Order of Ottawa inductees and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching recipients honoured for 2022

On November 3, Mayor Jim Watson honoured 15 residents who were inducted into the Order of Ottawa this year, as well as the recipient of the 2022 Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.

Mayor Watson inducted 15 people into the Order of Ottawa for 2022:

  • Natasha Bakht
  • Cynthia Bland
  • LCol Frances Chilton-Mackay, OMM, MSM, CD (Ret’d)
  • Katherine Cotton
  • Gillian Gailey
  • Gipsy Ghosh
  • Harvey Glatt
  • Jocelyn Lamont
  • Mélissa Larocque
  • Gavin Lumsden
  • Lane MacAdam
  • Janet Mason
  • Susan Richards, FCPA, FCMA
  • Zybina Richards
  • Kris Singhal

The Mayor also presented Kevin A. Ling with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, a City award that recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.

Also being honoured at the 2022 Order of Ottawa awards ceremony were former inductees Paul Hindo (2020) and Julie Richards (2021) who were unable to attend their respective awards ceremonies.

The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, entrepreneurship, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports and entertainment or other fields that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

Mayor Watson and City Council established this prestigious civic award in 2012. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Public Library.

For more information about the Order of Ottawa, please visit the Awards and Recognition page on ottawa.ca.

Biographies of 2022 recipients.


“We are proud to celebrate exceptional residents who have gone well beyond the ordinary in their professional work to help improve the lives of those in our community. The 2022 Order of Ottawa inductees are a group of individuals who enrich our city every day and inspire others to become community leaders, and it is an honour to recognize their accomplishments.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa 

Honouring our Veterans

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my late father, Beverley Watson, who served with the Royal Regiment of Canada and helped liberate the Netherlands during the Second World War.  

This month, I think of him and all those who have served and continue to serve our great nation – some giving the ultimate sacrifice. 

As Mayor, I recognized the importance of helping Veterans, appointing Deputy Mayor Matthew Luloff as City Council’s Liaison for Veteran and Military Issues in 2019. 

A former member of the Canadian Forces who served in Afghanistan in 2008 with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Councillor Luloff is the perfect representative to solidify the City’s important relationship with the 23,000 active service members and more than 53,000 veterans living in Ottawa, as well as their families.  

Councillor Luloff co-chairs the Veterans Task Force, responsible for developing a culture of supporting our veterans and their families in our community. This includes helping veterans who are experiencing challenges with their transition to civilian life, advocating for our veterans and their families, particularly those not supported by entities (i.e. VAC) to receive complete and appropriate health care, making housing more affordable and easier to secure, as well as enhancing second career opportunities for veterans and their families. 

One of the accomplishments that I’d like to highlight from this term of Council was opening the Veterans House supportive housing complex for homeless Veterans located at the former CFB Rockcliffe. 

I trust that Councillor Luloff, the Task Force and our strategic partners will continue to deliver projects, facilitate access to resources and promote opportunities for those who have served and continue to serve our great country in the years ahead. 

This year marks the 77th anniversary of Armistice Day, and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Campaign continues to run from October 30 to November 11.  

Visit www.legion.ca/contact-us/find-a-branch to find poppies near you. 

P.S. This is my final column as Mayor of the City of Ottawa. I want to thank all those who participated in the democratic process by volunteering, donating and, most importantly, voting. While the makeup of City Council looks a lot different for the upcoming term, I am confident that our representatives will work hard to build on the momentum of the last 12 years. We have many important projects underway that will continue to transform our nation’s capital for years to come, and I can’t wait to see it all come to fruition. 

Why the 2022 municipal election matters

Over the last twelve years, our nation’s capital has grown to be a vibrant and diverse city of a million people with so much to boast about.

From the launch of Stage 1 LRT to our record investments in affordable housing.

From the Ottawa 2017 celebrations to a flourishing arts and culinary scene.

Or the opening of countless community centres and a thriving tech sector for local start-ups and business giants alike.

Since 2010, we’ve also expanded our cycling network by 58%.

The list goes on and on.

This fall, Ottawa residents will head back to the ballot box.

You may hear your family members, friends or colleagues say: “Another election? Why should I care?”

For starters, we rely on the municipal government much more on a day-to-day basis than we think. Whether you’re turning on the lights in your home, filling up a glass of water from the tap, walking on a cleared sidewalk, hopping on a bus to get to a community centre, or calling 9-1-1… Those are all City services – and we all expect these basic services to be delivered to us every single day.

