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Maps of Ottawa

geoOttawa

The City of Ottawa is the fourth largest city in Canada with an area of 2,760 square kilometres.  geoOttawa can help you find your way around the city. Search by address, intersection, street segment or by facility. Interact with this web-based software by zooming in and out, by adding additional layers of information or by printing the current view of the map.  Enjoy the “City of Ottawa” at your fingertips.

How to find your zoning

The following steps will lead you through the process for determining the zoning of your property. The City of Ottawa Zoning By-law is made available on the web site for information, however confirmation on the zoning provisions should be sought through the City’s development information officers (DIO), by contacting 311 and asking for the DIO for the geographic area in question.

To view the zoning designation for your property:       

  1. Open the geoOttawa application.
  2. Navigate to the area of interest by using the search window or pan and/or zoom within the map.
  3. Once you have selected the parcel of interest, click on  ‘Get Zoning Information’ from the Information Window, or alternatively choose “find the zoning for an area” from the “I want to..” menu.
  4. Record the zoning code for future reference.  
  5. Clicking on the zoning area will display an info window with the zoning information and a link to the bylaw. Clicking on the link will bring you to your primary zone location in the zoning by-law.

About the Zoning By-law

The Zoning By-law was enacted June 25, 2008. The Ontario Municipal Board approved the unchallenged provisions of the by-law on October 23, 2008. For those provisions under appeal, the corresponding provisions of the former municipalities’ zoning by-laws will continue to be in effect and the more restrictive provisions within any of the by-laws will apply. For further information please contact a Development Information Officer at 3-1-1.

Supported browsers for geoOttawa

Windows

  • Internet Explorer (and other browsers that support Internet Explorer ActiveX controls and plug-ins)
  • Internet Explorer (Windows 8)
  • Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, Opera (and other plugin-based browsers)
  • Chrome (Pepper-based Flash Player)

Macintosh

  • Firefox, Opera, Safari

OS X

  • Chrome (Pepper-based Flash Player)

Linux

  • Mozilla, Firefox, SeaMonkey (Flash Player 11.2 is the last supported Flash Player version for Linux. Adobe will continue to provide security updates.)
  • Chrome (Pepper-based Flash Player)

Solaris

  • Flash Player 11.2.202.223 is the last supported Flash Player version for Solaris.

iOS support for geoOttawa

At this time Apple does not support Adobe’s Flash technology on iOS. geoOttawa Mobile is currently being developed and will support multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.

Tools available in geoOttawa

There are a number of tools within geoOttawa that can be accessed by clicking the “I want to…” button.

Find the zoning for an area

Navigate to the area of interest by using the search window or pan and/or zoom within the map.

Selecting this will turn on the zoning information layers, including the zoning designation and the zoning legend describing the layers shown on the map. If you click on the zoning layer on the map, it will open an information window with the zoning designation, as well as a link for further information. 

Measure distance on the map

Click on the map at the location where you would like to start measuring. You can then click one or more points on the map, and the measurement will be displayed from point to point and the total distance will be displayed on the Measure Distance tool.  You can change your unit of measure at any time using the drop down.  To start a new measurement or to clear the current measurement, select Clear.

View more map layers 

The Layer Manager allows you to turn on and off different layers of interest. On the left panel, you can select the basemap, or background to display. This includes the default basemap, a grey scale map which is a neutral background, and air photos from different years. Note that some air photo years do not have complete coverage across the city, and will show as blank when not available for an area.  The panel on the right side of the tool allows you to turn on or off multiple layers. The plus/minus ( +/- ) allows you to expand or collapse a layer group, and you can turn individual layers within a group on or off by toggling the check box. 

View the historical air photos

The historical air photos tool allows you to use the slider or click on a year to view air photos from different years. Please note that some air photo years do not have complete coverage across the city, and will show as blank when not available for an area.

View the map legend

The map legend displays information relating to the layers that have been turned on in the map. Layers in the basemap are not included in the legend.

Print what’s on the screen

This will print the current map view with the layers displayed. Options include adding a title and a sub-title which will be included on the printed copy.

Bookmark my map so I can use it later

Once you have navigated in the map to an area you would like to bookmark,  click ‘I want to ...’ and select ‘bookmark my map so I can use it later’.  Click on the book with the plus sign, type in a bookmark name and select ‘Add Bookmark’.  If you would like to return to your saved bookmarks without saving a new one, select the book with the minus sign.  You can delete an existing bookmark by selecting the x beside the bookmark name.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is geoOttawa?

