Registration now open for Park Summit and Earth Day Party 2018

Registration is now open for our annual Ottawa Park Summit and Earth Day Party . Ecology Ottawa invites you to join us for these two exciting events on Saturday, April 21st, 2018. 

The day will start at 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m at allsaints Event Space with The Ottawa Park Summit, the biggest park gathering in Ottawa. Each year (on the weekend of Earth Day), Ecology Ottawa celebrates parks by organizing our annual Park Summit! This exciting event highlights inspiring groups being active in parks, gives attendees opportunities to get involved with parks, and kick-start the year into gear! The idea is that when communities get involved, parks get better.

The event is free but registration is required now at :

The Park Summit will be immediately followed by the Earth Day Party at 8:00 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 25OneCommunity. Join Ecology Ottawa, and many other communities and supporters, with a night full of fun! Enjoy local food and beverages , music and dancing, and amazing raffle prizes! Tickets are $15 per person!

Get tickets here:

We look forward to seeing you there !


We’re looking for interns !

Ecology Ottawa is looking for Interns to join a dynamic team. Interns will be asked to perform three main tasks: participate in direct outreach; receive training; and conduct work on a special project that touches on one of Ecology Ottawa’s three core campaign areas. Our core campaign areas focus on: trees and water (“Living City”); energy and climate change (“Renewable City”); and transit and active transportation (“Active City”). This position involves immersion in the tools and techniques of research, communications, event management, canvass organizing, volunteer management and data management.

Successful applicants will have an opportunity to learn more about how an active, grassroots environmental organization functions. You will participate directly in project and campaign development and execution, and benefit from specialized training in a range of areas.

In return, you will be expected to:

  • Provide a minimum of 20 hours per week on an unpaid basis from May 1, 2018 until at least July 27, 2018 (candidates able to commit more time will be prioritized);
  • Become familiar with Ecology Ottawa’s organizational philosophy, issue campaigns and database;
  • Take part in all relevant training offered by Ecology Ottawa; and
  • Participate in direct community outreach, which will include door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, event coordination and data entry.

Successful candidates will have some combination of the following:

  • A passion for environmental and political advocacy;
  • A strong commitment to social and environmental justice;
  • An interest in learning more about – and contributing to – environmental organizations and project/campaign development;
  • A relevant educational background, such as humanities, political science, sociology, environmental studies, geography, urban planning, social work, etc.;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Strong oral and writing skills (French language skills are a major asset);
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Experience working for not-for-profit organizations or relevant areas of work; and
  • A good sense of humour.

If you are interested in gaining experience with Ottawa’s leading grassroots environmental organization and contributing to our efforts to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, please send a cover letter outlining your motivation for applying along with your resume to:

Applications will be considered as they are received.

To all the friends of La Francophonie: come and celebrate your culture in Ottawa’s green spaces!



The French language was elevated to the status of Canada’s official national language, in the same rank as English, in 1969. Today, the French language and the Francophone culture are therefore an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage and a source of pride for Francophone communities throughout the country.

What about the Francophone community of Ottawa in all of this?

Francophone communities have existed in Ontario since the 17th century and have settled here, thus playing a historic role in the development of the region. Government censuses have established that about 50% of Ottawa’s population is able to speak French! Is this more or less what you imagined?

In addition to its Francophone community, Ottawa also has a multitude of parks that only require animation! Indeed, the city makes a point of honor to value its green spaces. And Ecology Ottawa and Park People have found the perfect opportunity to highlight those features that make Ottawa the city it is today!

« Les amis des parcs »


“Les amis des parcs” is a program put in place by Ecology Ottawa and Park People Toronto to celebrate Ottawa’s French communities and their culture while highlighting the green spaces of the Capital. Through this project, the goal is to encourage community exchange and limit social isolation. Ecology Ottawa is a local non-profit organization that aims to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, and Park People is also a non-profit organization that supports building strong communities by leading and enhancing Canada’s parks.

