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Here are recent Announcements from various sources, including the City of Ottawa and our River Ward City Councillor.

Mayor Watson declares state of emergency for Ottawa due to COVID-19

March 25, 2020

Mayor Jim Watson today declared a state of emergency for the City of Ottawa due to the spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa. This aligns with Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s announcement on Monday, March 23 that he is expanding Ontario’s state of emergency to shut down all non-essential services.

Declaring a state of emergency will help the City deploy its emergency operations and staff in a more nimble fashion. It will also enable a more flexible procurement process, which will help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders as it becomes available in the coming weeks.

Ottawa Public Health now has laboratory confirmation of the community spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa. We are also starting to see cases among health care workers who have not traveled or been a close contact of a confirmed case. Ottawa Public Health recommends all residents practise physical (social) distancing or self-isolate, if applicable, to help stop the spread of the virus. Information about laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 is available on (link is external).

Following the declaration, the City formally requested the Province of Ontario to give the City flexibility to manage movement of staff, to redeploy resources, to support essential services and to be adaptable as this situation continues to evolve rapidly.

The most current information will be shared with residents on and the City’s social media channels. Ottawa Public Health will continue to provide updates on COVID-19 in Ottawa on (link is external).

What you can do

If you have respiratory symptoms, such as a fever or cough:

  • You must self-isolate for 14 days, or 24 hours after your symptoms have fully resolved, whichever is longer.
  • You must not leave your home.
  • If your symptoms are worsening to a point where you cannot manage at home, please visit your nearest emergency department.

If you are returning from travel:

  • You must self-isolate for 14 days. Do not go to community settings, including the grocery store. If you need groceries or other essential items, have a family member, friend or neighbour get them for you and leave the items at your door.
  • If you have respiratory symptoms, follow the guidance in the section above.
  • If you do not have symptoms, practice physical (social) distancing as outlined below.

All Ottawa residents, except those listed above, should:

  • Practice physical (social) distancing.
    • Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled within the past 14 days.
  • Avoid all non-essential trips in the community.
  • Cancel all group gatherings.
  • Connect via phone, video chat or social media instead of in person.
  • Talk to your employer about working from home, if possible.
  • Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
  • Avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres from other people when you go outside, like to take a walk.

For more information about City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

If you haven’t yet fulfilled your New Year’s Resolution to become a more informed citizen, take advantage of your forced solitude to catch up on the city’s most riveting reading. Here are four suggestions:

  1. Explore Ottawa’s new Official Plan process, in particular the current debate about expansion of the City’s urban boundary. Visit: The New Official Plan
  2. Provide your input in the revision of the City’s Ward Boundaries through a survey closing Friday, April 3. Visit: Ward Boundary Review 2020
  3. Learn about the updating of the Transportation Master Plan. Visit: Transportation Master Plan Update
  4. Read the people’s official plan for Ottawa’s climate emergency: Visit: Ottawa Climate Solutions

The construction delay to the Hog’s Back Swing Bridge that we reported last month is not expected to delay the construction schedule for the Fixed Bridge. That means that for three months, from May 12 to August 28, Hog’s Back Road is expected to be fully closed to vehicular traffic in both directions, blocking access to Colonel By and preventing through traffic from Riverside and Prince of Wales.

The RPCA is working closely with Councillor Brockington, and has reached out to the NCC and Parks Canada to encourage a more intensive construction schedule. We will share updates regularly throughout the process.

The Ottawa Police Service made a special presentation at the March meeting of the RPCA to discuss local safety issues and the city’s new community policing program. Sergeant Kevin Linnett and Constables Marcus Cibischino, Bradley Burleau, and Jacqueline Getz discussed proactive and reactive policing through the city’s new Neighbourhood Resource Teams and Crime Stoppers.

Despite relatively low crime rates in our immediate neighbourhood, residents were encouraged to remain vigilant about reporting criminal activity.

Community Police Centres have been temporarily closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, but are expected to resume neighbourhood services when the public health risk has subsided.

As Ottawa’s coronavirus count continues to climb, it is growing ever more important that local residents respect the calls from public health authorities at every level for residents to self-isolate. The science is clear that social distancing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

Here are some powerful illustrations to help you convince your friends and relatives not to ignore precautions:

Send your suggestions for how we can come together as a community to

Fight “cabin fever” by scheduling daily walks around your neighbourhood. While you are at it, bring a garbage bag and help tidy up our streets. This low cost, low interaction activity will keep you active, fill you with fresh air, and give your community a spring clean.


Ottawa’ most popular children’s music program has it’s roots right here in Riverside Park. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Monkey Rock Music is offering tons of online content – perfect for families with little monkeys stuck inside. This subscription-based service will support a local business while delighting cooped-up children across the city.

Sign up today for daily live streaming shows and enrollment in small video-streamed classes.

Residents across the city are participating in Neighbourhood Window Walks by posting themed art in the front windows of their home so that families can go out on daily scavenger hunts to find the art on their street.

Here is your window decorating schedule for the next two weeks:

  • March 23: Animals
  • March 26: Encouraging words
  • March 29: Flowers
  • April 1: Jokes
  • April 4: Easter eggs