Climate Resiliency Strategy

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Ottawa’s climate is changing. Overall Ottawa will become much warmer and wetter over the coming decades, with more extreme heat days, heavy rain and extreme weather events like severe winds, floods or winter storms. The City is developing a Climate Resiliency Strategy to guide how Ottawa can prepare for and respond to the anticipated impacts of changing climate conditions.

The Climate Resiliency Strategy is one of eight priorities of the Climate Change Master Plan.

Taking action on climate change requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also ensuring Ottawa is prepared for the impacts of a changing climate. Energy Evolution is the City’s strategy to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Climate Resiliency Strategy focuses on getting Ottawa ready for a changing climate. Learn more about Energy Evolution and what you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

What will Ottawa’s climate look like in the future and what are the risks?

Overall Ottawa will become much warmer over the coming decades, with more heavy rain and more extreme weather events. Find out more about how we expect Ottawa’s climate to change and the impacts this will have:

Get involved and have your say

The draft climate resiliency strategy, Climate Ready Ottawa, is now available for public consultation. You can share your feedback by:

Find out more about Climate Ready Ottawa and how to have your say.

A summary of how we incorporated feedback from previous engagements is available in the 2023 What We Heard Report.

Subscribe to the climate change e-newsletter to receive updates on the Climate Resiliency Strategy and other climate change initiatives.

Ottawa’s climate is changing. Overall Ottawa will become much warmer and wetter over the coming decades, with more extreme heat days, heavy rain and extreme weather events like severe winds, floods or winter storms. The City is developing a Climate Resiliency Strategy to guide how Ottawa can prepare for and respond to the anticipated impacts of changing climate conditions.

The Climate Resiliency Strategy is one of eight priorities of the Climate Change Master Plan.

Taking action on climate change requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also ensuring Ottawa is prepared for the impacts of a changing climate. Energy Evolution is the City’s strategy to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Climate Resiliency Strategy focuses on getting Ottawa ready for a changing climate. Learn more about Energy Evolution and what you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

What will Ottawa’s climate look like in the future and what are the risks?

Overall Ottawa will become much warmer over the coming decades, with more heavy rain and more extreme weather events. Find out more about how we expect Ottawa’s climate to change and the impacts this will have:

Get involved and have your say

The draft climate resiliency strategy, Climate Ready Ottawa, is now available for public consultation. You can share your feedback by:

Find out more about Climate Ready Ottawa and how to have your say.

A summary of how we incorporated feedback from previous engagements is available in the 2023 What We Heard Report.

Subscribe to the climate change e-newsletter to receive updates on the Climate Resiliency Strategy and other climate change initiatives.

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  • Take action

    25 days ago
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    This page is a collection of links to City and external resources on ways to take action to prepare for a changing climate. The resources are categorized into 4 groups:

    Protect yourself and your family: emergency preparedness, protecting against heat and mosquito and tick diseases, and getting around the city safely 

    Make your community climate change ready: preparing a community emergency plan, planting and protecting trees, food gardens, accessing greenspace, understanding the urban heat island effect

    Make your home climate change ready: preparing for heat, flooding and power outages at home

    Protect our environment: protecting water quality, shorelines and reducing salt use


    Learn more about what we are expecting for the future of Ottawa’s climate and the top risks, related to extreme heat, changing seasons, more rainy days and heavy rain events, and extreme weather events.

    Is there a resource that you would like to see included on this page? Please share feedback on the current resources and suggestions for additional resources with us at climatechange@ottawa.ca 

    Protect yourself and your family 
    Learn more and take action on emergency preparedness, protecting against heat and mosquito and tick diseases, and getting around the city safely 

    City Resources


    Emergency preparedness kit checklist

    • An emergency preparedness kit will help ensure the safety of you and your family. Find out everything you should include. 

    Seven steps to emergency preparedness

    • Find out how to prepare before an emergency

    Ottawa Public Health: Beat the Heat

    • Tips on how to protect yourself and others during hot weather. Multilingual resources are available on the Ottawa Public Health website

    Ottawa Public Health: Places to Cool Map

    • Locate a cool space near you on the interactive map. Includes splash pads, pools, parks, cooled public buildings and more.

    Ottawa Public Health: Outdoor Air Pollution

    • Use the Air Quality Health Index to help identify what the air quality around you means to your health.

    Ottawa Public Health: West Nile

    • Learn about West Nile virus and how to protect yourself. 

    Ottawa Public Health: Lyme Disease

    • Learn about Lyme disease and how to protect yourself.

