Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. Welcoming Ottawa Week offers a platform for Ottawa residents to celebrate both this…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
Welcoming Ottawa Week is wonderful platform to demonstrate our city’s longstanding openness to immigration and commitment to supporting newcomers’ successful integration. …

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.   

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council Chair
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP

Residents Learn about the Important Contribution of Immigrants to Ottawa

November 7, 2017

For the second year in a row, as part of Welcoming Ottawa Week (June 20 to 30, 2017), Ottawa residents took a journey through some of the city’s most unique and interesting neighbourhoods.The Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours, led by experienced guides, gave participants a taste of the sights and sounds of Chinatown, Little Italy and Lowertown.

The twelve, 90 minute walking tours celebrated Ottawa’s diversity by focusing on the history, daily life, architecture, food and culture of these fascinating neighbourhoods. These free tours offered in English and French, included stops at notable landmarks and local businesses to explore the social, cultural, and economic contributions of immigrants to Ottawa’s development.

Cameras clicked away as a group on more than 30 “Instagrammers” organized by CBC, a Welcoming Ottawa Week partner, participated in one of the 2017 Chinatown tours.

The tours were often interactive in nature with the guides not only sharing their wealth of knowledge about each neighbourhood, but also their personal perspectives and experiences. Participants who lived in the neighbourhoods also could add anecdotes and information. One participant remarked on the impact of such tours: “Only when we know each other can we truly count on each other!”

“These tours helped to expand the understanding, not only of the neighbourhoods, but their progression over time, as Ottawa has evolved to the present day rich mosaic of diverse cultures,” said David Jeanes, President, Heritage Ottawa.

Participants discovered the treasure trove of history, food, art, architecture, places of worship, and the myriad of businesses that have flourished in these neighbourhoods thanks to the efforts of successive generations of immigrants and of their descendants.

“Little Italy has given a lot to Ottawa,” explains Luciano Pradal as he guided a group and points out the landmarks along Preston Street during the Little Italy tour. “This includes everything from sports, arts and culture to flourishing family gardens.”

The Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours were initiated by OLIP, funded by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and organized collaboratively by OLIP, Heritage Ottawa, and the City of Ottawa’s Cultural Development Unit.