A: geoOttawa is the City of Ottawa’s interactive web mapping application. This tool will allow you to view many different layers of information on the map such as parks, schools, city facilities, property parcels, zoning, and air photos dating back to 1958. There are also a number of tools available that will allow you to search and view the information you are interested in.  You will also be able to produce a property or park inventory report, measure distances, and print a map.  For a complete list of available tools, please view the tools section for further details.

Q: How often are the map layers updated in geoOttawa?

A: geoOttawa has been designed to provide you with the most accurate and current information available from various City departments and will continuously be updated as newer data is made available. Other information layers such as zoning are released at specific times based on City Council approval.

Q: I’m having problems viewing the application. What are the system requirements for my computer?

A: geoOttawa requires having Adobe Flash installed. If you need to install Flash on your computer, the application will prompt you to install it. View all system requirements.

Q: What if I can’t use Flash?

A: geoOttawa was developed as a full-featured web application and it provides a comprehensive set of tools that are best suited for desktop browser use. Recognizing that many users would still like access to a simple web mapping application, geoOttawa lite is currently being developed to meet those needs. It will not require Flash, and will provide the same data but in a simpler interface suitable for casual users and a mobile form factor, including tablets.

Q: Nothing happens when I try to use Google Streetview in geoOttawa.

A: There are tools in geoOttawa that require opening another window. These include Google Streetview, reports and viewing Zoning details on Ottawa.ca. If you have a pop-up blocker on your browser, you will need to accept or allow pop-ups from the site.

Q: What if I  am having problems with a specific tool in geoOttawa?

A: If the application has been left idle for an extended period of time, or you are experiencing difficulty with a tool, the easiest approach is to reload your browser by selecting the Refresh option under the View dropdown or press the F5 function key. If this does not resolve the issue, please feel free to contact us using the Comments/Feedback link on the geoOttawa help page.

Q: Can I download any of the data used in geoOttawa?

A: The City of Ottawa has an Open Data catalogue where many of the datasets used in geoOttawa are available for download. Please visit the Open Data site for a complete list of datasets.

Q: Is geoOttawa accessible?

A: geoOttawa falls into the category of complex mapping. Some work has been done to improve the accessibility of geoOttawa, primarily with regards to keyboard navigation. The mapping controls and tools have keyboard shortcuts allowing users to navigate the map without a mouse. The map can also be navigated using the text search box, allowing the user to search for and navigate to an area of interest. Searches currently include address, intersection, street name, park name and city facility name. This application is not WCAG 2.0 compliant.

Q: What are the plans to improve geoOttawa’s accessibility?

A: Although geoOttawa, as a complex web mapping application would be technically exempt, the City is endeavouring to meet WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. In addition to accessibility, there is also a need to support multiple technology platforms, including desktop browsers and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).

Using these considerations, it has been determined that a lite version of geoOttawa would be the best approach to meet the aforementioned requirements. The lite version of geoOttawa is not intended to replace the full-featured geoOttawa version, it is intended to provide an accessible, simple web map that has cross-browser and mobile support.

geoOttawa lite is intended to provide the following:

  • A simple keyboard navigable web map using available web services
  • Accessible on all major browsers; Windows & Mac OS; mobile devices including tablets and smartphones
  • Support for assistive technologies, including screen readers, speech recognition
  • Alternative text for specified layer of interest eg. Locations/Addresses of Sledding Hills and associated information

Q: Can I navigate geoOttawa using the keyboard?

A: Yes, geoOttawa includes a number of short-cut keys that can be used for keyboard navigation of the application:                                                                                        

Pan the map

Arrow keys

To do this…

Press

Zoom in and out

Plus and Minus Key (+/-)

Set the focus to the search input form

<Ctrl>F

Type your search terms, and press the enter key to execute the search

Open the Zoning tool

<Shift>Z

Open the Measure Distance tool

<Shift>M

Open the Layer Manager tool

  • Toggle to basemap and layers
  • Select basemap
  • Select operational layer
  • Turn layer on/off
  • Expand/Collapse layer

<Shift>L

  • Tab / <Shift> Tab
  • Up/Down arrow keys
  • Up/Down arrow keys
  • Enter (toggle)
  • Right/left arrow

Open Historical air photos tool

  • Fade between years
  • Switch between years

<Shift>A

  • <Ctrl>Left / <Ctrl>Right
  • Right/left arrow

Open the map legend tool

<Shift>S

Open the Print tool

<Shift>P

Set focus on the More Layers tool

  • Turn layer on/off
  • Expand/Compress layer

<Shift>W

  • Enter (toggle)
  • Right/left arrow

Close the active tool  

Esc

Reset the focus on the map

Tab

How to find out if your house is in the 1-in-100 year flood plain

The 1-in-100 year flood plain is the area of land which would be subject to flooding during the 1-in-100 year flood.  There is a 1% chance in any given year of a flood occurring that would meet or exceed the extent of flooding represented by the 1-in-100 year flood plain.

