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Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020

Project Status: 
Underway

Project updates

Banner image for Ward Boundary Review 2020 Project

(September 3, 2021)

During the July 12, 2021 Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearing (Case No. MM210013), the Tribunal considered the appeals filed challenging the ward boundary revisions contained in the City of Ottawa’s Ward Boundary By-law No. 2021-3 (the "By-law").

In a written decision released on September 2, 2021, the Tribunal made an Order modifying the By-law to include the specific ward boundary modifications approved by Council on April 14, 2021, as referenced in the April 16, 2021 project update found below. The Tribunal further dismissed the balance of the appeals and did not order any other changes to the By-law.

The new ward boundaries established by the OLT decision and modified By-law will be in effect for the 2022 Municipal Elections. By-law No. 2021-3 has been modified to include revised Schedules A-16, A-17 and A-19 as provided in the OLT Order.

A report on the implementation of the new ward boundary structure is to be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council in the fall of 2021. Following consideration of this report, final ward names, ward maps, and an interactive map will be available on this project page. In early 2022, information will also be available on the City’s Elections website.

This now concludes the 2020 Ottawa Ward Boundary Review. You may check back at a later date for more information on the implementation of the new structure.

Questions may be directed to your Ward Councillor or sent to wardboundary@ottawa.ca.

(June 11, 2021)

The City of Ottawa received notice from the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) that the Tribunal will hold a video hearing to consider the Ottawa ward boundary by-law appeals (Case No. MM210013). The video hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 am on July 12, 2021.

Further information may be obtained by visiting the OLT website.

It should be noted that effective June 1, 2021, the former Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) was amalgamated with other entities to become the OLT, further to changes made by Bill 245, the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021.

(April 16, 2021)

The City of Ottawa received two notices of appeal objecting to the by-law enacted by City Council on January 27, 2021, to establish a new ward boundary structure for the 2022-2026 Term of Council.

The 45-day statutory period in which appeals of the by-law could be made ended on March 15, 2021.

In accordance with Subsection 222(5) of the Municipal Act, 2001, the City forwarded the notices of appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) by March 30, 2021. The City also provided any other information or material that the LPAT requires in connection with the appeals, in accordance with Subsection 222(6) of the Municipal Act, 2001.

Subsection 222(7) of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that the LPAT shall hear the appeals and may make an order affirming, amending or repealing the by-law.

During its meeting on April 14, 2021, City Council approved a motion directing Legal Services to seek specific boundary modifications from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) related to By-law No. 2021-3, as outlined in Appendix A and Appendix B, as a potential settlement to the two ward boundary appeals. The proposed modifications to By-law No. 2021-3 are subject to LPAT’s consideration.

Updates regarding the LPAT process will be provided on this website when available.

More information regarding the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 is outlined in the Frequently asked questions and Key dates sections below. A Project overview and other sections on this page set out the City’s reasons for conducting the ward boundary review, the objectives of the review and the review process.

Council-approved ward boundaries

On December 9, 2020, City Council approved a new ward boundary structure for the City of Ottawa. The following PDF maps [2 to 6MB each] illustrate the boundaries of the 24 wards, as approved.

The wards are listed as AW- followed by a number. This numbering system is used only to reference specific wards for this project. Before the 2022 municipal election, it is anticipated that Council will consider ward numbers and names as part of the implementation of the realigned ward system.

Citywide | AW-1 | AW-2 | AW-3 | AW-4 | AW-5 | AW-6 | AW-7 | AW-8 | AW-9 | AW-10 | AW-11 | AW-12 | AW-13 | AW-14 | AW-15 | AW-16 | AW-17 | AW-18 | AW-19 | AW-20 | AW-21 | AW-22 | AW-23 | AW-24

The shapefiles and a virtual map showing the Council-approved ward boundaries can be found on Open Ottawa. An interactive geoOttawa map is also available on the project page.

Further to the enactment of By-law No. 2021-3, and pending the hearing of the notice of appeal by the LPAT, the new ward system is to be established effective November 15, 2022, and is to serve as the basis for the next municipal election, to be held on October 24, 2022.

Interactive map – Council-approved ward boundaries

This is an interactive map of Ottawa that offers a way to view the approved ward boundaries in relation to the current ward system. It will allow you to see how the approved ward boundaries affect you and your city.

