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A compassionate Ottawa supports and empowers individuals at any age, their families and their communities to live well and die and grieve well.


The Compassionate City Charter UK lists 13 major social changes that key institutions can implement to create a supportive environment for people who are going through dying, death, loss and grief. Workplaces is one of those major changes cited in the Charter and workplaces are important stakeholders in creating compassionate communities.  We focus on “living as long as we can as well as we can - whether you are a caregiver or diagnosed with life ending illness, or are frail and elderly - and how our workplaces can help.”

Our Workplace team aims to help employers support their employees who are dealing with chronic illnesses, frail elderly, death, grief and loss – these employees may also be caregivers who need additional help – we work to broaden communication and understanding of these challenging issues. As well, we are directing our focus to employees, and how they support and work with their colleagues who may be dealing with these issues.  One additional aim is to build awareness and interest with employers in earning the designation as a Canadian Compassionate Company (CCC).

About Workplaces

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Thousands of Ottawa’s citizens report to work each day – and we know we spend many of our waking hours at work, in our workplace and with our colleagues.  The Workplace team is focused on building awareness with employers about the critical issues related to dying, death, loss and grief.  We note that while 10% of end of life care is directly delivered by our health care systems, the other 90% of care giving for those with chronic disease, cancer and the frail elderly must be provided by their community; this includes their workplace.  Our aim is to help employers to be better informed and prepared to address these issues in their workplace.  And, why it is important and valuable to invest in creating a compassionate workplace.

Why are we doing this?

Compassionate Ottawa’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the frail elderly and those who face life threatening illnesses.  Dying and death is a difficult and emotional subject for many people – we are often not comfortable talking about end of life.  As a result, many in our communities are not prepared to deal with this subject.  This is true in many workplaces as well.  Recognizing and supporting the challenges that employees may be facing can enhance overall organizational wellness and strengthen employee engagement. Creating an open and supportive workplace culture, specifically in times of loss and grief, will make a difference in our community.

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Our approach

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The Workplace team is meeting with stakeholder employer groups, government employers and associations to raise awareness of the Compassionate Ottawa movement, learn concerns, discuss issues as well as possible solutions.  We want to complement current programs and practices that may be in place and enhance communication channels for employers and their employees related to workplace supports and resources.  Another key objective of our outreach communications is to build awareness of and interest in earning the designation as a Canadian Compassionate Company (CCC).


Please find below a series of resources that could be of interest. These addresses are provided for information only and do not imply a recommendation by Compassionate Ottawa.

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