What has (councillor) Jan Harder done for Barrhaven?
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Did you know?
That Barrhaven
is the fastest growing area of the city, just 20 km southwest of Ottawa's downtown core.

Before municipal amalgamation in 2001, Barrhaven was a neighbourhood in the City of Nepean with fewer than 35,000 people. With the many new developments being built, Barrhaven's population will surpass 100,000 in just a few years.

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It's time to register for spring and summer recreation programs
Thursday, February 26, 2014

The Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirsare now online at ottawa.ca for spring and summer programs. Choose from a wide variety of activities including swimming lessons, fitness classes and summer camps.

  • Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Monday, March 2 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, March 3 during regular business hours.
  •  Registration for all other classes including summer camps begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Wednesday, March 4 at 9 p.m. and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, March 5 during regular business hours.

To register online or by phone you will require a client barcode and family PIN numbers. High volumes of online registrants are expected throughout the first week of registration, particularly the first evening, which could result in a longer registration experience than usual.

Residents who do not have access to the Internet are encouraged to visit City recreation centres or libraries with public Internet access. They can also visit any Client Service Centre or where customer service staff can help with registration. Some community centres may provide printed brochures for their local activities.


Ottawa Public Health offering free exercise program for adults 65+
Thursday, February 26, 2014

Ottawa Public Health’s Better Strength, Better Balance fall prevention group exercise program is starting up again in April 2015 for adults 65+ in Ottawa.

The program will provide participants with instruction by a certified fitness instructor and education on preventing falls by Ottawa Public Health nurses.

There is no cost to participate in the program which is offered twice a week for 12 weeks. This is a beginner level class for those wishing to improve strength and balance.

Registration begins on March 2, 2015. For more information, or to register, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.


Change your clocks, change your batteries
Thursday, February 26, 2014

Ottawa Fire Services reminds residents to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, at home and at the cottage, when setting clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 8.

Early detection of fires saves lives and can reduce damage to a home and its contents. Smoke alarms provide the best early warning system in the event of a fire by combining smoke detection and alarm sounding in one unit. Statistics show that fewer deaths or serious injuries occur in households where smoke alarms are installed and maintained.

Changing batteries and restocking supplies will help make sure that you and your family are ready for almost any emergency.

For more information on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, go to ottawa.ca.


Applications for Camp FFIT available March 4
Thursday, February 26, 2014

Ottawa Fire Services invites young women between the ages of 15 and 19 to apply for a position in Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training), an annual camp designed to educate young women about a career in firefighting.

Participants will experience such tasks as search and rescue, aerial ladder climb, auto extrication, forcible entry, high-rise operations, as well as wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and fighting simulated fires.

They will also meet with men and women from career and part-time Ottawa Fire Services, firefighters from neighbouring communities, and students who have graduated from the Pre-Service Fire Fighter Programs at Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale.

Applications will be available on-line at ottawa.ca on March 4, 2015 and must be returned to Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 22, 2015.


Paint it Up! mural program reduces graffiti through art
Thursday, February 12, 2014

If there is a wall in your neighbourhood that keeps falling victim to graffiti vandalism, the City of Ottawa and Crime Prevention Ottawa invite you to Paint it Up!

Now in its sixth year, the Paint it Up! program offers funding for community groups and at-risk youth to create murals in areas of the city that are experiencing high rates of graffiti vandalism. The program is one component of the City’s Graffiti Management Strategy.

Since its inception in 2010, the program has involved over 800 youth, ranging in age from 12 to 22 years, working on 43 projects across the city supported by an average project grant of $5,000. Outdoor murals have proven to be effective in managing graffiti vandalism, supporting arts and culture, contributing to economic development and providing youth engagement opportunities.

Applications for the 2015 Paint It Up! program are available on the Crime Prevention Ottawa website or by calling 3-1-1. The deadline for applications is March 27th at 4 p.m.

For more information about the Paint it Up! program and how to apply, applicants are encouraged to register for a public information session by calling 3-1-1 or e-mailing CPO@Ottawa.ca.

