Baby swan alert: Victoria Park pair welcomes first cygnet

Kitchener’s resident swans, Otis and Ophelia, have welcomed a new member to their family.

The baby swan, known as a cygnet, is believed to be their first baby together. It hatched this past weekend at Victoria Park where Otis and Ophelia live during the warmer months. The pair vacationed in Stratford over the winter.

Niall Lobley, the City of Kitchener’s director of parks and cemeteries, said Otis was a bachelor for several years before partnering up with Ophelia. The couple has been together since 2019.

“Welcoming a new swan to the family is kind of like bringing a new kid into the world. It’s fantastic news,” said Lobley.

The baby swan will be taken for a check up to ensure it is healthy.

“The signet will be recovered and go away for a couple of days for a quick health check, which then we’ll hopefully figure out if it’s female or male,” said Lobley.

Those at Victoria Park Monday were thrilled about the cygnet and in a hurry to give it a name.

“I named him, her, Nimbus because he looks like a little cloud about to rain,” said one Kitchener resident.

Another Kitchener resident suggested Ollie to keep with the “O” name theme.

Elaine Decleir, the co-founder of KW Famous and Otis’ Instagram fan page, posted about the baby, and she said there isn’t a shortage of ideas for names.

Some suggestions she’s heard include Odette, Milo and Willow.

Decleir, who has launched a merchandise line for Otis said she might have to include baby swans in their items.

“We’ll definitely be working on something family or baby-oriented with this new news,” said Decleir, who calls herself an Otis superfan.


The City of Kitchener is asking for help as a naming contest gets underway.

Individuals residing in Kitchener can submit up to five potential names for the cygnet.

The contest runs until July 8 at noon.

The city is also reminding the public to give the new parents and baby space and like always, refrain from feeding them.

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