    OC Transpo: Rack and Roll

    • The Rack and Roll program allows you to take your bike on OC Transpo buses so you can combine biking with transit when it's too hot to cycle the whole way

    OC Transpo: Winter Cycling Network

    • An interactive map that allows you to view the winter-maintained cycling network. Find the map in the Layers List tool under Cycling > Existing Cycling Network > Winter-maintained network.
    External Resources

    West Carleton Disaster Relief: Disaster Ready

    • WCDF has identified flooding, wildfires and blackouts as significant threats and has prepared readiness campaigns with information and strategies to create emergency plans

    Government of Canada: WeatherCAN phone app

    • Receive weather alert notifications in your area, wherever you are in Canada for various weather hazards such as extreme heat, freezing rain, tornados, rainfall, Air Quality Health Index and more 

    Hydro Ottawa power outage map

    • This interactive map, updated every 15 minutes, includes information on power outages

    Government of Canada: Protecting the most vulnerable from indoor heat

    • Research into how to protect the most vulnerable from extreme heat, including older adults. Includes strategies beyond cooling centres to reduce heat stress.

    Public Health Ontario: Lyme Disease Map

    • See the areas at risk of Lyme Disease

    eTick: Report local tick sightings

    • An interactive map which shows where ticks have been located. Users can also submit their own tick sightings. 

    eTick: How to remove a tick

    • An infographic that walks through proper steps to remove a tick and care for the bite

    The Council on Aging of Ottawa: Become a Snow Mole

    • Snow Moles are volunteers who report on the winter walking conditions in Ottawa

    EnviroCentre Guide to winter cycling

    • Learn how to become more confident cycling in the colder months

    Peer-reviewed study: Does urban vegetation reduce temperature and air pollution concentrations? (Ryswik et al. 2019)

    • Findings from an environmental monitoring study of the Central Experimental Farm in the urban core of Ottawa. The results suggest that urban green spaces have important beneficial impacts on ambient air pollution concentrations and for mitigating extreme heat events.
    Make your community climate change ready

    Learn more and take action on preparing a community emergency plan, planting and protecting trees, food gardens, accessing greenspace, understanding the urban heat island effect 

    City Resources


    Community emergency tool kit

    • Information, guidance, and resources to help communities get started in developing a community emergency plan
    • contact areyouready@ottawa.ca to create a plan for your community

    Ottawa urban heat island maps

    • These maps highlight areas that are warmer due to the urban heat island effect

    Trees in Trust program

    • Get a free tree for your City-owned street frontage (the space between your property and the roadway)

    Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program

    • Funding for tree planting projects on school property within the City of Ottawa. 

    Green Acres - Ottawa's rural reforestation program

    • The City of Ottawa's Green Acres program is looking for empty idle fields to be transformed into thriving green woodlands. The program provides landowners with advice and assistance for setting up a proper planting plan for their property (properties)

    Locations of conservation areas and parks 

    • Find a greenspace near you to cool off

    Ottawa Public Health: Health and the Built Environment

    • Find out how the built environment impacts our health and what makes a healthy built environment.
    External Resources

    Land Owner Resource Centre and Rideau Valley CA: Caring for ice-damaged trees

    • This article gives information on how to look after trees damaged by ice storms

    Community food gardens 

    • Learn about the benefits of community gardens and how to join one.

    Government of Canada: Reducing urban heat islands to protect health in Canada

    • Tips, strategies, and case studies on how public health professionals can help reduce urban heat islands in communities. 

    National Capital Commission: Studies on the Rideau Canal 

    • Find out how the National Capital Commission is tackling climate change on the Rideau Canal Skate way
    Make your home climate change ready

    Learn more and take action on preparing for heat, flooding and power outages at home 

    City Resources


    Interactive Flood Plain Map 

    • This map can be used to identify known riverine flood hazards for a property or area. Flood plain mapping of three different riverine flood events is included: a large flood event (1 in 50-year), a regulatory flood event (1 in 100-year) and a more extreme flood event that could occur with climate change (1 in 350-year). 

    Ottawa Public Health: Prepare, respond and recover from residential flooding 

    • Information is available on flood prevention, staying safe during a flood, and recovery after a flood.  

    Ottawa Public Health: How to identify, clean and prevent mould

    • Wet basements can create favourable growing conditions for mould. If your basement has flooded in the past there is a risk, it may flood again and have mould growth.

    Spring Flooding Preparedness

    • Links and information on current flood response efforts, road and pathway closures and support for flood-affected residents along rivers

    Sewer backups and basement flooding

    • Causes of basement flooding, how to respond if your basement floods and options to make a claim for repair costs

    Residential Protective Plumbing Program

    • Financial assistance can be available for qualified City of Ottawa property owners for the installation of protective plumbing devices, such as sump pumps and storm and sanitary backwater valves to prevent water and sewage from flooding homes as a result of increased water levels (surcharging) in the City’s sewer system.