Information sessions will be held on the following dates:

Date: Monday, February 23, 2015
Time: 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Place: Festival Boardroom, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue, West

Date:  Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Place: Workshop 2, Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill Street


Mayor Watson to host Family Day Skating Party on Sens Rink of Dreams
Monday, February 09, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson invites everyone to the Family Day Skating Party on the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall on Monday, February 16 (Family Day) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This Family Day event is hosted by Mayor Watson, in collaboration with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the City’s Winterlude partners and Ottawa Public Health (OPH). The party will feature many of your favourite local mascots, as well as free hot chocolate from BeaverTails Pastry, and warm soup, courtesy of Whole Foods. The Tim Hortons/Rogers TV Community Cruiser will also drop by with free coffee and Timbits.

Complimentary skate sharpening will be available from the Public School Board of Eastern Ontario.

OPH will take part in the festivities, alongside partner Thinkfirst, Ottawa Chapter, providing assistance with helmet fitting and showing how residents can stay warm and safe with a thin hat, balaclava or cotton hijab worn with a helmet.

The Sens Rink of Dreams features LED lighting, a heated change hut, picnic tables and benches. It operates annually from November to March from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. While at City Hall, you can also visit the Barbara Ann Scott exhibit, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and the Karsh-Masson Gallery.


Greenbank Road Widening Detour
Friday, February 06, 2014

Beginning on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11 p.m. Greenbank Road will be closed to vehicular, cycling and pedestrian traffic in both directions between Malvern Drive and Wessex Road. The road will be closed to prepare for a new detour. Greenbank Road will reopen on Sunday, February 8 in the afternoon.

Traffic should avoid the area during this weekend closure. During the road closure, traffic will be detoured to Woodroffe Avenue. Portable Variable Message (PVMS) signs will be on site.

OC Transpo Route 170 will be detoured during the period Greenbank Road is closed.

For more information about the Greenbank Road widening project, please click here.


City celebrates Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital
Friday, February 06, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, and Bill Houldsworth of Tim Hortons, celebrated the efforts of Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital’s 2014 campaign participants and sponsors at a ceremony at Centrepointe Studio this morning.

“It’s always inspiring to see the City, the business community and legions of volunteers work together to show pride in their community,” said Mayor Watson. “The goals and the values expressed through Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital are shared by Ottawa residents in every ward, from the urban core, to rural communities to bustling suburbs.”

Every year, the spring and fall events attract more than 80,000 participants who give back to their communities through litter pick-up and graffiti removal projects. Since 1994, Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital participants have collected over 1.7 million kilograms of waste from Ottawa’s parks, roadways, bus stops, woodlots, ravines, shorelines and pathways.

“Not only is the number of volunteers who sign up for Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital truly inspiring,  the sheer volume of work they accomplish is incredible,” said Councillor Egli. “The value of their contribution to their neighbourhoods, and the City as a whole, is immeasurable.”

“Tim Hortons is proud to be a long-time sponsor of the Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital campaigns and we are dedicated to supporting this valuable initiative to keep our communities beautiful,” said Bill Houldsworth, local restaurant owner. “We look forward to the campaign’s continued success to combat litter and graffiti through community cleanup projects across the city.”

The 2015 spring Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital campaign will take place April 15 to May 15. Participants can register online at ottawa.ca/clean beginning March 15.


Have your say on the Draft Budget 2015 public consultations
Friday, February 05, 2014

Ottawa residents have an opportunity to learn more about the City’s Draft Budget 2015 and ask questions at one of four multi-ward budget consultations occurring February 9 to 14. 

Here are the dates, times and locations of each consultation session:

  • Central District – Monday, February 9, 7 to 9 p.m.
    Andrew S. Haydon Hall, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • West District – Tuesday, February 10, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
    Holy Trinity Catholic High School Cafetorium, 180 Katimavik Road (Kanata)
  • South District – Wednesday, February 11, 7 to 9 p.m.
    Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue (Nepean) 
  • East District – Thursday, February 12, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
    Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre, 245 Centrum Boulevard (Orléans)

Residents who are interested in attending, but are unsure which district session best applies to them, can contact their Councillor’s office.

The Central District consultation will include simultaneous translation, while assistive listening devices will also be featured at the Central District session.