The idea is simple: turn parks into vibrant and lively spaces dedicated to strengthening community links. Interesting, is not it? For this, the goal is to organize 10 events between spring and fall 2018 in Ottawa parks. The possibilities are endless and the events chosen by the communities can be of any kind (picnics, afternoon discoveries, outdoor cinema, hiking, tree planting…).

Who does not dream of such an opportunity, to discover their community and highlight their culture?

The idea is interesting, but communities do not always have the means to organize such events.

This is true, and we thought about that! Many resources will be available to participants when needed.

In concrete terms, what resources are we talking about?

– Webinar

Two webinars (or online seminars) will take place between January and June 2018, accessible online and rebroadcast in a room so that participants can then share their ideas and questions about the project. These webinars will aim to present the possibilities of turning parks into spaces for communities to live, but also to answer all questions concerning the organization of such an event (recruitment of volunteers, promotion of the event, planning…).

– Park Forum

In addition to these two sessions, two forums will also be organized in the form of a round table to discuss the various steps necessary to achieve these events.

– Park Summit

A “Park Summit” will also be held in April. This will be an opportunity for Francophone communities to come together to discuss the different opportunities for green space development and to find inspiration for organizing their own events.

– Toronto Park People grant


In addition to these resources, Toronto Park People also offers financial assistance: the TD Park People Scholarship. The latter will be offered to Francophone communities who will commit to the organization of 3 community events in Ottawa’s green spaces and to give life to the city’s urban parks. You can apply for a grant here:

– Ecology Ottawa

Finally, Ecology Ottawa is also committed to supporting participants and guiding them in their project.

Many resources are available to help you, do not hesitate and make French culture a source of celebration!

And enjoy the season. Incidentally, Park Month will take place in Ottawa in June 2018 and is aimed at organizing 20 events in Ottawa’s parks during the month. It would be great to combine these two opportunities and highlight the Francophone communities of Ottawa while promoting the green spaces of the capital!

But how to participate in this program?

To participate in “Friends of the Parks” and for any additional information, just contact this address:

Join “Les amis des parcs” and celebrate French culture!

A tous les amis de la francophonie: venez célébrer votre culture dans les espaces verts d’Ottawa !


La langue française a été élevée au statut de langue nationale officielle du Canada, au même titre que l’anglais, en 1969. Aujourd’hui, le français et la culture francophone font donc partie intégrante du patrimoine culturel Canadien et sont source de fierté pour les nombreuses communautés francophones du pays.

Qu’en est-il de la communauté francophone d’Ottawa dans tout ça ? Les communautés francophones existent en Ontario depuis le 17ème siècle et s’y sont installées, jouant ainsi un rôle historique dans le développement de la région. Les recensements du gouvernement ont établi qu’environ 50% de la population d’Ottawa étaient capable de parler le français ! Est-ce plus ou moins que ce que vous imaginiez ?

En plus de sa communauté francophone, Ottawa dispose également d’une multitude de parcs qui ne demandent que de l’animation ! En effet, la ville met un point d’honneur à valoriser ses espaces verts. Et Ecology Ottawa et Park People ont trouvé la parfaite opportunité pour mettre en avant ces caractéristiques qui font d’Ottawa la ville qu’elle est aujourd’hui !

 « Les amis des parcs »


« Les amis des parcs » est un programme mis en place par Ecology Ottawa et Park People Toronto pour célébrer les communautés françaises d’Ottawa et leur culture tout en mettant en avant les espaces verts de la capitale. A travers ce projet, l’objectif est d’encourager l’échange communautaire et de limiter l’isolement social.

Ecology Ottawa une organisation à but non lucratif locale qui a pour objectif de faire d’Ottawa la capitale verte du Canada et Park People est également un organisme à but non lucratif qui soutient la construction de communauté solide en animant et en améliorant les parcs canadiens.

L’idée est simple : faire des parcs des espaces vivants et animés dédiés au renforcement des liens communautaires. Intéressant n’est-ce pas ?  Pour cela, l’objectif est d’organiser 10 évènements entre le printemps et l’automne 2018 dans les parcs d’Ottawa. Les possibilités sont infinies et les évènements choisis par les communautés peuvent être de toute nature (piques niques, après-midi découvertes, cinéma en plein air, randonnée ; plantation d’arbre…).

