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Camping in Tom Brown for 2017 Canada Day visitors

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Today at Council, notice was made of a motion to come to our next Council meeting on November 9 to allow camping at several locations - including Tom Brown arena - from June 29 to July 4 in 2017. We're expecting a lot of visitors to Ottawa, and reasonably-priced hotel accomodations are already hard to find.

While I expect that campers will be generally well-behaved, I have already raised the need with staff for around-the-clock security and the same kind of alcohol rules that are in provincial parks. Of course, there would also be a fire ban and we need to think about field remediation if damage is done. If this proceeds, I want to ensure a minimum of disruption to nearby residents. 

I'm pretty open-minded to this proposal, and can foresee that this would be a boon to our restaurants and shops, as well as providing some interesting opportunities to get to know our fellow Canadians from across the country. Let me know what you think by dropping me a line at

For immediate release

October 26, 2016

A plan to welcome more visitors in 2017

Ottawa – As proposed by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, today at Ottawa City Council, a motion was put forward by Councillors Jean Cloutier and Mathieu Fleury, the City’s 2017 Co-Chairs, to increase Ottawa’s capacity to host more visitors during Canada Day festivities next year. As we get ready to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the City and its tourism partners are expecting a significant increase of tourists around the July 1st celebrations.

The motion is as follows:

WHEREAS an accommodation shortage has been forecast for the Ottawa 2017 Canada Day celebrations; and

WHEREAS staff has identified that the following City facilities have exterior parking and green space that is appropriate for short-term accommodation to address the above:

  1.               Cumberland Village Heritage Museum (2940 Old Montreal Road)
  2.               Bob Macquarie Recreation Complex (1490 Youville Drive)
  3.               Ray Friel Recreation Complex (1585 Tenth Line Road)
  4.               Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre (300 Des Pères-Blancs Avenue)
  5.               St-Laurent Recreation Complex (525 Coté Street)
  6.               Nepean Sportsplex (1701 Woodroffe Avenue)
  7.               Earl Armstrong Arena & Trillium Park (2020 Ogilvie Road)
  8.               Kanata Leisure Centre (70 Aird Place)
  9.               Jim Durrell Recreation Centre (1265 Walkley Road)
  10.            Tom Brown Arena (141 Bayview Road)

AND WHEREAS over-night parking of Class A, B, and C Vehicles is not presently permitted within the parking areas of the above facilities;

AND WHEREAS a campground use, which is required to permit camp sites, is not currently permitted at the above facilities under the City’s Zoning By-law;


  1.               Extended parking, including Class A, B, and C vehicles, be permitted at the above facilities where parking is appropriate, such as asphalt or gravel lots from June 29, 2017 until July 4, 2017;
  2.               Council direct Staff to initiate a Temporary Zoning By-law Amendment to permit the use of campgrounds at the above facilities for the period of June 29, 2017 until July 4, 2017, which shall be brought to Planning Committee on November 22, 2016 and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on November 24, 2016; and

3.         That the fee schedule for the uses described above, listed in Document 1, be included in the 2017 Draft Budget.

The motion was tabled and will be before Council for debate on November 9, 2016.

Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

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Photo: By Thesupermat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted October 26, 2016