Dalton McGuinty receives the Key to the City

Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to Dalton McGuinty at a ceremony at City Hall this evening, in recognition of his staunch commitment and steadfast dedication to public service, with the distinction of being the first Member of Provincial Parliament representing Ottawa to serve as Premier of Ontario (2003-2013). During this time, he made education, health care, the environment and the economy his priorities.

Trend Arlington Community Association receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Mayor Jim Watson and Knoxdale-Merivale Councillor Keith Egli presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to representatives of the Trend Arlington Community Association at City Council today, in recognition of their work and support for the community following a tornado on September 21, 2018.

One of six tornadoes in the region that day touched down in the Trend Arlington community, causing a significant amount of damage in Arlington Woods. City inspectors issued more than 100 unsafe building notices in the area following the tornado. The community association quickly became a recovery and information hub for residents.

The association helped lead more than 100 residents in cleaning up properties and worked with the City to coordinate volunteer efforts. It provided regular updates to residents via email and social media. It coordinated counselling and other services and provided a support system for the entire community. The association organized a memorial ceremony for its residents and continues to work with the City on recovery, rebuilding and replanting efforts.

City presents plans for future improvements on Sparks Street

Mayor Jim Watson, Tobi Nussbaum, CEO, National Capital Commission, and Councillor Mathieu Fleury today joined City staff for an update on the Sparks Street Public Realm Plan. Staff presented a refined vision and strategic design directions to guide future improvements on the pedestrian mall.

In 2018, the City opened a storefront at 79 Sparks Street to collaborate with partners and the public to create a cohesive plan for the future of Sparks Street’s public realm. Over the past several months, staff have been hard at work on that plan, using this space to engage with pedestrian mall users, offer project information to the public and work with key stakeholders.

Some of the options being considered as streetscape elements include: approximately 50 new canopy trees, aerial installation systems, digital kiosks, programmable water features, new public lounge spaces, wifi, flexible performance spaces, pockets of weather protection, heated surfaces and many new opportunities for art and interactive installations.

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mary Ellen Henniger and Barb Hayduk, two volunteer representatives of Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region, at City Council today, in recognition of their support for grieving families.

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region helps families grieve the loss of loved ones. When diagnosed with a terminal disease, many individuals deal with pain and suffering and cut themselves off from the world. This is an incredible strain on families. Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region is there to help families deal with the emotional and physical toll that suffering and death can bring.

Barb Hayduk and Mary Ellen Henniger are both volunteer group facilitators. Each has lost a loved one and relied on Bereaved Families Ontario before. With the help, advice, compassion and guidance of Hayduk and Henniger, families are able to have a deeper exploration of their grief and realize they are not alone. Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region is a comfort to families when they are at their lowest and most vulnerable, and they help families heal.

Lynne Stacey receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Mayor Jim Watson, with Councillors Matthew Luloff and Stephen Blais, presented a Mayor’s City Builder Award to Lynne Stacey at City Council today, in recognition of her dedication to her community and volunteering.

Ms. Stacey has been heavily
involved in her Queenswood Heights neighbourhood since she moved there in 1977.
She has been a pianist at Queenswood United Church for the past 40 years. Her
love of music led her to organize the Cumberland Community Singers in 1992 and
the Cross Town Youth Chorus in 1997. She also organized the Cumberland Sunshine
Singers, who visit seniors’ residences and created the Orléans Choirfest, an
annual event that has run for 33 years.

Ms. Stacey has been active in
other aspects of her community too. She has been a Girl Guides leader for 40
years. She was a founding member of the Navan Curling Club. She has been a
member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 11 years and works with the Ottawa
Rotary Club. She teaches swimming classes to people with cancer and
physiotherapy clients. In 2007, she was awarded the Governor General’s Caring
Canadian Award for her volunteer work.

Dylan Black receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

The Mayor with Councillors Allan Hubley and Rick Chiarelli, presented a Mayor’s City Builder Award to Dylan Black for his philanthropy.

Local radio and TV
personality Dylan Black is a humanitarian and philanthropist who supports many
great causes. He has supported the Max Keeping fund at CHEO and The Children’s
Wish Foundation for years. He has raised over $15,000 through various Movember
campaigns and more than $3,700 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Mr.
Black holds an annual Birthday Extravaganza that has raised close to $10,000
for various charities, including Tysen’s Mission to a Million. Mr. Black is
always willing to lend his support to local charities.

