Information for voters

On this page

Role of the City Clerk in administering municipal elections

Municipal elections in Ontario, including the City of Ottawa’s, are governed by the provincial Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the MEA) which provides rules for the administration of elections. The MEA expressly states that the City Clerk, and by extension the Elections Office, is responsible for the preparation and conduct of municipal elections. As such, staff are not in a position to interpret the legislation, provide advice to candidates or third party advertisers, nor investigate or review any campaign related matters.

Reporting campaign concerns or complaints 

In accordance with the MEA, neither the City Clerk nor any other City employee have a role in investigating concerns related to third party advertising campaigns. This statutory oversight and investigatory role lies with the Election Compliance Audit Committee (ECAC). The ECAC is a statutory body responsible for reviewing and making decisions on applications for municipal election campaign finance compliance audits, and on reports from the City Clerk regarding “apparent contraventions” of contribution limits prescribed by the MEA resulting from the regular municipal election or any by-election held during the term of office for the City Council for which the Committee was appointed. 

For more information on ECAC, visit ottawa.ca/ecac.

Reporting election sign concerns or complaints

By-law and Regulatory Services is responsible for the enforcement of the City’s Signs on City Roads By-law and Temporary Signs on Private Property By-law. Any concerns or complaints regarding election signs should be directed to 3-1-1.

Interfering with or damaging election signs is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Individuals that witness election sign tampering can contact the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222. Owners of election signs that are tampered with can report the incidents online at ottawapolice.ca or through the Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222, extension 7300.

For more information on elections signs, visit ottawa.ca/vote.

Who can vote?

A person is entitled to vote in a municipal election in the City of Ottawa if they are an eligible elector. On Voting Day, an eligible elector must be:

  • a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old; and
  • not prohibited from voting by law.

If you are not a resident of the City of Ottawa, to vote for a School Board Trustee, you must be on Voting Day, an owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other board.

You are entitled to vote only once in the 2022 Municipal Elections. Your voting location is determined by your permanent place of residence if you live in the City of Ottawa or qualifying address if you are a non-resident. 

You must vote in the ward where you live. If you are also the owner or tenant of a property in another ward, you are not permitted to vote in that ward instead. If you are a non-resident elector and you own or rent properties in more than one ward in the municipality, you must choose one ward to vote in.

A person is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 if he or she: 

  1. votes without being entitled to do so; 
  1. votes more times than the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 allows; and 
  1. votes in a voting place in which he or she is not entitled to vote. 

Voting for students

An eligible elector may have residences in two local municipalities at the same time if:

  • the person lives in one of the local municipalities in order to attend an educational institution, but not with the intention of changing their permanent lodging place; and
  • the person’s permanent lodging place is in the other local municipality.

In this scenario, the elector is eligible to vote in both their "home" municipality and in the municipality where they currently live while attending school.

Voters with no address or permanent lodging place

Eligible electors with no address or permanent lodging place can participate in voting opportunities by determining their residence by:

  • The place to which the person most frequently returned to sleep or eat during the five weeks preceding the determination is their residence.
  • If the person returns with equal frequency to one place to sleep and to another to eat, the place to which they return to sleep is their residence.
  • Multiple returns to the same place during a single day, whether to eat or to sleep, shall be considered one return.
  • A person’s declaration regarding the places to which they returned to eat or sleep during a given time period is conclusive, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

Who cannot vote?

The following persons cannot vote in a municipal election:

  • serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution.
  • a corporation.
  • acting as executor or trustee or in another representative capacity, except as a voting proxy.
  • convicted of a corrupt practice described in section 90(3) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Voters' List

The Voters’ List is a list of eligible electors in the City of Ottawa. During non-election years the City of Ottawa does not maintain a Voters’ List.

During an election cycle, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is responsible for preparing the preliminary list of electors for each municipality and school board in Ontario. It is MPAC’s Municipal Property Assessment database of both property owners and tenants that is used to prepare this preliminary list, which aids in the preparation of the final Voters’ List for Voting Day.

Once a municipality has prepared the Voters’ List, the revision period begins, and electors may add, amend or remove their information.

In the meantime, electors are encouraged to use MPAC’s online tool, voterlookup.ca, to confirm whether they are on the preliminary list of electors for the upcoming municipal elections. This tool can be used to make updates to the electors information where incorrectly recorded, to add a name to the enumeration and/or to change an electors school support for electoral purposes.

Voter identification

All electors will be required to present a piece of identification in order to receive a ballot at their voting place. The identification must show your name and address and photo identification is not required.