However, individuals needing any special accessibility requirements – such as ASL sign language interpretation or CART services – are asked to contact the City’s Accessibility Coordinator at 613-580-2424, ext. 16654, or by email at accessibilityoffice@ottawa.ca.

For those who cannot attend one of the sessions, the Central District consultation will be broadcast live on TV Rogers, Câble 23, with the English tape-delayed rebroadcasts appearing on Rogers 22 at noon on both Tuesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 12. Details on Budget 2015 are also available on ottawa.ca/budget2015.

In addition, residents also have opportunities to have their say on Budget 2015 by contacting their Councillor, by email atbudget2015@ottawa.ca, or on Twitter by using #ottbudget.


Greenbank update
Friday, January 23, 2014

Construction continues on the Greenbank Road Widening project.   Currently, the Greenbank Rd detour is being constructed east of existing Greenbank Rd at the VIA railway.  The detour is being constructed to minimize traffic disruptions to the public while work continues on the overall project.  Before the Greenbank Road detour can open, work must occur on the railway track.  This work must occur overnight when there is no train traffic.  City and VIA rail representatives will be on-site while work is done and all safety requirements will be in effect.  Please be advised night-time work is planned during the evening of January 23 and overnight to January 24 and, if necessary, during the evening of January 24 and overnight to January 25.   

Once the detour road construction is complete and the new railway signals and controls have been installed and commissioned, Greenbank Road traffic will be directed onto the detour.  Work on the railway must occur at that time, as well, and will be scheduled for overnight as well.   The detour is planned to open early in February 2015.  Drivers will be notified of the upcoming change by Portable Variable Message Signs along Greenbank Road.  Police will also be on site when the detour opens to direct traffic, as needed.  Public Service Announcements and Twitter will also be used to inform the public when the detour opens.  The detour will be in effect for about two years. The Greenbank detour provide two lanes for traffic as well as a multi-use pathway to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.


Ash Removals at Stinson Park
Wednesday, January 21, 2014

Please note that Councillor Harder has received notice from the Forestry Services Branch that ash removals in Stinson Park are scheduled to start tomorrow. The removals are expected to take 3-4 days.

Please click here for more information regarding the removal and replanting plans.


City seeks public input on proposed zoning amendment
Tuesday, January 20, 2014

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a zoning review to determine appropriate locations for new, local commercial zones within residential neighbourhoods, and is seeking public input at an upcoming meeting on the proposed zoning regulations and the rezoning sites in six wards.

Date:    Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Time:  6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Many existing stores and services located in predominantly residential areas have residential zoning, which does not permit businesses other than what currently exists.

The goal of the review is to create a zoning By-law amendment that will, where appropriate, permit small-scale local businesses to continue contributing to their community. The proposed amendments also identify new locations and corridors for commercial opportunities in areas that currently only permit residential uses. 

Existing legal non-conforming commercial operations such as mom-and-pop stores in residential neighbourhoods will be reviewed as candidates for the proposed zoning changes. Without the By-law amendment, these businesses, and opportunities for other appropriate businesses, could disappear over time without the ability to reopen.

The proposed local commercial zones will be pedestrian and cyclist oriented.

The meeting will consist of a brief presentation, after which residents may review the rezoning sites by Ward and speak with City staff.

Residents are encouraged to visit ottawa.ca/neighbourhoodstores to view location maps and proposed zoning regulations and to provide any comments by February 6, 2015 to ensure they will be considered in the evaluation of the study.


Reminder: Coffee House THIS Saturday
Thursday, January 15, 2014

Just a friendly reminder that I will be holding my first Coffee House of the New Year at the new Minto Recreation Complex--Barrhaven on Saturday January 17th. If you can, please stop by, grab a coffee and chat with me in the lobby about the 2015 Budget, Winter Road Maintenance, Winter Recreation, and anything else that might be on your mind. 

On that day the Recreation Complex architect, Perkins + Will, is also sponsoring public skate and swim from 10 am to 4 pm. Two tours per hour highlighting the LEED features of the building will be held by Perkins + Will, so if you haven’t seen the beautiful building yet, here is your opportunity to get the grand tour. Have a look at the lovely art presented by the Artists of Stonebridge, who will be present at the event.