Qui ne rêve pas d’une telle opportunité, pour retrouver sa communauté et mettre en avant sa culture ?!

L’idée est intéressante mais les communautés ne disposent pas toujours des moyens nécessaires à l’organisation de tels évènements.

C’est vrai, et nous avons pensé à ça ! De nombreuses ressources seront accessibles aux participants en cas de besoin.

Concrètement, de quelles ressources parle-t-on ?

– Webinar

Deux webminars (ou séminaires en ligne) auront lieu entre Janvier et Juin 2018, accessibles en ligne et rediffusés dans une salle pour que les participants puissent ensuite partager leurs idées et leurs questions autour du projet. Ces webminars auront pour objectif de présenter les possibilités permettant de faire des parcs des espaces destinés à faire vivre les communautés  mais également de répondre  à toutes les questions concernant l’organisation d’un tel évènement (recrutement des volontaires, promotion de l’évènement, planification…).

– Park Forum

En plus de ces deux sessions, deux forums seront également organisés sous forme de table ronde pour discuter des différentes étapes nécessaires à la réalisation de ces évènements.

– Sommet du Parc

Un « Park Summit » ou « Sommet du Parc » aura également lieu en Avril. Ce sera l’opportunité pour les communautés francophones de se réunir pour évoquer les différentes possibilités de mise en valeur des espaces verts et de trouver l’inspiration pour l’organisation de leurs propres évènements.

– Bourse de Toronto Park People (inscriptions fermées)


En plus de ces ressources, Toronto Park People propose également une aide financière : la bourse TD Park People. Cette dernière sera offerte aux communautés francophones qui s’engageront à l’organisation de 3 événements communautaires dans les espaces verts d’Ottawa et à donner vie aux parcs urbains de la capitale. Vous pouvez faire une demande de subvention ici :

– Ecologie Ottawa

Pour finir, Ecology Ottawa s’engage également à apporter son soutien aux participants et à les guider dans leur projet.

De multiples ressources sont ainsi disponibles pour vous aider, n’hésitez pas et faites de la culture francophone une source de célébration !

Et profitez de la saison. En effet, le Park Month ou Mois des Parcs aura lieu à Ottawa en Juin 2018  et vise à l’organisation de 20 évènements dans les parcs d’Ottawa au cours du mois. Ce serait formidable de combiner ces deux opportunités et de mettre en avant les communautés francophones d’Ottawa tout en valorisant les espaces verts de la capitale !

Mais comment participer à ce programme ?

Pour participer à « Les amis des parcs » rien de plus simple, il suffit de contacter cette adresse: Pour toute information supplémentaire, même direction.

Rejoignez « Les amis des parcs » et célébrez la culture francophone !

Show your love for Ottawa this Valentine’s Day


Ottawa is an amazing city; it’s a city well worth protecting and working to improve. We are blessed with gorgeous greenspaces, the beautiful Ottawa River, historic buildings, and vibrant communities. On Valentine’s Day, or any other day, you don’t have to look far to find reasons to love our city.

This Valentine’s Day, Ecology Ottawa is launching our first ever photo contest. Show your love for Ottawa by submitting your photo today .

The winning photos will be featured in our 2019 calendar showing the beauty of Ottawa through the eyes of its residents. Each photo should have a story, and should capture a scene that is unique to Ottawa. The photos can be of nature, people, or buildings. There is no classification or category; the only requirement is that the photo shows Ottawa’s spirit.

The competition will last until end of August 2018, but photos don’t have to be taken in 2018. Also, more than one photograph can be submitted per person. Each photo must be in landscape format and of at least 800 x 1600 pixel in resolution.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so get out your cameras and tell us your story!

To submit your photos, please send an email to:

Happy Valentine’s day, Ottawa!

