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Volunteering

For many youth, this might be your first volunteering experience. It is exciting, but may also seem a bit intimidating. Throughout the process, remember that you will learn some great skills and gain valuable knowledge, while at the same time helping out your community and fulfilling your high school volunteer requirements.

The first thing to do is register or apply to become a volunteer. No matter what organization you wish to volunteer with, there will be some type of registration process. This might include creating an online profile, filling out forms and depending on the volunteer position and what type of clients or program you will be working with, you might be required to do a Police Records Check.

All City of Ottawa Volunteers must take accessibility training, as a requirement of the province and all volunteers under the age of 18 must have parental or guardian consent to volunteer. This is nothing to worry about, but just part of the process to make sure all the participants, volunteers and staff are safe.

The timeline to begin your volunteer position will depend on the needs of the group you will be working with. Some positions might be able to start within a week, others might take up to 6 weeks, and some programs recruit groups of volunteers at different times of the year. Just keep in mind that it won't happen the day after you register or apply for the position. But be patient and learn as you go.

We look forward to having you as a volunteer and wish you a great experience!

Browse available opportunities with the City of Ottawa programs and services.

Contact volunteer@ottawa.ca or call them at 613-580-2624.

Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee

About us

The Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC) is a committee to help encourage youth engagement and to amplify youth voice and representation at the City of Ottawa. OYEC is working to increase youth engagement in decision making within the City of Ottawa. OYEC will also strive to engage the non-engaged and underrepresented communities, in action and through representation. To learn more about this Committee, please contact youth@ottawa.ca.  

New members

If you’re between the ages of 15 – 24 and you would like to become an OYEC member, please complete the application form by visiting Youth Ottawa   New members are selected throughout the year as needed.  

group of smiling youth

Community Engagement

Ottawa Public Library Advisory Groups

Are you between the ages of 14 and 18, want to earn community involvement hours, build leadership skills and meet new teens in your area? If so, you could become a member of a Teen Advisory Group (TAG) at one of many library branches!

Teen Advisory Groups:

  • Have a say in which activities and services are offered to teens
  • Help plan and implement them
  • Help design Teen Zones
  • Participate in focus groups related to the Teen Section of the Ottawa Public Library website
  • Read advance copies of Teen fiction books and write reviews
  • Advise the Library about new collections and suggest titles to buy

To join a TAG or for more information, visit: TAG. You can also email: teenservices@biblioottawalibrary.ca

Youth in Policing

The Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) is an employment program with the Ottawa Police Service for youth 15-18 years of age and attending a secondary school program.

The goal of the Youth in Policing Initiative is to give young people an opportunity to develop job skills while enhancing police and community relations.

For more information about the program, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, visit: Youth in Policing

Ottawa Police Youth Advisory Committee

Are you under 24 and interested in sharing ideas and working together with police for a safer Ottawa? You may be interested in getting involved with the Ottawa Police Services Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), where you will be helping with decisions, projects and events that matter.

Reasons to join:

  • Bring your voice to policing
  • Work as a team with others and police to help make Ottawa safer
  • Make new friends
  • Help make the Ottawa Police Service more youth-friendly
  • Become more aware of youth issues and get involved in solutions
  • Build your social skills and résumé
  • Free food, bus tickets, and other perks!

To join, you will have to fill out an application form. For more information, visit: YAC. You can also email YAC@ottawapolice.ca or call 613-236-1222, ext. 8676.

Ottawa Police Venturers

Are you between the ages of 14 and 18 and interested in Law Enforcement? Police Venturing is a great way to learn about the role of police within the community and within the criminal justice system. Through weekly meetings, training sessions and volunteer opportunities, Venturers meet new friends, learn about policing and gain valuable experience with the Ottawa Police Service. The program runs from October to June each year.

Police venturers:

  • Give tours of the police station;
  • Assist with police crime prevention initiatives;
  • Assist at police and community events;
  • Learn about the various aspects of policing;
  • Become part of a dynamic and energetic group of youth.

For more information about the eligibility criteria and application process visit Police Venturers or phone the Venturer Information Line at 613-236-1222 ext. 6034.

Paint it Up

Did you know that one of the best ways to beat graffiti is to paint up walls, old buildings and underpasses? That's why Crime Prevention Ottawa works with the City of Ottawa to offer funding for outdoor mural projects through the Paint it Up! program for youth. Find out more on the Paint it Up program page.

