Bruce Campbell receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Bruce Campbell at City Council today, in recognition of his volunteer contributions to the East Nepean Little League.

It’s safe to say that Bruce Campbell loves baseball. For the past 29 years, Mr. Campbell has served as the president of the East Nepean Little League. During his tenure, the league has hosted provincial and Canadian Little League Championship tournaments on a number of occasions, bringing tourists and teams from all over Canada and boosting the local economy. Mr. Campbell served on the Little League International Advisory Board and Little League Ontario Executive Committee, and currently serves as the treasurer of Little League Canada. He is a representative of Challenger Baseball Ontario, which provides opportunities to play baseball for children, young people and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities.

Mr. Campbell puts children and youth first, focusing his attention on building a strong house league program to teach baseball fundamentals and encourage player development. He ensures all participants have proper uniforms and works continuously with the City to improve facilities for the league and the players.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour, created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

Mayor Watson to lead economic mission to the Netherlands

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson announced today that he will lead a delegation of 20 Ottawa business and tourism leaders to the Netherlands. The five-day mission, taking place from Sunday, September 15 until Friday, September 20, will recognize the upcoming 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, which was led by Canadian forces, and will strengthen business and tourism relations between Ottawa and the Netherlands.

While in the Netherlands, the delegation will meet with partners in The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, with some delegates also travelling to Eindhoven.

The mission’s goals include:

  • Promoting Ottawa as the preferred Canadian destination for Dutch leisure and business travelers;
  • Facilitating business development in the Netherlands for Ottawa-based companies operating in key sectors, including autonomous vehicles, smart cities, software and defence; and
  • Exchanging information and best practices in areas such as flood prevention, active transportation, affordable housing and the nightlife economy.

Mayor Watson will host events in The Hague and Amsterdam, participate in meetings with Dutch counterparts and stakeholders, and sign partnership agreements advancing Ottawa’s business and tourism ties with the Netherlands.


“Ottawa has a long history of cooperation and friendship with the Netherlands, as well as strong economic and cultural ties. There are opportunities for greater collaboration in many innovative and technology sectors, as well as increased activity in leisure and business travel. I look forward to leading this delegation of business community leaders and building on our 75 years of friendship.’’
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

“From the annual Canadian Tulip Festival to skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa offers an intriguing mix of familiar-yet-different experiences for visitors from the Netherlands. Whether they’re in town for a meeting or convention, as part of an organized tour, or on a personal holiday, Dutch visitors will discover Canada in one city when they visit Ottawa. This mission allows us to expand our existing relationships and to forge new ones.”
Michael Crockatt, President and CEO, Ottawa Tourism

“As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa is a hotbed of disruptive technology, with decades of internationally recognized expertise, more than 1,750 world-class firms and the second-highest concentration of tech talent in North America. Many of these companies have established strong ties with the Netherlands. We look forward to strengthening these relationships, building new connections, and exploring mutually beneficial opportunities this week.”
Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa


Mayor Watson will be leading a delegation of 20 business and tourism leaders, representing the following organizations and local companies:

Invest Ottawa
Ottawa Tourism
Canadian Tulip Festival
Assent Compliance
Martello Technologies

Quick facts

  • As the birthplace of Princess Margriet and home of the Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa holds a special relationship with the Netherlands and the royal family.
  • The Dutch royal family took refuge in Ottawa during the Second World War.
  • In 1943, Princess (later Queen) Juliana gave birth to her third daughter, Princess Margriet, at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.
  • Immediately following the Second World War, the Dutch royal family presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulips in gratitude for the hospitality provided by the city and an additional 20,000 tulip bulbs in 1946 as a token of appreciation for Canada’s support and wartime efforts.
  • The Netherlands continues to send a gift of tulips each year to Ottawa as a symbol of international friendship.
  • As Canada’s fifth largest European trading partner and second largest source of foreign direct investment, the Netherlands is one of Canada’s most significant trade, investment and innovation partners.
  • Ottawa has a history of cooperation and friendship with The Hague, having furthered and strengthened mutual administrative, economic and cultural ties through agreements in 1984 and 1992.

Get Ready for Rail: O-Train Confederation Line to launch on September 14

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Jeremy Roberts, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-West Nepean, today announced the opening date of the O-Train Confederation Line.

