Housing prices in Ottawa nearly doubled in the five years from 2016 to 2021, while incomes have hardly moved. The city has been struggling for decades with housing affordability and homelessness, and the problem has now spilled into the middle class as well. We cannot allow this trend to continue; in fact, we must act quickly to reverse it.
Real estate prices have begun to fall on their own, but without deliberate action, it may be decades before reasonable affordability is restored, especially to renters and low-income residents. If we do not act, we will remain vulnerable to another crisis of affordability. Everyone should be able to afford a place to live, but we must proceed carefully so that no one is financially destroyed by recovery measures.
- Build 160,000 units by 2032, including 45,000 by 2026.
- Allow construction of duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes city-wide.
- Require construction of affordable housing in all major developments.
- Stop building strip malls immediately, and intensify existing ones.
- Eliminate the affordable housing waiting list by 2028.
- Ending development charges for construction of multi-unit dwellings.
- Reduce cost of rent and home ownership.
- Create a landlord licensing and oversight system.
- Create a right of first offer program for homeowners, to protect their livelihood.
- Designate more car-free streets in commercial and school areas.
- Prioritize service delivery in suburban and rural communities.
Investing in ourselves is an obvious choice. When our people succeed, when their businesses thrive, the city succeeds too — in quality of life, in attracting and retaining talent, in tax revenue and all the city services that come with it.
The measures to combat the pandemic have been particularly hard on small, local businesses, and have permanently altered the dynamics of our city, as many residents continue to work from home. We must adapt to this new normal, and put much more effort into helping our rural and suburban communities thrive.
- Make Ottawa the best place to start a business in Canada.
- Expand InvestOttawa programs for retail, arts, entertainment, food and beverage.
- Restore a “buy local” clause to procurement, ensuring local partners are preferred.
- Build co-working spaces for remote workers in libraries and community centres.
- Accelerate building complete “15-minute” communities, offering all services and amenities close to home.
- Shorten trips within or between suburbs by replacing commuter- with community-focused transit.
- Build The Loop, and connect Lansdowne Park to rapid transit.
- Fund reliable, fare-free transit with parking revenues and in-station retail.
- Invest in the sciences, agriculture, and the entertainment industry.
- Offer more funding for green initiatives.
- Leverage technology to improve and streamline online offerings such as camp and swimming registration.
- Decentralize the electric grid with district energy systems.
Ottawa's bicentennial in 2026 will be planned and executed by the next council. This is an incredible opportunity for tourism, reputation, and reconciliation. But Ottawa today has a marketing problem. When covering the convoy occupation earlier this year, many newspapers opted to Ottawa as a "boring" city. It isn't, and never has been for as long as I've known it. Without a coherent marketing strategy, though, it can be difficult to find many of our offerings if you don't go actively looking for them. It makes the reputation persistent.
In 2016, the tourism industry contributed $2.2 billion and over 30,000 jobs to Ottawa. It is essential to the economy of the National Capital Region. Our innumerable and incredible festivals, lively markets, world-class museums, and extensive network of trails on land and water are absolutely parts of our city in which we should take great pride.
- Position Ottawa as a leader in green and agricultural technology.
- New and expanded sister city partnerships, university collaborations, and global promotion.
- Further city beautification and public art funding.
- Expanded facilities and greater variety of amenities in public parks.
- Create and rehearse emergency response plans.
A Place For
- Create a centralized communication and promotion engine.
- Promote rural villages and their festivals, markets, and attractions.
- Improve accessibility of public and commercial spaces.
- Offer more funding for indigenous initiatives, and improve access to indigenous language education.
- Winterlude patios and canal opening ceremonies.
- Expand the multi-use pathway network.
- Install EV charging stations and bicycle parking cages.
- Dedicate more land for greenspaces and urban farming.
- Protect remaining agricultural land from further urban boundary expansion.
- Plant more fruit and nut trees across the city, and partner with nonprofits and businesses for harvest and distribution.