Moe Atallah Awarded Key To The City

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to Moe Atallah at a fundraiser at Algonquin College this evening. The key was presented to Mr. Atallah in recognition for the indelible mark he has made on our city through countless philanthropic acts of kindness since arriving in Canada in 1976 as a 32-year-old refugee from Lebanon.


Mr. Atallah was immediately drawn to the restaurant industry. He started as a dishwasher but he quickly learned the business, and in 1988, he bought the Newport Restaurant in Westboro. While operating the restaurant, Mr. Atallah dedicated himself to local causes and philanthropy, donating thousands of pizzas and funds to local charities. Mr. Atallah used to open the doors to his restaurant every Christmas for anyone looking for friendship or food.

Mr. Atallah’s generosity has been felt across Ottawa. He has been recognized as a United Way Ottawa Community Builder, Ottawa Businessman of the Year, Restauranteur of the Year and as a St. Joe’s Women’s Centre Champion. He has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Order of Ottawa.

Mr. Atallah was also key in establishing the Elvis Sighting Society, hosting the Society and its memorabilia at the Newport Restaurant.




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2 thoughts on “Moe Atallah Awarded Key To The City

  1. I have no issue with Moe Atallah being honoured by the City – he’s certainly earned it which was why he got the Order of Ottawa.
    I do question the number of Keys that Watson seems to be handing out left, right and centre. If an honour is handed out too frequently or for the wrong reasons, it devalues the award. Of the 74 Keys handed out since 1935, Watson has given out 20 with the other 14 awarders doling out the remaining 54.
    It’s interesting to look at the list of Keys awarded by various mayors: Not sure what Richard Canning was thinking back in August of 2000!
    My other issue is the venue for handing it out. Shouldn’t this be happening at City Hall and in public instead of at a fundraising event at Algonquin?
    By the way, speaking of Algonquin, Watson gave the College a Key to the City for its 50th Anniversary – how exactly does an inanimate, immobile object already in the city use a Key? And have a look at who Larry O’Brien gave it to in November of 2008 – someone who needs no introduction on these pages and who will be celebrating 10 years of “Freedom from the City” this fall!
    Apparently, Toronto and Vancouver have two “Key to the City” set-ups each. One is the traditional city-operated honour and the other is a commercially-operated loyalty program you can join for $40.


  2. Fifty-four awards to people with influence and lots of friends equals votes. While we may not like Jim Watson, he’s not stupid.


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