Tips for using the interactive mapping feature:

      • The approved ward boundaries are currently visible in the interactive map below. To view the approved ward boundaries in relation to the current ward structure, existing urban boundary or aerial imagery, click on the Layers drop down in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and select the ward(s) of interest.
      • To clear all selections, click on the Layers drop down and toggle the layer off and then back on.
      • Users can view and zoom to an area of interest by clicking on an area of the map. The ward number and Zoom to function will appear in a pop-up.
      • Clicking on the +/- symbols or using the scroll button on your mouse also allows users to zoom in and out.
      • To pan, click on the map and hold while moving the mouse in the desired direction.
      • This application works best in the Google Chrome web browser.

Project overview

The City of Ottawa reviewed its ward boundaries in 2020. Ward boundaries must be reviewed periodically to balance population numbers and achieve other components of “effective representation,” as established by the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which was formerly the Ontario Municipal Board. The last major review was completed in 2005 and established the City's 23 wards. 

Since the last major ward boundary review, Ottawa has seen considerable population growth, especially in suburban wards outside the Greenbelt. Some wards are growing twice as fast as others, creating population imbalances. Barrhaven (Ward 3)’s population is now 43 per cent above the average ward population of 44,000, Gloucester-South Nepean (Ward 22)’s population is 23 per cent above average and Cumberland (Ward 19)’s population is 17 per cent above average.

The Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 was meant to establish boundaries that can be used in at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034.

Based on direction from City Council, an independent, third-party consultant team conducted the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 to ensure it was objective and impartial. The team consulted extensively with the public, Members of Council and stakeholder groups, including school boards.

The project included two rounds of public consultation. Residents and businesses shared their thoughts through surveys and discussions. 

During Round 1 of public consultation (Wednesday, March 4, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020), input was received about the changes individuals wanted to see to the current ward boundaries. Following the Round 1 consultation, the Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council received the Options Report from the consultant team, which included five options for realigning Ottawa’s wards, during their meetings on July 7, 2020, and July 15, 2020, respectively. During its meeting on July 15, 2020, Council requested the development of a sixth ward boundary option, based on certain criteria, which led to the Supplementary Report that provided a sixth option. The Options Report, the Supplementary Report, a document detailing minor adjustments to the Options 1 to 5 maps, and PDF maps for Options 1 to 6 continue to be available on this website.

In Round 2 of public consultation (Wednesday, August 19, 2020 to Friday, September 25, 2020), feedback was collected on the six ward boundary options. Following the Round 2 consultation on the six options, the consultant team developed its Recommended Ward Boundaries – Final Report. The Final Report was considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council during their meetings of December 1, 2020 and December 9, 2020, respectively. The Final Report continues to be available on this website.

At the meeting of December 9, 2020, Council approved a new ward boundary structure for the City of Ottawa. On January 27, 2021, Council enacted By-law No. 2021-3, titled, “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish ward boundaries and Council composition.”

Following Council’s approval of By-law No. 2021-3, there was a 45-day statutory period in which notices of appeal for the LPAT could be filed with the City setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections. The appeal period ended on March 15, 2021. The City received two notices of appeal during the appeal period that will be forwarded to the LPAT. The Municipal Act, 2001 provides that the LPAT shall hear the appeals and may make an order affirming, amending or repealing the by-law.

The City’s by-law to establish ward boundaries would come into force for the 2022 Municipal Elections if the notices of appeal are withdrawn prior to January 1, 2022, or if the LPAT issues an order to affirm or amend the by-law before January 1, 2022.

Key dates

Key dates
Date Project Life Cycle 
June 2019

City Council considered the report titled, “City of Ottawa Ward Boundary Review (2019-2020),” and approved the framework for a comprehensive review of the City of Ottawa’s ward boundaries, including the Terms of Reference for the review and directing staff to undertake a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to retain an independent consultant to conduct the review.

December 2019

On December 11, 2019, Council approved Budget 2020, which included the financial implications resulting from the outcome of the ward boundary review RFP process. Further to Council’s adoption of the budget, Beate Bowron Etcetera Inc., in association with The Davidson Group and Hemson Consulting Ltd., was selected through the RFP process as the successful proponent for the ward boundary review.