Recreational staff will have some promotional information tables on topics like drowning prevention and upcoming programs.

I hope to see you there!


Skating season begins on outdoor rinks
Monday, January 12, 2014

Thousands of volunteers are preparing the City’s outdoor rinks and, weather permitting, many rinks will be open for skating.

The City operates more than 250 outdoor rinks citywide. In addition to skating, rinks are often at the center of community events.

Outdoor rinks may close from time-to-time due to changing weather conditions. Visit ottawa.ca to find out the present condition of your favourite rink.

In the interim, the refrigerated ice pads at the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) and at the Lansdowne Skating Court (450 Queen Elizabeth Drive) are already open for skating. Follow the City on Twitter @ottawacity for updates or check ottawa.ca to make sure they are open.

Residents can also take advantage of the refrigerated ice pad at Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive).


City's approved sledding hills are open
Friday, January 9, 2014

The City of Ottawa has opened its 57 approved sledding hills. Outdoors enthusiasts are invited to sled while weather and hill conditions permit, and to keep personal safety in mind while sledding.

Please note that certified multi-impact helmets are strongly recommended.

Throughout the season, follow the City on Twitter @ottcity for updates or check ottawa.ca to make sure the sledding hills are open.


Register now for winter recreation fun
Friday, January 9, 2014

 Don’t miss out on the fun this winter. Register now for a City of Ottawa recreation program offered at our many locations throughout the city. The online Recreation eGuide and Mon guide francophone des loisirs offer a variety of instructional and recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities.

Stretch your muscles and strengthen your core in the fitness studio, weight room or pool. Dance away your winter blues while moving to the rhythm and jazzy beats; get messy creating masterpieces; take up the piano, guitar or a martial art; or boost your team spirit playing volleyball, basketball or curling.

New program opportunities are also available this winter at the recently opened Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven including an indoor walking track, 25 metre lap pool, two NHL-size rinks and a full-size gymnasium.

Skating is a winter favourite and the City offers a number of learn-to-skate programs.

You can also enjoy public skating at a City arena, or join your neighbours at the community outdoor rink. A trip to the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall or the new Skating Court at Lansdowne Park makes a perfect family outing along with a Beavertail and hot chocolate. A CSA-approved helmet is highly recommended during all skating sessions.

Please note that a client barcode and family PIN numbers are required to register for recreation programs. 
Visit ottawa.ca for more information.


Open houses scheduled on Stage 2 project's Trillium Line extension plan
Wednesday, January 7, 2014

The City of Ottawa has initiated an environmental assessment study on plans to extend the Trillium Line O-Train service south from Greenboro Station to the community of Riverside South (Bowesville Road), part of the Stage 2 light-rail expansion project. The environmental assessment of the Trillium Line expansion plan is examining the feasibility of stations at Gladstone Avenue, Confederation Heights and Walkley Road, as well as a new branch line to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

Residents can learn about the environmental assessment study at two open houses:

 

Tuesday, January 13

6 to 8 p.m. (presentation at 7 p.m.)

Jim Durrell Recreation Centre, Ellwood Hall

1265 Walkley Road

 

Thursday, January 15

6 to 8 p.m. (presentation at 7 p.m.)

St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall

523 St. Anthony Street

 

Both venues offer free parking. Transit users can find route information through the OC Transpo travel planner.

The Trillium Line plan, which includes options to serve the growing communities of Riverside South, Leitrim, the airport and adjacent lands, also allows for future conversion to electric light rail transit (LRT) technology. It is one of three environmental assessment studies being undertaken as part of Stage 2: the City’s plan to extend the benefits of rail to residents further east, west and south that will add 19 new stations and 35 kilometres to the LRT network.

The environmental assessment study is being undertaken in accordance with the transit project assessment process as prescribed in Ontario Regulation 231/08, Transit Projects. The study area includes the existing Trillium Line corridor, between Bayview and Greenboro stations, the Walkley Yard maintenance and storage facility, and the proposed southern extension.