In my neighbourhood

  • 'In My Neighbourhood' is a bilingual, interactive map of Ottawa that offers a quick way for residents to locate schools, libraries, parks, recreation facilities, community services, events, land development applications and more in a geographic neighbourhood.
  • In My Neighbourhood is accessible from a desktop PC, mobile phone, and tablet device and leverages location-aware features to automatically find the user's location. To enjoy all of the functionality, In My Neighbourhood is best viewed on the following browsers: Microsoft IE 11, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, iOS Safari 4.0+, and Android Chrome 2.3+.
  • Use the map or satellite view of In My Neighbourhood to find the information you need by either entering a city address, by selecting a point of interest on the map or by selecting an item from the list. The interactive map allows you to see details such as address numbers, landscape features, property lines, roads and parks. You can even get directions!
  • Additional features and information will be added to In My Neighbourhood as they become available, in our ongoing effort to serve you better.
  • Didn't find what you were looking for within the In My Neighbourhood tool? Let us know how we can improve the tool by submitting your suggestions online through the feedback button.
  • For help using the application, please visit our user help page.

Disclaimer

For a version of In My Neighbourhood that is accessible for persons with disabilities (AODA-compliant), visit In My Neighbourhood desktop edition.

In order to view property parcel data on In My Neighbourhood, the license agreement between the City of Ottawa and Teranet Enterprises Inc., the provider of the City's parcel data, requires agreeing to the Terms of Use below. For access and terms of use for other City of Ottawa datasets, please refer to the Open Data Catalog.

Key Terms of Use for Parcel Data:

To view and use parcel data through the City of Ottawa's In My Neighbourhood, you must agree to and accept the following Terms and Conditions and click on the "Agree" button below.

The City of Ottawa hereby grants to You a non-exclusive, non transferable license to view and print a single copy of the parcel material on In My Neighbourhood web site solely for personal non-commercial use.

You may not copy, modify, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, link to or frame in another website, use on any other website, transfer or sell the Site Products in whole or in part either voluntarily or by operation of law. The foregoing prohibition expressly includes, but is not limited to, the practice of screen scraping, database scraping or any such practice or activity; the purpose of which is to obtain data or portions thereof, portions of databases from the Site, in any manner or any quantities not expressly authorized hereunder.

The user acknowledges that:

  1. the Site Products contain technical information and commercial information and copyright, trade secret rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights reside in the Site Products;
  2. the Site Products are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis, without any warranties, representations or condition, express or implied including warranties;
  3. the City of Ottawa and its suppliers are not required to provide any updates, fixes, new versions, new releases, maintenance and/or support of any kind for the Site Products to users;
  4. the City of Ottawa and its suppliers, hold copyright and other intellectual and propriety rights in the Site Products and all right, title and interest in and to the Site Products and all modifications thereto will at all times be vested in and remain the property of the City of Ottawa and its suppliers.

Please review additional Legal Information About this Site in the Disclaimer section of the City of Ottawa Web Site.

In My Neighbourhood Online Help

In My Neighbourhood is an interactive map of Ottawa that offers a quick way for residents to locate schools, libraries, parks, recreation facilities, community services, land development applications and more throughout the city. The interactive map allows you to see details such as address numbers, landscape features, property lines, roads and parks.

Using the Application

When a resident finds their address on In My Neighbourhood or uses their current location, the application will identify the nearest facilities, services and events. In addition, the application makes it easy to retrieve relevant information about that facility or service.

