Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Bay Ward Councillor Theresa Kavanagh presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Tom Marcantonio at the start of the City Council meeting today, in honour of his outstanding volunteerism and philanthropy.

Since 2009, Mr. Marcantonio has been visiting schools to share his knowledge of sustainable, urban, community farming. Mr. Marcantonio has helped 10 Ottawa high schools to install and grow their own gardens. His vision is to see parts of Ottawa’s greenbelt cultivated to produce 50 per cent of all the food consumed in Ottawa.  In recognition of his work to promote community gardening and sustainable food, in 2019 Mr. Marcantonio was featured as a CBC Ottawa Trailblazer.

In 2014 Mr. Marcantonio also participated in the Better Neighbourhoods Project, helping to set up a community oven at Bayshore Park to operate alongside the community garden there. He taught residents how to grow their own produce to put on pizzas they could then bake in the oven.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour, created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.