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Community steps up to help people harmed by high-rise fire

The community raised thousands of dollars to help out the people harmed and displaced by two fires in an Overbrook high rise.

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Good morning!

Did anyone get a good look at the aurora this weekend? Where we live, the clouds were thick enough that we never really got to see them. But there are parts of of the city that seemed to get quite the show.

If you did see the light show, and have some photos, send them in! We’d love to run reader photos of the aurora. Send your photos to [email protected].

Now, we’ve got a newsletter to get to, so let’s do that.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor


Monday: 20 🌡️ 14 | ⛈️

Tuesday: 19 🌡️ 11 | 🌧

Wednesday: 23 🌡️ 9 | 🌤


Community steps up to help families harmed by fire

Ottawa Fire Services

What happened: The community has stepped up with thousands of dollars in donations to the families displaced by a high-rise apartment fire in Overbrook, CTV reported. A weekend fundraiser brought in at least $22,000 for victims of the blaze.

  • The fundraiser included cash, gift cards, and new toys for those affected by the fire. Monetary donations are being given to the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre who, along with Coun. Tim Tierney’s office, will distribute the funds to victims.

The building’s operator donated $5,000 to the resource centre, along with another $5,000 to the Red Cross, CBC reported. The Red Cross has put up several of those displaced at motels in the area while their units are repaired.

Fear remains: Residents were rattled by two fires within a few days. The first of which has led to charges, the second was deemed not suspicious. 

  • One resident told CBC after the fundraiser: “There’s fear, but in this drama we can at least know that there's people behind us to help us at the end of the day.… So we're not alone and we can help each other.”

The effects: More than 50 people were displaced by the fire, and eight people were taken to the hospital. Three of those — two children and their mother — were in life-threatening condition. A 42-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and arson related charges in connection with the fire.

Other efforts: Students at nearby Gloucester High School have managed to raise about $3,400. The teacher that organized the fundraiser said it was important to show the students 

the importance of helping others in the community.

More to come: Further fundraisers are planned in the coming month to help the residents who have been harmed by the fire.

Take a Peek Behind the (Smart) Curtain

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  • Ring - acquired by Amazon for $1.2B

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🥕 100: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Parkdale Market. [CBC]

🗳️ 7: There are this many people running for mayor of Gatineau in a byelection. The previous mayor, France Bélisle, stepped down in February citing a toxic political culture. [CBC]


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Executive chef at a confidential employer

  2. Audio visual project manager at Applied Electronics Limited

  3. Learning and development coordinator at Surex

  4. Communications advisor at the Senate

  5. Service officer at the Royal Canadian Legion

Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted.


🏥 The emergency room of the Almonte General Hospital was forced to close overnight Saturday because of a shortage of nurses. It’s one of several closures at the hospital’s ER this year. [CTV]

🚔 Police will be increasing their use of mandatory alcohol screening in roadside traffic stops. The force said impaired driving is on the rise, so stops for rolling a stop sign or speeding may now also include a roadside test. [Ottawa Citizen]

🇮🇱 The city has decided to go ahead with the flag raising ceremony for Israel’s Independence Day. Details of the ceremony will be released early this week. [CBC]

🌷 The Canadian Tulip Festival opened over the weekend with a flyover of an RCAF CF-18 and a 98-year-old guest of honour who flew in the Second World War. The festival runs until May 20. [CTV]

🚑 A motorcyclist was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition after a crash with a car in Barrhaven. The driver of the car was taken to hospital with minor injuries. [CBC]

🔧 A Repair Cafe in Alta Vista saw hundreds of residents get some of their household appliances and other items fixed rather than thrown out. The next edition is June 22 at the Ray Friel recreation complex. [CTV]

🏗️ Student architects at Carleton University unveiled a plan to transform LeBreton with a large looped bridge connecting parts of the new development. The NCC received the plan, and told the students some of the ideas were worth considering. [CBC]

🩺 Kingston is offering family health clinics grants of up to $100,000 to take on more clients. The money can be used for technology upgrades, hiring more staff and more, if the clinics are able to increase their patient rolls by 1,000 patients or more. [CTV]

⚖️ The trial for convoy organizer Pat King, facing charges of mischief and obstructing police among others, begins today. [CBC]

🚨 A 20-year-old was charged with second-degree murder in a recent Manor Park killing. The man is charged in the death of a 53-year-old man who was killed during an alleged failed robbery of a weekly poker game. Police are still searching for a second suspect in the killing. [CBC]

🗑️ The City of Gatineau will start rolling out new garbage trucks with robotic arms. The trucks can be operated by one person instead of two for garbage collection. [CBC]

Geopolitics in Under 5 Minutes?

