Breathe Easy Project

Breathe Easy Project Logo

How’s the air in Ottawa today?

Help us find out. Join our Breathe Easy Project!

Air pollution prematurely kills some 500 people in Ottawa every year, and about 14,600 in Canada.

How serious is that? About as deadly as the COVID-19 pandemic. As a comparison, halfway through 2020, about 240 people died in Ottawa from the Covid-19 virus and about 7300 in Canada. But we want to change this.

With great thanks to the Melba Angell Memorial Fund of the Ottawa Community Foundation, and working with partners like Ecology
Ottawa and Project Big Life, we want to make Ottawa residents and institutions more aware of the quality of the air that they and their families are breathing every day, to point out where it is safer and where it is more dangerous.

Our hope is that many people and organizations will join together to carry the project to its next, logical step: to learn more about the problem and to develop ways to improve the air quality (AQ) in our nation’s capital.

We will call on assistance from various community and health organizations, universities and colleges, all three levels of government, experts in this field, and others.

We will be training volunteers in the Ottawa area on how to collect and record air quality data. We also need volunteers to help communicate results and host events sharing the results of our work.

Please contact us at the email below if you want to volunteer to be part of this project or want to know more!

Jake Cole, Breathe Easy Project Leader

Local Chapter: 

In The News

Ottawa has an air pollution problem and it's time we tackled it

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Does Ottawa have an air pollution problem? The short answer is yes, particularly in certain areas of the city.

With funding from the Ottawa Community Foundation and in cooperation with Ecology Ottawa, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation is leading a project, BreatheEasy, to monitor outdoor air quality (AQ) in all wards across the city. From what we’re finding out, the air is not healthy, certainly not everywhere and not every day.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks operates one air quality (AQ) station in the city. It is located in MacDonald Gardens Park on Wurtemburg Street, near the Rideau River. Typically, the readings for that site show that air pollution is in the “low risk” range. Anyone seeing such messaging would likely be comforted and assume that Ottawa’s AQ is just fine.