Velta, Vi, Mélina, Inès, Robb and the whole Ecology Ottawa team

ACTION ALERT: We need green infrastructure now


Photo credit:

Ottawa’s climate is changing. Gradually, the weather is getting wetter, hotter and more severe. Our city is subject to more frequent intense weather events such as flooding, heat waves, severe thunderstorms, ice storms and snowstorms. This past April and May 2017, hundreds of homeowners temporarily abandoned their homes to the rising waters, highways were eroded and closed, government offices were shut down and Canadian Forces were sent in to aid with emergency efforts. The City is struggling to keep up with infrastructure repairs – from violent storms, freeze-thaw cycles and record rainfall events.


It’s clear Ottawa’s climate is changing, but what can we do about it?cdfe3845256f9e806439e400df8b1db1--rain-garden-urbanism

 In nature, most of the rain that falls is intercepted by living things such as trees and other vegetation, but when a forested area is turned into a city, everything changes, and so should the way we build our landscape. Ottawa needs to adapt and prioritize solutions that integrate living and built systems designed to slow down, soak up and filter rainwater. Slowing down and soaking up rainwater prevents it from pooling, flooding our homes and damaging our creeks, streams and built infrastructure. Filtering rain before it enters our waterways keeps out the many harmful chemicals and toxics from our driveways, sidewalks and roads. Basically, we need our landscape to be more absorbent and permeable, ensuring that rain water filters through the landscape rather than allowing it to run off hard surfaces like paved roads into storm sewers. Absorbent landscapes, like parks, can reduce runoff by up to 10 times compared to impermeable surfaces like roads or parking lots.


This type of landscape is called green infrastructure, and Ottawa needs more of it, now!

3926468274_1185491b6b_b There are many forms of green infrastructure, from parks, to street trees, to permeable pavements, to green roofs, bioswales, rain gardens and storm water ponds. Green infrastructure, also referred to as low impact development, can include living systems (e.g., trees, green roofs, bioswales, rain gardens) as well as green technologies (e.g., porous pavements, rain barrels and cisterns). Green infrastructure treats stormwater at source by filtering it through the natural water table rather than funneling it to our waster water treatment plant. But just because it’s “green”, doesn’t mean it’s green infrastructure. For example, the soil in parks can become heavily compacted from use, which reduces the amount of water that can filter through the soil. Another example is when street trees are only given a small soil volume under the sidewalk to grow from. Not only will they not grow very big, but their capacity to slow down, soak up and filter storm water becomes negligible at best.


Don’t dismay! We have solutions and a clear way forward.

The City of Ottawa has several plans in place, but one in particular is called the Greenspace Master Plan which outlines quite clearly the importance of greenspace and the integration and implementation of green infrastructure at a municipal scale. The City of Ottawa even mentions how “green streets” could be a way to connect dedicated greenspaces – such as our parks and park network– and filter rain where it falls, rather than directing it to our already over-burdened sewage treatment system. In its multi-million dollar Ottawa River Action Plan, the City of Ottawa also started to identify green infrastructure as a way to increase urban permeability through street renewals and neighbourhood-level pilot projects.


This sounds good, so what’s the problem?

The City of Ottawa has all the tools and knowledge it needs to roll out green infrastructure at scale. They know green infrastructure is fundamentally important for the future of our city, and they are getting their toes wet with local-level pilot projects such as the Sunnyside traffic calming project, the Stewart Street bioretention project, and the more recent (and ongoing) Pinecrest Neighbourhood Rain project. The problem is that the rate at which climate change is hitting our city means that we need to get more than our toes wet, we need to jump in!


We need to move past local-level pilot projects and towards the integration of green infrastructure on a city-wide scale. The science behind green infrastructure is already out there. Many municipalities across Canada are directly incorporating green infrastructure into their climate change resiliency plans. For example, Vancouver’s new rainfall management plan argues that if we have both grey and green infrastructure working together, we will have more efficient stormwater resiliency.


What can you do to help?

