On March 20, 2021, I had the great honour of surpassing Stanley Lewis as the longest serving Mayor in our city’s history. Achieving this milestone was possible thanks to your many years of support. As I reflect back on my time as Mayor, I wanted to highlight some of the things I am most proud of accomplishing.

Thank you, Ottawa.
Jim Watson's Signature



  • Launched Stage 1
  • Stage 2 under construction
  • Next priority: Stage 3 to Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven



  • Ottawa River Action Plan
  • Record number of trees planted
  • Introduction of electric buses
  • Doubled the number of community gardens across the city



  • Record investments in cycling infrastructure
  • 1st urban segregated bike lane in a city in Ontario
  • 1150 kilometres of City bike paths


Bridge Builder

  • Vimy Memorial Bridge
  • Adàwe Crossing
  • Flora Footbridge
  • Jackie Holzman Bridge
  • Chief William Commanda Bridge
  • Max Keeping Footbridge



  • Record investments in affordable housing
  • 10-Year Housing & Homelessness Strategy
  • Long Range Financial Plan now approved
  • New supportive housing for veterans opening this year


City Hall as a people place

  • Increased community use of spaces available on site
  • Opened two new art galleries and the Sports Hall of Fame
  • Launched the Sens Rink of Dreams
  • Created the Order of Ottawa to recognize exceptional residents

Women Gender Equity

Gender Equity

  • Appointed the City’s first Council Liaison for Women and Gender Equity
  • Launched the City’s Women and Gender Equity Strategy
  • Ensured gender parity on advisory committees and boards

Anti Racism

Anti-Racism Initiatives

  • Appointed the City’s first Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives
  • Created the Anti-Racism Secretariat
  • Brought together the Somali Working Group
  • City of Ottawa named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (Globe & Mail) six years in a row

Shaw Centre

Conference Centres

  • New world-class spaces at the Shaw Centre and the EY Centre
  • Thousands of large-scale events over the years, boosting the local economy
  • Record meetings and convention business in 2017

Community Centres

New Community Centres

  • State-of-the-art facilities with improved programming, equipment and accommodations
  • Minto (Barrhaven)
  • François Dupuis (Orléans)
  • Richcraft Centre (Kanata)

Libraries Building

New Central Library

  • Breaking ground on a net zero carbon facility
  • Joint effort with Library and Archives Canada
  • Accessible and welcoming space for all to connect, learn, discover and create


Ottawa Art Gallery

  • Revitalized Arts Court
  • Record attendance in first year
  • Important cultural addition to the downtown core


Lansdowne Revitalization

  • Increased jobs and economic activity
  • New community garden, more greenspace and trees
  • New sporting events for the community



  • Record-breaking Ottawa 2017 celebrations
  • Increase in year-over-year visits to the nation’s capital
  • Record funding support for Ottawa Tourism


Economic Development

  • Created Invest Ottawa
  • Opened the Innovation Centre
  • Kept tax rate stable and predictable
  • Created the House of Sport at the RA Centre


COVID-19 Support

  • Vaccination campaign launched
  • Support for small businesses throughout the pandemic
  • Buy Local Campaign and Business Reopening Toolkit
  • Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
  • 15 per cent tax discount for 10,000 small businesses


Rural Ottawa

  • Rural Economic Development Strategy
  • Rural Tourism Strategy
  • Created the Mayor’s annual Rural Expo


  • Funding for La Nouvelle Scène
  • Opening of la Maison de la Francophonie
  • Increase in French programming
  • Fewer complaints related to French language services

Labour Peace

Labour Peace

  • Not one day lost to labour disputes in 10 years
  • Decline in grievances

Greater Intergovernmental Relations

Greater Cooperation

  • Seat for Mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau on the NCC Board
  • Improved collaboration with provincial and federal governments


Our Heritage

  • Created the Heritage Matters Task Force
  • Opened the new James Bartleman Archives Building
  • Created the Heritage Building Watch List


Less Regulation, More Enjoyment

  • More than tripled the number of patios at restaurants
  • More and varied food trucks across the city
  • Buskers and public art in transit stations

Speech Bubble

Open and Accessible Government

  • Fewest in-camera meetings in the new City’s history
  • Citizen representatives on Transit, Public Health and Built Heritage committees
  • Posted expenses of elected officials online
  • Created the lobbyist registry
  • Hired the City’s first Integrity Commissioner
  • Ottawa ranked second most open city in North America (Open Cities Index 2020)

Natural Disaster Relief

Natural Disaster Relief

  • Coordinated the City’s response to two floods and tornadoes
  • Appointed a Council Liaison on Flood Issues
  • Assisted property owners that were affected by natural disasters