On Oct. 24, Ottawa residents will have the chance to shake up the state of municipal politics by electing new school trustees, city councillors and a mayor. 

With the municipal election only weeks away, the democratic process is on full display. Candidates are holding rallies, announcing policies and participating in debates to engage with the public and voters are taking to the street to make their priorities known.  

This election will fill Ottawa’s city council with an array of new faces. Mayor Jim Watson opted not to run for re-election, which means the city will have a new mayor for the first time since 2010. Nearly half of the city’s wards will have new representatives as at least 11 of the city’s 23 council positions will be occupied by newcomers.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, journalist and entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe and former mayor, regional chair and Liberal MPP and cabinet minister Bob Chiarelli lead the way in the mayoral race and are sparring over policing, housing and public transportation policy.

Capital Ward Country. Shawn Menard, Dan Rogers, and Rebecca Bromwich sit at the debate table.
Capital Ward council hopefuls Rebecca Bromwich, Dan Rogers and incumbent Coun. Shawn Menard faced off in an all-candidates debate at the Glebe Community Centre. In front of a full room of listeners, candidates exchanged views on hot topics such as climate change, housing affordability and community policing. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Isaac Sider-Echenberg stands in the Glebe Community Centre.
Capital Ward resident Isaac Sider-Echenberg sees this election as an opportunity to bring a fresh look to municipal politics. “I found the debate pretty illuminating,” he said. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and candidate Ariel Troster exchange a microphone at a rally.
Somerset Coun. and mayoral hopeful Catherine McKenney and Ariel Troster, candidate for Somerset Ward’s council position, held a climate rally on Sept. 23 at Minto Park, at Lewis and Elgin streets. McKenney reiterated their pledge to make Ottawa carbon neutral by 2050. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Members of the climate rally hold up a sign calling for "a greener future for Ottawa" in front of City Hall.
McKenney and supporters marched from Minto Park to Confederation Park, where they joined a larger climate protest. Rally participants can be seen holding up a sign calling for “A greener future for Ottawa” in front of Ottawa City Hall. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Signs calling for climate action sit in front of the Centennial Flame.
The crowd marched to Parliament Hill, where they gathered to hear speakers and live performances. Protestors placed their signs around the Centennial Flame. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Ottawa's mayoral candidates sit at the mayoral debate as Catherine McKenney speaks.
Mayoral hopefuls took part in a climate-focused debate in the Centretown United Church on Bank Street on Sept. 28. Candidates discussed their approaches to tackling climate change, and took on other important topics such as housing, public transportation and taxation. (From left to right: Nour Kadri, Mark Sutcliffe, Catherine McKenney, Bob Chiarelli and Brandon Bay). [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Mark Sutcliffe addresses the crowd at a mayoral debate
Mayoral candidate Mark Sutcliffe (centre) addresses the crowd at the eco-debate. The last of four mayoral debates, the event was centred on climate and organized by the People’s Official Plan coalition. Sutcliffe reiterated his pledge to plant a million trees and increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the city. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]
Bob Chiarelli speaks with a crowd member after the debate.
Former Ottawa mayor and current candidate for the position, Bob Chiarelli, greets an audience member after the mayoral debate. Chiarelli took aim at the city’s current climate master plan, saying he would put Hydro Ottawa in charge of the city’s new plan if elected. [Photo © Adam Beauchemin]