As Ottawa grows, we've got your assets covered

Published on
April 19, 2024
Planning, development and construction

This story is part of the City of Ottawa Service Reviews: an initiative aimed at ensuring our services are meeting your needs. Visit today.

Feature story

Did you know that many City services you rely on every day are delivered through thousands of City assets? These assets require careful planning, operation and regular maintenance and renewal to keep our city connected and moving. They also contribute to our quality of life.

How do you get around the City? Do you cycle, walk or drive? Whatever mode of transportation you use, you are accessing a City asset. We own and maintain 12,400 lane-kilometres of roads, 2,150 kilometres of sidewalks, 325 kilometres of pathways and 340 kilometres of on-road bicycle lanes. That’s a lot!

How many times a day do you refill your water bottle? We own and maintain two water purification plants, more than 3,000 kilometres of water mains, 32 pumping stations and 14 reservoirs which support our city’s drinking water system. We use these assets to take water from the river and deliver clean, safe and reliable drinking water to your tap.

What do you like to do outside? Do you like to visit local parks? These are also City assets! The City owns a total of 935 parks city-wide, with thousands of park elements like swings, benches and pathway lighting.

Roads, sidewalks, parks and pipes are just some of the City’s assets that provide reliable service to our residents to use and enjoy every day.

What is asset management?

The City’s role is to take care of our assets from the time they are constructed until they reach the end of their lifecycle or require renewal, sometimes having been in service for more than 100 years. They require the right intervention, on the right asset, at the right time – this is asset management.

Asset management is not a type of software, plan or project. Asset management is a process for making decisions about how infrastructure is used and cared for to ensure it supports services to our community. It involves thinking about what services we need now and considering risks and opportunities for those we will need in the future.

Why is asset management important?

The City owns approximately $73 billion dollars worth of infrastructure assets and acquires new infrastructure annually through growth. These assets require thoughtful, targeted investments in renewal, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement, balancing service levels, risk, and affordability.

All City assets undergo lifespan reviews, but improvements can’t all be done at once. There are many factors that go into the process on how renewal requirements are assessed and determined, and how they are prioritized. These processes can also be challenged by natural disasters or the realities of Ottawa’s sometimes harsh climate.

This video from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) about asset management explains how fundamental it is to keeping our city connected while the demand for new and improved services grows.

How do you play a role in asset management?

Asset management is a shared responsibility.

Your engagement, feedback and cooperation can significantly impact the overall effectiveness of asset management.

You could play a key role by:

  • Reporting leaks, structural damage or broken equipment
  • Sharing opinions and feedback about the performance of an asset
  • Adhering to safety regulations and guidelines to prolong the lifespan of our assets
  • Adopting water saving practices within your own living space to conserve and limit the burden on our water treatment services

Your city, your ideas! 

Your involvement is important. The City will be publishing eight new Asset Management Plans in the coming months on the current condition of our assets and how they support services to the community. Your feedback will be valuable as we continue to assess the condition and effectiveness of our assets in delivering service and meeting the needs of our growing city.

We’re also doing service reviews in hopes to improve our services and save money to reinvest into other priorities. Do you have creative ideas related to asset management or other City services? Share them at  

For more information on City programs and services, visit, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.