I have some news - Robert is returning from his vacation today so today is my last day writing the Lookout for a while.
It’s been a real pleasure writing for all of you. Thank you for all the kind words, even with my spelling errors (like when I wrote Pirate Island instead of Petrie Island). I love our Lookout community and can't wait to announce new things we're working on.
Today we’ve got an update on the LRT inquiry, details on summer protests and data on Ottawa’s health care challenges.
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Monday: 24 🌡️ 13 | ☀️
Tuesday: 23 🌡️ 17 | 🌧
Wednesday: 28 🌡️ 16 | 🌧
Ottawa city and police are preparing for more disruptive protests by convoy-related groups throughout the summer.
Not again… Yes it’s happening again. But this time, according to CTV, the police say they are prepared and planning accordingly for the disruptions, especially with all the upcoming Canada Day events.
CBC reported that the first protest is expected on June 30th. It’s set to coincide with the arrival of protester James Topp, who is marching across Canada to protest vaccine mandates.
How bad could it get: It’s unclear at the moment. But according to CBC, protesters say they are in discussions with police to ensure civilians aren’t impacted. The Ottawa Citizen reported that the police are boosting officer numbers from outside forces and are closing down roads.
Okay but seriously, how bad could it get? Being concerned about the potential for disruption is understandable, given how the police and city managed similar groups in the past. We will keep you updated as we get closer to the planned protest date.
$1,674: The average rental price for a one-bedroom in Ottawa, up 3.5 percent from May of last year. Ottawa ranks as the 15th most expensive rental city. [CTV]
$1,481: The average price in Gatineau for a one-bedroom, which is up 9.8 percent since last year. Gatineau ranks as the 23rd most expensive rental city in Canada.
Who testified Friday:
Background: The Ottawa Light Rail Transit Constructors (OLRT-C) is the consortium who oversaw the construction of Line 1. It’s made up of partner groups Dragados Canada, SNC-Lavalin and EllisDon. They hired the designers and subcontractors, Alstom and Thales, who made the vehicles and systems.
Here are some of the key takeaways from CBC’s excellent reporting on the inquiry:
For a more deeper analysis of Friday’s coverage, check out CBC.
For a recap of previous days, check out our dedicated page covering daily updates on the LRT inquiry.
Today we're featuring an excerpt from a story by our food editor Ralf. To get more stories like this about Ottawa's best restaurants, food stores and businesses, become an Insider member.
The idea of Mercato Zacconi grew, as so many recent pandemic ideas do, out of necessity.
The Zacconi family had been running their wedding and event space Sala San Marco on Preston Street for approximately 35 years when COVID came along. Wedding party sizes had been shrinking, but overnight, weddings were off the table entirely.
What to do with 8,000 sq. ft. of event space and no one to entertain? Looking at those businesses that were still operating and succeeding, Tony Zacconi had the idea of opening an Italian grocery store. There was no such full-service shop anywhere along Preston and the plan came ever more into focus.
Two new stories from CTV illustrate the challenges with Ottawa and Ontario’s healthcare system.
New data from Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) annual report, analyzed by CTV, shows the scale of the city’s Covid campaign over the last few years.
Here’s the breakdown of key costs and data:
For the third straight month in a row, wait times in Ottawa’s emergency rooms grew.
What the data says: Four out of five hospitals had a wait time of over two hours to see an emergency room doctor in April. According to CTV, this is longer than the provincial average of 1.9 hours.
Here’s the data CTV compiled for each hospital:
Why is it increasing? According to interviews by CTV, the Covid pandemic has increased burnout amongst doctors, nurses and staff. Places are short staffed as burnout has grown.
Last week: According to CBC, CHEO had its busiest month on record, with the hospital warning parents may want to find other options, like a family doctor or walk-in clinic, to avoid long wait times.
Airport workers begin job action: Security screeners at airports across the country will ditch their uniforms to protest working conditions and pay. Many are working 16-17 hour days due to staff shortages, as workers find other jobs. Ottawa normally has 350, but only 210 are currently working. [CTV]
Hate generates love: Residents in the Poplar Street area plan to hoist pride flags after one of their neighbour’s flags was torn down. [CBC]
Water park on hold: A planned water park at Petrie Island will arrive in 2023 and not 2022 as planned. Residents and nature lovers lodged complaints to Ottawa city council about the potential environmental damage to the island. [CBC]
Database removed: Security concerns prompted the removal of a searchable online database of Ottawa city employees. The city said there was no specific incident that caused the removal. There is no timeline for its return. [CBC]
Monkeypox vaccine delivery begins: High risk residents can begin getting vaccinated against monkeypox. This comes a week after the first monkeypox case was discovered in Ottawa. [CTV]
New school honours Algonquin nation: The Ottawa Carleton District School Board will name the new school in the Fernbank area the Shingwaakon Public School, in honour of the history and territory of the Algonquin nation. Over 100 names were suggested, with six being shortlisted. [CTV]
Bike share program needed: Critics of Ottawa’s transportation master plan say Ottawa should offer bike-sharing programs, like many other major cities. It would help people travel short distances, especially from transport stations, instead of having to walk kilometres where buses don’t travel. [CBC]
Highrise in Westboro: The Granite Curling Club at Scott Street and Athlone Avenue could be replaced by three towers with 840 rental apartments, six levels of underground parking, commercial spaces and a gym, if the city approves the development. The location is across from the future Westboro LRT station. Fear not, the curling club voted to move in March 2021. [OBJ]
Policy written for developers: That’s what advocacy groups ACORN Ottawa and Horizon Ottawa are alleging about the new rules around inclusionary zoning, which they say hurts renters and low-income residents. They are calling for a number of policies, including 25-35 percent affordable rental housing. [CityNews]
Today we're featuring a photo from one of Ralf's recommendations for a great date night in the city.
Chef Alex Gomez and his wife and business partner Elisa Torres deliver top-drawer Latin-American cuisine at Alegria at 77 Prom. du Portage in Hull in a colourful and energetic setting. Live music is on the menu on Saturday evenings and it’s worth checking their website for the occasional second music act added that week. Their patio is now open in the evenings.
We all know flying can be expensive. Now you have options for more affordable flights. Yesterday Swoop launched flights to Winnipeg and Halifax. We checked, and there are flights for as low as $196 in August.
All infection and vaccination data via Ottawa Public Health.
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