January 2020

Ottawa’s ward boundary review began.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020

Round 1 public consultation collected opinions about Ottawa’s current ward boundaries. This included consultation with all Members of Council, residents, and stakeholders through public meetings, and a survey and online discussion on Engage.Ottawa.ca.

Due to the necessary cancellation of some of the in-person public meetings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and stakeholders were strongly encouraged to complete the online survey, submit input through the Guest Book, or provide written input. 

July 2020

On July 7, 2020, and July 15, 2020, respectively, the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council received the consultant team’s Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 - Options Report. The Options Report incorporates input received during Round 1 of the consultation from members of the public, Members of Council and key stakeholders, and research and analysis by the consultant team. The Options Report includes five options for new ward boundaries. At the July 15 meeting, Council requested the development of a sixth ward boundary option, based on certain criteria. The Supplementary Report on Option 6 was available prior to the start of the Round 2 public consultation. Minor adjustments to the original five option maps and an interactive geoOttawa mapping feature were also available prior to the start of Round 2.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 to Friday, September 25, 2020

Round 2 consultation collected feedback and suggested improvements to the six options to realign Ottawa’s wards. This included nine virtual public and stakeholder meetings, meetings with all Members of Council, and a public survey and Guest Book for comments on Engage.ottawa.ca. The public could also request hard copies of the survey.

December 2020

The consultant team provided its Final Report.

On December 1, 2020, the Finance and Economic Development Committee considered the consultant team's Final Report.

On December 9, 2020, Council considered the Committee's recommendations and approved the new ward boundary structure for the City of Ottawa. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Council enacted By-law No. 2021-3 establishing the new ward boundary structure and Council composition [Subsection 222(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

Following enactment of the by-law, there was a 45-day period in which notices of appeal for the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) could be filed with the City setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections. [Subsection 222(4) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The City gave notice of the passing of the by-law to the public specifying the last date for filing a notice of appeal to the LPAT as March 15, 2021 [Subsections 222(3) and (4) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

The City issued public notice.

By Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The City shall forward any notices of appeal to the LPAT within 15 calendar days after the last day for filing a notice of appeal [Subsection 222(5) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

After the LPAT receives any notice of appeal

The LPAT shall hear the appeal (anticipated in the months after receiving any notice(s) of appeal) and may make an order affirming, amending or repealing the by-law [Subsection 222(7) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

By December 31, 2021

Any by-law establishing new ward boundaries must be in force before January 1, 2022, for any ward boundary changes to be in effect for the 2022 Municipal Elections [Subsection 222(8) of the Municipal Act, 2001].

Therefore, the City’s by-law to establish ward boundaries would come into force for the 2022 Municipal Elections if any notices of appeal are withdrawn prior to January 1, 2022, or if notices of appeal are filed and the LPAT issues an order to affirm or amend the by-law before January 1, 2022.

October 2022 Municipal Elections.

Reports, documents and maps

Staff report City of Ottawa Ward Boundary Review (2019-2020) (June 2019)

Ward Boundary Review 2020 Backgrounder (March 2020) [750 KB]

Presentations

Presentation – Round 1 Public Engagement (March and April 2020) [858 KB]

Presentation – Round 2 Public Engagement (August and September 2020) [6 MB]

Presentation - Finance and Economic Development Committee (December 2020) [2 MB]

Options and Supplementary Reports (July and August 2020)

Options Report

Map and Table Adjustments - Options 1 - 5 (Adjustments to Appendix A)

Supplementary Report - Option 6 (August 2020)

Maps of the six options [2 to 5MB]:

Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3 | Option 4 | Option 5 | Option 6

Recommended Ward Boundaries Final Report (December 2020)

Final Report

Maps of recommended ward boundaries [2 to 5 MB]:

Citywide | RW-1 | RW-2 | RW-3 | RW-4 | RW-5 | RW-6 | RW-7 | RW-8 | RW-9 | RW-10 | RW-11 | RW-12 | RW-13 | RW-14 | RW-15 | RW-16 | RW-17 | RW-18 | RW-19 | RW-20 | RW-21 | RW-22 | RW-23 | RW-24

Other supporting documents

Population projections by traffic zones  

Open Data shapefiles

French mother tongue population by ward

FAQ

Why did the City revisit Ottawa’s ward structure?

