Brandon Bay is a software developer, dedicated community volunteer, and proud Ottavian. He has happily called Ottawa home since 2006, and has lived in five neighbourhoods, both urban and suburban, in five different wards. Today, he lives in Riverview Park.
Growing up, Brandon was the oldest of three boys. They spent their childhood on the shores of Paudash Lake, near the cottage country town of Bancroft, and gained an appreciation for rural living and spending time outdoors. Brandon spends many summer days paddling his canoe around Ottawa's waterways, and portaging the city's streets and trails between them. He also enjoys cycling, skiing, hiking greenbelt trails with his dog, Timber, and he regularly skates on the canal in the winter. He spends time with his father, who still lives in Bancroft, and brother, in Russell.
Brandon has had a passion for civic engagement his whole life. When he was young, he organized a trash pickup drive along Ontario Highway 28, which runs through the centre of Paudash. This was the start of a lifelong passion for helping others. In high school, he worked as a camp counsellor, coached youth sports teams, served on student council, volunteered as a recreation coordinator at a local retirement community, and raised money for countless local causes.
That passion did not diminish with time - Brandon has been part of Ottawa community associations, joined student governments and clubs at the University of Ottawa, volunteered at festivals, donated to and run campaigns for CHEO, and even founded a charity to channel his philanthropic energy. Currently, he is working with the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County to help patients remain comfortably and safely at home as long as possible. He has served his community often, and with your help, will continue doing so in service to you and our city.
Professionally, Brandon manages the software development team at Welbi, a small Ottawa company and member of the Invest Ottawa accelerator program. Welbi builds software for retirement communities, enabling staff to spend their time helping the residents, instead of on administrative tasks. Welbi has helped more than 20,000 residents live their twilight years in a more fulfilling way, in independent living and long-term care facilities across the country. The social enterprise style blend of civic duty and professional gain has fed into Brandon's passion for doing good in the community, and been incredibly rewarding and well-suited for him.
Beyond his interest in outdoor recreation, Brandon holds a membership with the National Gallery, and visits regularly. He enjoys playing video games, board games, and team sports; watching professional soccer and the Panda Game; cooking and barbequeing; and dining out in the city.
In his only time away from our great city since moving here, Brandon worked in Massachusetts for four years, from 2014-2018. While living there, he met his wife, Rachel. They visited Ottawa often, and eventually married and returned for good. Rachel is currently a permanent resident, and will be applying for citizenship this summer. She works from home as a graphic designer for a large software company, and now she too very happily calls Ottawa home.
Throughout my life in and out of the capital, I have lived many classically Ottawa experiences — rural child, University of Ottawa student, suburban homeowner, urban apartment renter. My commutes to work have been by car, bus, bicycle, motorcycle, and train, and I worked from home throughout the pandemic. I have been employed by software companies, retailers, and the federal government. I faced the struggles of starting a business. I have served teams, and managed them. In the community, I donated my time and money to politics, non-profits, and festivals. At times, I have been stretched financially thin, and I have been comfortably middle class. I have (sometimes im-) patiently awaited immigration news.
Mine has been a truly Ottawa experience, and I understand the best and worst of this city, and its place as our nation's capital. I know that many things make it special and incredible, but I also recognize that, working together, it can be improved. I am excited to get to know you, ready to listen, and eager to serve.