Older adult plan - Overview

On October 24, 2012, City Council approved an Older Adult Plan (OAP) which presents a forward-looking and coordinated approach to addressing the specific and evolving needs of Ottawa’s older residents.

The number of seniors living in Ottawa will more than double over the next 20 years. By 2031, it is predicted that seniors will make up 22 per cent of the Ottawa population. This means that more than one in five residents will be over the age of 65.

Like many other large municipalities in Canada and around the world, the City of Ottawa is responding to these demographic changes and has embarked on a process to make Ottawa a more age-friendly city.  

Eight strategic areas

The OAP introduces a long-term vision of a community that values, empowers, and supports older persons and their quality of life. It also presents 74 concrete actions organized under eight strategic areas:

  • Outdoor spaces and City buildings
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Communication and information
  • Social, Recreational, and cultural participation
  • Civic participation and volunteering
  • Community supports and health services
  • Respect and social inclusion

Actions contained in the plan will be implemented between 2012 and 2014 and the plan will be refreshed in 2015.

Pedestrian safety improved at key intersections through Older Adult Plan

The Public Works Department has installed audible pedestrian and countdown signals at five locations in neighbourhoods including Vanier, Riverside Park, Lowertown, Centretown and Rideau.  

Audible Pedestrian Signals (APS) are the sounds heard at intersections in the City.  These sounds indicate to pedestrians when they can safely cross an intersection as well as which direction they can cross safely.  The pedestrian countdown signal offers pedestrians more information on how much time they have to safely cross the intersection.  Research has shown that countdown signals lead to fewer pedestrian-car collisions at intersections by providing clearer information on when the lights will change. 

The intersections which have received the new pedestrian signals include: 

  • McArthur Avenue and Vanier Parkway;
  • Ridgewoood Avenue and Riverside Drive;
  • Rideau Street and William Street;
  • Metcalfe Street and Isabella Street/Highway 417 ramps; and,
  • Nicholas Street and Waller Street/Transitway. 

Funding was allocated in the Older Adult Plan 2013 budget for the installation of audible pedestrian signals and pedestrian countdown timers in areas across the City that are known to have high volumes of older adult pedestrian traffic.  


The Older Adult Plan is the product of extensive background research and consultations with Ottawa older adults. Reports summarizing the research, demographic and consultations findings can be obtained by emailing seniors@ottawa.ca

Older Adult Plan [ PDF - 3.1 MB ]