OTTAWA – At the first City Council meeting of the year today, Mayor Jim Watson provided a look ahead to significant projects and milestones in store for Ottawa in 2015. The annual State of the City address is an opportunity for the Mayor to provide an update on projects and priorities related to the City of Ottawa.

“2015 will be a year of momentum,” said Mayor Watson. “It’s an exciting time to be in the nation’s capital, with many significant city-building projects and milestones underway or on the horizon.”

Mayor Watson outlined the continuation and completion of community improvement projects this year, including:

 – Continuation of construction of key Confederation Line features such as the downtown tunnel and Belfast Yards

 – Opening of the Coventry Road pedestrian and cycling bridge in February

 – Continued construction of the Somerset-Donald pedestrian and cycling bridge between Sandy Hill and Vanier

 – Creation of new murals at Highway 417 underpasses at Bank Street, as well as Carling (west of Kirkwood)

 – Beginning construction on the Bayview Innovation Centre, and the expanded Arts Court and Ottawa Art Gallery

 – Opening of Miracle League of Ottawa’s accessible baseball field

Residents will also have the opportunity to experience several milestone events in the months ahead, such as:

 – A Confederation Line O-Train LRT showcase in February and March at the Aberdeen Pavilion, including a full-sized mock-up of the new Alstom Citadis Spirit train

 – A public engagement meeting on a new central library in March

 – A Tourism Summit that will focus on long-term growth strategies for Ottawa’s tourism industry

 – The Mayor’s Rural Expo will be made a permanent event, following the first two successful editions

 – The FIFA Women’s World Cup at Lansdowne and the Canadian Little League Championships in Barrhaven

Mayor Watson also shared two significant civic recognition initiatives that will be coming forward in 2015:

 – Awarding of the Key to the City to former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in March

 – Beginning the process to create an appropriate memorial to the victims of the September 2013 bus-train accident

“I look forward to collaborating closely with Members of Council and the community on these projects and more over the coming months,” said Mayor Watson. “Together, we will build momentum towards a more liveable, caring, vibrant and prosperous city.”