If you cannot present an acceptable proof of identity and residence you will be required to make a statutory declaration prior to being issued a ballot.

You may present one of the following as a piece of personal identification:

  • An Ontario driver’s license.
  • An Ontario Health Card (photo card).
  • An Ontario Photo Card.
  • An Ontario motor vehicle permit (vehicle portion).
  • A cancelled personalized cheque.
  • A mortgage statement, lease or rental agreement relating to property in Ontario.
  • An insurance policy or insurance statement.
  • A loan agreement or other financial agreement with a financial institution.
  • A document issued or certified by a court in Ontario.
  • Any other document from the government of Canada, Ontario or a municipality in Ontario or from an agency of such a government.
  • Any document from a Band Council in Ontario established under the Indian Act (Canada).
  • An income tax assessment notice.
  • A Child Tax Benefit Statement.
  • A Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E.
  • A Statement of Old Age Security T4A (OAS).
  • A Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits T4A (P).
  • A Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions.
  • A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Works.
  • A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Disability Support Program.
  • A Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statement of Benefits T5007.
  • A property tax assessment.
  • A credit card statement, bank account statement, or RRSP, RRIF, RHOSP or T5 statement.
  • A CNIB Card or a card from another registered charitable organization that provides services to persons with disabilities.
  • A hospital card or record.
  • A document showing campus residence, issued by the office or officials responsible for student residence at a post-secondary institution.
  • A document showing residence at a long-term care home under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, issued by the Administrator for the home.
  • A utility bill for hydro, water, gas, telephone or cable TV or a bill from a public utilities commission.
  • A cheque stub, T4 statement or pay receipt issued by an employer.
  • A transcript or report card from a post-secondary school.

Note: A voter notification letter and a Canadian passport cannot be used as a piece of identification.

Accessibility at voting places

The Elections Office is committed to providing an accessible voting process. In preparation for the election, the Elections Office visits every voting place to ensure all voting places will be fully accessible for electors and election workers.

Accessibility Plan

As required under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the “MEA”), the City Clerk will prepare a plan regarding the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities and will make the plan available to the public before Voting Day in a regular election.

The Elections Office consulted the Accessibility Advisory Committee and drafted the following plan:

After Voting Day, as required under the MEA, the City Clerk will make public a report on the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that may affect electors and candidates with disabilities. This report will be completed and made public on ottawa.ca on or before Monday, January 23, 2023.

Official results

Results for the offices of Mayor, City Councillors and School Board Trustees, will be made available online at ottawa.ca/vote as voting places close after 8 pm on Voting Day, Monday, October 24, 2022.

The City Clerk will declare the results of the 2022 Municipal Elections official on or before Friday, October 28, 2022.

Candidates elected for the 2022-2026 Term of Council will take office on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Campaign finances

Candidates cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until they have filed a nomination form and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Third party advertisers cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until they have filed a notice of registration and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Contributions to a candidate’s campaign

Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to a candidate for use in their campaign, including money and goods that a candidate contributes to themselves.

Any person who is a resident of Ontario may make a contribution to a candidate’s campaign.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board.

Individuals may contribute a maximum of $1,200 to a single candidate. This includes the value of any goods or services donated to the campaign. Individuals may not contribute more than $5,000 in total to candidates running for offices on the same council or school board. Any contribution of money must come directly from the contributor.

Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds come from.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, candidates are required to inform each of their contributors of these contribution limits.

Contributions to municipal and school board candidates, as well as third party advertisers, are not tax deductible.

Contributions to a third party advertiser

The following persons and entities may make a contribution to a third party advertiser:

  • Any person who is a resident of Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The third party advertiser and, in the case of an individual, his or her spouse.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution to a third party advertiser:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party advertiser.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board.

Contributors may contribute a total of $1,200 to a third party advertiser in relation to third party advertisements that appear during an election in the City of Ottawa. The maximum total amount that a contributor can give to two or more third party advertisers registered in the City of Ottawa is $5,000.

Contributions greater than $25 may not be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds come from.

New ward boundaries for the 2022-2026 Term of Council

The City of Ottawa has new ward boundaries for the 2022-2026 Term of Council. There is one new ward and new names for six existing wards.

During its Wednesday, October 13, 2021 meeting, City Council considered the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 - Implementation Report regarding the implementation of the new ward boundary structure established through the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 and subsequent order from the Ontario Land Tribunal.

For more information on the new ward boundaries, visit the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 page.