Secondly, those elected this fall will ultimately oversee a number of transformative projects that will have an impact on the development of our city for years to come. We need to ensure that those who we elect will work to build on the momentum of the last few terms: Stage 2 & 3 LRT, revitalizing LeBreton Flats, opening Ādisōke, the new net-zero central library, building the new Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital – and so much more.

Last but not least: we can’t give up on democracy. In June’s provincial election, we saw the lowest voter turnout in Ontario’s history. Nearly three years of living through a pandemic, paired with an increase in vitriol on social media have resulted in a lack of interest on the part of voters and an apprehension on the part of potential candidates to register.

While we’re all tired, we can’t let fatigue and hatred overshadow the fact that this election will have major impacts on our city’s future.

So do your research, ask the tough questions, and vote for people who will continue to work for a better Ottawa.

Vote like the future of our city depends on it – because it does.

Vote like our democracy is at stake – because it is.

We’re far from perfect, but we should be proud of the progress we have made as a city and as a community.

I love this city, and I know you do too.

Voting Day is Monday, October 24. Advance Vote Days take place on October 7 and October 14 from 10 am to 8 pm. To find your assigned voting location or for more information about the 2022 municipal election, please visit:


Trick or Treat with the Mayor!

I am pleased to invite you and your families to the annual Trick or Treat with the Mayor event, scheduled this year on Saturday, October 29th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Ottawa City Hall.
This safe Halloween event will again be in support of the Ottawa Food Bank's Baby Basics Program. The Baby Basics Program targets the most vulnerable members of our society, infants and toddlers, whose parents lack the resources to adequately provide for them.
As a result of this program, expensive items such as formula, baby food and diapers are made available to assist families in need.
The City of Ottawa is proud to partner with Treat Accessibly to help make trick-or-treating accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Additional information is available on the event webpage at https://ottawa.ca/en/mayors-events/trick-or-treat-mayor

Honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Friday, September 30 marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This day provides an opportunity to bring awareness to the painful legacy and impact of the residential school system. It is a time to advance our reconciliation efforts to build a better future for everyone in our community.

The federal government established the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in 2021 in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action #80(link is external). The Calls to Action(link is external) provide important direction for all levels of government, institutions and all Canadians to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance reconciliation.

City services will operate on different schedules on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. To learn more, please visit National Day for Truth and Reconciliation schedule changes.

Working towards reconciliation

The City continues to make progress towards our reconciliation commitments. Ottawa is built on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, and the Ottawa region is home to an estimated 40,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, alongside the Principles of ReconciliationOpens in a new tab or window(link is external), informed the development of the City’s first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2018, which included work aimed at raising cultural awareness for City staff.

In 2022, the City established a new Indigenous Relations Branch. This team works alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to identify opportunities for systemic changes that improve access to programs and services. It also supports the City’s work to further reconciliation, including a renewal of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

How you can honour the day

On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we can learn and reflect on the meaning of this day by attending an event, reading the Truth and Reconciliation report, speaking and listening to Elders or taking a moment for quiet reflection. Reconciliation is a shared responsibility for all Canadians and requires action not just on this day but every day.

Here are a few ways to observe and honour the day:

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the flags at City Hall, including the Survivor’s Flag, and flags at all City facilities will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise on Friday, September 30 until sunrise on Saturday, October 1. Additionally, the following buildings will be illuminated in orange:

  • Marian Dewar Plaza from sunset on Thursday, September 29 to sunrise Saturday, October 1
  • Heritage Building, from sunset on Friday, September 30 to sunrise on Saturday, October 1
  • OTTAWA sign in the ByWard Market, from sunset on Friday, September 30 to sunrise on Saturday, October 1
Wearing orange: a symbol of commemoration

Whether you’re attending an event or taking some time to learn on your own, we encourage you to wear an orange shirt on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to help spread awareness.

Friday, September 30 coincides with Orange Shirt Day(link is external), which honours the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a former residential school student who had her orange shirt taken away on her first day at residential school.