Beginning Saturday, September 14, the O-Train Confederation Line will be open for service at all 13 stations along the line, from Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west to Blair Station in the east.

Today’s announcement included a symbolic transfer of the key to the system from Rideau Transit Group to the City. The Rideau Transit Group successfully completed the 12-day trial running of the light rail transit system and is in the process of fully turning over the system to the City as part of the requirements to reach Revenue Service Availability (RSA).

The O-Train Confederation Line is a $2.13 billion transit project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The 12.5-km line includes 13 stations. At peak weekday operation, the system is expected to carry up to 10,700 passengers per hour in each direction, which will make it the busiest LRT line in North America.

Real-time schedule information is available 24 hours a day by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the four‑digit bus stop number. For more details, travel planning assistance and new timetables, customers are encouraged to visit for detailed information. Customers can also call OC Transpo at 613-741-4390 if needed.

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



“With today’s announcement, we are weeks away from launching Ottawa’s transit future and welcoming passengers to our brand new LRT system. I look forward to joining all our partners on September 14 as we say ‘’all aboard!’’ Ottawa’s clean and efficient rail transit system.”

Mayor Jim Watson

“Today is a great day for Ottawa residents as they prepare for this new transit experience. Modern and efficient public transit is essential to move people to their jobs and activities. The Confederation Line will bring Ottawa into a new era for thousands of commuters.”
Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier (or François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities)

“This is exciting news for Ottawa residents. The new O-Train Confederation Line will provide fast, clean and reliable public transit for commuters in Ottawa, and make our city more accessible for both residents and visitors alike. The Ontario government believes world class cities deserve a world class public transit system, and that’s exactly what the City of Ottawa will be getting on September 14.”
Jeremy Roberts, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean

Rasha Yacob receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-Southgate Ward Councillor Diane Deans presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rasha Yacob at City Council today, in recognition of her efforts to make her community welcoming and safe.

Known to many in Albion-Heatherington as Auntie Rasha, Ms. Yacob has tirelessly volunteered to improve the community over the past eight years. She leads many initiatives including BBQs, potlucks, community gardens and Cuts for Kids, a program that gives youth in the community free haircuts.

Ms. Yacob’s passion for her community doesn’t stop there. She regularly translates for community members who do not speak English. Using WhatsApp, she created a group for Syrian refuges in her neighbourhood to share information, support and comfort.

Ms. Yacob has also led efforts to secure funds for local improvement projects, such as community gardens and a mural. Partnering with the City, Ms. Yacob cofacilitated consultations for the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods strategy and sat on the Community Development Framework Learning Forum Planning Committee, all with the goal of making her neighbourhood more welcoming and safe.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

Seniors can ride OC Transpo at no-charge on Sundays!

I am proud to honour another yet campaign promise: as of July 7, OC transpo service on Sundays will be at no-charge for seniors, in addition to no-charge Wednesdays.

Rohit Saxena receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Carol Anne Meehan presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rohit Saxena at City Council today, in recognition of his volunteer contributions to the Ottawa Humane Society.

Since 2010, Rohit Saxena has volunteered as the official photographer for the Ottawa Humane Society. Mr. Saxena’s photography brings out the personality and individuality of each sheltered animal, showcasing them to would-be adopters and helping them find their forever homes. Mr. Saxena has donated hundreds of hours for animal portraits, as well as commercial photos for publications and Ottawa Humane Society events. He helps with media pitches and loves telling stories about the animals and the value of adoption.

Mr. Saxena is also a mentor to younger photographers, showing them how to best shoot Ottawa Humane Society events and offering tips and tricks about how to take animal portraits. The organization recognized him for his tireless devotion to animals at their 2016 annual general meeting.

Mr. Saxena has donated time to his alma mater as well. Working with the Carleton Student Engineering Society, he has doubled student participation in social events and raised funds for local charities. In his honour, the society created the Rohit Saxena Award to recognize a graduating student who has made an unparalleled contribution to its vision and leadership.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

Flora Footbridge completed ahead of schedule, to open this weekend

Ottawa – Residents can plan for a brand-new way to walk or bike across the Rideau Canal starting this weekend, as the Flora Footbridge is set to open ahead of schedule. Later this week, this new pedestrian and cyclist bridge across the canal will be open to the public, connecting Clegg Street in Old Ottawa East to Fifth Avenue at Queen Elizabeth Drive in the Glebe.