Map View

Use the Switch Basemap option to select between a map view or an aerial photo view.

the basemap tool available from the menu

Map Based Navigation

There are several ways to interact with the map:

  1. Hold down the shift key and drag a box on the map to zoom in
  2. Hold Down Ctrl+Shift to zoom out
  3. Roll your mouse scroller to zoom in/out
  4. Click the +/- buttons on the map to zoom in/out
  5. Use the +/- keys on your keyboard to zoom in/out
  6. Use the arrow keys to pan north, south, east and west

Finding an Area of Interest

To locate services, events or facilities and other nearby points of interest you can either:

  • Use the search field (enter an address, facility name, neighbourhood name, etc.)
  • Click an item of interest from the list
  • Click on a point on the map
  • Use the locator tool to search based on your current location

locator tool available from the menu

  1. The search field can be used to find an address, facility name or neighbourhood name. Enter the address you're interested in and select the location you are searching for (i.e. bank) from the list:the search drop down menu
  2. Once an address has been entered, a list of services, events and facilities will be listed below. From the search results, click on an item of interest to locate it on the map (i.e. Library - Main, as illustrated below):Point of interest on the map
  3. Click on the title of the category you are interested in (it will turn yellow) then on an item of interest on the map to see the address and other details:pin on the map
  4. Use your current location to find the services, facilities or events that are in your area by clicking the find icon in the top right of your screen.

locator tool available from the menu

Directions

You can also get directions to each facility using your current location or an address you select. By entering your current address, the nearest services, events or facilities will be listed by category. When you find a facility you'd like to visit or item of interest, click the Direction buttondirection sign to have it appear on the map and to calculate the directions and route.

Browser Compatibility

In My Neighbourhood is best viewed on the following browsers:

Microsoft IE 11
Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome
Apple Safari
iOS Safari 4.0+
Android Chrome 2.3+

For the best accessible experience using assistive technologies when visiting In My Neighbourhood, please avoid using Internet Explorer version 8 or earlier and JAWS version 9 or earlier.

Reporting a Problem

Report an issue or provide feedback with In My Neighbourhood.

Help us perfect our data

The City of Ottawa strives to provide the most accurate information to its residents. However, if you notice an error, please submit it by clicking on the link "Report errors here" found on the map when data is displayed.

Make a Suggestion

Additional features and information will continue to be added, in our ongoing effort to serve you better. If you would like to suggest that certain information be included as part of In My Neighbourhood please send us your ideas.

Disclaimer

For a version of In My Neighbourhood that is accessible for persons with disabilities (AODA-compliant), visit In My Neighbourhood desktop edition.

In order to view property parcel data on In My Neighbourhood, the license agreement between the City of Ottawa and Teranet Enterprises Inc., the provider of the City's parcel data, requires agreeing to the Terms of Use below. For access and terms of use for other City of Ottawa datasets, please refer to the Open Data Catalog.

Key Terms of Use for Parcel Data:

To view and use parcel data through the City of Ottawa's In My Neighbourbood, you must agree to and accept the following Terms and Conditions and click on the "Agree" button below.

The City of Ottawa hereby grants to You a non-exclusive, non transferable license to view and print a single copy of the parcel material on In My Neighbourhood web site solely for personal non-commercial use.

You may not copy, modify, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, link to or frame in another website, use on any other website, transfer or sell the Site Products in whole or in part either voluntarily or by operation of law. The foregoing prohibition expressly includes, but is not limited to, the practice of screen scraping, database scraping or any such practice or activity; the purpose of which is to obtain data or portions thereof, portions of databases from the Site, in any manner or any quantities not expressly authorized hereunder.

The user acknowledges that:

  1. the Site Products contain technical information and commercial information and copyright, trade secret rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights reside in the Site Products;
  2. the Site Products are provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis, without any warranties, representations or condition, express or implied including warranties;
  3. the City of Ottawa and its suppliers are not required to provide any updates, fixes, new versions, new releases, maintenance and/or support of any kind for the Site Products to users;
  4. the City of Ottawa and its suppliers, hold copyright and other intellectual and propriety rights in the Site Products and all right, title and interest in and to the Site Products and all modifications thereto will at all times be vested in and remain the property of the City of Ottawa and its suppliers.

Please review additional Legal Information About this Site in the Disclaimer section of the City of Ottawa Web Site.

In My Neighbourhood Online Help - mobile edition

In My Neighbourhood is an interactive map of Ottawa that offers a quick way for residents to locate schools, libraries, parks, recreation facilities, community services, land development applications and more throughout the city. The interactive map allows you to see details such as address numbers, landscape features, property lines, roads and parks.

Using the Application

When a resident finds their address on In My Neighbourhood or uses their current location, the application will identify the nearest facilities, services and events. In addition, the application makes it easy to retrieve relevant information about that facility or service.

If you are a mobile user requiring assistive technology, the City of Ottawa recommends you choose iOS for the best experience.

