Ottawa Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

About My City: Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is the capital of Canada and is located on the Ottawa River on Ontario's eastern boundary with Québec, about 200 km west of Montréal. On 1 January 2001, 11 area municipalities merged with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton to create a “new” city. The amalgamated city encompasses the former municipalities of Ottawa, Vanier, Nepean, Kanata, Gloucester and Cumberland; the townships of Rideau, West Carleton, Goulbourn and Osgoode; and the village of Rockcliffe Park. Ottawa’s demographics are distorted by the presence of high-paid, stable government jobs so that the poverty is often hidden. Thousands sleep in shelters every year and roughly 10% of our community receives some form of social assistance. Transit costs increase by at least 2.5% every year and more and more people are dependent on precarious, part-time jobs. A high number of food deserts mean that families have an increasingly difficult time meeting their nutritional needs and food banks are seeing increases of up to 25%. We also have welcomed a substantial number of refugees who are hitting “Month 13” without resources.

My Collaborative: Ottawa Poverty Reduction Network

The Poverty Reduction Network was the initiator of the Poverty Reduction Strategy which was approved in December 2008 by City Council. This was done in consultation with the community and community partners to be developed in time to influence the 2010 budget. However, the current municipal government has not supported the continuation of the strategy, and the network is deciding on next steps to help advance the poverty reduction agenda without a formal strategy.