The good news was shared today at an event with The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Mayor Jim Watson. The bridge was originally scheduled for completion in Fall 2019.

Along with improving safety and connectivity between mid-town neighbourhoods, the new crossing will shorten commute times and offer a dedicated active and sustainable transportation route to schools, work, entertainment and shopping sites, such as Lansdowne in the Glebe.

It will also link up with pathways connecting to Ottawa’s O-Train Confederation Line at Hurdman and Lees Transit Stations and support the City’s goals of healthy, sustainable commuting– allowing more people to walk, cycle or take transit instead of travelling by car.

This project was made possible through a funding partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Ottawa, under the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) and the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCCP). The budget for this project is $21 million.


“By connecting our neighbourhoods and helping people get around Ottawa on foot, by bike or on transit, we are making our communities safer and healthier, supporting local businesses, and protecting our environment. After years of planning, community involvement and coordination among the city, the province and our government, it’s great to see the Flora Footbridge becoming a reality for people living near or travelling along the Rideau Canal.”

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“The whole community has been eagerly anticipating the completion of the Flora Footbridge. Thanks to the great work of City staff and Pomerleau construction crews, we are able to open it ahead of schedule, providing a new way for residents and visitors to cross the canal without using a car, and making it easier for everyone to get out and experience Ottawa to the fullest.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

Ronald F. Caza receives Key to the City of Ottawa

Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to Ronald F. Caza at a ceremony at City Hall this evening, in recognition of his illustrious and distinguished legal career and his dedication to Ottawa’s francophone community.

Born in Chelmsford Ontario, Ronald Caza came to Ottawa to study Law at the University of Ottawa. He never left, working at various firms in Ottawa throughout his career before starting his own boutique firm, Caza Saikaley s.r.l./LLP. One of Mr. Caza’s most famous cases was Lalonde v. Ontario. Defending minority language rights, Mr. Caza was able to help stop the closing of the Montfort Hospital. The landmark win brought Ottawa’s Francophone community together and kept Ontario’s only French-language teaching hospital open.

Mr. Caza has successfully argued other language rights cases and has won numerous awards for his work as a lawyer. He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2017, the province’s highest honour, for his advocacy work for Francophone culture and language rights.

Mr. Caza has also been very active in the Ottawa community. He has chaired the boards of directors of several non-profit organizations, including United Way Ottawa, the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale (RGA) and Écho d’un peuple. He currently chairs the boards of directors of the Montfort Foundation, Unique FM and the Dominican University College. He has helped raise millions of dollars for the Shenkman Arts Centre and Project STEP.

The City of Ottawa has reached one million residents!

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson today celebrated a major milestone for the City of Ottawa. At an event with members of the community, Mayor Watson unveiled a new Welcome to Ottawa sign showing that our city has officially surpassed the one million population mark.

This milestone puts Ottawa in a different league of big North American cities. Ottawa is the fourth Canadian city to reach a population of one million, after Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Ottawa, Gatineau and the surrounding municipalities include almost 1.5 million people, one of the six largest metropolitan areas in Canada.

In recent years, Ottawa’s population has grown by an average of about 28 people per day, including newborn babies, newcomers, students and other Canadians moving here. Overall, 70 per cent of our population growth has been from net migration – more people moving to Ottawa than moving away.

This growth is good for the strength of our local economy – one million is a critical mass in population that will allow Ottawa to generate more opportunities, both from a larger domestic market and increased investment from global stakeholders. Our growing population can also support more cultural activities, sports events and exciting projects that give us greater worldwide visibility, a more vibrant cultural and artistic presence, and a greater capacity to attract new residents and businesses.

Ottawa is now on its way to reach another significant milestone – we will reach our second million population mark much faster than our first. As our city keeps growing, we are planning what the future of Ottawa looks like. This year, the City began work on a new Official Plan, the strategic document that guides our growth and development.