New ward boundaries 
Ward number NEW Ward name (effective November 15, 2022) Previous ward name
Ward 1 Orléans East-Cumberland Orléans
Ward 2 Orléans West-Innes Innes
Ward 3 Barrhaven West Barrhaven
Ward 4 Kanata North Kanata North
Ward 5 West Carleton-March West Carleton-March
Ward 6 Stittsville Stittsville
Ward 7 Bay Bay
Ward 8 College College
Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale Knoxdale-Merivale
Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate Gloucester-Southgate
Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville Beacon Hill-Cyrville
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier Rideau-Vanier
Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe Rideau-Rockcliffe
Ward 14 Somerset Somerset
Ward 15 Kitchissippi Kitchissippi
Ward 16 River River
Ward 17 Capital Capital
Ward 18 Alta Vista Alta Vista
Ward 19 Orléans South-Navan Cumberland
Ward 20 Osgoode Osgoode
Ward 21 Rideau-Jock Rideau-Goulbourn
Ward 22 Riverside South-Findlay Creek Gloucester-South Nepean
Ward 23 Kanata South Kanata South
Ward 24 Barrhaven East Not applicable – New ward

Key dates - 2022 Municipal Elections

May 2, 2022

  • First day for candidates to file their nomination forms for the office of Mayor, Councillor, or School Board Trustee. A candidate’s campaign period begins once their nomination forms have been filed, meaning they may begin accepting contributions and spending money on their campaign.
  • First day for an individual, corporation, or trade union to file a notice of registration as a third party advertiser. The campaign period for a third party advertiser begins once their registration form has been filed, meaning they may begin accepting contributions and spending money on their campaign.
  • The Who is running in my ward? search tool is available, allowing electors to find their ward and which candidates are running in their ward, until Voting Day on October 24, 2022.

August 19, 2022

  • Candidates have until 2 pm to file, change office, or withdraw their nomination forms.

August 22, 2022

  • Last day for the City Clerk to certify candidate nomination forms.

September 1, 2022

  • Copies of the Voters’ List are available to certified candidates upon written request.
  • The Am I on the voters’ list? search tool is available, allowing electors to check if they are registered to vote and see how their information is currently presented on the Voters’ List. Electors may use this tool from September 1 to September 16 at 4:30 pm to submit an application requesting that their information be updated or that their name be added or removed from the Voters’ List.
    • Electors may also submit a paper application requesting that their information be updated or that their name be added or removed from the Voters’ List.
    • Electors may still submit applications to update or add their name to the Voters’ List at their voting place.
  • The Application for special mail in ballot tool is available. Electors may use this tool from September 1 to September 16 at 4:30 pm to submit an application requesting to vote by special mail-in ballot.
    • Electors may also submit an application form by mail or email requesting a special mail-in ballot.
  • The Where do I vote? search tool is available, allowing electors to check the voting dates, times, and locations that are available.

September 9, 2022

  • First day an election sign can be placed on private property and public property.

September 16, 2022

  • The online Revision Period for the Voters’ List ends at 4:30 pm.
  • The Application Period to receive a special mail-in ballot ends at 4:30 pm.

September 25, 2022

  • Certified candidates that received a copy of the original Voters’ List will be provided with the interim list of changes to the Voters’ List by this date.
  • Final expense limit certificates to be provided to candidates and third party advertisers by this date.
  • The Elections Office will begin mailing Special Mail-in Ballot Voter Kits to the electors who have registered to receive a special mail-in ballot. Completed special mail-in ballots must be received at the Elections Office or Client Service Centres by 4:30 pm on October 24.

September 24, 25, 26, and 27, 2022

  • Special Advance Vote Day opportunities for electors to cast their ballot between 10 am and 8 pm.

October 7, 2022

  • Advance Vote Day opportunity for electors to cast their ballot between 10 am and 8 pm.

October 14, 2022

  • Advance Vote Day opportunity for electors to cast their ballot between 10 am and 8 pm.

October 21, 2022

  • An individual, corporation, or trade union has until 4:30 pm to file or withdraw their notice of registration as a third party advertiser.

October 24, 2022

  • Voting Day.
  • With the exception of institutions and retirement homes that may have reduced opening hours, voting places will open at 10 am and close at 8 pm.
  • Completed special mail-in ballots must be received at the Elections Office or Client Service Centres by 4:30 pm.

October 27, 2022

  • All election signs on private and public property must be removed (72 hours after Voting Day) by 11:59 pm.

October 28, 2022

  • The City Clerk is expected to declare the results of the 2022 Municipal Elections official.

