Older Adult Plan

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City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan 2020-2022


In 2021 there were 172,510 people aged 65 and older in Ottawa, representing 17% of the population.  According to the 2021 Census, 30% of Ottawa’s population is over the age of 55.  This is the fastest growing age group in Ottawa.  By 2031 older adults are expected to make up 22% of the population.

Like many other large cities in Canada and around the world, we are taking action to make Ottawa a more age-friendly city.  Our Older Adult Plan 2020-2022 (PDF - 247KB) supported a long-term vision for our community.  We are currently reviewing the outcomes of that plan and working towards developing a fresh strategy to support older adults, one which values the knowledge, experience and talents of older adults and helps to make our community vibrant and prosperous for all residents.

Some of the achievements realized through the Older Adult plan to date include:

  • More than 180 on-street bus stops were rehabilitated through OC Transpo’s annual improvement program to enhance accessibility for older adults and persons with disabilities. Upgrades included the installation of new level bus pads, shelters, exterior accessible benches, connections to adjacent sidewalks and pathways, larger boarding areas, and curb ramps where no adjacent connections existed.  
  • Launched My Para Transpo online services to all Para Transpo customers in April 2022. This initial set of services included online Para Transpo trip booking and cancellation, and ride tracking.  
  • 1203 clients served for transportation access to COVID-19 testing or vaccination clinics.  
  • 2104 sidewalk repairs were completed in areas highly frequented by older adults.  
  • 37 intersections adjusted with signal timing for crossing times. 
  • 102 intersections with newly installed accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian countdown timers.  
  • 66 road safety initiatives, which included community presentations, outreach events, workshops, and education sessions. 20 of which are related to the OAP, with a focus on cycling and safety.  
  • 31 locations equipped with temporary “Wind signs” to promote safe sharing of pathways between cyclists and pedestrians.  
  • City staff instructed the e-scooter providers to install stickers on their e-scooters that say “No Sidewalk Riding”.  
  • 31 completed installations at City facilities frequented by older adults were installed with age-friendly and accessible door openers and operators.  
  • 35 accessible benches were installed, 15 pads were constructed, and 3 accessible picnic tables were installed at existing City facilities to increase accessibility at public spaces.  
  • 700 participants in online courses with over 720 wellness supply kits distributed as part of wellness programs to promote healthy aging.  
  • Beach friendly wheelchairs were purchased to allow for beach access in the summer and tablets for older adult fitness programs were purchased as part of the Older Adult New Fitness Initiatives.  
  • 6 programs developed and delivered to facilitate active living, recreational and cultural opportunities for over 800 older adults living on low-income and moderate income, including: Inuit Elders’ Gathering, Indigenous cultural experiences, virtual creative arts programs, free outdoor theatre performances, quilting workshops, storytelling, and performances held in-person and virtually.  
  • 5 new fitness, health, and wellness, cultural, and arts programs developed and piloted targeting 196 older adults from priority groups, including: o Workshops in traditional craft skills and cultural knowledge for Indigenous older adult participants, virtual reality program content and equipment, arts-based welcome center led by Inuit older adults for Inuit in Ottawa, free outdoor dance performances, social recreational programs and art workshops led by artists with disabilities for older adults with cognitive/developmental disabilities.
  • Mayor’s office awarded Jane Dobell the Ontario’s Senior of the Year award on June 24, 2021.  
  • 76 new affordable housing units specifically geared towards seniors were completed between 2020 and 2022.  
  • 216 new affordable housing units geared towards a mixed population, including seniors, were completed and occupied between 2020 and 2022.  
  • 1381 affordable and supportive housing units are currently under development and once complete, will serve a variety of client groups, including seniors.  
  •  Ontario Renovates Program approved and provided funding to 37 senior households to cover the cost of essential repairs and/or accessible modifications, thus, fostered independent living and aging in place.  
  • 111 new and approved applicants to the Property Tax Deferral Program.  
  •  Collaborated closely with the Human Needs Task Force to reach out to isolated seniors and address COVID related needs.  
  • 9, 424 subscribers in English and 750 subscribers in French to the Older Adult Newsletter, established to increase awareness of programs


For more information about the Older Adult Plan, email olderadults@ottawa.ca.

Seniors roundtable

The Seniors Roundtable was created in 2012 to provide feedback to City staff on the City‘s Older Adult Plan. This forum allows us to engage residents and identify emerging issues affecting older adults.

The Seniors Roundtable is made up of representatives of community agencies serving diverse populations of Ottawa’s older adults and is the City’s primary mechanism for engaging residents on issues affecting older adults.

For more information on the Seniors Roundtable, email olderadults@ottawa.ca.