Residents who are unable to attend an open house, or who are looking for additional information, can visit ottawa.ca/trilliumline. Materials presented at the open houses will be posted on the website. Comments and questions can also be directed to:

Colin Simpson, MCIP RPP

Senior Project Manager, Transportation Planning

City of Ottawa

110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor

Ottawa ON K1P 1J1

613-580-2424, ext. 27881

Fax: 613-580-2578

E-mail: colin.simpson@ottawa.ca

 


City seeks community torchbearer for Pan American Games Torch Relay
Monday, January 5, 2014

As the countdown to the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games continues, the City of Ottawa invites residents to nominate a community leader, local celebrity or role model to be a torchbearer for the Ottawa leg of the torch relay that starts in Canada on May 30, 2015.

“The Pan Am torch relay will arrive next summer en route to Toronto, and we want to celebrate a hometown hero with the honour of carrying the Pam Am flame in Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The torch relay is an opportunity to showcase our great city on the international stage, while recognizing a local person who has made a significant contribution to our community.”

“This is an amazing chance for our residents to call attention to the inspiring figures around them,” said Councillor Jody Mitic, Sports Commissioner for the City of Ottawa.

The City has been given the opportunity to pick one community torchbearer and the deadline for submissions is January 18, 2015. The selected torchbearer must be at least 13 years of age and a Canadian citizen or legal resident. Nominations can be submitted on ottawa.ca.

The Pan Am flame will be lit during a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before it travels to Canada on May 30, 2015. The torch relay will feature 3,000 torchbearers who will carry the Pan Am flame along its 41-day journey as participants share the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 Canadian communities. The flame will be passed for the last time on July 10, 2015, at the opening ceremony of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

The torch relay will incorporate alternative modes of transportation, including plane, train and boat, passing through five major cities outside of Ontario. The remainder of the torch relay legs are all in Ontario communities.

At the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, 7,600 top athletes from the Americas and the Caribbean will compete at more than 30 venues located in 16 municipalities across southern Ontario. 


Four new reasons to love hockey
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Are you a rec hockey player living in Barrhaven and looking for a fun, regular group to join? You'll want to check this out!

CapitalHockey.ca organizes and runs non contact adult rec programs in the Ottawa area. They have just secured four new ice times in the new Minto Recreational Complex and they're inviting you to check them out. Full-time players and occasional spares are welcome!

Their programs are designed for players of all skill levels. They are quite social and well paced...you'll have a great time!

Please visit www.myrechockey.com  or contact them by email at capitalhockey@rogers.com  for more details.

Have fun out on the ice!


Council adopts key dates for 2015 budget process
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The City of Ottawa has finalized key dates for the 2015 budget timetable and multi-ward public consultations.

2015 tax-supported budget timetable

The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.

City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.

Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation:

• Mayor Jim Watson will launch an online pre-budget public consultation starting in mid-December, asking residents to provide input via email at budget2015@ottawa.ca and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.

• Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City, to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget, dates and locations to be announced.

• All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:

o Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
o Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
o Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
o Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
o Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
o Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
o Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
o Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
o Audit Committee – Date to be announced
o IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
o Public Health Board – Date to be announced
o Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced

2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable

The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.


Council adopts key dates for 2015 budget process
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The City of Ottawa has finalized key dates for the 2015 budget timetable and multi-ward public consultations.

2015 tax-supported budget timetable

The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.

City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.

Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation:

• Mayor Jim Watson will launch an online pre-budget public consultation starting in mid-December, asking residents to provide input via email at budget2015@ottawa.ca and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.

• Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City, to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget, dates and locations to be announced.

• All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:

o Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
o Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
o Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
o Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
o Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
o Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
o Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
o Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
o Audit Committee – Date to be announced
o IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
o Public Health Board – Date to be announced
o Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced

2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable

The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.



A Winterlude tradition returns with City Snowscapes
Monday, December 8, 2014

Snow sculptures are returning to Winterlude in 2015. 

Ottawa residents are invited to compete for cash prizes in the City Snowscapes Community Snow Sculpture Competition at Lansdowne Park, part of the City’s Winter Design Festival taking place during Winterlude, January 30 to February 16. The festival marks the first celebration of Winterlude at the new Lansdowne Park. 