January 3, 2023

  • Campaign period ends for candidates and third party advertisers, meaning they cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses.
  • Candidates or third party advertisers that wish to extend their campaign, due to a deficit, must file a Notice of Extension of Campaign Period – Form 6 by 4:30 pm.

March 1, 2023

  • Last day for the City Clerk to provide candidates and third party advertisers with notice of the financial filing requirements and penalties.

March 30, 2023

  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to apply to Superior Court of Justice to extend the time to file their initial financial statement.

March 31, 2023

By 2 pm:

  • Last day for candidates and third party advertisers to file an initial financial statement and auditor’s’ report, if required, for the reporting period ending January 3, 2023.
    • Note: An auditor’s report is required if the candidate is participating in the Contribution Rebate Program. An auditor’s report is also required for candidates and third party advertisers if the total contributions received, and total expenses incurred in the election campaign up to the end of the relevant reporting period are each equal to or more than $10,000.
  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to notify the City Clerk, in writing, of a filing extension received from the Superior Court of Justice.

April 3, 2023

  • First day an elector can apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third party advertiser’s initial campaign finances, even if the candidate or third party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.

May 1, 2023

By 2 pm:

  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to file an initial financial statement and auditor’s report, if required, and pay the $500 late filing fee.
    • Note: An auditor’s report is required if the candidate is participating in the Contribution Rebate Program. An auditor’s report is also required for candidates and third party advertisers if the total contributions received, and total expenses incurred in the election campaign up to the end of the relevant reporting period are each equal to or more than $10,000.
  • Penalties take effect at 2:01 pm.

June 29, 2023

  • Last day for an elector to apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third party advertiser’s initial campaign finances, even if the candidate or third party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.
    • If a candidate or third party advertiser files their initial financial statement within the 30-day grace period (which begins on March 31, 2023 at 2:01 pm and ends on May 1, 2023, at 2:00 pm), the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after they filed their initial financial statement. These dates will be posted on ottawa.ca/vote as required. 
    • If a candidate or third party advertiser received a filing extension from the Superior Court of Justice, the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after the extension expires. These dates will be posted on ottawa.ca/vote as required.

June 30, 2023

  • Campaign period ends for candidates and third party advertisers that extended their campaign, meaning they cannot accept any contributions or incur any expenses.

August 30, 2023

  • Last day for the City Clerk to provide candidates and third party advertisers with notice of the filing requirements and penalties for supplementary financial statements and auditor’s reports.

September 28, 2023

  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to apply to Superior Court of Justice to extend the time to file their supplementary financial statement.

September 29, 2023

By 2 pm:

  • Last day for those who filed a Notice of Extension of Campaign Period - Form 6 to extend the campaign period to file a supplementary financial statement and auditors’ report, if required, for the reporting period ending June 30, 2023.
    • Note: An auditor’s report is required if the candidate is participating in the Contribution Rebate Program. An auditor’s report is also required for candidates and third party advertisers if the total contributions received, and total expenses incurred in the election campaign up to the end of the relevant reporting period are each equal to or more than $10,000.
  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to notify the City Clerk of a filing extension received from the Superior Court of Justice.

October 2, 2023

  • First day an elector can apply for a compliance audit of a candidate or third party advertiser’s supplementary campaign finances, if required, even if the candidate or third party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.

October 30, 2023

By 2 pm:

  • Last day for a candidate or third party advertiser to file a supplementary financial statement and auditor’s report, if required, and pay $500 late filing fee.
    • Note: An auditor’s report is required if the candidate is participating in the Contribution Rebate Program. An auditor’s report is also required for candidates and third party advertisers if the total contributions received, and total expenses incurred in the election campaign up to the end of the relevant reporting period are each equal to or more than $10,000.
  • Penalties take effect at 2:01 pm.

December 28, 2023

  • Last day for an elector to apply for a compliance audit on a candidate or third party advertiser’s supplementary campaign finances, if required, even if the candidate or third party advertiser has not filed a financial statement.
    • If a candidate or third party advertiser files their initial financial statement within the 30-day grace period (which begins on September 29 at 2:01 pm and ends on October 30, 2023, at 2:00 pm), the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after they filed their initial financial statement. These dates will be posted on ottawa.ca/vote as required. 
    • If a candidate or third party advertiser received a filing extension from the Superior Court of Justice, the 90-day period to apply for a compliance audit begins the day after the extension expires. These dates will be posted on ottawa.ca/vote as required. 

Certified and acclaimed candidates and registered third party advertisers