Map Based Navigation

There are several ways to interact with the map:
1. Click the +/- buttons on the map to zoom in/out
2. Use the arrow keys to pan north, south, east and west
3. Use your fingers to swipe to move north, south, east and west
4. Pinch in and pinch out to zoom in or out.

Finding an Area of Interest

1. The search field can be used to find an address, facility name or neighbourhood name.

Enter the address you're interested in. From the options listed, select the location you are searching for (i.e. Credit Union):

search results

Once an address has been displayed on the map, click on the arrow to view options.

view options

Select the category of interest to view all options that are in close proximity to the address entered (i.e. Recreation facilities as illustrated below):

categories of interest

Select the City map icon to view all the items from that category that are within the City limits. city map iconZooming out allows for more items to be displayed on the map.

To get additional information, click the arrow beside the point of interest..

arrow

Information such as name, address or website if available will be displayed. Select the yellow traffic arrows to display the selected item on the map and display turn by turn driving directions.

green arrow

2. Alternatively, you can use your current location to search the services, facilities or events that are in your area. Click the Locator icon in the top bar of your screen.

locator icon

Click on the arrow to then see the categories of interest. Your current position will be shown on the map.

current location

If you receive an error message such as "Permission Denied", it may be that you have your location services turned off. This is a privacy feature. For help turning location services on for Apple products click here. For help with Android devices click here.

Browser Compatibility

The mobile In My Neighbourhood is best viewed on the following browsers:

  • Microsoft IE 11
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Apple Safari
  • iOS Safari 4.0+
  • Android Chrome 2.3+

Reporting a Problem

Report an issue or provide feedback with In My Neighbourhood.

Help us perfect our data

The City of Ottawa strives to provide the most accurate information to its residents. However, if you notice an error, please submit it by clicking on the link "Report errors here" found on the map when data is displayed.

feedback link

Make a Suggestion

Additional features and information will continue to be added, in our ongoing effort to serve you better. If you would like to suggest that certain information be included as part of In My Neighbourhood, please send us your ideas.

Disclaimer

In order to view property parcel data on In My Neighbourhood, the license agreement between the City of Ottawa and Teranet Enterprises Inc., the provider of the City's parcel data, requires agreeing to the Terms of Use below. For access and terms of use for other City of Ottawa datasets, please refer to the Open Data Catalog.

Key Terms of Use for Parcel Data:

To view and use parcel data through the City of Ottawa's In My Neighbourhood, you must agree to and accept the following Terms and Conditions and click on the "Agree" button below.
The City of Ottawa hereby grants to You a non-exclusive, non transferable license to view and print a single copy of the parcel material on the In My Neighbourhood web site solely for personal non-commercial use.
You may not copy, modify, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, link to or frame in another website, use on any other website, transfer or sell the Site Products in whole or in part either voluntarily or by operation of law. The foregoing prohibition expressly includes, but is not limited to, the practice of screen scraping, database scraping or any such practice or activity; the purpose of which is to obtain data or portions thereof, portions of databases from the Site, in any manner or any quantities not expressly authorized hereunder.

The user acknowledges that:

  1. this internet application including content (the "Application") contains technical and commercial information. Copyright, trade secret rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights also reside in the Application;
  2. The Application is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis, without any express or implied warranties, representations or conditions of merchantable quality. The entire risk as to the results and performance of the Application is assumed by the user;
  3. Most Application content is displayed in English and in French; exceptions occur when the Application technical or the commercial information is unilingual, and where the provision of service is in one language only;
  4. the City of Ottawa and/or its suppliers are not required to provide any updates, fixes, new versions, new releases, maintenance and/or support of any kind for the Application to users; and
  5. the City of Ottawa and/or its suppliers, hold copyright and other intellectual and propriety rights in the Application and all right, title and interest in and to the Application and all modifications thereto will at all times be vested in and remain the property of the City of Ottawa and/or its suppliers.

Please review additional Legal Information About this Site in the Disclaimer section of the City of Ottawa Web Site.

Public and portable washrooms

Map of public and portable washrooms in City of Ottawa facilities and parks with information including: location, hours of operation and level of accessibility.

Accessibility Level Rating

0 = No accessible stall or universal washroom available.

1 = Basic access to one or more accessible stall or universal washroom including:

• a power door operator into the facility
• a clear path of travel to an accessible stall / universal washroom
• at least one grab bar available.

