Ottawa – Draft Budget 2020 is a plan for an affordable, economically vibrant city that invests in core public services, closes the infrastructure gap and helps residents achieve a better quality of life. The proposed 2020 Budget adds investments in public transit, road maintenance and affordable housing.

The proposed operating budget is $3.76 billion, representing a $136.8-million increase over 2019. The three-per-cent tax increase amounts to an extra $109 for an average urban home, or about $9 a month.

The draft budget adds $15 million to the City’s affordable housing investment – repeating last-year’s record as the largest in the City’s history. Draft Budget 2020 maintains funding of $31 million for local agencies that offer housing and homelessness supports and services.

With increased support for infrastructure maintenance, the City would close the infrastructure gap – the difference between what the City spends and what it needs to spend annually to maintain infrastructure in good repair – in seven years, rather than 10 years. Without adding new debt, total investments to maintain and renew assets like roads, sidewalks and facilities would increase by $22.5 million, bringing the City to $151 million invested in 2020 – an increase of 18 per cent over 2019.

In 2020, the road resurfacing budget, including rural-road upgrades and road-surface preservation treatments, would be $51 million – up from the yearly average of $35.5 million during the previous Term of Council. For Ottawa’s rural communities, $44.5 million in infrastructure is budgeted for 2020, up from a four-year average of $39.7 million.

In response to severe winter weather challenges over the last two years, a 7.7-per-cent increase in winter operations budget is proposed, adding $5.6 million to that budget and bringing the total to $78.3 million.

The budget includes $7.5 million for bus transit, to enhance connectivity with Confederation Line stations, improve reliability, reduce wait times and expand service into growth areas.

The Budget will add $9.8 million to capital, offsetting the cancelled provincial gas tax increase. The budget includes $43 million to replace old buses and $9.6 million to support the EquiPass transit pass for lower-income residents. The cost of the EquiPass and the Community Pass for Ontario Disability Support Program recipients will be frozen at 2019 rates for one year. Draft Budget 2020 includes $6 million to introduce electric buses to OC Transpo’s fleet.

To protect the health and wellbeing of residents, the budget proposes 30 additional police officers and 14 additional paramedic staff.

The Budget commits community funding of $24.5 million for non-profit social services providers to help them deliver valuable services to residents facing the greatest needs. The budget also commits an additional $500,000 one-time funding to ensure continued support for local agencies as the City transitions to a new funding framework.

The proposed budget includes investments in the environment, including $17.5 million to rehabilitate the City’s wastewater treatment plant, $3 million to improve energy efficiency at City buildings, $3 million to rehabilitate water pumping stations and $2 million for enhanced corrosion control at the two water purification plants. The budget includes $1.5 million to plant about 125,000 trees.

The budget includes an array of projects to upgrade recreation facilities, such as sports courts, parks, theatres, outdoor rinks and museums. On top of that, it also includes $100,000 per ward, to be used at the discretion of the Councillor, to enhance recreation or park facilities. Councillors would also guide spending on $50,000 of traffic-calming projects for each ward.

The draft budget assumes a 1.5-per-cent increase in property assessment growth, worth an estimated $24.9 million.

The proposed spending plan will be considered by all Standing Committees, then by Council on Wednesday, December 11.

Residents can:

  • Register as a public delegation to make a five-minute presentation at a budget review meeting of any committee, board or commission
  • Visit to submit comments or questions online and to learn about meeting dates for committees, boards and commissions
  • Contact your City Councillor to express your view about Draft Budget 2020
  • Tweet @ottawacity using the hashtag #ottbudget
  • Call 3-1-1 / 613-580-2400 (TTY: 613-580-2401)


“Budget 2020 delivers an affordable, economically vibrant city with strong transportation links between neighbourhoods and record investments in affordable housing. We’re closing the infrastructure gap and boosting support for people services while maintaining a prudent, responsible financial approach.”
Mayor Jim Watson

“With this budget, we’re putting more resources into frontline services, including transit, paramedics and police. We are delivering more of these core services while staying within Council’s tax-increase direction and its Long Range Financial Plan.”
City Manager Steve Kanellakos


Click here to read the Budget 2020 Backgrounder.