Sculpting teams have until Friday, January 16 to register their teams and submit designs. Everyone is welcome to apply and up to nine teams will be invited to compete. Visit ottawa.ca to register. 

Teams will be able to build their sculptures between Wednesday, February 4 at 6 a.m. and Thursday, February 5 at 2 p.m. 

Sculptures will be judged on:

  • Creativity/Originality,
  • Technique/Effort,
  • Visual Appeal
  • Communication (the power of the sculpture to capture and hold the interest of the viewer) 

Be sure to visit the snow sculptures at Lansdowne, and receive updates on the competition through FacebookTwitter andInstagram.



Ottawa musicians invited to submit tunes for #ottmusik
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Soon, anyone who is put on hold after dialing the City of Ottawa will hear local music while they wait. This is the goal of #ottmusik, a new City initiative launched by Mayor Jim Watson today with a call to local musicians.

“#ottmusik offers a new platform for local musicians to introduce and share their music with a wider audience,” said Mayor Watson. “I hope all Ottawa residents and music fans share my enthusiasm for this project and my excitement about hearing the music samples that will be submitted to #ottmusik.”

Musicians who meet the submission guidelines have until January 12 to submit music samples through the City’s website,ottawa.ca. After, residents will be encouraged to support their favourites through Facebook and on Twitter. Public feedback will help decide which songs are selected.

“With #ottmusik the City of Ottawa is furthering its commitment to provide new opportunities to Ottawa’s cultural community, while offering citizens an enhanced and unique experience when they call,” said Bay Ward Councillor Mark Taylor, who was master of ceremonies during today’s launch. “The City wants to show its appreciation for local musicians by helping them to reach a broader audience.”

An overview of the submission/selection process:

  • Interested artists can submit music, instrumental or with lyrics, in the language and style of their choice.
  • All submissions will be reviewed by a committee of select professional musicians from the Ottawa area who will recommend up to 20 songs for use on the phone systems.
  • Once the selected songs have been compiled, five to seven new songs will be showcased every three months through the phone systems.

For more information visit ottawa.ca/ottmusiken.


Gift certificates make holiday shopping easy
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This holiday season, give your family and friends the gift of recreation and culture and let them choose from hundreds of programs and classes offered by the City of Ottawa.

Christmas gift certificates are now available in denominations of $5, $10, $20 and $50, and can be purchased at any City-operated recreation and culture facility.

Gift certificates can be used at any City recreation centre or larger multi-use complex for memberships, classes or activities including fitness, pottery, ballroom dance, swimming, skating, basketball, martial arts, aerobics, playgroups and more. The options are limitless and fun is guaranteed.

Gift certificates can be used at any time of the year and have no expiry date, but hurry, they won’t last long.

For more information, visit ottawa.ca.



New City Council sets governance structure for 2014-2018 term
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

City Council today considered and approved recommendations related to the Council and Committee structure, policies, procedures and other governance matters associated with the 2014-2018 Term of Council.

Council’s Standing Committees and Sub-Committees will be as follows:

  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
  • Audit Committee (new)
  • Community and Protective Services Committee
  • Environment Committee
  • Finance and Economic Development Committee and two associated Sub-Committees: the Information Technology Sub-Committee and the Member Services Sub-Committee. The former Audit Sub-Committee is now a Standing Committee while the former Debenture Committee and the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee are eliminated.
  • Planning Committee and its associated Built Heritage Sub-Committee
  • Transit Commission
  • Transportation Committee

Council also approved the establishment of the following Advisory Committees:

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Arts, Culture, Heritage and Recreation Advisory Committee
  • Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee
  • French Language Services Advisory Committee

The former Community Services Advisory Committee is eliminated as its mandate is being accomplished through other means consistent with the City’s Public Engagement Strategy.

A Nominating Committee comprised of Mayor Jim Watson as Chair and 11 Councillors, will meet on December 9 to consider the composition of the various committees and boards and make recommendations to be considered by City Council on December 10.

Council also directed the City Treasurer to present a Budget Directions Report on December 10 with a plan for how the 2015 budget will be carried out, including a timetable.