Youth Summit

Background

On October 12, 2012, Mayor Jim Watson, together with Honourary Chair, Councillor Mathieu Fleury, hosted a Youth Summit. This important event brought a diverse group of over 180 youth together to discuss and provide suggestions on a number of relevant topics including civic engagement, employment, entrepreneurship, mental health, volunteering, and safety. The day was filled with inspiring speakers, discussion groups, networking and mentorship opportunities, and community resources geared towards youth. It was also a forum for youth to come together, be inspired by successes of other youth, and to offer ideas on improving our city.

On May 22, 2013, City Council approved the Youth Summit Action Plan (YSAP) which responds to the ideas and suggestions provided by youth at the Mayor’s Youth Summit.   The YSAP is a direct result of the feedback from youth in the discussion groups and emails.

The YSAP introduces a two-year plan to address key suggestions from youth. It presents 31 actions organized under eight areas:

  • Communicate More Effectively
  • Improve Relationships
  • Engage Youth in Decision-Making
  • Engage Youth in Mentoring
  • Provide Practical Career Advice
  • Outreach to Rural Youth
  • Promote Volunteering
  • Facilitate Peer Support and Tailored Interventions

Actions in the plan will be implemented between 2013 and 2014 and the plan will be refreshed in 2015.

Contact

The Youth Summit Action Plan is the product of feedback from youth at the Mayor’s Youth Summit. A full summary report from the Summit is available on the web or by emailing youth@ottawa.ca.  If you are a youth, you can get involved with the implementation of the Youth Summit Action Plan by emailing youth@ottawa.ca or calling 311. Continue to be involved and make sure your voice is heard!

Youth summit action plan

Download a PDF version of the Youth Summit Action Plan [ PDF 144 KB ]

The Youth Summit Action Plan was created following the Mayor’s Youth Summit based on feedback received from youth at the Summit.

Actions and Description: Explains and describes the action that will be taken. 

Timelines: Shows the time period within which the action will be completed.                                                                                                                    

Responsibility:  Shows which City of Ottawa Department is leading the implementation of the action.

1. Communicate More Effectively

1.1 Create a Youth Portal on the City web site

Description: Design the wire-frames and build the infrastructure and web design on Ottawa.ca for the Youth Portal.
Responsibility: Service Ottawa
Indicators: New youth Portal live on City of Ottawa web site
Timeline:2013

1.2 Identify and coordinate the content for the new Youth Portal

Description: Review existing web content to match youth priorities, identify youth ready content, revise the content and consider new content.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services (and Youth Ottawa)
Indicators:Content ready for Portal
Timeline: 2013

1.3 Use the #ottyouth (#ottjeunes) hash tag from the City of Ottawa Twitter account

Description: Use the #ottyouth (#ottjeunes) hash tag for youth-targeted content to ensure easier search function for youth and assist youth in identifying programs, campaigns and services targeted to them

Responsibility: Corporate Communications
Indicators: # of times the hashtag is used per year
Timeline: 2013

1.4 Incorporate the youth target audience into the communications planning process as a specific audience with specific tactics

Description: Tailor and test communications efforts appropriate for youth. 

Responsibility: Corporate Communications
Indicators: % of campaigns complying to process
Timeline: 2013

1.5 Explore creating an online magazine

Description: Explore creating an online magazine to better communicate digitally to residents, including youth.

Responsibility: Corporate Communications
Indicators: % of online magazine set up complete
Timeline:2013

1.6 Promote existing programs to youth (such as Career Cruising, Partner 4 Jobs).

Description: Ensure youth are aware of existing programs and services for them and actively promote these programs as well as new programs.  These programs will also be promoted on the new Youth Portal.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services
Indicators: Outreach and promotional activities documented
Timeline: 2013

1.7 Conduct an advertising campaign about cell phone robbery prevention

Description: Target advertising to youth about cell phone robbery through various channels

Responsibility: Ottawa Police Services
Indicators: Youth-friendly promotional material developed and posted
Timeline: 2013

1.8 Create a campaign on Crime Stoppers awareness for youth

Description: Raise awareness amongst youth about Crime Stoppers 

Responsibility: Ottawa Police Services
Indicators: % of campaign implemented, Youth-friendly promotional material developed and distributed, # of youth-friendly presentations to increase awareness developed and delivered
Timeline: 2013

1.9 Create a social media platform for youth to engage with police (Facebook and Twitter)

Description: Launch a Facebook and Twitter account for the OPS Youth Advisory Committee 

Responsibility:Ottawa Police Services
Indicators: Active Facebook and Twitter accounts, # of likes, friends, followers and tweets
Timeline: 2013

1.10 Create a hand out which describes the various jobs/careers (i.e., chemical and civil engineering, computer programmer, etc.) available at the City of Ottawa.