 Sign our petition! We know the City of Ottawa is leaning in the right direction, but we need to show City Hall how important green infrastructure is to the residents of Ottawa and push them to do more. There are over 10 street renewals scheduled within the next five years, and all of them have the capacity to have green infrastructure be part of them. The reality is, if we don’t speak up and tell our political leaders what we want, the work won’t get done.


It’s through these petitions that we are able bring our individual voices together and show our elected officials how important these issues are, and then have meaningful conversations with them about it.


“Flooding and severe weather events are happening in Ottawa more frequently than in the past. It’s more important than ever before that the City of Ottawa adapt to climate change by systematically scaling up the development of green infrastructure – living and built systems designed to slow down, soak up and filter rainwater. The City has the tools they need to do this, but the speed of climate change means we need to quickly move beyond pilot projects to widescale implementation.

We, the undersigned, call on the City of Ottawa to prioritize green infrastructure development so that we have a healthy, environmentally rich and climate-resilient city.”

 Sign our petition here! 



Volunteer with us! If you are looking for more opportunities to help, contact Velta Tomsons (

For more information on Green Infrastructure visit:

To read Ecology Ottawa’s research paper on Green Infrastructure in Ottawa visit: [coming soon]

Throw it away? No way! Fix it at the Repair Café!

Need a fun, productive and environmentally friendly weekend activity? Well, look no further!

Check out the Ottawa Tool Library’s Repair Café on February 24th from 9AM to 3PM at the Foster Farm Community Centre.

Repair Cafe Poster FFCC-01

Starting in Amsterdam in 2009, Repair Cafes have become a global movement, spreading far beyond The Netherlands to cities around the globe.

Thanks to the Tool Library, they’ve landed right here in Ottawa!

But, what exactly is a Repair Café?

Dedicated volunteers work hard to fix your tattered and broken items. From rewiring lamps to darning socks, our fixers can repair anything! Well, maybe not anything, but we’ll certainly try!

By continuing the tradition of the Repair Café, we hope to reduce waste, share repair and mending techniques, and connect with our communities. At Repair Café, not only are you keeping broken items out of landfill, you’re learning practical skills and maybe even making some new friends.

Our last Repair Café was a huge success, volunteers repaired over seventy items and we met lot’s of new people who are interested in fixing and mending, rather than throwing things away. We expect the next one to be just as great, so come on by Foster Farm Community Centre at 1065 Ramsey Crescent for treats, coffee, activities, conversation and, of course, repairs!

Bring down your small appliances, jewellery, clothing, electronics, and more! We wouldn’t recommend wheeling your old fridge or freezer all the way down, though, you might end up disappointed.

This is a free event, and everyone is welcome. Bring the kids, bring your neighbors, bring your second cousin! But please bring only one item to be repaired, as time and space are limited. You may register your item to be fixed between 9AM and 2PM. If your item is missing a piece or needs a replacement part, please bring that as well.

Foster farm is a fully accessible venue. Please click here for a full list of accessibility features.

Each Ottawa Tool Library Repair Café is held in a different neighborhood, giving us a chance to connect with new people and community partners. At Foster Farm Community Centre, we will be collaborating with Ecology Ottawa so you can learn more about the environmental movement in and around Ottawa and Pinecrest – Queensway Community Health Centre to connect you with local service providers.

These events would be impossible without our amazing volunteer fixers and helpers. Do you love to organize events or fix small appliances and other household items? You don’t have to be a professional, just someone who liked to tinker and feels comfortable showing others how to do the same. If so, please reach out to

Throw it away? No way! Fix it at the Repair Café! 

Written by Michael McLean

Got range anxiety? Your workplace has you covered

Switching to an electric vehicle just got easier!


As part of the Climate Change Action Plan, the Ontario provincial government just announced an incentive program to help install EV charging stations at workplace. The Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program offers employers up to 80% the cost of installing level 2 charging stations at your workplace/buildings, up to a maximum of $7,500 per charging station. 

Accepting application starting January 16, 2018, this incentive is available on a first come, first serve basis. Find out more about the program, and tell your employer to take advantage of this opportunity.

