Healthy Ottawa

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Personal Services Settings” (PSS) include businesses that most of us frequent on a regular basis and include a  wide range of services like tattooing, body modification, piercings, haircuts, manicures, pedicures, electrolysis  and many more. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) does many things to inform and protect the public at these establishments, such as operator training, health inspections, and public education.

Recently, OPH surveyed the public to get a pulse of how often Ottawa residents access these types of services. To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of respondents indicated that they had been to a hair salon and had received a manicure or pedicure. After all, who doesn’t like getting their hair and nails done?! More surprising, however, was the high number of people who indicated that they have had at least one piercing and/or tattoo, and many who have had purchased more invasive, non-traditional personal service procedures.

How often are Personal Service Settings Inspected?
OPH Public Health Inspectors inspect PSS once a year to ensure they meet all infection prevention and control practices, as outlined in the provincial PSS standards.

Where can I find the latest inspection results of a PSS?
In order to ensure that the public is well-informed with up-to-date inspection results, residents can now visit to view the inspection history of a given PSS facility. This site is also mobile friendly to provide residents with better access no matter what device they are using - helping them make informed decisions.

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Today is Global Handwashing Day. Proper handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use hand sanitizer. For more information visit

We all know someone with a mental health challenge. Learn more and support those in need. More info via the The Canadian Mental Health Association. 

Ottawa resources available at


"There are very few things in life that can be tailored exactly to your needs. Luckily for babies, breast milk does just that. Breast milk is custom-made by each mother for her own baby. It contains an optimal amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals that your baby needs to grow and develop. It may protect your child from illnesses such as childhood diabetes and helps to promote proper jaw and teeth development. One of the greatest things about breast milk is that it will change and adapt to meet your baby’s needs as they grow.

Besides meeting your baby’s nutritional needs for growth and development, breast milk also contains antibodies. Antibodies play an important role in the body’s immune system by identifying and fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses. The antibodies your baby receives from breast milk may reduce their risk of developing allergies. Also, breast milk helps protect against ear, chest and stomach infections. After birth, your protein-rich first milk, called colostrum, helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by coating your baby’s digestive system.”

Read the full article from the Capital Parent Newspaper. 


Slowing cars down would improve safety and make our streets more walkable. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recently sent a letter of support to Yasir Naqvi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre, in his efforts to push the Province to lower the default speed limit on residential streets from 50km/hour to 40km/hour. Under the existing legislation, municipalities do not have the ability to decrease speed limits on residential streets at a city-wide level. That’s why engagement and support for this initiative at the provincial level is so important.

About 85% of pedestrians struck by a vehicle driving 50km/hour result in a fatality, compared to 25% at 40km/hour. Let your MPP know what you think about speed limits in your community!

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September 16, 2014            

The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, M.P.P.
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Community Office
109 Catherine Street Ottawa, ON K2P 0P4 

Dear Minister: 

On behalf of the Board of Health and Ottawa Public Health (OPH), we would like to offer our support in your efforts to encourage the Province to consider reducing default speed limits on residential streets from 50km/hour to 40km/hour. 

On October 21st, 2013, as part of the Health Eating Active Living Strategy Update: School-Based Active Transportation report, the Ottawa Board of Health recommended that Ottawa Public Health provide support of initiatives at the Provincial level to reduce the default speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h.

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At an event held October 1, 2014, the Community Foundation of Ottawa awarded the Poverty and Hunger Working Group with the New Leaf Challenge grant of $125,000 to expand the popular MarketMobile initiative. This project, an offshoot of the Working Group’s Good Food Markets, uses a chartered bus to bring affordable fresh vegetables and fruit to neighbourhoods that have limited access to grocery stores.  Launched at the end of July, it has been visiting the neighbourhoods of Morrison Gardens, Caldwell, south Hunt Club and Vars every week. Support has been strong and very positive from the communities.


Photographer:  Luther Caverly, Community Foundation of Ottawa

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and Breasts Out for Ontario Babies (BOOB) today welcomed breastfeeding mothers, babies and families to Ottawa City Hall to take part in the Bistro Bébé Breastfeeding Challenge 2014. The Bistro Bébé offered a relaxing and supportive atmosphere for breastfeeding mothers, while providing their baby and/or young child with the most complete and readily available nutrition.

This event, hosted by OPH and BOOB, is part of the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge, which began in 2001 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme is: “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life,” which asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.

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Join bestselling author Dr. Yoni Freedhoff who will speak to The Mythology of Modern Day Dieting. 

There are many diets and yet none of them really seem to really work. Come and spend an hour to explore and bust some of the myths that may be holding us back from making meaningful changes to our life and learn why it’s wiser to cultivate the healthiest lifestyle we can enjoy, rather than trying to live a life that we are only able to tolerate (a diet).

Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa where he’s the founder and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute—dedicated to non-surgical weight management since 2004. Dr. Freedhoff, known by many to be Canada’s most outspoken obesity expert, sounds off daily on his award-winning blog, Weighty Matters, and has been referred to as a “Nutritional watchdog” by the Canadian Medical Association. He is also the author of the #1 national bestseller: The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work. Books will be available to purchase at this event. 

Registration is FREE, order your ticket at:


This Fall, Ottawa Public Health will be offering a series of FREE interactive workshops for child care professionals. Based on the Healthy Eating and Active Living Guidelines, these sessions will inspire healthy changes in child care menus, food choices and programming.  

Child care educators, coordinators and home-based providers are invited to attend a half-day workshop that will increase their knowledge and confidence in nutrition and physical activity.

Child care cooks are invited to a separate full-day session that will focus on Canada’s Food Guide, menu planning and healthy food choices.

It’s free to register. Join us as we create healthier choices for our children!  

If you have any questions about the workshops, please contact Kim Copeland at or by telephone at 613-580-6744 ext. 23672.

Workshop Schedule for Childcare Cooks:

October 14, 2014
Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens 
102 Greenview Avenue
English - Register for this workshop.

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