The orange shirt has become a symbol of commemoration of the experiences of Indigenous children who were removed from their families to attend residential schools where their language and culture were repressed, and many children endured physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Last year, thousands of unmarked graves were discovered across Canada at former residential school sites. The work to uncover additional graves continues today in a number of Indigenous communities. In response to these discoveries, the Assembly of First Nations and other Indigenous groups organized a visit with Pope Francis where he offered an apology to survivors for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook(link is external)Twitter(link is external) and Instagram(link is external).

City unveils new Swim City program for 2023

Today, Mayor Jim Watson helped the City make a splash at the Minto Recreation Complex with the unveiling of Swim City – the new swimming lesson program that starts in January 2023.

With the Red Cross phasing out swimming lesson programs as part of their services, the City’s Recreation, Cultural, and Facilities Services department designed its own program that includes four streams:

  • Swim Tots (under 3 years) contains three levels
    • Little Dippers 1, Little Splashers 2, Little Jumpers 3
  • Swim Creatures (3-5 years) contains five levels
    • Mikinàk/Turtle 1, Omagakì/Frog 2, Màng/Loon 3, Nigig/Otter 4, Amik/Beaver  5
  • Swim Colours (6-14 years) contains 10 levels
    • Yellow 1, Coral 2, Red 3, Magenta 4, Purple 5, Navy 6, Aqua 7, Seafoam 8, Green 9, Lime 10
  • Adult/youth swim courses contain three levels
    • Sw'imtroduction 1, Sw'immersion 2, Sw'improvement 3

The program follows a familiar structure of lessons to make for an easy transition from the previous program. Participants can collect stickers for their Swim City map as they successfully complete each level.

The development of Swim City also focused on community involvement, which included a contest for children and youth to choose names and colours for the levels for Swim Colours, Swim Creatures and Swim Tots. The contest garnered close to 1,000 submissions. The contest winners and artists were on-hand at today’s event to help unveil the new levels.


Pre-school lessons connect to Anishinabe Algonquin culture

In addition, the names of the Swim Creatures levels for pre-school children were developed in consultation with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaberg First Nation. Dean Ottawa, an artist from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, created artwork of these creatures that swim in the Ottawa River.

The names of creatures are written in the Anishinabemowin Algonquin language, English and French on the stickers and program materials. Adopting elements of the Anishinaberg Algonquin culture creates an important connection that will help children to better appreciate Anishinabe Algonquin culture and nature.


New Swim City, new registration system

The launch of Swim City coincides with the launch of the new registration system for recreation and cultural programs later this fall on ottawa.ca/recreation. The new system is a more modern client experience and clients can search for an activity – like swimming lessons – and filter by location, age group, and level. Stay tuned for the specific dates when activities go live online, along with the registration dates. If you have an account in our current registration system, please sign on and ensure your information is up to date.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.




Aquatic programming has been a popular recreation activity for generations of children and youth in our community. The Swim City program starts a new era but continues the long City tradition of providing important swimming skills to our children and developing lifeguards and instructors for the next generation.  Incorporating an appreciation of Anishinabe Algonquin culture and our natural history into the Swim City program further strengthens that community bond.”

Mayor Jim Watson


“Ear-to-ear smiles, splashes and friends are what come to mind when I think about that timeless journey of learning to swim. Through our new Swim City program,  thousands of Ottawans will gain confidence and skills to enjoy a lifelong love of swimming, while learning to be safe around water.”

Dan Chenier, General Manager, City of Ottawa Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Services


Dear friends,

The end of this term of Council is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to clean up my office at City Hall. Over the years, I've collected many items that I simply won't be able to store at home. So, I've decided to host a silent auction as a way for me to share some of those items with you while raising funds for a great organization, the Ottawa Food Bank. Why the OFB?

  • The Ottawa Food Bank is reporting the highest service figures in its 38-year history
  • From February to March 2022, 24% increase in food bank / food cupboard visits, which represents over 35,000 visits
  • March 2022 saw a 39% increase in local food bank demand from 2017, which represents over 51,000 people
  • March 2022 also saw 8% of total food bank visits being first time users
  • Contributing factors include inflation hitting the highest levels since 1991, food costs increasing 22% since 2009, high housing costs, high gas prices, and the ending of pandemic support programs

I hope to see you all there for a fun evening!

James Duthie receives the Key to the City

Last night, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to James Duthie in recognition of his tremendous accomplishments as a journalist, author, charity ambassador and award-winning sports broadcaster.

