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Airport Parkway Bridge Opening Makes City More Accessible, Welcoming

For immediate release:
November 29, 2014

Ottawa – Ottawa’s reputation as a walking- and cycling-friendly city got another boost today with the opening of the Airport Parkway Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge.

Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae officially opened the bridge, calling it an important link between communities on both sides of the parkway and a means to promote safe and convenient cycle travel in the south end.

“Beyond adding to Ottawa’s cycling infrastructure, this new bridge creates an iconic gateway for those entering the nation’s capital from the airport,” said Mayor Watson. “Looking ahead to 2017, that role will be even more important as Ottawa becomes the place to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.”

“This bridge will certainly make a grand and striking portal into the city,” said Councillor McRae, “but perhaps more important will be the value it brings to the local community. Residents will enjoy shorter commute times with a direct link to the South Keys transit station and the O-Train. They will have better access to nearby recreational space and retail areas, and the shops and businesses in adjoining neighbourhoods will benefit from the increased traffic.”

The new connection will also improve access to the Sawmill Creek Cycling and Pedestrian Pathway, which opened earlier this summer. New LED lighting along the bridge and pathway from Cahill Drive West and Plante Drive to the South Keys Transit Station will greatly enhance security and safety in the evenings.


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City awards highlight efforts to retain bike parking, progress toward a paperless office, and a career commitment to the environment

For immediate release:
September 16, 2014

Ottawa – City Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee, and City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick today announced the winners of the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) during a special presentation at the City’s Environment Committee. The annual ceremony honours the innovation and leadership of City employees involved in a wide range of environmental initiatives.

The award recognizes recipients in two categories: initiatives that minimize environmental impacts across the wider community and those that reduce the City’s corporate environmental footprint.

A special lifetime achievement award was presented to Paul McCann of Public Works for a career committed to environmental sustainability. Over his 30-year career, Paul demonstrated a personal commitment to environmental excellence in all of the projects he has been involved with, including the Cleaning the Capital program, litter and graffiti programs, Adopt-A-Park/Roadway and the Green Bin program.

“Ottawa is a green city and is highly respected for its commitment to environmental initiatives,” said Councillor McRae. “My gratitude and appreciation on behalf of City Council and all residents of Ottawa go to these City employees who are leaders in carrying out these initiatives.”

The community category winner was:

  • Ring and Post Bicycle Rack Program Team. City employees re-purposed on-street parking meter posts into bike racks when the meters were removed in 2010. The project diverted tons of materials from the waste stream and increased bike parking.

The internal category winner was:

  • Upgrades to the claims and insurance software, RiskMaster Accelerator. The upgrade is a significant step toward a paperless system for the City’s Legal Services Branch and Claims Unit.

“The Environmental Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to honour the valuable and innovative work being done every year by City staff,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “This year, however, we are also pleased to offer a special lifetime achievement award to recognize the long-term commitment of individuals to building an environmentally sustainable city.”

This year’s winners were chosen from a total of 12 nominated projects that featured the work of 89 employees.


City to present 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards

12 September 2014
Media Advisory

Ottawa – Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee and Kent Kirkpatrick, City Manager, will announce the winners of the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards at Environment Committee on Tuesday, September 16. A special lifetime achievement award will also be presented at the committee meeting.

Date:                Tuesday, September 16

Time:               9:30 a.m.

Location:          Andrew S. Haydon Hall, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West 

The Environmental Excellence Award is an annual award honouring City employees for their dedication and contribution to a greener and more environmentally sustainable municipality.


Apply now for 2015 civic events program funding

 8 September 2014
 Public Service Announcement
Ottawa – Get ready to celebrate in 2015. The City of Ottawa is inviting local not-for-profit organizations such as volunteer-based community or recreation associations, to apply for funding to provide one to two-day civic events that include free admission, foster civic pride and bring a community together. 

These events must be linked to, and celebrate a civic/statutory holiday in Ontario (i.e. New Year’s Day, Family Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Ontario Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day), be held in a specific geographic district in Ottawa, and encompass a broad range of activities and family entertainment. 

