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Complaints and compliments

Submit a complaint to the City

The City of Ottawa is committed to continuous organizational improvement in an environment where all complaints are dealt with fairly in a respectful, transparent fashion, as quickly as possible.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction related to a City of Ottawa program, service, facility, or staff member, where a citizen believes that the City has not provided a service experience to the customer’s satisfaction at the point of service delivery and a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.

A complaint is distinct from:

  • Request for Service:  A request made to the City on behalf of a citizen for a specific service, or to notify the City that a scheduled service was not provided on time.  Examples include:
    • Requesting that the City repair a street surface
    • Reporting a burnt out street light
    • Notifying the City of a missed garbage collection
    • Alerting the City of no water service
    • Report a bylaw or parking infraction
  • Claim to the City: A request for compensation if you believe the City is legally responsible for a bodily injury or property damage you have experienced. Typical claims include requests for compensation for: 
    • Damage to cars due to potholes
    • Injuries from slipping on a sidewalk
    • Foundation damage from City trees
  • Disputing Parking Tickets and other Provincial Offences Act (POA) Fines: A request to review a parking ticket or other POA ticket, pursuant to the available legal options under the Provincial Offences Act. These options are detailed on the back of issued tickets as well as the aforementioned City of Ottawa website.
  • Enquiry: A general or specific request for information regarding a City of Ottawa product or service made by a citizen that is resolved at the point of service delivery.
  • Feedback:  An opinion, comment and expression of interest in a City of Ottawa program or service by a citizen. 
  • Compliment: An expression of approval for a City of Ottawa service, staff member, program, product or process. 
  • Suggestion:  An idea submitted to the City of Ottawa by a customer with the aim of improving services, programs, products or processes.

Submitting a Complaint

In order to submit a formal complaint to the City, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Details of what happened
  • Where did this happen?  Is it within the City’s area of responsibility?
  • When?
  • Who was involved?
  • What was said or done?
  • What kind of resolution is being sought?
  • Contact details of the complainant

All complaints will be dealt with in a confidential manner according to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  Information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Act.  More information on the Act is available on our website.

Ready to submit a complaint?

Please select the appropriate department:

Other City Departments

Community & Social Services – Ontario Works, Child Care, Emergency Shelters, Affordable Housing

Corporate Services – Property Tax & Water Accounts, Procurement, Collections

Emergency & Protective Services – By-law Services, Ottawa Fire, Office of Emergency Management

Office of the City Clerk and Solicitor – French Language Services, Accessibility Office, Elections Office, Access to Information, Legislative Services (Council and Committee meetings), Protocol, Legal Services

Ottawa Public Health

Planning, Infrastructure & Economic Development – Building Permits, Plan Approvals, Zoning, Development Reviews, Ottawa 2017, Business Improvement Areas, Design & Construction of City Infrastructure

Public Works & Environmental Services --   Road Maintenance, Park Maintenance, Recycling & Garbage Collection, Drinking Water Services, Wastewater Services

Recreation, Cultural & Facility Services – Recreation Programs, Museums, Arts, Hall & Sportsfields Rentals, City Building Maintenance

Service Innovation & Performance--  3-1-1 Contact Centre,, Client Service Centres, Courthouse & Provincial Offences, Media Relations, News Releases, Media Advisories, Job Postings

Transportation Services – OC Transpo, Para Transpo, Traffic Signs, Traffic Signals, Traffic Regulations, Light Rail Construction & Design

Service request feedback - tell us how we did

Please participate in the City of Ottawa Client Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback on your recent interaction with the City of Ottawa’s Service Ottawa Department is greatly appreciated.

The survey will only take 2-3 minutes to complete. Your feedback will be used for quality assurance purposes only and no personal identifiers will be disclosed or used. All responses will be treated in a confidential manner.

Start survey

Complaints regarding French language services

French Language Services (FLS), which reports to the Office of the City Clerk and Solicitor, is responsible for managing complaints regarding the quality of service delivery in French at the City of Ottawa.

By managing complaints regarding French language services, FLS is able to:

  • Assist City departments in improving the delivery of quality French language services to residents and staff
  • Better address the needs and concerns of residents and staff
  • Collaborate with departments to ensure they take the measures necessary to prevent the recurrence of issues

Who may lodge a complaint?

Residents or employees who feel that there was a lack in the delivery of services in French on the part of the City can submit a complaint.

How to lodge a complaint?

Follow this direct link to the online form for complaints regarding French Language Services.

Before submitting a complaint, please review the guidelines on complaints to the City.  The online form is also located within the Office of the City Clerk and Solicitor section. 

For additional information, please contact French Language Services at 613-580-2424, ext. 21000.