- Ottawa Lookout
- Canal closes as freezing rain returns
Canal closes as freezing rain returns
Another round of freezing rain is coming, plus an NCC update.
Careful out there again today. We’ve had another spell of freezing rain. Found out the hard way (though, not too hard) what a difference a few hours of the stuff can do for conditions. Ended up taking a bit of a spill before even reaching the sidewalk.
(I’m fine, but the dog was awfully confused why I was suddenly below her level.)
In any case, take it slow out there, and if you’re able stay home if possible.
We’ve got plenty on what’s expected from the overnight storm, the effects the previous one had on the city, and plenty more.
Let’s get to it.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
Friday: +1 🌡️ -1 | 🌧/🧊
Saturday: +2 🌡️ -2 | ☁️
Sunday: 0 🌡️ -13 | 🌤
Monday: -8 🌡️ -11 | ☀️
NATIONAL CAPITAL COMMISSION
NCC and Senators continue to talk about LeBreton arena
Artist’s rendering for illustrative purposes, subject to change. Handout/Populous
What happened: Negotiations between the NCC and the Ottawa Senators appear to be moving ahead for the team to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats, CTV reported.
“We remain confident that between now and the end of 2024, when we hope to have a lease agreement signed, that discussions will continue in a positive manner… And we'll be able to announce the completion of a signed lease agreement,” NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum told reporters.
The commission entered into a memorandum of understanding with the team in 2022 to negotiate over a year for a lease to build a new arena at the site. Once the sale of the team went through, that deadline was extended another year to let the two sides figure out a deal.
Previously, new Sens owner Michael Andlauer said his “gut feel” was that LeBreton is the right choice for a new arena, CBC reported at the time.
What about elsewhere? Mayor Mark Sutcliffe has pushed several other locations elsewhere in the city, including the still-standing and occupied National Defence Building. He’s said LeBreton is too far from downtown, despite some of the locations he’s floated being much further away. While not directly downtown, LeBreton has the advantage of being undeveloped.
New homes: The NCC said it had signed a lease with the developer Avenue 31 Capital to build a complex including 900 homes. The construction will be on four parcels of land at LeBreton, and the buildings will all meet net-zero carbon standards.
A new chapter: The building at the corner of Rideau and Sussex that once held the downtown Chapters is set to be an event space. That’s the hope of the NCC anyway, who said they are negotiating a lease for an unnamed developer to turn into a new hub, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Queen Elizabeth: In another point of contention with the mayor, the NCC released the results of a survey of its summer active-use program. The program includes closing a stretch of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway during the day to vehicles.
The NCC said 69 percent of the people who responded to their survey approved of the active-use program, and of those who actually used the system, 85 percent said they approved of it. Of those surveyed, 88 percent said they approved of the Queen Elizabeth program.
Sutcliffe has, on many occasions, been vocal about his opposition to the closure that stretches from the Pretoria Bridge to Lansdowne.
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OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🪙 $50,000: The value of coins stolen from a Canada Post location at CFB Kingston. [CTV]
🥩 $1 million: A donation made to the Ottawa Food Bank was worth this much. The company Premium Meats will provide meat products over 10 years to give to those in need. [CTV]
⚖️ 6.5%: The additional wage increase an arbitrator retroactively granted to Ontario public service workers after the provincial Bill 124 was found unconstitutional. The bill capped wage increases to one percent. [CBC]
More freezing rain to come as Canal closes after just four days
What happened: Here we go again! Environment Canada issued yet another freezing rain warning for today. After waking to a fairly thick layer yesterday, expect to find another layer today.
“An episode of freezing rain similar to the one experienced Wednesday … will affect the area. Several hours of freezing rain are likely. Some locations may see a changeover to rain Friday if temperatures rise above the freezing mark,” the warning said.
Aftermath: The previous wave of freezing rain left much of the city coated with a treacherous layer of ice. Buses were cancelled for schools throughout the city and much of eastern Ontario, CTV reported.
For the latest updates on school buses, check the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority’s notification page to see what is and isn’t running.
Plowing: With two storms hitting the city just a day apart, it makes for possibly more dangerous conditions today. Any un- or undertreated ice will only accumulate faster. The possibility of varying precipitation this afternoon adds another layer (sorry) of danger, CBC reported.
LRT success: OC Transpo and Rideau Transit Management seem to have learned from previous disastrous winter shutdowns. A combination of multiple trains running through the night, increased carbon strips added to the trains’ power system (to generate heat), and the application of deicer kept the LRT running smoothly Thursday. A similar procedure will be in place overnight into this morning, the city said in a memo.
Canal closure: Sadly, that was short lived. After fewer than four days, the warm temperatures and rain forced the NCC to close down the Rideau Canal to skaters, the commission said. The hope is that the closure is temporary, and that keeping it closed will help maintain ice conditions for later in the winter.