Effective this year, the annual application deadline for funding will be the first Monday in November, which this year falls on November 3. The maximum allocation is $3,000 per applicant. 

Application forms are available online at or at a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre


New hold lockers at Ottawa Public Library Kiosk exceed customers’ expectations

Aug 25, 2014

Ottawa – In the first week of operations, Ottawa Public Library (OPL) customers have shown their satisfaction with the new holds lockers at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre (HCRPCC) Kiosk. In total, 86% of the available holds were picked up within five days.

On August 18, OPL launched the first holds pick-up lockers in Ontario, in an effort to increase customer service at the Kiosk location. These new hold lockers allow customers to request items from the Library catalogue and select the Kiosk as the pick-up location to retrieve their items seven days a week, during HCRPCC opening hours. Before the hold lockers were implemented, customers could only pick up their holds during two set times per week.

“Customers who visited the Kiosk at the HCRPCC were very intrigued with the new hold lockers and excited about the new system of retrieving theirs holds,” said Councillor Jan Harder, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board.  “We are thrilled to be better serving the community and I thank Councillor McRae for her leadership and support in bringing the new service to the River Ward.”

“Members of our community are thoroughly enjoying the benefits of being able to retrieve their holds anytime that the HCRPCC is open, and are particularly thrilled that the hold lockers are easy to use and accessible,” said River Ward Councillor Maria McRae. “In fact, the two customers that were most excited about this service were two older senior citizens who were pleased that they could master the machine on the first try and with almost no assistance.”

In addition to the new hold lockers, a fresh new collection of the most popular books, DVDs, music CDs, and video games has been added at the Kiosk, and stocked in multiple copies in order to increase availability for customers.

The Ottawa Public Library is the largest bilingual (English – French) public library system in North America with 33 branches, a virtual branch (, two Bookmobiles, and Canada’s first vending machine-style lending library service. Serving close to 1 million Ottawa residents, OPL’s mission is to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

For more information contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 or or visit

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Livia Belcea
Ottawa Public Library

Temporary closure of Brookfield multi-use pathway

20 August 2014

Public Service Announcement

Ottawa – Starting Wednesday, August 20, the Brookfield multi-use pathway will be closed between Sawmill Creek Drive and Brookfield Road East.

Pedestrians and Cyclists will be required to follow a signed detour along Heron Road.

This closure is due to the O-Train Expansion project, a $59 million initiative that will improve passenger service and system capacity on the eight kilometre light rail route between Greenboro and Bayview stations.

As a component of this project, the existing at-grade crossing of the Brookfield multi-use pathway will be removed and replaced with a new grade-separated crossing under the Sawmill Creek O-Train Bridge. This new crossing will greatly improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the O-Train corridor.

The re-configured pathway will open in autumn 2015.


Operating savings for first year of new in-house solid waste collection contract

18 August 2014

News Release

Ottawa – The City announced today that the in-house contracts for the collection of solid waste in two of the five residential curbside collection zones have resulted in total savings of $677,530 in the first year of the new contracts.

“Ottawa’s taxpayers can be proud of the impressive operational savings achieved through the hard work of the City and its labour union partners,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This partnership has provided quality waste removal services for our residents while achieving significant saving since 2006.”

The current in-house contracts cover waste collection in the downtown core and east end of Ottawa, two of the five residential waste collection zones in the city. These two contracts were awarded in 2011 to City staff through a managed competition process that was overseen by a fairness commissioner. The six year contracts started in October 2012 and extend until May 31, 2019.

“Efficient and cost-effective waste removal is vital to our residents,” said City Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the City’s Environment Committee. “Council is committed to ensuring excellent value for taxpayers’ money while providing top-notch service.”


Outdoor swimming season coming to a close

15 August 2014

Public Service Announcement

Ottawa - The City of Ottawa’s outdoor swimming season is coming to a close. As of Monday, August 18, beaches will no longer be supervised.


Lifeguards will be on duty at Ottawa’s five supervised beaches – Britannia, Westboro, Mooney’s Bay, Petrie Island East Bay and Petrie Island River – from noon to 7 p.m. until Sunday, August 17.