2 = Criteria from level 1, plus:

• appropriate height of washroom amenities
• a power door opener

3 = Criteria from level 1 and 2, plus:

• a large turning radius in universal washroom or washroom stall
• one or more grab bars at appropriate heights
• automatic toilet flushers

Heritage Conservation Districts

Heritage Conservation District Designation under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act

Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA) allows municipalities to recognize and protect neighbourhoods, rural landscapes, main streets or other areas of special cultural heritage value that have a cohesive sense of time and place. Designated heritage districts often enjoy a renewed cultural and economic vitality not only because district designation highlights their special values but also because they are protected from decay and the intrusion of incompatible structures.

Although each district is different, many share common characteristics. Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) may have:

  • A concentration of heritage buildings, sites, structures and cultural landscapes
  • Visual coherence through the use of building scale, mass, height, material, proportion, colour that convey a sense if time and place
  • A distinctive character that allows them to be distinguished from neighbouring areas

How Districts are Designated

Community associations, the Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHS-C), historical societies or any individual may request that an area be considered for designation as a heritage conservation district.

As HCDs are more complex than individual designations, requests to study an area for potential designation as an HCD should be discussed with staff in the Heritage Section prior to the submission of a request. Heritage staff can provide information on the implications of designation, the timelines and the amount of work involved in designating a heritage conservation district.

The process to designate a heritage conservation district under Part V of the OHA is outlined in detail below.

1. Preconsultation and Background Research

  • Interested parties should contact the Heritage Section to discuss the proposed designation. Background research will indicate if the area merits consideration as a heritage conservation district.

2. Heritage Conservation District Study

  • The Heritage Conservation District Study phase includes the research and evaluation of properties and streetscapes within the proposed district and research of the history of the area. The study helps to inform the Heritage Conservation District Plan.

3. Heritage Conservation District Plan

  • The Ontario Heritage Act requires that a Heritage Conservation District Plan must be drafted prior to the designation of a new district. The plan must include a statement of heritage value and attributes as well as policies and guidelines for the management of the District.
  • A public meeting is held to present the draft plan and receive comments.
  • A report is prepared for the consideration of BHS-C, Planning Committee (PC) and City Council.

Process to designate a property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act

  • Council votes to establish a Heritage Conservation District Study area as recommended by Staff and BHSC
  • Heritage Staff undertakes a study of the established area.
  • The Heritage Conservation District Study must include:
    • An examination of buildings and other landscape features to determine if the area should be preserved as a heritage conservation district.
    • Recommendations regarding geographic boundaries of the study area
    • Make recommendations regarding the objectives and content of the heritage conservation district plan
    • Make recommendations regarding any required changes to the Official Plan or Zoning Bylaw.
  • Staff consults with the local community and the public regarding the proposed geographic boundaries and the design guidelines in the Study and Plan. Staff revises the Study and Plan as necessary after public consultation.
  • Staff prepares a report and documents for BHSC, PC and City Council review
  • Staff consults with BHSC who makes a recommendation to Council regarding the designation
  • PC makes a recommendation to City Council regarding the designation.
  • City Council votes to designate or refuse the Heritage Conservation District. If approved the Heritage Conservation District Plan is adopted.
  • City Clerk provides Notice of Bylaw to the Owners, Ontario Heritage Trust and published in the newspaper.
  • 30 Day Appeal Period
  • If no appeals are received the by-law comes into effect following the last day of the appeal period and the bylaw is registered on title for the affected properties.
  • If appeals are received, the matter is referred to the Ontario Municipal Board.
  • The OMB holds a hearing and renders a final decision. The OMB may:

1. Repeal the By-law
2. Amend the By-law
3. Dismiss the Appeal

Process to designate a property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act

Heritage Conservation District Plans

Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005 introduced a requirement that all new HCDs must have an HCD Plan adopted by by-law at the time of designation. The objective of an HCD Plan is to outline the cultural heritage value and attributes of an HCD and provide policies and guidelines to manage change in the HCD. The Ontario Heritage Act requires that an HCD Plan include the following sections:

  1. Statement of Objectives
  2. Statement of Cultural Heritage Value
  3. Description of Heritage Attributes
  4. Policy statements and guidelines
  5. List of minor alterations that do not require a heritage permit

Part V of the OHA does not require that pre-2005 HCDs be updated to meet the new requirements; however it does enable municipalities to do so if they wish. The heritage conservation district guidelines that exist for most of the HCDs in Ottawa are very useful tools and are still in effect. The City of Ottawa is working to update its existing HCDs with new HCD plans. 

Appeals

Property owners are required to seek approval from the City of Ottawa under the Ontario Heritage Act prior to undertaking the alteration or demolition of a designated heritage property. Complete information about how to apply can be found online.

