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City Manager and administration

City Manager profile - Steve Kanellakos

Message from the City Manager, Steve Kanellakos

Ottawa is made of an existing network of communities, businesses and organizations that together make up the fabric of our city. The City of Ottawa provides important programs, services, facilities and infrastructure to nearly a million residents every day. We invest each tax dollar with care so that we can plow your roads in a timely manner, provide safe drinking water, run animated recreation programs, inspect new homes, and deliver more than a hundred other City services.

I consider it a true honour to be the City Manager in Ottawa. I look forward to being part of the exciting future that lies ahead. We will be successful when we work together with our public, private, community and voluntary sector partners.

City Manager Biography

Steve Kanellakos returned to his hometown as the City Manager in Ottawa on May 2, 2016.

Before his return, Steve was the City Manager at the City of Vaughan where he led the Council through a transformational process to establish a strategic and financial plan during a time of unprecedented growth and change.  He is now proud to lead the fourth largest municipality in Canada and to make a difference in the city he calls home.  Steve’s vision is to build on the City’s culture of excellence in delivering services across a massive geographic region that encompasses many diverse and unique communities.

Steve began his career at the Gloucester Police Department in 1985. From 1995 to 2000 Steve served as Director General of Corporate Services with the amalgamated municipalities Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Service.  After amalgamation, he served as General Manager for Emergency and Protective Services from 2000 to 2003 and as Acting City Manager from March 2003 to March 2004.  Following his tenure as Acting City Manager, Steve was appointed to the position of Deputy City Manager of Community and Protective Services. As the Deputy City Manager of the City Operations portfolio from 2008 to 2015, he was responsible for Community and Social Services, Emergency and Protective Services, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, Public Works, Transit Services, Environmental Services, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, and ServiceOttawa.

As City Manager, Steve will use his 30 years of experience as a champion for excellent municipal services to deliver the priorities established by our Council. 

Organizational Alignment

On July 13, 2016, City Manager Steve Kanellakos announced changes to the City of Ottawa’s organizational structure with consolidated departments and a smaller, more effective senior leadership team that was endorsed by Council.

The final step of the organizational alignment, which included further changes to the City’s structure, was implemented in early October. These changes included:

  • Flattening management: Managers will have increased accountability, responsibility and more direct-reports
  • Empowering staff: With fewer layers of management, the work of our highly-skilled employees will be more efficient and productivity will increase
  • Stabilizing our workforce: Most acting positions have been confirmed and temporary positions have been reduced
  • Consolidating service areas: Departments have aligned their structures and grouped similar service areas to better support the public
  • Streamlining administration: A Business Support Services (BSS) branch has been created in each department which will serve as the strategic and administrative hub of the organization
  • Delivering services within the Council-established tax target: The corporate efficiency target of $14 million has been realized, addressing the targets in this budget year for both 2017 and 2018

For more information on the organizational alignment, please review Steve Kanellakos’ City Manager’s Message, frequently asked questionsbackgrounders and organizational charts.