In June 2019, City Council directed City staff to retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the City of Ottawa’s ward boundaries. The review was meant to establish boundaries that could be used in at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034. The last major review of Ottawa’s ward boundaries occurred in 2004-2005.

The City of Ottawa has seen a considerable spike in population since the last ward boundary review – particularly in Barrhaven (Ward 3), where there has been expanded development of residential communities. The population in other wards has also increased, notably in Gloucester-South Nepean (Ward 22) and Cumberland (Ward 19). Population projections indicate these areas will continue to grow.

A review of ward boundaries is intended to achieve “effective representation” as established by the Supreme Court of Canada. Effective representation is the “goal” of all ward boundary reviews.

What is Effective Representation?

Generally speaking, “effective representation” means that one person’s vote should be of similar weight to another person’s vote. When applied to wards, the term suggests that wards should be of similar population size. In practice, achieving effective representation for ward boundary reviews involves balancing several components:

  • Voter Parity: Ward populations should be similar but not identical and should be in the range of +/-10 per cent to +/-15 per cent of the average ward population. Larger percentage variations are possible, but only in exceptional circumstances such as in Ottawa’s functioning rural community or in rapidly growing wards.
  • Natural/Physical Boundaries: Ward boundaries have to be recognizable. Natural boundaries such as rivers and the Greenbelt, and physical boundaries such as highways, railways and arterial roads make good boundaries.
  • Geographic Communities of Interest: Ottawa’s neighbourhoods such as the Glebe or Hintonburg and commercial areas such as the ByWard Market are considered to be “communities of interest.” When re-aligning ward boundaries, geographically contiguous communities of interest should not be divided, unless they are so large that they must be split to achieve voter parity.
  • Minority Interests: Minority interests should be considered if they are geographically based.
  • Ward History: Ward design should, where possible, consider the history of the ward. However, ward history by itself cannot override other major criteria such as voter parity, strong natural/physical boundaries and communities of interest.
  • Capacity to Represent: Capacity to represent is often equated with Councillors’ workload. It includes matters such as ward size, types and complexity of issues, ongoing growth and development, etc. and has to be taken into consideration when designing wards.
  • Geographic Size and Shape of a Ward: All wards cannot be the same geographic size. Some areas of the city are more densely populated than others and some wards have more open space. Ottawa is especially unique with respect to this component of effective representation because of its large rural area.
  • Population Growth: The results of the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 are meant to last for at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034. The target election for an evaluation of effective representation is 2026. This allows for Ottawa’s expected growth to be factored into ward boundary calculations.
  • Balancing the Components of Effective Representation: While all components of effective representation must be taken into consideration, they are not all equal. Voter parity, respecting communities of interest, and well-defined, coherent ward boundaries are the most important components.

How did the City review its ward structure?

In accordance with Council direction, an independent third-party consultant team was retained to lead the comprehensive ward boundary review in order to ensure that the process of determining ward boundaries was impartial and approached without preconceived ideas or predetermined outcomes.

During the 12-month process, the consultant team:

  • Completed background research
  • Developed population projections
  • Led the public consultation process to collect opinions about Ottawa's current ward boundaries (Round 1)
  • Developed five options for realigning Ottawa’s wards
  • Prepared and presented an Information Report to the Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council setting out options for re-aligning Ottawa’s wards
  • Developed a sixth option at City Council's request, based on certain criteria
  • Led the public consultation process to collect feedback on the six options to realign Ottawa's wards (Round 2)
  • Prepared and presented their Recommended Ward Boundaries - Final Report to the Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council

What did the consultation process look like?

Consultation was conducted in two rounds. Round 1 collected input on what the public, stakeholders and Members of Council would like to see changed in Ottawa’s current ward boundary alignment, while Round 2 collected feedback on the six options for realigning Ottawa's wards.

Some of the public meetings and sessions with stakeholders for Round 1 were cancelled as part of the City’s response to COVID-19. Due to the necessary cancellation of the in-person public meetings, residents and stakeholders were strongly encouraged to complete the online survey, submit input through the Guest Book, or provide written input.

Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, six public consultation sessions during Round 2 were held via Zoom. Three of the sessions invited comments from participants from all over the city, while another three sessions focused more on each of Ottawa’s geographic communities – urban, suburban and rural. Three additional Zoom sessions were held for stakeholders (e.g. Business Improvement Areas, school boards, city-wide associations, community groups, etc.). Sessions occurred on varying days of the week – including Saturday – and times ranged from mid-morning to late afternoon to the evening hours. Round 2 also included a public survey (online and available in hardcopy), virtual interviews with all Members of Council, and an online public engagement component through Engage.Ottawa.ca.

Who led the review?

The consultant team consists of:

  • Beate Bowron, Beate Bowron Etcetera (Project Manager and responsible for the public consultation process)
  • Dr. Gary Davidson, The Davidson Group (Responsible for ward boundary re- alignment options and final recommendations)
  • Russell Mathew and Patrick Barbieri, Hemson Consulting Ltd. (Responsible for population projections)

Members of the consultant team are familiar with Ottawa and have extensive experience in conducting ward boundary reviews.

What happened after Council enacted the by-law to establish new ward boundaries?

After City Council’s enactment of By-law No. 2021-3, there was a 45-day period in which notices of appeal for the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) – setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections – could be filed with the City. In accordance with requirements under the Municipal Act, 2001, the City provided public notice on January 28, 2021, specifying the last date for filing a notice of appeal as March 15, 2021.

Two notices of appeal were received during the appeal period. Within 15 calendar days after the last day for filing a notice of appeal (i.e. by March 30, 2021), the City is required to forward any notices of appeal to the LPAT. The City is also required to provide any other information or material that the LPAT requires in connection with the appeal.

What are the anticipated next steps regarding the notices of appeal?

Subsection 222(7) of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that the LPAT “shall hear the appeal and may, despite any Act, make an order affirming, amending or repealing the by-law.”

Provided that any decision made by the LPAT occurs before January 1, 2022, it is anticipated that the new ward boundaries would be in effect for the October 2022 Municipal Elections. If the LPAT decision occurs after January 1, 2022 (and does not repeal the by-law), any new ward boundaries would come into force for the 2026 Municipal Elections.

A decision by the LPAT is subject to appeal, with leave of the Court, to Divisional Court. Provided that the LPAT has issued an order before January 1, 2022, it would continue to be possible for the new ward boundaries to come into effect if leave to appeal is not granted or the appeal is dismissed.

When will any new ward boundaries come into effect?

Subject to the information above, it is anticipated that any changes to ward boundaries would be effective November 15, 2022, and will serve as the basis for the next municipal election, to be held on October 24, 2022.

Is this going to affect the school board elections?

School board electoral areas (zones) are composed of one or more municipal wards. Therefore, changes to the ward boundaries could affect the school boards’ electoral boundaries. Any new boundaries would be established by the school boards.

Where can I find a map of the current Ottawa wards and their populations?

Ward Look-up Tool

Current Ward Maps and Population

Ward maps and population

Ward Number Ward Name Ward Councillor Population 2019 year end
1 Orléans Matthew Luloff 48,304
2 Innes Laura Dudas 42,796
3 Barrhaven Jan Harder 62,848
4 Kanata North Jenna Sudds 38,497
5 West Carleton-March Eli El-Chantiry 26,003
6 Stittsville Glen Gower 41,350
7 Bay Theresa Kavanagh 45,696
8 College Rick Chiarelli 51,914
9 Knoxdale-Merivale Keith Egli 39,676
10 Gloucester-Southgate Diane Deans 47,505
11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville Tim Tierney 33,982
12 Rideau-Vanier Mathieu Fleury 50,075
13 Rideau-Rockcliffe Rawlson King 40,285
14 Somerset Catherine McKenney 42,277
15 Kitchissippi Jeff Leiper 45,631
16 River Riley Brockington 48,612
17 Capital Shawn Menard 38,690
18 Alta Vista Jean Cloutier 44,648
19 Cumberland Catherine Kitts 51,743
20 Osgoode George Darouze 28,557
21 Rideau-Goulbourn Scott Moffatt 31,548
22 Gloucester-South Nepean Carol Anne Meehan 55,656
23 Kanata South Allan Hubley 49,915