If Council refuses an application or imposes conditions on its approval, the owner of the property may appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board within 30 days of a decision. Only the property owner may appeal a decision of City Council.

Heritage Conservation Districts

There are 18 HCDs in Ottawa. All of these districts are found within the urban area of the city:

Maps and Descriptions (Launch Map)

  • Sandy Hill West (By-law 255-94)
  • Briarcliffe (By-law 2013-65)
  • Clemow Estate East (By-law 2011-346)
  • Centretown (By-law 269-97)
  • Minto Park (By-law 142-88)
  • Lorne Avenue (By-law 2005-13)
  • Sparks Street (By-law 174-2000)
  • Rockcliffe Park (By-law 97-10)
  • New Edinburgh (By-law 2001-44)
  • ByWard Market (By-law 60-91)
  • Lowertown West (By-law 192-94)
  • Cathedral Hill (By-law 286-89)
  • King Edward Avenue (By-law 310-82)
  • Sweetland Avenue (By-law 309-82)
  • Laurier/Wilbrod (By-law 307-82)
  • Stewart/Wilbrod (By-law 311-82)
  • Daly Avenue (By-law 308-82)

For more information please contact:

Sally Coutts, Co-ordinator
Heritage Services Section, Development Review Branch
Planning and Growth Management Department
613-580-2424 ext. 13474
E-mail: heritage@ottawa.ca

Water Quality in Ottawa's Rivers, Lakes, and Streams

Summary of Surface Water Monitoring Results in Ottawa

Major Rivers

Water quality in the Ottawa, Mississippi and Rideau Rivers is generally good to excellent. This is largely due to the relatively low proportion of urban development and agriculture upstream of Ottawa.

The exception to the overall “good to excellent” assessment of the City’s major rivers are the two sites located in the most downstream stretch of the Rideau River (at the Bank Street Bridge and St. Patrick Street Bridge), which are rated fair.

Levels of phosphorus in the Rideau River are generally much higher than in the Ottawa and Mississippi Rivers.

Major Tributaries

Water quality in the City’s major tributaries varies. The Jock River has a water quality index ranging from fair to good depending on the location; the Castor is rated marginal to fair; the Carp is poor to fair; and Bear Brook is marginal. Levels of metals in the streams are generally good to excellent; E. coli levels are fair to good in the Jock River, poor to fair in the Carp, and poor to marginal in the other major tributaries. Phosphorus levels are poor to marginal in the Jock River and mostly poor for the other three major tributaries.

Smaller Tributaries

Water quality in the City’s smaller tributaries varies from poor to excellent depending on the pollutant. Levels of metals are good to excellent in the majority of areas, with marginal to fair ratings observed in more urbanized settings. For the most part, phosphorus and E. coli levels are rated as poor to fair in both rural and urban creeks, with good to excellent ratings observed in areas upstream of the City.

In terms of meeting water quality targets, urban creeks are worse than rural creeks. Higher levels of metals in urban creeks reflect urban runoff from roads and parking lots.

Areas of Concern

Six creeks were identified during the trends analysis as areas of concern: Bilberry Creek, Green Creek, Bear Brook, Beckett’s Creek, Cardinal Creek and Casey Creek. These monitoring stations show high levels of phosphorus, E. coli and metals. Some of these tributaries drain urban areas, some drain rural areas, and some drain areas with mixed land use.

Surface Water Quality Trends

With the exception of the main channels of the Ottawa and Mississippi Rivers, and naturalized areas upstream of the urban area, phosphorus is a concern in all of the City’s rivers and streams. In all watercourses other than these exceptions, phosphorus levels are rated mostly as poor or marginal and average concentrations exceed water quality targets.

E. coli is not a concern in the Ottawa and Mississippi Rivers. Increasing levels of E. coli are seen in the Rideau River with distance downstream. However, differing levels suggest the influence of local sources rather than a cumulative effect. A significant increase in phosphorus levels is noted when the river reaches the Black Rapids. This is likely the influence of some rural tributaries which empty into the Rideau upstream from Black Rapids.

Increasing levels of phosphorus and E. coli have been found in the Ottawa River, downstream of the urban area. This is due to the influence of the Rideau and Gatineau Rivers, stormwater run off from the Gatineau and Ottawa urban area, and the wastewater treatment plants that serve Ottawa and Gatineau. Increased levels of pollutants are seen in Ottawa’s tributaries during the spring melt when runoff picks up pollutants from farms, yards, roads and parking lots.

