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
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
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
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 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
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
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
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
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
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

Take a Tour of Lowertown!

June 27, 2017

As part of Welcoming Ottawa Week, consider taking one of our upcoming  Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours of Lowertown.

Here are the dates/times:

June 27, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (English)

June 29, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (French)

June 30, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (French)

Register today!

Here are five surprising facts about Lowertown:

  1. Lowertown was originally a cedar swamp on the lower of two plateaus west of the Rideau River. In the 1820s, trees were clear cut to create a planned community to house the French-Canadian and Irish workers who came to build the Canal. Colonel By was the town planner at the time, as well as the one responsible for building the Rideau Canal, which was completed in 1834.
  2. In 1836, Colonel By named the streets of the Byward Market in Lowertown after those he considered the most important members of the royal family—King William and his brothers, the Dukes of York, Clarence and George. It didn’t occur to him to name a street after King William’s daughter, Victoria, who a year later became the Queen.
  3. Following the First World War, Jewish merchants had a major presence in the Byward Market. Their businesses included produce and butcher shops, bakeries, dairies, furniture stores, furriers and others. A few of the early Jewish businesses still exist, including Saslove’s Meat Market and Irving Rivers.
  4. Throughout the early 20th century, King Edward Ave., which ran through Lowertown, was a beautiful tree-lined boulevard. In 1965, more than 100 elms along King Edward were cleared to transform it into an expressway linking to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge. Today, the street is and a dangerous eyesore, congested with large commercial vehicles.
  5. Today, Lowertown continues to attract newcomers and is home to a wide variety of immigrants and racialized Canadians. Dalhousie Street alone has 13 different ethnic restaurants, including African, Caribbean, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Lebanese and  Japanese.

ShafaliShafali Restaurant at 308 Dalhousie St., is owned by an entrepreneur and philanthropist who immigrated from Bangladesh






Jewish Merchants

 H. Aisenberg Fruits & Vegetables, 30 Byward Street, circa 1930