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:
- Open the geoOttawa application.
- Navigate to the area of interest by using the search window or pan and/or zoom within the map.
- 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.
- Record the zoning code for future reference.
- 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
- 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)
- Firefox, Opera, Safari
- Chrome (Pepper-based Flash Player)
- 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)
- Flash Player 184.108.40.206 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 Street view in geoOttawa.
A: There are tools in geoOttawa that require opening another window. These include Google Street view, 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?
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
|Open Historical air photos tool
|Open the map legend tool||<Shift>S|
|Open the Print tool||<Shift>P|
|Set focus on the More Layers tool
|Close the active tool||Esc|
|Reset the focus on the map||Tab|