OTTAWA IS DISTINCT. As the capital city of Canada, it is the embodiment of the country itself. We are “Canada In One City”. We are a place of pride for all Canadians. We offer city life infused with intimacy, nature and seasons. It is where you can connect with the people who truly live by Canadian values.
Indigenous, French, English, along with people from all corners of the world, have created a diverse environment that is quintessentially Canadian. Our society is rooted in diversity, acceptance, warmth and welcome. On the horizon is the future of our city and of our country.
Ottawa is the centre of our nation’s political power. As such we enjoy many exceptional benefits and opportunities. This also creates unique challenges. Most importantly, we have a role and responsibility to represent our country well and demonstrate servant leadership in all things.
Ottawa is growing. The economic ecosystem and business community continues to collaborate and innovate with international acclaim in key sectors like technology and tourism, education and health. Public-private partnership is a cornerstone of our future.
Ottawa is one of the largest cities in our country. The pandemic disproportionately impacted Canada’s metropolitan areas which in 2018 accounted for more than 60% of national GDP and more than 82% of the population. It has been particularly difficult in our downtowns, the cores of our cities.
Canadian downtowns are highly strategic cultural and economic areas, the engines of the Canadian economy. As the downtown economy with the highest concentration of public sector employment among large Canadian cities, Ottawa was hit especially hard these last three years.
Notwithstanding this disruption, we view this time in our history as a unique opportunity to galvanize our community and reimagine the future of our downtown core in a way that we might not otherwise have contemplated. And that will prove to increase the vibrancy, diversity, and resilience of our city – today and for generations to come.
Fortunately, we have a strong economic base, innovative infrastructure, and a collaborative culture from which to build. In the last year, we have engaged subject matter experts, convened stakeholders, and contributed to various discussions about the future of downtown with some great outcomes.
The City’s new nightlife economy strategy and ByWard Market Public Realm Plan as well as Ottawa Tourism’s destination stewardship plan provide foundational frameworks in high opportunity areas. We continue to pursue partnerships at all levels of government to cultivate a competitive environment.
Radical collaboration is the order of the day to get things done. And we have reason to be optimistic. The pandemic taught us many lessons that will drive our actions for the future including working together, prioritizing progress over perfection and understanding how connected we are to each other.
The concept of building our city for our people and ensuring a high quality of life for all has been a main theme in our plans to drive business success and our economic growth. And vise versa. Economic development drives affordable housing, quality education and healthy communities.
Most importantly, a growth agenda is fundamental to our reaching our highest goals related to climate action, diversity and inclusion, and social justice. Business and city building is all part of the same picture. But the true Ottawa advantage is our people.
Young professionals who see a need, jump in with new ideas and engage others to do the same.
Resilient entrepreneurs who work together to create something new and exciting for the collective good.
Business leaders sharing their professional expertise to address community needs.
Community partners actively supporting each other and sharing resources.
Community members promoting and supporting local businesses.
Local businesses supporting community causes, cultural initiatives, and sports teams.
Corporate businesses and private sector philanthropists driving world class infrastructure.
Education and health leaders adapting to meet the ever changing needs of our citizens.
Male allies publicly supporting the advancement of women. Women leaders sponsoring young women.
Immigrant entrepreneurs advising and advocating for other immigrant entrepreneurs.
Local politicians committed to community engagement and making a difference.
These are the things happening in Ottawa every day. This is the real Ottawa story – the reason Ottawa is the best place to live. And were people live is where opportunity flows.
Welcome to the Ottawa opportunity.