Information for Voters

Certified Candidates - 2018 Municipal Elections

Registered Third Parties - 2018 Municipal Elections

Eligibility to Vote

The next regular municipal election to elect a mayor, city councillors, and school board trustees will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018. Eligible electors will be casting ballots for the following offices:

  • Mayor - one elected at large
  • City councillor – one elected per ward, 23 wards
  • School board trustee - one elected per zone, 37 zones
    • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
    • Ottawa Catholic School Board
    • Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
    • Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

For more information, we recommend consulting the Ministry of Municipal Affairs' 2018 Voters’ guide for Ontario municipal council and school board elections. This guide was created to provide voters with general information in plain language concerning the rules and constraints of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations.

Who can vote?

A person is entitled to vote in a municipal election if they are a qualified elector. That means, on voting day, you 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:

  • an owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other board.

Who cannot vote?

The following are prohibited from voting 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

Voting for students

If you are a student and consider your "home" to be the place where you live when you are not attending school, which means you plan on returning there, then you are eligible to vote in both your "home" municipality and in the municipality where you currently live while attending school.

As a student and a resident of the City of Ottawa, if you are unable to vote in the City of Ottawa Municipal Election, you may appoint another elector as a proxy to vote on your behalf.

Voters' list

The voters’ list identifies people who are eligible to vote in the 2018 Municipal Elections by name, address, school support and residency status.

Starting September 1 until October 22, 2018, you can conveniently verify your information by:

The voters’ list will also be available for public viewing from September 4 to October 22, 2018,  at the Elections Office and any of the Client Service Centres.

Adding your Name or Amending your Information on the Voters’ List

If you need to add or amend your information, you can download and complete the Application to Add or Amend My Information on the Voters’ List form and bring it with you to the voting place. This application will also be available at all voting places on voting days.

The deadline to make an application to add or amend your information on the voters’ list is October 22, 2018.

Removing a Name from the Voters’ List

If an elector wishes to remove their name from the voters’ list, or if a person’s name appears on the voters’ list and another elector has reason to believe that the person’s name should no longer be there (e.g. the person is deceased or has moved), the elector may take the following steps to have the name removed:

Copies of this application can be picked up at the Elections Office and any of the Client Service Centres.

The final day to remove someone’s name from the voters’ list is October 22, 2018.

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. Photo identification is not required. Electors who cannot present an acceptable proof of identity and residence will have to make a statutory declaration.

Many documents can be used to show a person’s name and address.You may present one of the following:

  • An Ontario driver’s licence.
  • 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.

Please note that your Voter Notification cannot be used as a piece of identification.

Voting

Electors will have several opportunities to cast a ballot:

Special Advance Voting

Special advance voting will be open to all City of Ottawa electors October 4 to 7, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

Electors may cast a ballot at any of the following locations during the special advance voting period:

  • Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive
  • City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West
  • François Dupuis Recreation Centre, 2263 Portobello Boulevard
  • Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive
  • Minto Recreation Complex - Barrhaven, 3500 Cambrian Road
  • Richcraft Recreation Complex - Kanata, 4101 Innovation Drive

Traditional Advance Voting

Electors will have an opportunity to vote in their ward on Friday, October 12, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

For more information on where and when to cast your ballot during the advance voting period:

  • review your Voter Notification;
  • check the Where Do I Vote? application; or
  • call the Elections Office.

Voting Day

Voting Day is Monday, October 22, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

For more information on where and when to cast your ballot on Voting Day,

  • review your Voter Notification; 
  • check the Where Do I Vote? application; or
  • call the Elections Office.

Voting by proxy

If you will be unable to get to a voting place to cast your ballot on October 22, 2018, or on any of the advance vote days, you may wish to appoint a proxy. A proxy is someone that can go to the voting place and cast a ballot on your behalf. This person must be an eligible elector and should be someone you trust to mark the ballot the way you have instructed them to.

A proxy can represent multiple members of their immediate family, but only one individual who is not a member of their immediate family.

How to appoint a proxy

An elector can appoint a voting proxy from Tuesday, September 4, 2018, until Monday, October 22, 2018, during regular business hours.

