A Bilingual Community – une communauté bilingue

Ottawa Coalition of BIAs supports a community of bilingual businesses, here to serve visitors and citizens of our Nation’s Capital.

Ottawa has 143,220 people whose first official language is French. Ottawa’s francophone population has increased by 10%. The data shows that 28.4% of anglophones speak both official languages.

According to Ottawa Tourism, the National Capital Region welcomes nearly 3 million French-speaking visitors to Quebec and Ottawa per year.

A Bilingual Community is an initiative to support the promotion of Francophone businesses in Ottawa, as well as encourage and support English businesses and staff to embrace and welcome the francophone community through training and education.

Francophone Businesses / French Speaking Services

If you operate a business in Ottawa with a majority of french speaking employees and francophone based, please add you business name to the growing list of French speaking businesses with Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale (RGA). Please use this link

Supporting Businesses in Bilingual Service Offerings

More and more, it is of great benefit for businesses to adopt and become bilingual to serve a greater, expansive market. Customer-facing businesses, many of which are in our retail, hospitality, convention and leisure tourism economy, are a key component to improving bilingualism in our community.

There are many resources to access to build on bilingualism in your BIA, your Business and your staff.

Translate your content

There are free tools to access to support your transition into bilingualism. Your social media content, website content, and written materials are a communication mechanism that can translated to reach the Francophone market.

While online tools are not 100% accurate in translation, these tools may help:

English – French – English translation tool: DEEPL 

Check your translated French with this grammar and vocabulary checking tool: BonPatron

Enhance your customer service related french language

Bilingualism, C’est Payant is an excellent resource to provide basic french language for staff who are in customer facing roles.

Download the bilingualism Lexicon to keep basic and useful phrases handy PDF

Watch these videos that help provide engaging and useful service and language tips

Useful Expressions In French

Useful Expressions in French for Retail

Useful Expressions in French for Restaurants

Useful Expressions In French – Hotels

Useful Expressions In French – Phone Conversations


This initiative has been supported and funded by: