council to recognize excellence in the community, will be awarded annually to up to 15 of Ottawa’s most deserving individuals.

More information regarding the Order of Ottawa can be found online at ottawa.ca.

 

August 31, 2012

The City of Ottawa launches Lobbyist Registry 

Ottawa –The City of Ottawa today launched its online Lobbyist Registry, a key component of the City’s Accountability Framework, as part of a continuing commitment to making municipal government more transparent and accountable to the public.

“The Lobbyist Registry is part of an overall, balanced approach to protecting the privacy interests of individuals and organizations, while ensuring the right of the public to know how their government operates and how decisions are made,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

The Lobbyist Registry, found at ottawa.ca/lobbyist, is a bilingual online tool that provides accountability and transparency to lobbying activities by giving the public access to information about who is communicating with Members of Council and City Staff.

“Lobbying of politicians and staff is a reality, but as stewards of the public trust we must be open to our citizens and ethical in our behaviour,” said Mayor Watson. “Public policy must not be made in private and we must be accountable for our actions and decisions.”

Lobbying is considered any communication with a Member of Council or City Staff by an individual who is paid or represents a business or financial interest with the goal of trying to influence a legislative action or the outcome of a decision outside of normal processes.

While most types of interactions will not need to be registered, including speaking on the record before Council and its Committees or following a Council-approved process, in instances where lobbying has occurred, the subject matter, the client, the individual(s) lobbied, the method of communication and the date will need to be disclosed on the Registry.

The Registry will cover activities that occur on and after Saturday, September 1, 2012. In accordance with the City’s Lobbyist Registry By-law, individuals have 15 business days to register a lobbying activity. For example, any lobbying activities that occur on September 1 can be registered any time after that date until September 24 (accounting for the Labour Day holiday).

The Lobbyist Registry will be overseen by the City’s independent, arms-length Integrity Commissioner, Robert Marleau. He will begin meeting with stakeholders, responding to questions and conducting education sessions beginning on September 10, 2012.

The public can search the Lobbyist Registry by subject matter, keywords, persons lobbied, lobbyists, affected wards and dates.

 

August 28, 2012

Road safety a priority as children return to school 

Ottawa – As children head back to school, the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Service and Ottawa Public Health are reminding motorists to be cautious, drive safe and follow the rules of the road, especially near school zones and school buses.

“This time of year is exciting for children and their families as they return to school,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It’s important that motorists are aware that children will be may need to use or cross roads on their way to and from school and to exercise caution when driving in these areas.”

The City has posted five portable variable message signs at high-traffic intersections to remind drivers about the start of the school season and the need to practise vigilance when driving near schools or school buses. The signs will be in operation at these key locations for the next two weeks.

Ottawa Police Service will also be focusing on back to school road safety education and enforcement in the coming weeks.

“Every school year, Ottawa Police focuses its efforts on ensuring drivers are respecting the rules of the road related to school zones and buses,” said Acting Inspector Chris Rheaume. “It’s important to take a moment to remind ourselves that children are out on roads and sidewalks and we all have a responsibility to drive appropriately to ensure everyone's return to school is as safe as possible.”

Safer roads also mean more active and healthy children who feel safe getting back and forth from school by walking or cycling.

“Walking or biking to school is a great way for students to get exercise and achieve the minimum 60 minutes of physical activity each day,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health. “Ottawa Public Health encourages students to walk or bike to school as part of an effort to create a culture of active transportation in the city, and we all have a role to play in ensuring safer roads so our kids can lead more active lives.”

This initiative supports the larger Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a leading partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department and is committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.


August 15, 2012

Annual Cleaning the Capital ready for a fall clean sweep 

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa and Tim Horton’s are launching the 7th annual Fall Cleaning the Capital Campaign. Residents of all ages are invited to participate.

Register your cleanup project on or before September 14 to be eligible to win early bird prizes. Registration continues until October 15. Cleaning the Capital volunteers who submit their online cleanup reports by October 31 are also eligible to win one of many prizes donated by our generous sponsors.

Registration is quick and easy. Start by selecting a cleanup location. It can be a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area requiring tidying up. Projects can include litter pickup or graffiti removal. Register your cleanup project online at ottawa.ca/clean or by calling 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Cleanup starter kits for litter pickup and/or graffiti removal projects are available to all registered volunteers upon request. Litter pickup starter kits include: disposable vinyl gloves, garbage bags as well as leaf and yard waste bags. Graffiti removal starter kits include graffiti removal wipes, masks and gloves. All kits come with helpful project and safety information to guide your cleanup project.