Overall, water quality tends to improve as the size of the watercourse increases. Patterns in water quality in the rural and urban areas are somewhat inconsistent, with locations of high water quality found in both rural and urban areas and vice versa. However, there is some evidence that rural tributaries flowing through natural areas (forests or wetlands) are of higher quality than those flowing through agricultural and urban areas.

In addition, water quality index values have generally been better when comparing the index values from the last five years against earlier results, suggesting that water quality may be improving across most water courses within Ottawa.

City of Ottawa Baseline Water Quality Monitoring Program

Why do we monitor?

Water quality monitoring is important and helps answer questions about the condition of a body of water (i.e., the levels of pollutants), stresses on water and the effectiveness of our protection, mitigation and restoration programs. The data collected at program monitoring locations sheds light on trends and is used as baseline information to measure the condition of other water bodies. 

Understanding the health of our rivers and streams is vital to protect the natural environment. Water quality data and information collected by WEP is used by internal City departments for investigations, planning, and restoration and remediation efforts. It is also used by external agencies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the three Conservation Authorities in Ottawa.

Through monitoring we can identify water quality problems, and then develop strategies to address them. Ongoing monitoring allows us to see if our efforts have been successful, and then adjust or adapt activities, if necessary, to achieve our objectives.

How do we evaluate water quality data?

Water quality data is evaluated against three sets of criteria – the Provincial Water Quality Objectives (PWQO), the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines (CWQG) for the Protection of Aquatic Life, and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Quality Index. The provincial objectives and federal guidelines protect all forms of aquatic life and recreational uses. The CCME Water Quality Index translates complex water quality data into simple terms (e.g., excellent, good, poor) for reporting.

Similar to the Provincial Air Quality Index, the Water Quality Index gives information on overall water quality. The end result is a single index score between 0 and 100 that describes the overall water quality.

Index values closer to 100 indicate higher water quality, while values closer to zero indicate poorer water quality. For an explanation of what a specific Water Quality Index score means, see the table below.

The following water quality categories are recommended by CCME (2001):

Calculated WQI

Category

What it means

95?100

Excellent

Water quality is protected and is virtually threat or impairment free; conditions very close to natural or pristine levels. These index values can only be obtained if all measurements are within objectives virtually all of the time.

80?94

Good

Water quality is protected with only a minor degree of threat or impairment; conditions rarely depart from natural or desirable levels.

65?79

Fair

Water quality is usually protected but occasionally threatened or impaired; conditions sometimes depart from natural or desirable levels.

45?64

Marginal

Water quality is frequently threatened or impaired; conditions often depart from natural or desirable levels.

0?44

Poor

Water quality is almost always threatened or impaired; conditions usually depart from natural or desirable levels.

How and what do we monitor?

The City’s Baseline Monitoring Program monitors water quality across Ottawa and identifies long term trends. Six rivers, four lakes, and forty creeks are monitored on a monthly basis unless prevented by site conditions (such as ice cover). Each sample is analysed for 50 different parameters:

Field Parameters

These parameters are measured using hand held equipment while at the monitoring site:

  • Conductivity
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity
  • pH

Laboratory Parameters

Samples are collected and transported to a laboratory for analysis on the following parameters:

General Chemistry

  • Alkalinity
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Dissolved Organic Carbon
  • Hardness
  • Potassium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Sulphate
  • Total Suspended Solids

Nutrients

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  • Phosphorous, total
  • Phosphorous, reactive

Metals

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Bismuth
  • Boron
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Silver
  • Strontium
  • Thallium
  • Tin
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten
  • Uranium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc
  • Zirconium

Microbiological

  • E. coli

Where can I find Ottawa’s baseline water quality data?

For an overview of the water quality of Ottawa’s rivers, lakes and streams please see our Interactive Water Quality Map. For specific monitoring results from 1998-2014, please visit the Water Quality – Baseline Surface Water Monitoring Program data set found on the City of Ottawa’s Open Data archive.

Water Quality in Ottawa’s Rivers, Lakes, and Streams

Interactive Water Quality Map

The summaries for more than 130 monitoring stations are mapped on the interactive water quality map below. This information reflects conditions in 2014 and has been provided by the City of Ottawa’s Baseline Surface Water Monitoring Program. Monitoring results obtained between 1998 and 2014 can be viewed by accessing the Water Quality – Baseline Surface Water Monitoring Program data set found on the City of Ottawa’s Open Data archive. For an explanation of what each Water Quality Index rating means, please see How do we evaluate water quality data?