Mr. Black is an honorary
board member of Ability First Ottawa and served as honorary chair for the TELUS
Walk for the Cure! and JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research
Foundation) in 2018. Mr. Black was a recipient of the United Way Community
Builder Award in 2015. In 2017, he received the Max Keeping Humanitarian Award
by FACES Magazine. In 2019, the same publication’s voters named him the City’s
Favourite Emcee.

Greg Thurlow receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Councillor George Darouze presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Greg Thurlow at City Council today, in recognition of his volunteering and community service.

Greg Thurlow has been a true community builder in Osgoode for the past decade. Mr. Thurlow has been a member of the Osgoode Village Community Association for seven years, including two as its president. During this time, he helped organize the annual Santa Claus parade and local Canada Day festivities. He has also coordinated events at the Osgoode Care Centre, and supported a renovation project to the centre’s lounge.

A member of the local Lions Club and the Osgoode Ward Business Association, Mr. Thurlow is also very involved with the Trinity Bible Church. He has volunteered with the church’s annual Bethlehem Live production for the past two years, and serves as the church’s head usher. He helps prepare weekly meals for the children’s outreach program at the church and, with his wife, he organizes monthly lunches for community members in need. Mr. Thurlow also worked with local churches to help refugees, seniors and others in need, and he continues to motivate residents to be more involved in community events.

Elgin Street - Let's support our businesses!

As you know, the Elgin Street Renewal project officially began yesterday. This project includes a road closure of Elgin Street from Somerset to Catherine streets for this first phase of construction. While the street may be closed to vehicular traffic, Elgin is walkable and central, so it’s easy to continue to visit your favourite restaurants, shops and services in the heart of Centretown.

 I’m excited to share that businesses along Elgin Street have come together to develop “I DIG ELGIN”, a community-led campaign featuring the people, places and events that make the visit to Elgin Street worth the trip. They are planning some exciting events for 2019, so be sure to follow them on social media (@idigelgin) and check out their website.

 I also want to remind you of the free parking at City Hall after 6 pm on weekday evenings and all day on weekends and statutory holidays. It makes for an inexpensive trip to come support our cherished Centretown restaurants and shops.

 I encourage you all to continue to support the dynamic business community we benefit from on Elgin Street, and to tell your friends and colleagues about your favourite places to visit. Let’s make sure Elgin Street remains a great downtown destination during construction by supporting these local businesses and #IDIGELGIN. I know these hard-working entrepreneurs and their staff will appreciate our patronage and support throughout 2019.


Mayor Jim Watson opens Kaleidoscope exhibit

Mayor Jim Watson opened an exhibit at the City Hall Art Gallery today, featuring the latest additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection. The exhibition, entitled Kaleidoscope: 2018 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection, is on display at the City Hall Art Gallery between December 6, 2018 and January 30, 2019.

 The exhibition features 68 artworks representing 43 artists. Nineteen of these artists are new to the Collection.

 The kaleidoscope was selected as a symbol for this exhibit to highlight the diverse grouping of work and to encourage viewers to expand their awareness and see things in a new light.


Ali Tejpar receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Ali Tejpar at City Council today, in recognition of his leadership in youth engagement and his community service.

A member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee since 2017, Mr. Tejpar was instrumental in launching Ottawa’s first Mayor for a Day contest in 2018. Working closely with Mayor Watson and his office, Mr. Tejpar developed the contest to engage Ottawa students in grades nine through 12 on how to improve the city. His work included designing the application process, marketing the contest and implementing the project. The contest was such a success that a second Mayor for the Day contest will run in early 2019.

Mr. Tejpar is heavily involved with his community through volunteerism. He has worked with the World Economic Forum’s Ottawa Hub, developing community projects such as the myCanada150 photo contest. He has been a portfolio lead with the Economic Planning Board of the Ismaili Council of Ottawa, arranging workshops on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and leadership for immigrants and newcomers. Mr. Tejpar has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Ottawa.

While Mr. Tejpar finishes his Juris Doctor/Master of Arts dual degree, he has also volunteered as a member of the University of Ottawa Faculty Council, advocating for better mental health resources for students.