To appoint a proxy, you and the person you want to appoint must fill out an Appointment for Voting Proxy (Form 3). The individual that has been appointed must take the completed forms to the City’s Elections OfficeOttawa City Hall or any Client Service Centre (excluding Walter Baker Sports Centre) during regular business hours to have it certified by City staff. Your proxy will be required to present proof of their identity. Please refer to the Identification section for a list of documents that may be presented as identification.

Things needed for certification:

Things needed at the voting place:

Deadline for appointing a proxy

All voting proxies must be appointed before 4:30 pm on Voting Day (October 22, 2018).

Accessible voting tools and services

The Elections Office is committed to providing an accessible voting process.  As such, the Elections Office ensures several accessibility tools are available to electors, including:

  • large print ballots
  • magnifying sheets
  • braille listings of candidates
  • braille ballot templates
  • access to a cell phone with Elections call centre staff on standby

Accessible vote tabulators

All special advance voting places, traditional advance voting places and voting places in retirement residences and long-term care facilities will offer electors the opportunity to use an accessible vote tabulator (AVT). The AVT allows electors with disabilities to mark and cast their ballot privately and independently.

Its features include:

  • a braille keypad
  • L-R paddles (colour-coded left and right paddles)
  • a sip-puff device
  • bilingual audio through headphones
  • bilingual visual support through a 19-inch screen with zoom and high contrast features

Curbside voting

If you are physically unable to go inside the voting place, you can request to have your ballot brought to your vehicle, outside of the building or to another area within the voting place. A friend or support person will need to go inside the voting place to let the election officials know that you require curbside voting.

For additional information about curbside voting, please contact the Elections Office.

Accessibility Plan

The City of Ottawa Elections Office has prepared an Accessibility Plan regarding the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities. The Plan is also accompanied by an abridged version that is lighter in text.

How to Vote Video

On the advice of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Elections Office has prepared the following How to Vote video, so that electors can gain an understanding of the voting process and what they should expect before entering the voting place.

Video Transcript

Monday, October 22, 2018, is municipal Voting Day. Voters will elect a Mayor, 23 City Councillors and school board Trustees for four school boards. 

Voting is quick and easy when you are prepared.

If you received a Voter Notification Letter in the mail, bring it with you along with identification to your assigned voting place.

Once at the voting place, you will be greeted by an Election Worker who will ask to see your Voter Notification Letter and will direct you to the appropriate Deputy Returning Officer’s table.

If you need any assistance, an Election Worker will be happy to help you.

Once at the Deputy Returning Officer’s table, you will be asked for your Voter Notification Letter and a piece of identification showing your name and qualifying Ottawa address.

The Deputy Returning Officer will check your identification against the Voters’ List and cross your name off the list.

The Deputy Returning Officer will hand you your ballot along with a privacy sleeve. They will explain to you how to mark your ballot by filling in the oval next to the candidate of your choice. You will then be directed to the voting screen.

At the voting screen, you can review the instructions on how to mark your ballot.

You can vote once for Mayor and once for Councillor. You may also be entitled to vote once for school board Trustee.

You also have the right to decline or spoil your ballot. If you have accidentally made a mistake on your ballot, ask an Elections Official to cancel your ballot and provide you with a new one. 

If you require assistance marking your ballot, the City of Ottawa offers several accessibility tools that will help you to vote privately and independently.

For information about the availability of these tools, please contact the Elections Office or visit Ottawa.ca/vote.

Once you’ve marked your ballot, place it in the privacy sleeve and take it to the Supporting Deputy Returning Officer who will feed your ballot into the vote tabulator.

Once your ballot is accepted by the tabulator, you have successfully voted.

Voting closes at 8 p.m. on October 22nd. 

Later that night, visit Ottawa.ca/vote for elections results, as they become available.  

Ward Maps, Subdivision Maps and School Zones

2018 Voting Places

2018 City Wide Maps

Half Moon Bay Community Maps

2018 Ward Maps

2018 Subdivision Maps

2018 Street Indices

2018 School Board Zones

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Ottawa Catholic School Board Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
1 5, 6, 20, 21
2 4, 23
3 1, 19
4 3, 22
5 2, 11
6 8, 9
7 7, 15
8 10, 18
9 16, 17
10 12, 13, 14

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
1 5, 6, 21
2 4, 23
3 3, 9
4 7
5 8
6 13, 18
7 20, 22
8 1, 19
9 12, 17
10 14, 15
11 10, 16
12 2, 11

Conseil des écoles catholiques du centre-est

Conseil des écoles catholiques du centre-est Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
4 4, 5, 6, 8, 23
5 3, 9, 21, 22
6 7, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
7 2
8 19
9 1
10 10, 18, 20
11 11, 13

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario Zone Structure
School Zone Ward(s)
6 19
7 1, 11
8 2, 10
9 14, 16, 17, 18
10 12, 13
11 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 15
12 3, 6, 20, 21, 22, 23

Campaign Finances

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

Third parties 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.