James Duthie is one of Canada’s best-known sportscasters and is the popular host of TSN’s extensive and award-winning hockey coverage. His coverage spans the Grey Cup, Super Bowl, Masters, several Olympic Games and later this year, he will also host Canada’s second ever appearance at the World Cup of Soccer.

Duthie’s work has earned him multiple awards including eight Canadian Screen Awards for Canada’s Best Sportscaster and the Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award from Sports Media Canada.

Outside of sports-broadcasting, Duthie is a charity ambassador, representing Children Believe (formerly the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada), and is the author of four best-selling books.



“James Duthie is a remarkable journalist and has brought many Canadians joy and excitement through his dedication to sports coverage at the national and international levels. He is not only a strong ambassador of sport but is also devoted to supporting those in need. Today, I am honoured to present the Key to the City to James Duthie.”

Mayor Jim Watson


Key facts 

  • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s highest and most prestigious award.
  • The Key to the City was first presented in 1902 by His Worship Fred Cook to Lady Minto.
  • Previous Key to the City recipients include author Margaret Atwood, photographer Yousuf Karsh, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, actress Sandra Oh and retired hockey player Daniel Alfredsson.
  • The Key to the City was last awarded to golfer Brooke Henderson.



James Duthie is one of Canada’s best-known sportscasters and is the popular host of TSN’s extensive and award-winning hockey coverage. He not only covers hockey for TSN, but also covers the Grey Cup, the Super Bowl and the Masters. James Duthie has also hosted coverage of several Olympic Games, including the unforgettable 2010 Games in Vancouver, British Columbia and in November, he will be hosting Canada’s second ever appearance at the World Cup of Soccer.

Duthie’s entertaining and sharp-witted style continues to make him a fan favourite across Canada, making him one of the most-followed media personalities on Twitter. His natural charisma and extensive history in sports broadcasting allows him to gain exclusive interviews with some of the biggest stars in sports and entertainment. Duthie’s work has earned him multiple awards including eight Canadian Screen Awards for Canada’s Best Sportscaster, and the Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award from Sports Media Canada.

When he’s not sports-broadcasting, Duthie is giving back as a charity ambassador, representing Children Believe (formerly the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada) in the cause to help children around the world overcome poverty and achieve their full potential. He is also the author of four best-selling books, including his most recent, Beauties: Hockey's Greatest Untold Stories, which was #1 on the bestseller list in Canada in 2020.

James grew up in Gloucester and began his career in Ottawa at CJOH-TV. He now lives in Aurora, Ontario with his wife Cheryl and three children.

Wake Up! Campaign: Ottawa Fire Services will be knocking on doors this week

Firefighters from Ottawa Fire Services will visit homes across the city from September 12-19th checking to ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are present and working.

Ontario’s Fire Code requires that homes have a working smoke alarm on each floor and outside each sleeping area. Carbon monoxide alarms are also required outside sleeping areas if the home has an attached garage, a wood stove or a fuel-fired appliance.

Firefighters will ask to inspect your alarms and provide information on fire safety and home escape planning. Homeowners who do not have working smoke alarms may have one installed for them or be provided with new batteries for free.

Visits will take place between 6 and 8 pm on weekdays, and between 2 and 4 pm 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.

Firefighters will only visit select areas and will leave fire safety information in the mailbox if no one is home.

Firefighters have been visiting homes every spring and fall since the Wake Up program began in 2005, except when public health guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic prevented it.

To learn what is involved in a firefighter home visit, watch the Wake Up video. Visit ottawa.ca/fire for more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Flags immediately lowered to half-mast at all City sites and Books of Condolences available at Ottawa City Hall and online to honour the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada

The flags at all City of Ottawa sites have been lowered to half-mast immediately and will remain at half-mast until sunset on the day of the funeral (date to be determined), in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, who passed away on Thursday, September 8.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II participated in many Royal Tours since her reign began in 1952 and is the most traveled Monarch in the world. She made 22 official visits to Canada between 1957 and 2010 and journeyed from coast to coast to coast, having visited Ottawa 13 times. The longest reigning monarch in British and Commonwealth history, her absence will be felt significantly by all members of the Commonwealth. 

Books for Messages of Condolences will be available for residents to sign in Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall (open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday) as of Friday, September 9 at 9:30 am until sunset on the day of the funeral or memorial service (date to be determined). Residents can also leave Messages of Condolences online at ottawa.ca.