Information on beaches’ water quality is available until that time at

Outdoor pools and wading pools

Closing dates and operating hours for outdoor pools and wading pools vary between August 17 and August 31.

Information about the operating hours of your favourite wading pool or swimming pool, are available online at, or call 3-1-1.

Splash pads

Most of the City’s splash pads will continue to operate between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until September 17.

Indoor pools will continue to operate on summer schedule until Labour Day weekend.

Although the City’s summer water-related activities are coming to an end, many families and friends are still enjoying time at the cottage, boating, or swimming in backyard pools. Ottawa Public Health reminds everyone to ensure safety around water at all times.

Public swimming and other aquatic activities can still be enjoyed during the fall and winter at City of Ottawa facilities. Check out the Fall and Winter Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirs for public swimming schedules, learn to swim programs, certification programs, specialty aquatics and aquafitness classes.


City launches new recycling bin pilot project on Laurier Avenue East

23 July 2014
News Release

Ottawa - Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of Ottawa’s Environment Committee and Rideau Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury launched a pilot project for new waste and recycling bins on Laurier Avenue East today. The new streetscaping initiative is a partnership with Creative Outdoor Advertising (COA) to install four benches and nine combined waste and recycling receptacles along the avenue.

“With these new recycling bins, the City is making it easier and more convenient for residents and visitors to recycle paper and containers and to properly dispose of waste,” said Mayor Watson. “This new pilot project builds on the success of the Elgin Street pilot by testing new types of on-street containers.”

“Recycling is a key component of the City’s waste diversion plan and reduces the need for additional landfill sites,” said Chair McRae. “These new bins will make it easier for residents and visitors to recycle waste like paper and aluminum cans outside of their homes.” 

“These new bins are an excellent addition to Laurier Avenue East,” said Councillor Fleury. “Giving our residents and visitors the opportunity to put recyclables in their proper place goes a long way toward keeping our streets clean and beautiful.”

The City is partnering with COA, which has more than 30 years of experience in providing streetscaping programs to municipalities and transit authorities across North America.


Ottawa to Host 2017 and 2018 Canadian Track and Field Championships

17 July 2014

News Release

Ottawa – Ottawa will be hosting Athletics Canada’s Senior/Junior Canadian Track and Field Championships in both 2017 and 2018, at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility at Mooney’s Bay.

This national event will generate approximately $3 million in economic benefits in each of the two years.

“The City of Ottawa is pleased to welcome Athletics Canada and looks forward to hosting the athletes, coaches, families and spectators that will come here to compete, cheer and enjoy our city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Canadian Track and Field Championships is an exciting addition to our Ottawa 2017 celebration.”

“Event Central and the Parks, Recreation and Culture department will be working with the Ottawa Lion’s Track and Field Club, one of the largest track and field clubs in Canada,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee. “Together, they will create an event that celebrates our nation’s best athletes and our country’s 150thanniversary.”

‎”I am pleased that this national sporting event will be hosted in Ottawa and right in River Ward at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility,” said River Ward City Councillor Maria McRae. “The City is investing more than $300,000 in upgrades to the facility in advance of the championships. These upgrades will benefit residents of my Ward, and across Ottawa for years to come.”

Athletics Canada CEO Rob Guy praised the City for the quality of its bid, noting that, “Ottawa is one of the best organized and most enthusiastic host cities. We had a great Championship when we hosted it here in 2006, and I am confident that the 2017 and 2018 Championships will be among the best ever. I hope everyone in Ottawa comes out to see and cheer the best Olympic and Paralympic athletes from across Canada.”

Athletics Canada’s Canadian Track and Field Championships is a four-day competition for the nation’s best Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The event serves as the selection trials for national teams, such as the World Championships, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and Pan/Parapan American Games.

The “Bid More, Win More, Host More” strategy – a priority of the Economic Development and Innovation Department – was developed to attract national and world-class events. These events create growth and prosperity in the local economy.  Over the last few years, the combination of bids won and events hosted resulted in more than $40 million for Ottawa’s economy.

For more information on Event Central, visit