John Rapp

John Rapp is the Executive Director of Dovercourt Recreation Association, a community based charitable organization which runs Dovercourt Recreation Centre, one of Ottawa’s busiest, most innovative community centres. Dovercourt sees thousands of city residents of all ages, from all neighbourhoods and backgrounds, pass through its doors annually, and John is committed to ensuring that each and every one of those people feel part of a larger community when they do so.

John has spent his career in community development in one capacity or another, and is a big believer in helping the residents of this city stay healthy, fit, connected and accepted. John has worked diligently to build Dovercourt into a much-admired, bustling community hub, and for that he is one of #150GreatPeople in Ottawa. Here, John Rapp answers the questionnaire:

What makes Ottawa special to you?

It is always home, born and raised here, so it always feels like putting on a favourite sweater when I come back. Comforting, familiar, and welcoming!

What do you love most about living and working in Ottawa?

I am constantly seeing people I know, after years of teaching in lifesaving, swimming, leadership, and in community work, every crowd seems to have a familiar face. Plus I love going in and out of both languages, which you can do in one conversation in Ottawa easily and nobody blinks.

The work that you do helps to make Ottawa a better place – why is this important to you?

It really is a blessing to get to do work that you know makes a difference, not great world changing things, most of the time for individuals, so you can see the impact and see that you have helped. And to get to do that almost every day for every age and ability, priceless!

You give back to the Ottawa community in various ways – is there one Ottawa-related achievement of which you are most proud?

At this point, it is in our alumni, former students or staff that have gone on to great things and surpassed their teacher, and of course, to see that my children are grown up to be good friends, good citizens and are caring and compassionate humans.

What do you hope for Ottawa in the future?

That we never get so big that we stop treating each other like friends and neighbours, not just anonymous people passing by.