Skating Court at Lansdowne Park opens for its first season
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Skating Court at Lansdowne Park is now open for its first season. This is Ottawa’s third and newest refrigerated outdoor skating rink, joining the SENS RINK of Dreams and the rink at Ben Franklin Place. 

“While it’s only the first season for the Skating Court, it already promises to be a huge draw for residents and tourists alike,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It’s another new feature destined to further boost the park’s quickly growing reputation as a community destination and a people place for all seasons.”

The Skating Court will remain open until March 2015, weather permitting, and will be a hub throughout the winter, uniting residents from nearby communities as well as visitors. Skaters can take advantage of all Lansdowne has to offer, including Winterlude activities when the annual festival takes place in early 2015. 

With the recently opened signalized crossing at Queen Elizabeth Drive and Fifth Avenue, skaters will also be able to move easily and safely from the Rideau Canal to Lansdowne Park, once the popular Skateway opens. 

“While Lansdowne Park has undergone considerable change over the years, it continues to be an exciting gathering place, more so now than ever,” said Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko. “There is a long history of public skating at Lansdowne, and Aberdeen Pavilion was home of one of Ottawa's earliest community rinks. The opening of the Skating Court really is carrying on a long tradition of skating at Lansdowne.”

The Skating Court at Lansdowne is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and a heated changing facility is available on site. Skaters need to bring their own skates as skate rental services are not available on site. Please note that certified multi-impact helmets are strongly recommended. Residents should check ottawa.ca to make sure the Skating Court is open. 

Skating lessons will be offered on the outdoor rink from January 4 to February 8 for children 4 and up. Registration is available atottawa.ca/recreation.



City officially opens the Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven
Monday, December 1, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, Councillor Jan Harder, and Michael Waters, CEO, The Minto Group, officially opened the new Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven this morning with a ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling during the grand opening ceremony. 

This much-anticipated 160,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility, located at 3500 Cambrian Road is a welcome addition for the residents of Barrhaven. The complex will also be a convenient recreation destination for those living in Ottawa South and the neighbouring rural areas. 

“Community and recreation centres like the Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven are the foundation for building healthy and vibrant communities and neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Watson. “This new complex will help immensely in meeting the needs of residents and families in this fast growing community.” 

This spectacular $54-million complex is built to LEED Silver standards and features a 25-metre pool with 1 and 3 metre diving boards and a “Tarzan” rope for extra fun, a leisure pool with a lazy river and hydrotherapy section, two NHL-sized arenas with seating, a gymnasium with a second storey walking track, a fitness centre, seven multi-purpose rooms, and a premium CFL/FIFA dimension artificial turf outdoor sports field 

In keeping with the City’s Percent for Art Policy, nationally recognized contemporary artists Christian Giroux and Daniel Young were commissioned to create the $300,000 artworks displayed in the main lobby. 

“These truly stunning and unique modular sculptures, entitled Mr. Kurokawa, were inspired by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa,” said Chair Taylor. “The sculptures provide a vibrant and engaging visual for visitors entering the complex, as well as the opportunity to view professional art in a public place.” 

Recreation programming at the Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven will begin in January, and the public are invited to visit the complex during regular hours starting today. Preparations are underway to allow arena bookings in December. 

The opening of the complex also coincided with RBC Sports Day in Canada, which saw the Minto Recreation Complex - Barrhaven designated as a True Sport facility.  

“We are proud to be the first facility in Canada to have included the True Sport principles as part of our overall planning, construction and programming,” said Councillor Harder. “The True Sport experience values fairness, excellence, inclusion and fun for all.”

Councillor Harder also thanked RBC for their generous support by awarding the Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven with an RBC Sports Day in Canada grant to offset the costs of today’s celebration of sport. 

Michael Waters, Chief Executive Officer, representing The Minto Group also took part in today’s celebrations

“We feel a corporate responsibility to give back to the communities that have helped make us so successful,” said Michael Waters, CEO of the Minto Group. “This partnership with the City demonstrates our belief that sports and recreation programs are one of the cornerstones of a healthy, vibrant community.” 

Naming rights to the Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven, were awarded to The Minto Group through the City’s Community Champions Program.

 

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