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 an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours. Everyone stands to win! Last year, over 92,000 Ottawa residents made a difference by participating in a cleanup project.

 

July 16, 2012

Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit project receives Federal Environmental Assessment approval 

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa today announced that it has received Federal Environmental Assessment approval for the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project.

Work to achieve Federal Environmental Assessment approval began in earnest in March 2010. With this announcement the federal government now joins the provincial government, which granted its environmental assessment approval in August 2010.

“This project is the largest, most complex infrastructure project in the City’s history and today we have achieved a very important milestone,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The federal government’s endorsement of our approach is a critical step forward for us as we move towards finishing the RFP and selecting the team that will build this project.”

The OLRT project is currently in the Request-for-Proposals (RFP) phase of the procurement process. Three world class consortia have been shortlisted to compete for the project contract and Council is scheduled to ratify the winner in late 2012. Construction of the OLRT project would begin in early 2013.

The OLRT project will generate over $3.2 billion in economic activity and 20,000 person-years of employment during construction alone. Once built, the system will carry in excess of 10,000 people per hour per direction during the morning rush hour and save transit riders approximately 15 minutes from their daily commutes.

For more information about the OLRT project, please visit www.ottawalightrail.ca.

 

July 11, 2012

Council approves work to update plans guiding Ottawa’s growth 

Ottawa – City Council today gave its approval for work to proceed on updating the plans that shape the way Ottawa grows.

Council approved the statements of work for updates to the Official Plan, the Transportation Master Plan and the Infrastructure Master Plan. These are the documents that guide how and where the City will grow over the years to come, especially focusing on the next 20 years.

The transportation planning work will include updates to the City’s pedestrian and cycling plans as well as a prioritization of transit and road projects.

The Official Plan update will be a review of the document, rather than a full revision. Main areas of focus will be on: ensuring that future urban and suburban intensification projects are built to a higher level of urban design; encouraging the redevelopment of properties around Tunney’s Pasture Station to Blair Station as part of the City’s LRT project; prioritizing infrastructure rehabilitation projects to areas of the City undergoing intensification; reviewing Ottawa’s supply of employment lands to ensure that it aligns with the goals of Invest Ottawa; and, developing unique growth strategies for each of Ottawa’s rural villages.

It is not expected that this review will require changes to Ottawa’s urban boundary, as a preliminary analysis indicates there is an adequate supply of land for residential and commercial development already within the urban area. This will be confirmed in the fall when Council adopts the City’s future population projections.

There will be public consultations on the updates to these plans beginning later this year and continuing next year. The updated documents are scheduled to be before Council for consideration by the end of 2013.

 

June 18, 2012

Rideau Street Renewal Construction Project Begins June 25 

Ottawa - Reconstruction of Rideau Street will begin on Monday, June 25. This is the first phase of a two-year $28.9-million infrastructure renewal project along Rideau Street. This construction project will improve an important transportation link in Ottawa's downtown core by upgrading roadways and increasing cycling and pedestrian links, which will encourage economic development and tourism in the area.

The Rideau Street Renewal construction project will replace aging water and sewer pipes, which are up to 140 years old. This project will also replace a watermain, improve cycling connections, rebuild the deteriorating roadway and beautify the street with the addition of new trees, street furniture, sidewalks and artwork.

Beginning on July 9, Rideau Street will be reduced to westbound traffic only from King Edward Avenue to Dalhousie Street. Traffic detouring for eastbound traffic will be implemented prior to the start of construction. Eastbound traffic will be diverted to Besserer Street via Nicholas Street during this stage of construction. Eastbound general traffic on Besserer will be returned to Rideau Street via King Edward Avenue.

During phase one of the construction project, detours will divert traffic to Besserer, Murray and George Streets. Changes to traffic detouring, including OC Transpo and interprovincial trucking, will be communicated to the public through the project website, e-bulletins, and public service announcements. Transit riders may also visit www.octranspo.com for travel planning information.

Businesses will remain open and accessible on Rideau Street through the construction period.

