The City of Ottawa reviewed its ward boundaries in 2020, to balance population numbers and achieve other components of “ effective representation,” as established by the Supreme Court of Canada and Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which was formerly the Ontario Municipal Board. The last major review in 2005 established the City’s current 23 wards.
Since the last 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).
Based on direction from City Council, an independent, third-party consultant team conducted the Review to ensure it was objective and impartial. The team consulted extensively with the public, Members of Council and stakeholder groups, including school boards. The final recommendations were considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council during their meetings of December 1, 2020 and December 9, 2020.
Council approved a new ward boundary structure for the City. Pending appeals and hearings by LPAT, the City’s by-law to establish the new boundaries will come into force for the 2022 Municipal Elections, before which the Council will need to approve the numbering of the new wards.