Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020

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Project Overview

The City of Ottawa reviewed its ward boundaries in 2020. Ward boundaries must be reviewed periodically to balance population numbers and achieve other components of “effective representation,” as established by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), which was formerly Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) / the Ontario Municipal Board. The last major review was completed in 2005 and established the City's 23 wards.

Since the last major ward boundary review, Ottawa has seen considerable population growth, especially in suburban wards outside the Greenbelt. Some wards are growing twice as fast as others, creating population imbalances.

The Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 was meant to establish boundaries that can be used in at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034.

Based on direction from City Council, an independent, third-party consultant team conducted the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 to ensure it was objective and impartial. The team consulted extensively with the public, Members of Council and stakeholder groups, including school boards.

The project included two rounds of public consultation. Residents and businesses shared their thoughts through surveys and discussions.

During Round 1 of public consultation (Wednesday, March 4, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020), input was received about the changes individuals wanted to see to the current ward boundaries. Following the Round 1 consultation, the Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council received the Options Report from the consultant team, which included five options for realigning Ottawa’s wards, during their meetings on July 7, 2020, and July 15, 2020, respectively. During its meeting on July 15, 2020, Council requested the development of a sixth ward boundary option, based on certain criteria, which led to the Supplementary Report that provided a sixth option. The Options Report and the Supplementary Report, a document detailing minor adjustments to the Option 1 to 5 maps and the sixth ward boundary option are available on this website under Reports and documents.

In Round 2 of public consultation (Wednesday, August 19, 2020 to Friday, September 25, 2020), feedback was collected on the six ward boundary options. Following the Round 2 consultation on the six options, the consultant team developed its Recommended Ward Boundaries – Final Report. The Final Report was considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council during their meetings of December 1, 2020 and December 9, 2020, respectively. The Final Report continues to be available on this website under Reports and documents.

At the meeting of December 9, 2020, Council approved a new ward boundary structure for the City of Ottawa. On January 27, 2021, Council enacted By-law No. 2021-3, titled, “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish ward boundaries and Council composition.”

Following Council’s approval of By-law No. 2021-3, there was a 45-day statutory period in which notices of appeal for the OLT could be filed with the City setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections. The appeal period ended on March 15, 2021. The City received two notices of appeal during the appeal period that were forwarded to the OLT before March 30, 2021.

During its meeting on April 14, 2021, City Council approved a motion directing Legal Services to seek specific boundary modifications from the OLT related to By-law No. 2021-3 as a potential settlement to the two ward boundary appeals.

On July 12, 2021, the OLT considered the appeals. In a written decision released on September 2, 2021, the Tribunal made an Order (Case No. MM210013) modifying the By-law to include the specific ward boundary modifications approved by Council on April 14, 2021. The Tribunal further dismissed the balance of the appeals and did not order any other changes to the By-law.

A report on the implementation of the new ward boundary structure was considered by Council on October 13, 2021. The ward boundaries, names and numbers will serve as the basis for administering the municipal elections on October 24, 2022 and will be effective as of November 15, 2022.

Project Overview

The City of Ottawa reviewed its ward boundaries in 2020. Ward boundaries must be reviewed periodically to balance population numbers and achieve other components of “effective representation,” as established by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), which was formerly Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) / the Ontario Municipal Board. The last major review was completed in 2005 and established the City's 23 wards.

Since the last major ward boundary review, Ottawa has seen considerable population growth, especially in suburban wards outside the Greenbelt. Some wards are growing twice as fast as others, creating population imbalances.

The Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 was meant to establish boundaries that can be used in at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034.

Based on direction from City Council, an independent, third-party consultant team conducted the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 to ensure it was objective and impartial. The team consulted extensively with the public, Members of Council and stakeholder groups, including school boards.

The project included two rounds of public consultation. Residents and businesses shared their thoughts through surveys and discussions.

During Round 1 of public consultation (Wednesday, March 4, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020), input was received about the changes individuals wanted to see to the current ward boundaries. Following the Round 1 consultation, the Finance and Economic Development Committee and City Council received the Options Report from the consultant team, which included five options for realigning Ottawa’s wards, during their meetings on July 7, 2020, and July 15, 2020, respectively. During its meeting on July 15, 2020, Council requested the development of a sixth ward boundary option, based on certain criteria, which led to the Supplementary Report that provided a sixth option. The Options Report and the Supplementary Report, a document detailing minor adjustments to the Option 1 to 5 maps and the sixth ward boundary option are available on this website under Reports and documents.

In Round 2 of public consultation (Wednesday, August 19, 2020 to Friday, September 25, 2020), feedback was collected on the six ward boundary options. Following the Round 2 consultation on the six options, the consultant team developed its Recommended Ward Boundaries – Final Report. The Final Report was considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council during their meetings of December 1, 2020 and December 9, 2020, respectively. The Final Report continues to be available on this website under Reports and documents.

At the meeting of December 9, 2020, Council approved a new ward boundary structure for the City of Ottawa. On January 27, 2021, Council enacted By-law No. 2021-3, titled, “A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish ward boundaries and Council composition.”

Following Council’s approval of By-law No. 2021-3, there was a 45-day statutory period in which notices of appeal for the OLT could be filed with the City setting out the objections to the by-law and the reasons in support of the objections. The appeal period ended on March 15, 2021. The City received two notices of appeal during the appeal period that were forwarded to the OLT before March 30, 2021.

During its meeting on April 14, 2021, City Council approved a motion directing Legal Services to seek specific boundary modifications from the OLT related to By-law No. 2021-3 as a potential settlement to the two ward boundary appeals.

On July 12, 2021, the OLT considered the appeals. In a written decision released on September 2, 2021, the Tribunal made an Order (Case No. MM210013) modifying the By-law to include the specific ward boundary modifications approved by Council on April 14, 2021. The Tribunal further dismissed the balance of the appeals and did not order any other changes to the By-law.

A report on the implementation of the new ward boundary structure was considered by Council on October 13, 2021. The ward boundaries, names and numbers will serve as the basis for administering the municipal elections on October 24, 2022 and will be effective as of November 15, 2022.