Looking for news outside of just Ottawa? You may like International Intrigue.

It’s a free global affairs briefing created by former diplomats to help leaders like you understand how geopolitics, business and technology intersect. They deliver the most important international news and analysis in <5-minute daily briefing that you’ll actually look forward to reading.


What to do this week

🎹 Pipe Organ Concert, Monday 7:30 pm: Vincent Boucher performs music from Bach, Handel, Tournemire, and more. At the Church of St Francis of Assisi, 20 Fairmont Ave. General admission $34.

👩‍💻 Spatial Storytelling, Wednesday and Saturday: A two-day workshop on spatial storytelling using virtual reality and other techniques. At Digital Arts Resource Centre, 67 Nicholas St. Tickets start at $65.

🎤 King Promise Live, Friday 10 pm: The Ghanaian performer brings his mix of afrobeats, highlife, hip hop and R&B to the city. At The Palace Ottawa, 400A Dalhousie St. Tickets $43.

🧀 Make a Charcuterie Board, Saturday: Learn to make your very own charcuterie board, while learning some important wood finishing techniques. Materials provided. At Lee Valley Tools, 900 Morrison Dr. Three times available. Tickets $90.

🥁 Classic Rock Drum Clinic, Saturday 11 am:  Learn some of the techniques of famous classic rock drummers like Keith Moon, John Bonham and more. At Hummingbird Hall, 900 Greenbank Rd. Tickets $20.

🦁 The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along, Saturday 12:30 pm: Come for a sing-along view of the Wizard of Oz. The event is to raise money for the Caelis Academy Ensemble and their upcoming trip abroad. At the Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. Tickets $23.

🪄 Science Magic - Crazy Gadgets, Saturday 1 pm: A great afternoon for kids as Donal Vaughan mixes comedy with science in a spectacular performance. At the Tony Graham Recreational Complex, 100 Charlie Rogers Pl. Tickets $17.

🪖 The Liberation Men screening, Sunday 3 pm: Shot in Ontario, join a screening of this film about Canadian soldiers and the liberation of the Netherlands, followed by a Q&A with cast and crew. At the Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. Tickets $15.

  • Sandy Hill pizzeria Vittorio's Pizza House placed 19th in the deep-dish competition at the World Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. [CTV]

  • Our neighbours down south keep it lively, but it can leave us Canucks feeling swamped. It’s The Mix-up is a great way to stay informed on U.S. politics and business with their Mon-Sat briefing, breaking down big issues in just 3 minutes. Join 15,000+ other readers - subscribe for free here! [Sponsored]

  • NCC weekend bike days, and cycling advocates took to the streets to ride for safer infrastructure across town. [CTV]

  • Starting tomorrow, the north end of the WIlliam Commanda Bridge will be closed while crews rebuild the intersection with the pathway on the Gatineau side. It’s expected to reopen May 18. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Learn how here.


Insider: What’s the deal with zoning?

This story is available for Insider City Hall members. Consider becoming a member today and support independent journalism that investigates and explores the issues happening at city hall and across Ottawa.

The city is looking to eliminate exclusionary zoning and make four-unit buildings legal across Ottawa. This is a significant change to how the city has been built since the rise of the single-family home in the 20th century.

The city had looked at opening zoning up to only three units, but the federal government made four units a condition of receiving $176 million in new money. The proposed rules would eliminate minimum requirements for parking spaces across the city.

Some have warned that this will unleash a “tsunami” of change on the city, that will reshape the very fabric of Ottawa forever. But reality is less dramatic. Change will not happen overnight, and swathes of suburbs are not about to be transformed.

But before we get into the changes, how did we get here? How did single-family homes become the only type of building legal across so much of the city, and the country?


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was MUMMY for Mother's Day.

For this week’s news quiz, we want to know:

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