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Queensway closing for another weekend bridge replacement

The 417 is closed again this weekend, and won’t reopen until Tuesday. Plus: a big election update after a candidates’ debate.

Good morning!

Hope everyone survived the frost overnight. It’s going to be warm all weekend, but at night it’s going to be close to freezing for the next while. If you haven’t, it might be time to start thinking about breaking out the heavy coats.

Just one quick piece of housekeeping: there are only five 20 percent off discounts remaining for an Insider membership and our fundraising drive ends tonight.

Becoming an Insider supports our upcoming municipal election coverage and gets you access to our members-only restaurant, food and wine coverage. If you can afford it, please consider becoming a member, it really helps us continue producing these newsletters. 

Let’s get to it!

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

If you find this newsletter valuable, please consider forwarding it to your friends. New to the Lookout? Sign-up for free.

Weather Report

Friday: 19 🌡️ 5 | ☀

Saturday: 17 🌡️ 2 | ☁

Sunday: 14 🌡️ 0 | ☀

Monday: 16 🌡️ 2 | ☀


Queensway closes tonight, until Tuesday

What’s happening: Once again, the 417 will be closed between the Metcalfe and Carling exits, starting at 7 pm, reopening Tuesday at 6 am. This time the Rochester bridge is being replaced. Smaller roads near the bridge will also be closed

Lessons learned: Last time this stretch of highway was closed, traffic was affected far beyond the official detour. 

Roads like Baseline, Heron, Hog’s Back, and Hunt Club all saw much heavier traffic, according to CBC. But most roads within the rough area from the Ottawa River in the north, to Hunt Club in the south, and Woodroffe in the west to Riverside in the east all saw heavier traffic.

  • The Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is closed this weekend for cyclists, so avoid that area, too.

  • $0.05: The gas price rise this week, to an average of $1.54. It could go higher because of Hurricane Ian. [CTV]

  • 2%: The amount the average house price is expected to drop by the end of the year. [CTV]


Debates, music and sprawl, this election week had it all

Candidates debate: Candidates sparred over key differences at the final environment-focused debate.

Sutcliffe emphasized what he called his balanced approach, that wouldn’t give preference to one mode of transportation over another. He opposed making driving or parking downtown more expensive, and touted his plan to plant a million trees and build more electric vehicle charging stations, the Ottawa Citizen reported

McKenney promised to end sprawl, rolling back the expansion of the city’s urban boundary to before the Official Plan, meaning the elimination of the Tewin development in the city’s far east. They also said they supported higher parking fees in the core, but opposed congestion charging.

Other policies of note: 

  • Bob Chiarelli: Promised to freeze city taxes, scrap the city’s current climate change plan and have Hydro Ottawa come up with a new one.

  • Software developer Brandon Bay said he would scrap R1 city zoning, meaning single-family houses could be replaced with duplexes, not larger buildings as other candidates suggested.

  • Nour Kadri, a UofO professor, said much of the funding for fighting climate change should come from higher levels of government, and said the city should focus on building a green economy.

You can watch a replay of the whole debate on YouTube.

  • Dig deeper: Bob Chiarelli released his full environmental platform Thursday. [CTV]

Sutcliffe sits down with the Citizen: Sutcliffe spent more than an hour with the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen to talk about his campaign and vision for the city. He said his approach is more balanced than McKenney’s. He told the paper he would not be a big projects type of mayor, and would release his financial platform soon. 

  • Of note: He said a tunnel under King Edward Street is the best solution for truck traffic downtown.

Better transparency: McKenney promised to improve trust in city hall by making budget data more accessible, set fiscal anchors for the city (including a three percent cap on tax increases), and balance the representation on council committees (including gender and geography). They said they will end the influence of money by building more robust democratic processes, but didn’t provide details of those processes.

Music city: Sutcliffe promised to lift up the city’s live music venues and promoters by  creating a Music Office to lead the city’s strategy, and better use city property to host events. Many of the promises are already underway, CBC reported.

Progressive Conservative MPP endorses Sutcliffe: Former cabinet minister Lisa MacLeod will host a meet and greet with Mark Sutcliffe at her home, according to a fundraising email obtained by the Lookout. “Mark has my full support in this campaign and I hope you will join me … to get to know him better and join his growing campaign,” the email said.

Keep up to date on all of our coverage with our Municipal Election Guide.


Chow down this weekend

Eat your way through the weekend with some restaurants suggested by our food editor.

Feeling like an adventurous at home chef? Green Fresh at 175 MacArthur Ave. offers a broad range of Asian and Caribbean fruit and veg, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Caribbean and Filipino seasonings.

Want to get out of town? A visit to Pine Lodge or a tour through the Outaouais’ cideries and wineries will satisfy any weekend warrior. 


The trauma of ‘birth alerts’: Multiple Ottawa women shared with CBC the lasting family damage the since-discontinued practice of “birth alerts” by hospitals and Children’s Aid. Two women’s babies were taken as soon as they were born, taking days or months to get them back. Another spoke of how she was threatened with her child’s removal if it failed blood tests for drugs done immediately after her C-section. [CBC]

Remains found in Vanier: Construction workers found what appear to be human remains at two apartment buildings in Vanier. Homicide police are investigating the site. The buildings were vacant for several years. [CBC]

Firefighter injured: A firefighter was hurt and taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries after battling a blaze at two homes near Bronson Avenue and the 417. Both were empty and planning to be demolished. [CTV]

New swim program: With the Red Cross getting rid of its swimming lessons, the city has stepped in with a system of its own. Maybe the best news is the new swim program will coincide with the launch of the much-awaited new registration program. The new program will have 18 levels for children, and three for adults.

Nine Insider membership discounts remaining

It’s your last chance to get 20 percent off an Insider membership to discover the best restaurants, food and drink our city has to offer.

But you’ll have to hurry — there’s only nine discounts of 20 percent off your first year. And trust us, these go fast. We only offer them a couple times a year.

Get one today and help us hit our goal of 75 new Insider members to fund our municipal election coverage.


Reconciliation and fall festivals

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Events | Today | Various times | Various locations | Events throughout town, including Parliament Hill, LeBreton Flats Park and many other locations. [CTV]

Tagwàgi Autumn Festival | Tonight, 7 pm Reconciliation dinner and entertainment | $150 | Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am to 5 pm | Mādahòkì Farm, 4420 West Hunt Club Rd. | This Indigenous celebration of fall offers a Friday night multi-course reconciliation dinner and family-friendly events including crafting workshops, Pow Wows, and more. 

Halloween Hostage | Today until Halloween | Brockville Aquatarium | A spooky escape room with up to six friends. Two levels of scary if you don’t want things to get too frightening. Find out more at CTV.

Arlington Art Market | Saturday | 10 am to 3 pm | Arlington Avenue between Bank and Kent | Pick up stuff from local artists, artisans and makers — plus free coffee and tea for the first 200 people.

Hazardous waste drop-off | Sunday | 8 am to 4 pm | Ottawa Baseball Stadium | Not quite a fun-for-the-whole-family event, but the city is collecting non-garbage waste: paint cans, batteries, fertilizers, chemicals, and more.

Fall Farm Fest | 2391 Pepin Ct. | 11 am to 3 pm | Live music, wagon rides, a beer garden, farm stand vendors and more, raising money for the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

  • One of the employees at Moo Shu Ice Cream is missing their cat. If you’ve seen Thrasher in Centretown, get in touch. [Reddit]

  • Great coffee is just the start of all the goodness to be found at Sharpfle Waffle.

  • It’s election day in Quebec on Monday, and CBC has a voting guide. [CBC]

  • Renfrew County has a free stop smoking program. [CityNews]

  • We’ve got you covered on finding the city’s hidden restaurant gems, like Bistro Ristoro in the Market.

  • Missing a bike? It might have been found in Old Ottawa South. [Reddit]

  • Take a step into the past, and learn more about the Ketchum Boathouse on the Ottawa River. [Apt613]


Today’s photo is a bit different. While out campaigning to retain his seat in Kitchissippi Ward, Jeff Leiper came across this battle bot. 

“Absolutely thrilled tonight on my canvas to meet Lucky - heading down to Vegas in a couple of weeks to compete. 11,000 pounds of thrust behind a wicked flipper, titanium protection where it counts,” he tweeted.

Do you have a photo you’d like to share with readers? Reply to this email and we may run it in an upcoming issue.


Congrats to Don, Sonia, Mary-Martha, Gord, Laurent, Denis, Paul, Joanne, Voula, and Leah, the first 10 people who knew the Ottawa Geoguesser was of 1500 Bronson Ave., the former Edward Drake Building and before that CBC building.

Can you figure out today’s Ottawa Wordle? Play now!


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