Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson looked ahead to a busy year of collaboration in his annual State of the City address. In 2016, residents will see continued progress on Ottawa’s LRT system, the opening of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, and two summits focused on the local economy.

“We are seeing historic amounts of investment and activity focused on growing our local economy and improving quality of life,” said Mayor Watson. “We are building a more dynamic and sustainable city by maintaining our commitment to keep taxes affordable, invest in community infrastructure and supporting job creators.”

The City of Ottawa will continue to move forward with a number of significant infrastructure projects in 2016:

  • Moving forward with the Confederation Line on time and on budget, including the completion of the downtown tunnel, assembly of vehicles, and installation of track
  • Opening the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards as a hub of entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Continuing construction of the revitalized Arts Court and expanded Ottawa Art Gallery
  • Breaking ground on the Bayshore-Moodie west transitway extension
  • Beginning construction on cycling lanes on O’Connor Street and Mackenzie Avenue
  • Continuing the final phase of the Ottawa River Action Plan with the start of construction on the Combined Sewer Storage Tunnel

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

  • Awarding of the Key to the City to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in March
  • A proposal to rename the new pedestrian and cycling bridge near Coventry Road after Max Keeping

Residents can also look forward to a number of important milestones and community events in 2016:

  • A Tourism Summit, which will focus on long-term growth strategies for Ottawa’s third-largest industry
  • A Summit on Education and the Economy, which will focus on stronger economic collaboration among universities, colleges, research institutes and other partners
  • Major events such as the Brier and the One Young World youth summit
  • Continuing to make progress towards a new main library, which has solicited interest from potential partners including Library and Archives Canada and both proponents for the LeBreton Flats redevelopment
  • Selection of locations for the Canada 150 Groves program, which will see collections of 150 Canadian native maple trees planted in each of the 23 wards in 2017

Following a successful trade and tourism mission to China and Thailand last year, Mayor Watson will lead the City of Ottawa’s first-ever business mission to India in 2016. With more than 1.2 billion people and a large middle class, India holds significant potential for several of Ottawa’s key industries including high-tech and tourism.

On January 1, 2017, Mayor Watson will host his first New Years Levy at City Hall. This will begin a year of celebrations in the nation’s capital for Canada’s 150th birthday:

  • 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships
  • 2017 Red Bull Crashed Ice
  • 2017 Roar of the Rings (Olympic trials)
  • 2017 Interprovincial Picnic on the Alexandra Bridge
  • 2017 Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conferences
  • 2017 Canadian Canoe and Kayak Championships
  • 2017 Juno Awards

For a copy of the speech:

State of the City Speech 2016

For more information:

Brook Simpson

Press Secretary

Office of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

613-580-2424, ext. 21526