Counting it out: Winterlude organizers have also learned a lesson — this year, the winter celebration isn’t relying on an open skateway for much of its programming, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Organizers have planned for many more events at indoor spaces like museums. The gradual shift away from the Canal has been underway for about five years.
A Pride ice parade and the Ice Dragon Boat Festival are both counting on the Canal, however.
🚔 Unable to stem the tide of thefts, Ottawa police are recommending people who own some of the most popular-to-steal vehicles invest in after-market security systems to protect their cars. [CBC]
🏗️ The city has reached a deal with the federal government for Ottawa’s slice of the national housing fund. Mayor Mark Sutcliffe announced at the council table there was a deal between the two sides, but didn’t provide any details on how much the city would be getting or what (if any) strings were attached. [YouTube]
👮♂️ Ottawa police Const. Pierre Fournier was found guilty of discreditable conduct for getting into a verbal and physical altercation with several teens while he was on medical leave. He’s been suspended with pay since the incident in April 2021, and will be sentenced at a later date. [CBC]
🏥 CHEO was named the second-best employer in the country by Forbes Magazine. It was beat out only by The Hershey Company. [Forbes]
🚌 A local man who uses a mobility scooter wants a driver disciplined for refusing to let him on the bus after a snowstorm. The driver wouldn’t pull his bus ahead to a gap in the snow banks to let the man on, and it was only the intervention of passers by and fellow passengers that he was helped onto the bus. [CBC]
✏️ Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a trustee with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, applied for judicial review of sanctions passed and upheld by the board that will bar her from next week’s meeting for a code of conduct violation. She’s also forbidden to sit on several committees for three months. No date for the review has been set. [CTV]
⚖️ Given the recent ruling that using the federal Emergencies Act during the convoy was unreasonable, some are saying the act needs to be updated to clarify when and how it can be used. [CBC]
📚 Many Ontario colleges are facing an uncertain financial future after the federal government decided to cap the number of international student permits it will issue. The province will lose about half its international student permits, which many colleges have made their most important revenue stream. [CBC]
🚨 An educational support worker at the OCDSB was arrested on charges of sexual assault against three boys under the age of 14. Police say there could be more victims in Ottawa and Nova Scotia. [CBC]
What to do this weekend
🎻 Young String Performers in Concert, Saturday 7:30 pm: A night of music from talented young string musicians from across the region. At First Unitarian Church of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave. Tickets start at $7.
☘️ Road to The Isles, Sunday 3 pm: Hosted by Atlantic Voices, enjoy this concert with music from and about Newfoundland, Cape Breton, and PEI, with stops in Ireland, the Scottish Hebrides, and Maui. At Centretown United Church, 507 Bank St. Tickets $25 until Friday, $30 at the door.
🏴 Music and Poetry in Honour of Robert Burns, Sunday 2 pm: Enjoy an afternoon celebrating the life and work of Burns, with performances by Tripoly and the Grenville Troubadours. At St. John's United Church, 400 Prescott St. Kemptville. Tickets $22.
🥂 Roaring Twenties Revelry - Sip, Savour and Swing, Saturday 5 pm: Taste the flavours of the Roaring Twenties with Champagne, cocktails and finger foods. At C.A. Paradis, 1314 Bank St. Tickets $96.
👰♀️ Opportunity Bridal Wedding Dress Sale, Saturday 9 am: A pop-up show and sale of wedding dresses. At the Holiday Inn and Suites Kanata, 101 Kanata Ave. Free general admission.
🎤 Sugar Sammy You’re Gonna Rire 2, multiple dates: The Quebec comedian returns to Gatineau for another run of bilingual shows. At the Canadian Museum of History. Tickets start at $60.
The week in food
🇰🇷 If you’re looking for great Korean baked goods — sweet or savoury! — JnJ Bakery is the spot you’ll want.
🍚 Looking for a fresh, delicious lunch? Check out Mr. Poke, whose focus on quality ingredients puts his bowls over the top.
🍽️ (Insiders) The view of the city is always great, but what was it that wasn’t quite right at our editor’s latest visit to this Ottawa mainstay?
🥃 (Insiders) Whisky lovers will get a kick out of this one, a fine Irish dram worth sharing.
🍷 (Insiders) Australian wines may have fallen out of fashion lately, but this Shiraz makes for a pleasant surprise.
PWHL Boston player Rattray Jamie Lee, who’s from Kanata, scored her first professional goal at TD Place this week. [CTV]
A food court on Kent has an automatic system to identify your garbage, and tell you which bin to put it in. [Reddit]
Reusable bags really only help the environment if you remember to bring them into the store. [CBC]
A local restaurant is letting people prepay for meals for those in need. [Reddit]
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Congrats to Madeleine, Lloyd, Michelle, Kristian, Sylvie, and Joyce, who all knew that this week’s Ottawa Guesser was of the corner of Main and Hawthorne (we also accepted Pretoria, given the bridge is right there).
Think you can solve this week’s Ottawa Wordle? Play now.