Description: Create a profile of the jobs and careers available at the City to use as a promotional tool and to educate students about the opportunities.  This tool could be distributed to youth through various channels (i.e. schools, libraries, recreation centres) and made available on the Youth Portal.  This tool would be useful for the mentoring and job shadow programs detailed below.

Responsibility: Human Resources
Indicators: Hand out developed and distributed to youth through various networks
Timeline: 2013

2. Improve Relationships

2.1 Increase youth awareness of the role of transit safety and enforcement staff 

Description: In collaboration with the Ottawa Police Service, provide presentations at schools and to youth organizations about the role transit safety and enforcement staff play in protecting transit customers and the public, and the role youth can play in ensuring everyone’ s safety and security

Responsibility: Transit Services
Indicators: # of presentations annually (target 50 presentations in 2013), # of attendees at presentations (target 2000 attendees in 2013)                    
Timeline: Ongoing

2.2 Foster positive relationships between youth and police through the work of the OPS Youth Advisory Committee 

Description: Youth Advisory Committee is working to build relationships with the police service personnel

Responsibility: Ottawa Police Services
Indicators: # of YAC meetings, # of opportunities for collaboration and partnership on joint initiatives identified, # of youth engaged in consultations Included within OPS Business Plan

Timeline: Ongoing

2.3 Conduct pilot projects to assess the impact of enhanced transit service on youth 

Description: Assess the impact of enhancements to transit service undertaken in late 2012 in support of Equity and Inclusion Lens groups, such as youth and those with limited travel options.

Responsibility: Transit Services
Indicators: Report presented to Transit Commission
Timeline: 2014

2.4 Increase collaboration across youth coordinators throughout city.

Description: Throughout the city, there are youth coordinators working for various organizations who provide programs and services to youth and link youth to services with other agencies.  Youth coordinators from other organizations will be invited to attend health related training to build greater awareness of programs and services, foster better relationships and enhance coordination of services. 

Responsibility: Ottawa Public Health
Indicators: 35 Youth Coordinators attending trainings and networking events
Timeline: 2013

3. Engagement in Decision-Making

3.1 Create a youth-led committee to inform and sponsor the Youth Summit Action Plan. Councillor Fleury will be Council's representative on the committee.

Description: Youth Committee will help monitor the action plan, help advise City staff on the implementation of the actions and will lead and take on actions related to civic engagement.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services (and Youth Ottawa)
Indicators: Committee created
Timeline: 2013

 3.2 Youth-led committee will work with departments and Councillors on engagement initiatives

Description: Provide strategic advice on how to effectively engage with youth and create and implement engagement and outreach activities.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services (and Youth Ottawa)
Indicators: Assist with at least 2 engagement initiatives
Timeline: 2013, 2014

3.3 Consult with youth at Youth Services Bureau and Operation Come Home about housing

Description: As part of a review of  the  homelessness service system in Ottawa and to meet the requirements of various federal/provincial funding  streams  the Housing  Services Branch will consult with Youth Services Bureau and Operation Come Home youth about services and supports required for the next three years for youth who are homeless or “at risk” of homelessness.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services
Indicators: Consultation completed
Timeline: 2013

4. Mentoring

4.1 Implement a youth mentoring program for the City 

Description: Staff across the City will offer mentorship to youth focused on their career path, job experience and other areas of interest to youth (e.g. 3 hours, up to 3 youth per year.  Volunteer Services will assist with screening, matching and logistical issues; PRCS will leverage youth leadership resources and other departments’ expertise.

Responsibility: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (Invest Ottawa)
Indicators: 50 youth mentorships by 2014
Timeline: 2013 – development 2014 – implementation 

 4.2 Implement a job shadow program for City of Ottawa Summer Students

Description: Create a program for summer students to job shadow different positions to help promote the City as an employer to a diversity of youth.  Create a communications package and tools to promote this program including student orientation.

Responsibility: Human Resources
Indicators: 50 job shadows
Timeline: 2014

 5. Practical Career Advice

5.1 Create a series of workshops for youth on the Microsoft suite of tools (Word/Excel/Outlook/PowerPoint)

Description: Focus on computer skills that are required in the work setting and develop a workshop that can be offered at City of Ottawa locations or at other sites.  This action will build upon existing materials and services.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services
Indicators: 16 workshops provided per year
Timeline: 2013

 5.2 Create a Labour Market information workshop with key partners

Description: Provide labour market trend information to youth and parents in a fun and informative manner to help build awareness of how to plan for future jobs.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services
Indicators: Prepared workshop 8 workshops provided per year
Timeline: 2013

 5.3 Create networking opportunities for youth with other youth and with professionals

Description: Provide opportunities for youth to network with each other and with established professionals to ask questions and gain greater understanding for moving forward with job or career goals.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services
Indicators: 4 networking opportunities per year
Timeline: 2014

 5.4 Create a youth career training program (workshops, e-Learning, and practical application/mentoring)

Description: Focus for the program will be on networking, job readiness, and practical skills building. Will use Youth Employment Services resources and knowledge and work with youth and community partners for content.