The Official Plan impacts how and where the city will grow until the decades to come, affecting future generations. Our new Official Plan will ensure that we can keep pace and adapt to change in a way that makes Ottawa an inclusive, livable and globally competitive city.


“Reaching one million in population is an important milestone for Ottawa, and an opportunity to celebrate all the reasons we have to be proud of our beautiful city. While Ottawa’s status as a G7 capital signifies our role in international governance, our residents also take pride in our rich cultural mosaic, connection with nature and the many attributes that make Ottawa a quintessentially Canadian city. That we grew to one million people with so many new residents moving here shows what an outstanding place Ottawa is to live, work, play and visit.”

– Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

Canada in One City: sharing Ottawa’s stories with the world

Brand content playbooks now available for local marketers, communicators, and storytellers

OTTAWA, June 14, 2019 — Following an event today hosted by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson to announce that Ottawa has reached the milestone of one million residents, Ottawa Tourism launched to share a new approach toward presenting Ottawa on the world stage, and to encourage people to enter a photo contest showcasing Ottawa’s dynamism. Since 2017, Ottawa Tourism and the City of Ottawa have worked with international consultants Destination Think! to uncover Ottawa’s unique attributes—our Place DNATM—and develop Ottawa’s brand identity.

On the website, marketers, communicators, and storytellers in Canada’s capital can find resources including a presentation slide deck, video, copy for newsletters, and social media content playbooks that reflect the results of this research. The goal is to align communication from local stakeholders to create the strongest message possible and build Ottawa’s reputation with external audiences through storytelling. This research summarizes Ottawa’s place brand as Canada in One City, which fulfils the promise that “Ottawa is where you can connect with Canada’s soul.”

“This is an exciting time for Ottawa, as we unveil this new place brand,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Announcing this new approach in conjunction with Ottawa reaching 1 million residents underscores the correlation between Ottawa’s visitor economy and the residents who benefit from the spending of tourism dollars in our destination. In fact, visitors spend more than $2.2 billion each year in our community.”

The new place brand includes four broad themes which combine to create the idea of Canada in One City. The brand themes are explored at and can be found with excerpts below:

  • Canada’s Village: “Whether it is your first time visiting, or where you have spent the last semester, or the last 10 years of your life living here, Ottawa welcomes you with a friendliness and accessibility unique to G7 capital cities that wield a similar level of economic and political might.”
  • Connect with Canada: “All Canadian cities are part of the fabric of the country, but not all cities are an embodiment of the country itself. In this regard, Ottawa is distinct. This is where you can connect with Canada at any moment in time. You can see beyond the present moment into what has been and what is yet to come.”
  • Joie de vivre: “It can be found in the joy of conversation, eating, travel, or celebration; it is the joy of living. Ottawans love to enjoy life, to live better, to find and pursue happiness in the place they call home and in its people.”
  • Ottawa’s Legacy: “Both our physical and social cityscapes reflect Ottawa’s many coexisting legacies. Each generation adds a new layer to our history. This city has long been home to changemakers, pioneers and those who can see beyond what is, to what can be… From policy, economy, and trade to culture, education, healthcare and the environment, fundamental Canadian values become reality in Ottawa.”

The photography contest runs between Friday, June 14 and Friday, July 19. Canadians are encouraged to share photographs that showcase how they view Ottawa through the lens of the four brand themes above. Photographs can be submitted by tagging #MyOttawa and #CanadaInOneCity on Instagram or Twitter, or through a submission form at A weekly winner will be chosen and awarded a $50 gift card from local photography store Henry’s. At the end of the contest, four runner-up prizes of a $250 gift card from Henry’s will be awarded, along with a grand prize winner in each of the four categories, who will win a $1,000 gift card from Henry’s.

About Ottawa Tourism
Ottawa Tourism provides destination development and marketing, strategic direction, and leadership in cooperation with its members and partners, welcoming leisure travellers, business travellers, group tours, and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its goal is to support the local tourism economy, fueled by an estimated 11 million visitors per year and with $3 billion in economic output for Ottawa, generating community wealth through tourism. Ottawa Tourism’s vision is to offer the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking.

For more information, please contact:
Jantine Van Kregten,Director of Communications
Ottawa Tourism 613-237-5150, ext. 1116