Accounting for 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions, transportation is one of the key areas of focus in order to combat climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy. Electric vehicles (EVs) provide a viable solution to their gas-fueled alternative, but many Canadians are still concerned about adequate charging facilities across the country (also known as “range anxiety”). The Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program offers a solution to this problem, making it possible to charge your EVs at work.

The Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program is part of a larger strategy from the Government of Ontario to accelerate the transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles and meet Ontario’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2050. Ontario residents can qualify for up to $14,000 in rebates when buying or leasing an EV , and the province also invested $22 million in 2017-2018 for EV charging infrastructure across the province.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on the electric bandwagon! All your coworkers are doing it!

Ottawa’s Winter Cycling Survival Guide

Cycling Picture

In Ottawa, only 2.4% of commuters bike to work and when temperatures fall below 0°C most people turn in their bike for a car or transit pass. Cycling to work may offer many advantages to cars and public transit- a morning workout, no traffic and zero carbon emissions- but is continuing to cycle in the winter a good idea or just flat-out insane?

It’s okay to avoid biking on days with freezing rain and heavy snowfall but that doesn’t mean that you have to put the bike away for the entire season. Here are a few tips to get you out cycling this winter:

Dress in layers

Dressing for the weather is key to enjoying the commute to work. Breathable, waterproof outer layers are important when staying dry as well as adding a warm sweater under your jacket. Wearing a pair of insulated gloves, a good warm hat and some thick socks will keep the extremities of the body warm.

Winter tiresCycling Picture 2

Change the tires on your bike from smooth to “knobby” tires that can grip the road. Studded tires are also a great investment for cycling on roads that tend to get icy.

Lights and reflective clothing

Both a front light and a rear light are essential for riding in limited daylight and low visibility weather. Not only will they allow for others to see you but a front light will help you to see what’s ahead. A reflective vest is also a good idea to ensure safety when cycling on roads in the winter.

Consider an alternate route

Instead of cycling on your main route that you would take in the summer, take roads that are less busy. The city also keeps a network of bike paths cleared during the winter, check them out here: under Cycling > Existing Cycling Network > 2016/2017 Winter-maintained network.


Slow down

Of course roads can become slippy in the winter which can make it more difficult to stop. Always take your time when cycling in the winter.

Whether you are already an avid commuter cyclist or are just starting to ponder the idea of cycling to work, we challenge you to try out the experience of winter cycling. We promise that when you arrive at work you will feel pretty amazing! Sign Ecology Ottawa`s commuter cycling pledge and commit to a personal goal that makes sense for you!

Commuter cycling pledge:



Catherine, David and Tobi talk climate change and cities – A panel discussion

Federal climate event banner

What’s next for federal action on climate change, and what does this mean for cities like Ottawa?

What will a more climate-friendly Ottawa look like, and how will we get there?

What kinds of innovative climate solutions are other cities and countries bringing to the table, and what can we learn from their example?

Join the Honourable Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre MP, Minister of Environment and Climate Change), David Chernushenko (Capital Ward Councillor, Chair of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee) and Tobi Nussbaum (Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward Councillor) for a public discussion of these and other pressing questions.

This is a free event, but RSVP is required at

Climate change is a complex problem, and solving it takes much more than international agreements. In Canada, cities and the federal government need to play a dynamic and mutually reinforcing role in tackling this challenge. And addressing climate change means diving into many other issues – from transportation, to the way we build our cities, to the systems that deliver our food, energy and consumer products.

Ecology Ottawa is pleased to host three of the people driving Ottawa’s climate conversation for an evening panel discussion on cities and climate change. Join us! RSVP here.

  • Who: Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre MP, Minister of Environment and Climate Change), David Chernushenko (Capital Ward Councillor, Chair of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee) and Tobi Nussbaum (Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward Councillor).
  • What: “Catherine, David & Tobi talk climate change and cities.” Panel discussion followed by a question and answer session.
  • Where: Ottawa Public Library (downtown branch) auditorium, 120 Metcalfe St.
  • When: Wednesday, January 31, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00p.m. Registration opens at 6:00 p.m.