Mayor Jim Watson is officially Ottawa’s longest serving mayor

Mayor Jim Watson is now Ottawa's longest serving mayor

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has officially become the city’s longest serving mayor. Jim Watson has now served as mayor for over 13 years, or 4,794 days over two stints. Watson, 60 was mayor of the previous incarnation of Ottawa from 1997 to 2000, and he now has served as mayor of the amalgamated city of Ottawa since Dec. 1, 2010.

Prior to Watson, Stanley Lewis was Ottawa’s longest serving mayor holding the position from 1936 to 1948.

Watson, originally from Montreal, attended Carleton University and was an Ottawa city councillor for six years before being elected at the young age of 37 in 1997.

Between his years as Mayor, Watson served as an MPP for Dalton McGuinty.

When asked about some of the highlights during his tenure as Mayor, Watson told CTV he’s “really pleased” to have worked with colleagues to revitalize Lansdowne Park, build Light Rail Transit, cleaned up the Ottawa River, built a new Ottawa Art Gallery and new community centres across Ottawa.”

Mayor Watson also posted an enormous list of some of the accomplishments he is most proud of during his mayorship.

Within the list of accomplishments are: the launch of the LRT and its continued evolution, the introduction of electric OC Transpo buses, gigantic improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure, the addition of three new community centres (in Barrhaven, Orleans and Kanata), extensive bridge improvements and additions, the addition of two new art galleries and the Ottawa sports hall of fame, opening the Rink of Dreams, breaking ground on a net-zero carbon central library, and the continuing revitalization of Lansdowne.

Mayor Watson also pointed out the record investments made in affordable housing, gender equity and anti-racism initiatives and the list goes on.

Watson also said there is still a lot of work to do like securing funding for Phase 3 of light rail transit to Barrhaven, Kanata and Stittsville, as well as achieving the goal of building a new central library at LeBreton Flats.

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