    Rain Ready Ottawa Program

    • A pilot program that encourages and supports residents to take action on their property to reduce the harmful impacts of rainwater runoff by means of education resources, rebates up to $5,000 for eligible residents, and a free self-guided eLearning course to learn more about rainwater management

    Rain Ready Ottawa: How to build a rain garden

    • Rain gardens absorb 30% more water than lawns, help to direct water away from your home, required low maintenance and help keeps our rivers clean

    Native plant list

    • Learn how to create a water-efficient garden and about native plants that are adapted to our local climate, soil conditions and diseases.

    Rain Ready Ottawa: eLearning

    • Self-guided courses that are free, bilingual and open to all residents of Ottawa. They share information about rainwater management techniques that can be put into practice around your home and contribute to the eligibility for program rebates (pending geographic eligibility)

    Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program

    • Get a low-interest loan from the City to make energy efficiency and climate resiliency improvements to your home such as basement waterproofing, permeable pavement, tree planting, sump pumps and back-flow prevention valves

    Better Homes Ottawa - find the right incentive

    • View the incentives, rebates and financing available to you to help make your home more energy efficient and resilient to climate change. Some climate adaptation eligible measures include basement waterproofing, permeable pavement, tree planting, sump pumps and back-flow prevention valves 
    External Resources

    Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation:

    3 Steps to Cost-Effective Home Heat Protection

    3 Steps to Cost-Effective Apartment and Condo Heat Protection

    • Easy-to-follow heat protection guidance that spells out what residents can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, with actions identified for both houses and apartments/condos. 

    Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation: Questions to ask your insurance provider about water damage coverage

    • Background information and basic questions to ask your insurance provider that can help you protect your home from water damage

    Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities monitor water levels and weather forecasts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as part of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. Updates are provided as conditions change. 

    Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation: Flood Protection Resources

    • Resources to help residents reduce their risk of experiencing a basement flood

    Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation: 3 Steps for Home Flood Protection

    • Best practices on flood protection, with projects that address small fixes and big fixes

     Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction: Handbook for reducing basement flooding

    • Practical information on how to reduce basement flooding.

     Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder

    • Find native and disease resistant plants using an advanced search form based on light exposure, high of plant, planting zone and more.

    Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library

    • Learn about native plants and get free seeds and plants to grow in your garden

    Just Food: How to Garden in Ottawa Guide

    • An easy beginner guide on the basics of gardening in the Ottawa region. Available in 5 languages. 

    Just Food: Find a community food garden

    • Use Just Food’s interactive map to find a community garden near you.

    Rideau Valley Conservation Authority: Shoreline Naturalization Program

    • Want to fight erosion, discourage geese and spruce up your boring shoreline – all without breaking the bank? The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority offers a full-service, subsidized Shoreline Naturalization Program for waterfront property owners which includes technical guidance, project management and financial assistance.

    Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation: 3 Steps to a Fire Smart Home

    • Learn how to protect your home from wildfire.
    Protect our environment

    Learn more and take action on protecting water quality, shorelines and reducing salt use

    City Resources


    Beach Water Quality Test at City of Ottawa Supervised Beaches

    • Water samples are collected daily from City of Ottawa supervised beaches between June and August and tested for the presence of E. coli bacteria and swim advisories are issued based on water sample results.

    Best practices for salt application

    • Learn about the best practices when applying road salt to help protect our drinking water and the surrounding environment
    External Resources

    Ottawa Riverkeeper: Ecological impact of excess salt on surfaces 

    • Learn more about the environmental impacts of road salts and effective alternatives

    Provincial resource: Blue-Green Algae

    • Learn about blue-green algae – bacteria that can be harmful to humans and animals – and what you should do if you spot it.

    Rideau Valley Conservation Authority City Stream Watch Reports

    • Summary of observations and assessments of water level, aquatic habitats, water temperature and more from the 2019 City Stream Watch program 

    Rideau Valley Conservation Authority: Watershed Report Card

    • Summary of the state of local forests, wetlands and water resources.

    South Nation Conservation Authority Watershed Report Cards

    • Summary of key watershed features, actions being undertaken locally, surface water quality, forest conditions and groundwater over a five-year cycle

    Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority: Watershed Report Cards

    • Every five years, MVCA uses guidelines and standards developed by Conservation Ontario and others to evaluate changes in our watersheds and identify areas of concern.

    Ottawa Riverkeeper: Riverwatch Program

    • Ottawa Riverkeeper has over 90 volunteer Riverwatchers spanning the river from Lake Temiskaming to Lake of Two Mountains. They help to inform the work throughout the watershed and have contributed to initiatives such as their real-time reporting campaign and their study on microplastics.
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Page last updated: 12 Apr 2024, 04:44 PM