The Rideau Street Renewal project is part of the Ottawa on the Move initiative that will allow the City to proceed with much needed city-building infrastructure projects. Ottawa on the Move will see roadwork and bridge repair, sidewalk upgrades, sewer and culvert improvements and cycling infrastructure investment across the length and breadth of Ottawa. This plan will maximize transportation choices for residents in advance of the light rail construction period and in advance of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. Through the Ottawa on the Move program, $340 million worth of projects will be completed and a record amount of funding will go towards cycling initiatives.

Further information about the Rideau Street renewal project is available on ottawa.ca/rideaurenewal or by contacting 3-1-1, or by e-mail at rideaurenewal@ottawa.ca. Residents may also sign up for an e-newsletter on the project that will be distributed as there is news to report.

 

June 8, 2012

City begins construction at Lansdowne 

Ottawa - The City will commence preliminary construction activities at Lansdowne during the week of June 11, 2012.

Further to the notice issued on May 22, 2012, the City has awarded the first two Lansdowne Park construction contracts authorized by City Council on May 9, 2012.

The first tender was awarded to EllisDon Corporation and includes:

•Foundation construction for the relocation of the Horticulture Building;
•Demolition of the Coliseum Building;
•Excavation and remediation of soils located beneath and adjacent to the buildings;
•Other related work including relocation of utilities and the removal of trees.
EllisDon is a major construction contractor and has a local Ottawa office on Queensview Drive. EllisDon was a pre-qualified contractor for the Lansdowne project and has recently completed a number of major projects including the Algonquin College Centre for Construction Excellence, the Baseline Station Tunnel and the Woodroffe Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

Following are the activities that EllisDon Corporation.is expected to undertake at Lansdowne in the next two weeks:

•Mobilizing and setting up site trailer;
•Installing modular chain link fence to the area east of the Horticulture Building to the baseball diamonds;
•Disconnecting power to parking lot lights in the contract area;
•Removing trees along Holmwood Avenue between Horticulture Building and the baseball diamonds;
•Removing trees around the Horticulture Building
•Excavating a four-feet-deep by 30-feet-wide trench around the Horticulture Building to accommodate the installation of steel beams;
•Relocating contaminated material from excavation at berm location;
•Placing clean fill from excavation in temporary storage location within the contract area.
The contract includes the removal of trees on Holmwood Avenue. Approximately 60 trees will be removed as part of current construction tender in order to access the contaminated soil for remediation and to begin preliminary work for the move of the Horticulture Building.

The City will only remove the trees that are required to do the current works (to ensure operational safety and access).

The Lansdowne revitalization project contains a detailed tree-planting plan for both Holmwood Avenue and for the entire redevelopment.

The Holmwood Tree Planting plan includes detailed conditions for soil, drainage, grading, size, spacing and species of tree to ensure acceptable site conditions for future tree planting at Lansdowne.

Existing trees that need to be removed as part of the Lansdowne implementation will be replaced following the City of Ottawa Tree Replacement Policy and the conditions set out in the Lansdowne Tree Planting plan.

The second contract was awarded to CDS Building Movers for construction management services related to the relocation and the initiation of the adaptive re-use of the Horticulture Building.

CDS Building Movers is a structural moving and consulting company dedicated to the preservation and recycling of historically significant buildings and structures.

The activities that CDS Building Movers is expected to undertake at Lansdowne in the next two weeks includes the removal of asbestos in the Horticulture Building and the removal of Horticulture windows and doors.

There will be significant activity at Lansdowne over the next year. The City is committed to ensure residents are fully informed of activities on this project. As construction work gets underway, information will be provided on Ottawa.ca.

Work on the first contract is expected to begin the week of June 11, 2012 and be completed in November 2012. Structural works to stabilize the relocated Horticulture Building will be ongoing until March 2013.


June 6, 2012

Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge project to restart 

Ottawa – Today, the City of Ottawa is pleased to announce that the City’s bonding company has finalized the selection of a prime contractor to complete the contract for the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge project.

Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. has assembled a team that will deliver the completion of the contract as the City takes over operational delivery and oversees the project. First on the priority list for the contractor is a “completion schedule” that will be developed within the next few weeks.

“This is an important infrastructure project that the community is anxious to see completed,” says Councillor Steve Desroches. “I am confident that the project is moving forward with the right team to deliver the full extent of the contract.”

The Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge project is a $48-million infrastructure project that went into receivership in March with the job approximately 60 per cent complete. Restarting the project with Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. will enable the bond company to fulfill its responsibility to ensure project completion at no additional cost to the City.

 

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