Responsibility: Community and Social Services, Economic Development, Human Resources (Invest Ottawa)
Indicators: Youth career training program developed, advertised and offered to at least 20 youth per year
Timeline: 2014

 6. Rural Outreach

6.1 Create Youth Corner in the Rural Connections newsletter

Description: Provide youth specific information via the Rural Connections newsletter which is already distributed to approximately 2500 people and organizations

Responsibility: Planning and Growth Management - Rural Affairs
Indicators: 4 Youth Corners per year
Timeline: 2013

6.2 Act as a liaison between youth and the City through Ottawa Public Health programming

Description: OPH staff working in rural communities will promote City-wide services to rural youth.

Responsibility: Ottawa Public Health
Indicators: 40 services promoted
Timeline: 2013 / 2014

7. Volunteering

7.1 Create a youth focus in the City's Volunteer Strategy

Description: Work with all the City’s volunteer coordinators to establish more youth friendly opportunities, and raise awareness of those already in existence by reaching out to schools and advertising using different forms of media. A link can be placed on the Youth Portal on ottawa.ca, highlighting youth oriented opportunities.

Responsibility: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Indicators: Youth-friendly materials developed, Linked on Youth Portal
Timeline: 2013

7.2 Engage youth to develop a youth friendly look and feel for the City's Volunteer Strategy

Description: Work with local youth to develop the City’s Volunteer Strategy’s youth friendly look and feel.  Youth are provided with the criteria and volunteer their services.  Youth would be formally acknowledged for their efforts. 

Responsibility: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Indicators: Brand developed
Timeline: 2013

7.3 Review and update the City's volunteer application and recruitment processes to ensure the process is as user friendly as possible

Description: As part of the Volunteer Strategy, review and revise current processes to ensure the forms, tools, and training are youth friendly and provide a positive experience for youth and other population groups.

Responsibility: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Indicators: Revised processes
Timeline: 2013

7.4 The Mayor and Councillor's offices will provide volunteer opportunities for youth.

Description: Youth will be provided with volunteer opportunities in the Mayor's and Councillor's offices. The aim would be to have at least one youth volunteering at all times throughout the year. (e.g. One office could have different volunteers at various times throughout the year)

Responsibility: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Indicators: 24 volunteers, % satisfied with their experience
Timeline: 2013 / 2014

8. Peer Support and Tailored Interventions

8.1 Work with youth to identify and implement strategies that will address important youth health issues.

Description: Ottawa Public Health (OPH) will engage youth through multiple mechanisms (focus groups, consultations, Photo voice, and student committees) to identify health priorities, inform program design, provide feedback on resources, design and implement health projects and programs. Strategies will also be included in the May 6th Board of Health Report on Youth Engagement.

Responsibility: Ottawa Public Health
Indicators: 150 Photo voice participants, 50 youth consulted, 15 youth committees
Timeline: 2013 / 2014

8.2 Reach out to youth with health messaging and programming through social media

Description: Using OPH social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog) to share City and community health programming and opportunities.

Responsibility: Ottawa Public Health
Indicators: 25 social media messages to youth
Timeline: 2013 / 2014

Civic Affairs

Municipal Government

Ottawa has an elected 24-member City Council that includes the Mayor and 23 Councillors who represent individual wards. Find out more about their roles.

Municipal Elections

Official results from the October 27 2014 election can be found at ottawa.ca

Symbols of Ottawa

Ottawa has several iconic symbols that share a rich history. Learn about important symbols such as our Coat of Arms, our Flag, our official flower, and our motto.

Flag protocol

Flag protocol addresses topics such as the order of precedence in which flags are flown, when flags are flown at half-mast, the length of time it remains at half-mast and the disposal of flags. Consult for additional information.

Maps of Ottawa – geoOttawa

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.

Main Administrative Structure

Have you ever wondered how the City’s departments are aligned? Take a look at the administrative structure to view a breakdown of the City’s departments and staff. Contact information is available where possible.