Adult Crossing Guard Program
Who are Ottawa’s Crossing Guards? They are dedicated, professional and reliable members of our community that care about our children’s safety. Every day, in neighbourhoods all across the City of Ottawa, OSC Crossing Guards work to ensure students wheel, walk, jog or roll to and from school and their homes safely. Get to know your Crossing Guard – smile and say hello, including when you see them away from their posting and out in the community.
Did you know?
Ottawa’s Crossing Guards conduct over 3 million safe crossings annually!
A partnership between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Safety Council, our Crossing Guard program serves over 260 intersections at morning and afternoon bell times, assisting students from all four school boards in Ottawa. In all weather and traffic conditions, you can rely on your neighbourhood Crossing Guard to be on shift and looking out for everyone’s school zone safety.
Crossing Guards are urgently needed for the following locations:
- Kanata North
- Alta Vista/Elmvale Acres
- Kanata South
Scout is a Crossing Guard in Barrhaven. She started her work alongside long time (14+ years!) Crossing Guard, Pam – who actually crossed Scout back when she was in school! Scout became a Crossing Guard in order to give back for all the safe crossings Pam helped her with as a child. Scout loves seeing the kids every day and hearing their funny stories.
Jen (pictured on the left, next to fellow Crossing Guard, Kathy Kelly) has been a crossing guard for over 10 years in the Barrhaven area. In addition to being a Crossing Guard, she is a mom of three young adults and loves DIY projects and working in her garden. “To all the kids at Mary Honeywell ES. You all brighten my day and I am so happy that I get to be a small part of your daily routine.”
Frequently asked questions
Is there an Adult Crossing Guard in my neighbourhood?
There are currently Crossing Guards stationed at over 260 intersections across the City of Ottawa for both the morning and afternoon bell times. To see all of the Crossing Guards in your neighbourhood see our interactive Google map on the right.
I think there is an intersection that should have a Crossing Guard – What do I do?
The City of Ottawa determines which intersections in Ottawa warrant a Crossing Guard, based on funding. The Ottawa Safety Council then hires, trains equips and manages the Crossing Guards for these intersections!
Parents, school faculty, and concerned citizens often approach us about having a Guard placed at an intersection. We encourage all of these suggestions to be sent to the City via 311.ca.
The City collects a list of these suggested intersections throughout the year, until a cut-off date of March 31st. Over the months of April, May & June they conduct different studies at the intersections on their lists (I.e., speed studies, stopping compliance studies, hazards) as well as pedestrian counts. The City then looks at all relevant data and determines a score for the intersection.
Suggested intersections and any supporting data can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I thank my Guard?
The Adult Crossing Guards don’t have a creed, but they do face some unpleasant environmental conditions in the course of their duties: snow, rain, heat, hail, strong winds, lightning storms and challenging traffic conditions.
No matter the weather, they are always on duty and ever vigilant to ensure children make the journey from curb to curb without incident. Your thanks and appreciation, as well as the knowledge of providing such a valuable community service, are what keep our guards coming back year after year.
If you have a positive story to share about your crossing guard or words of thanks to express your appreciation, please send them to us and we will share your words so that your children’s crossing guard can bask in the acknowledgment they so deserve.
If you want to thank your guard, or share a story of how one of our crossing guards made your day, email us at email@example.com
To nominate a guard for the Ottawa’s Favourite Guard Award, follow the link below.
How do I become a Crossing Guard?
Get Involved in your Community!
All of our Adult Crossing Guards are required to provide us with a clean Police Record Check for Vulnerable Sectors and three character references. All Adult Crossing Guards undergo a thorough Screening Interview to determine their suitability for the position as well.
The Adult Crossing Guards undergo in-depth classroom training that covers safe crossing practices, proper positioning & techniques, and important safety precautions, as well as Provincially-mandated training such as Bill 168- Violence and Harassment in the Workplace & Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities. Finally, new Crossing Guards are paired up with experienced Guards in order to shadow them until they are comfortable taking on their intersection on their own.
Team Leads regularly visit Guards at their locations to perform site inspections, pedestrian counts, and performance evaluations.
If you are interested in becoming an Adult Crossing Guard please visit Careers page.
What is the Marie Armstrong Crossing Guard Award?
The Marie Armstrong Award (formerly known as Ottawa’s Favorite Crossing Guard Award) is presented yearly the Crossing Guard who shows high levels of excellence and dedication to the important role of keeping our community’s children safe.
The cash prize is generously donated by Marie Armstrong’s family – to honour her memory. Here is what Marie’s family has to say about her:
“Marie Armstrong, was born in a fishing village known as Avondale, Newfoundland, in 1932. At the age of 18, Marie left for Montreal with her new husband. After a few years in the city, she moved to Dollard des Ormeaux in the West Island.
Marie had 6 children, the youngest of which was 20 years younger than the eldest. When her youngest child, Maria, went to first grade at Ecole Dollard des Ormeaux, she saw a crossing guard for the first time. Thinking it would be great to help out, as she was going back and forth to school with Maria daily, she inquired as to how she might volunteer. After registering at the local police station, Marie began her career as a crossing guard. Under the impression that it was a volunteer position, she failed to pick up paychecks for months! While thrilled by the news, she could not believe that she was actually getting paid for something she felt very happy to do.
Over the next 12 years as a crossing guard, she got to know all of the children and their parents well. She knew who needed a hug and who was at risk. She cared deeply for their little souls and never missed a day for fear that some child might need her. Marie, who was affectionately known as “granny” to her 10 grandchildren, and “GG” to her 4 great-grandchildren, never said an unkind word about anybody in her life and was always looking out for children, whether hers or not. We, as her family, are delighted to honour her memory by lending her name to this award.” – James Miller (Marie’s Grandson)
What are motorists responsibilities when they encounter a Crossing Guard at an intersection?
As per the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), drivers who encounter a crossing guard, must heed their stop sign and not proceed until all the pedestrians and Crossing Guards have cleared the entire roadway and are safely on the curb. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $2000 and three (3) demerit points.
Active Crossing Guard Locations
Mohammad has worked all over the world as a civil engineer and enjoys playing basketball, walking and playing with his grandkids. Mohammed looks forward to seeing all the kids happy faces. To his kids in Kanata North, “Stay safe and be sure that the future will be full of happiness and success.”
Brenda has been a Crossing Guard for almost 5 years. In the spring she keeps busy gardening, knitting and making stuffies. One of the kids she crosses once told her “Brenda, I love your job it is the greatest in the world.” And she said she agrees.
Thank your Guard
Your thank you also counts as a nomination for your Guard towards the “Ottawa’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest”.
Not all heroes wear capes….some wear high visibility vests!
As you can imagine, Adult Crossing Guards have a very important (and sometimes stressful) job. School Zones are busy places – along with the regular traffic volume and frustrated, distracted motorists that are part and parcel of the daily rush, there is a flurry of activity that happens in school zones around bell times. Busses arrive and leave. Parents drop off and pick up their children. Students and parents depend on their Crossing Guard to help them cross the road safely.
The Marie Armstrong Crossing Guard Award Winners
2020-21 Winner – Sally O’Brien, W.E. Gowling E.S. & E.E.P. Louise-Arbour / Carlington
Help Support the Ottawa Safety Council
Donations to the Ottawa Safety Council help us to continue building new programming and creating and delivering awareness campaigns to bring road safety advocacy and awareness to everyone in Ottawa, regardless of how they travel.
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