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

Contributions to a registered third party

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

  • 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 registered third party and, in the case of an individual, his or her spouse.

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

  • 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.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board. 

Contributors may contribute a total of $1,200 to a registered third party 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 third parties 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.

Campaigning and Sign Restrictions

Access to Multi-Residential Premises by Candidates and Their Representatives as well as the Display of Campaign Signs

Candidates and their representatives are allowed access to apartments, condominiums, non-profit housing cooperatives and gated communities for the purpose of canvassing and distributing election material.

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 outlines the following rules around campaigning in these locations:

  • Candidates and their representatives are permitted access between the hours of 9 am to 9 pm;
  • No landlord of residential premises can prevent a tenant from displaying campaign signs on their rented premises;
  • No condominium corporation can prevent an owner or tenant from displaying campaign signs on their unit; and
  • The landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent may set reasonable conditions on the size or type of sign that can be displayed. They can restrict signs from being displayed in common areas.

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, Condominium Act, 1998 and the Co-operative Corporations Act, 1996 also provide candidates and their representatives access to the building for the purpose of canvassing.

The letter Access to Multi-Residential Premises by Candidates and Their Representatives as well as the Display of Campaign Signs provides the above mentioned legislative sections. Candidates and their representatives may use this letter when they are canvassing and distributing election material.

Election signs on private property

The first day an election sign can be placed on private property is August 23, 2018.

Temporary Signs on Private Property By-law - City of Ottawa By-law 2004-239, Sections 14 and 21, states:

  1. No person or entity shall place or cause to be placed or allow to remain placed an election sign more than sixty (60) days immediately preceding the election date.

  2. Every election sign together with its appurtenances shall be removed from the premise within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.

  3. Dimension requirements [By-law 2004-239] do not apply to an election sign.

Election signs on public property

The first day an election sign can be placed on public property is September 22, 2018.

Signs on City Roads By-law - City of Ottawa By-law 2003-520, as amended, states:

  1. No person shall place an election sign on a highway other than on an inner boulevard, provided that the sign is not placed more than thirty (30) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. No election sign is to be placed within fifty (50) centimetres of a sidewalk, or where there is no sidewalk, within two (2) metres of the roadway or within fifty (50) centimetres of the edge of a shoulder where such exists.

  3. The election sign and its appurtenances shall be removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.

Note: It is forbidden to use election signs that constitute a safety hazard or utilize any sign type identified as a prohibited sign in any of the above listed by-laws.

Election signs on provincial highways

Please contact the Ministry of Transportation for regulations governing election signs on provincial highways.

Election signs on National Capital Commission lands

Please contact the National Capital Commission for regulations governing election signs on its lands. 

Campaign material around a voting place

When a voting place is located within public premises, the entire property of the voting place and all the boundaries associated with it are considered part of that voting place.

When a voting place is located on private premises, such as apartment or condominium buildings, all of the common elements of those buildings are considered part of the voting place. Individual units, however, are not considered common elements and their doors, windows, balconies, etc., do not fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Ottawa.

On both public and private premises, "premises" includes the parking lot, adjoining fences and adjacent road allowances. The City of Ottawa utilizes only a specific area for a voting place and has no jurisdiction over adjacent properties, for example, over political signs posted on street corners or passing cars advertising a candidate.

Campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996, stipulates that no person shall attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, how the elector votes and no person shall display a candidate’s election campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Clothing or accessories that identify a candidate, such as, signs, buttons, slogans, logos, advertising, etc., are not permitted inside a voting place.

Voting screens are checked regularly for markings and campaign literature.

The Supervisor Deputy Returning Officer is the final arbiter and may take whatever action is deemed necessary to maintain compliance in the voting place.