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Louisa  Taylor - Refugee 613. Ottawa, ON, CA

Louisa Taylor

Director | Refugee 613

Ottawa, ON, CANADA

Director at Refugee 613





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The National Conversation: YOUR questions on refugees




Louisa Taylor is co-founder and director of Refugee 613, a grassroots project supporting Ottawa’s response to the global refugee crisis. Refugee 613 helps to inform, connect and inspire residents to improve the settlement and integration of refugees in the national capital. In her previous life as an award-winning writer and editor, Louisa’s journalism appeared in the Toronto Star, Maclean’s magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and The Economist, among others. Louisa is co-chair of Welcoming Ottawa Week,  an annual festival of events celebrating Ottawa’s immigrant community, founder of @datafestOTT which explore intersections between migration and new technology, and serves on the Advisory Committee on Social Innovation, which explores new policy ideas in settlement and integration for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Industry Expertise (6)

Public Policy

Program Development


Print Media

Social Services

Public Relations and Communications

Areas of Expertise (8)


Human Rights

Diversity & Inclusion

Coalition Building

Refugee Resettlement

Strategic Communications

Communications for Non-Profits

Stakeholder & Public Engagement

Accomplishments (5)

United Way Community Builders of the Year Award 2016 (professional)

Refugee 613 was one of four agencies chosen to represent the community when the United Way honoured Ottawa's collective work to resettle more than 1,600 Syrian refugees in 2016.

Joan Gullen Award for Media Excellence (professional)


For Ottawa Citizen series on the social and health implications of expansion of gambling in Ontario.

Canadian Medical Association Media Award for Excellence in Health Reporting (professional)


For Ottawa Citizen series Unhealthy Welcome, about immigrant and refugee health.

Joan Gullen Award for Media Excellence (professional)


For Ottawa Citizen feature on a homeless shelter for young women.

Media Leadership Award (professional)


From the Ottawa Community immigrant Services Organization, for coverage of immigration policy and newcomer communities in Ottawa

Education (3)

McGill University: B.A., History and Political Science 1989

Metropolis Professional Development Program: Migration Policy & Management 2014

Intensive professional short-course on international migration and its effects on society, with a focus on how policy and programs can influence these effects to the advantage of the receiving societies, the immigrants themselves, and their homelands.

University of Oxford, School of Continuing Education: International Labour Migration, Migration Studies 2014

Continuing Education credit course with Prof. Martin Ruhs on the determinants, impacts and regulation of labour migration around the world.

Affiliations (3)

  • The Travers Debates
  • The Migrationist
  • Datafest Ottawa

Media Appearances (5)

Job fair preps Syrian refugees to enter workforce

Ottawa Citizen  


Refugee 613 director Louisa Taylor says most of the refugees have spent their first months in Canada getting to learn their new culture and are only now ready to enter the job market. By the end of the year, Taylor expects the city to receive about 2,000 Syrian refugees, plus another 400 or so from other countries such as Afghanistan, Congo, Haiti, Somalia and others...

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Why Canada embraces Syrian refugees, while US is still wary

The Christian Science Monitor  


“I’d really say it’s in our national DNA to stand up and respond to these situations of upheaval and humanitarian crisis around the world,” says Louisa Taylor, director of Refugee 613, a grassroots coalition of individuals and nongovernmental organizations advocating refugee resettlement in Ottawa (area code 613, thus the name)...

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Ottawa charity opens furniture depot for Syrian refugees

CBC News  


"People are going to be able drop off their furniture donations here and sponsor groups are going to be able to pick up packages of furniture and household items. Having this space was critical to meeting the demand," said Refugee 613's Louisa Taylor...

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Refugee 613's Louisa Taylor explains how to help newcomers to Ottawa

CBC News  


As the city prepares for an influx of refugees from Syria, many people in Ottawa are wondering what they can do to help. From housing to clothing to health care, refugees coming to the region are in need of support. Louisa Taylor, director of Refugee 613, took part in a live web chat today to explain how you can pitch in...

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Refugee 613, United for Refugees programs unveiled at Ottawa City Hall

CBC News  


"We need to get our ducks in a row and be ready," said Louisa Taylor, the co-founder and director of the fledgling Refugee613. The volunteer-run group has not yet set a target for how many refugees the community should aim to help settle in Ottawa, Taylor said, adding a lot will depend on the direction taken by the federal government...

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