Feds announce more homes on federal lands

The feds will build some 1,600 homes on federal land in the city. Plus the living wage in the city is rising fast.

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Good morning!

Well, I would not recommend having a one-month-old, a dog, and an apartment-wide power outage. It makes writing an online newsletter…challenging. Fortunately, we kept enough batteries around that we weren’t in total darkness. 

In any case, if today’s newsletter seems a bit truncated, that’s why. We did our best to write by candlelight, and mostly did okay. But it makes it a bit of an extra challenge to put together the Lookout.

Let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Wednesday: +1 🌡️ -3 | 🌤

Thursday: 0 🌡️ +1 | ❄️

Friday: +5 🌡️ -5 | 🌦/❄️


Feds unlock land for housing

A rendering of the possible Booth Street federal housing development. Canada Lands Corporation/Handout

What happened: The federal government announced it will create about 1,600 new homes in the city on underused federal lands. The homes will be developed by the Canada Lands Corporation, the government said.

The homes will be built at three sites:

  • 307 homes at Wateridge Village

  • 600 homes at Carling Avenue

  • 710 homes on Booth Street, including 221 affordable homes

The details: Wateridge Village was formerly housing for soldiers stationed at CFB Rockcliffe. Parts of the community have already been sold to the Ottawa Community Housing and Habitat for Humanity. The Carling homes will be developed with the Algonquins of Ontario at 299 Carling Ave. The Booth Street development will be a block of heritage buildings converted from former Natural Resources buildings.

Elsewhere: The government is also developing another 1,200 units in Calgary, St. John’s, and Edmonton. It’s part of a plan to build about 30,000 new homes on federal lands over the next six years.

Vacant offices: The office vacancy rate in the city is at 13.6 percent, well above the home vacancy rate of 2.1 percent, CTV reported. This could make office conversions more attractive to build housing, especially as the federal government is in the process of deciding which buildings it wants to offload, as the public service transitions permanently to a hybrid work model.

Brutal opportunities: The numerous brutalist office buildings in Ottawa may make some conversions easier, CBC reported. The concrete façades mean windows are much easier to replace with ones that open for apartment use than on an all-glass building. The skinnier buildings mean more light is able to get through the entire possible unit, a requirement when building homes.


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🪧 420,000: The number of public service workers in Quebec — nurses, educators, and more — on strike Monday, demanding better pay and working conditions. Three more strike days from Nov. 21 to 23 have been declared if no deal is reached. [CBC]


🚨 Please don’t do this. A driver was stopped in Grenville for having cling film instead of a glass windshield. The driver was charged with operating an unsafe vehicle. [CTV]

🏛️ Mayor Justin Townsdale of Cornwall said he takes “full responsibility” for the death of a 67-year-old woman at a homeless encampment in his city. [CTV]

💐 A 63-year-old woman died in a collision on Prince of Wales Drive in Barrhaven. Police are asking witnesses of the two-vehicle crash to come forward with any information they may have. [CTV]

🔥 A barn in Manotick was destroyed by fire. Fortunately no animals were in the structure. Fire crews were able to put out the blaze before it spread to other buildings on the property. [CTV]


Livable wage in Ottawa rises sharply

What happened: The wage you need to earn to have a decent life in the city took a 12 percent jump in the last year to $21.95, CBC reported. Overall, Ottawa is the region in Ontario with the third-highest living wage, behind Toronto and Simcoe.

The calculation: The living wage is a figure of what it takes to pay all your bills. It estimates how much someone would need to earn at a full-time job not just to make rent, but afford food, transportation, internet, child care, and more.

  • With an average rent of $1,625 and a minimum wage of $16.55, that leaves workers short about $185 a month. The minimum wage increased this year 6.8 percent.

Rising costs: High inflation, felt particularly at the grocery store, and the housing crisis are leading to much higher costs, which pushes up the living wage. 

Feeling the pinch: The Ottawa Food Bank said it is seeing its highest-ever usage rates, with nearly half a million visits in the last year, an increase of some 22 percent, CTV reported.


This week’s house is one in Barrhaven, with the rare charm of having a park out the backyard. Located within walking distance of the Walter Baker Sports Centre, this is a great spot for a family in a mature neighbourhood. The price is also fairly reasonable.

House of The Week is a home selected by the Lookout team and is not a paid advertisement. All ads are labelled as such. If you’re a realtor who wishes to feature your home in our newsletter, please contact our sales team.


Discover the truth behind 5 Canadian fashion brands

The tags on Canada's top fashion labels only tell one side of the story. Hidden from view are the women who make our clothes and their lack of access to fair pay. Oxfam Canada's What She Makes campaign demands that Canadian fashion brands pay the women who make our clothes a living wage.

Sign the Reveal the Chain petition today - only 24 hours left! By joining our movement, you can make a lasting impact for the women behind the tags.


👔 The Ontario government will require employers to disclose salary ranges on job postings and require companies to disclose when they are using computer algorithms to screen candidates. They also banned the use of non-disclosure agreements for harassment settlements. [The Canadian Press]

🚨 One person was arrested and another wounded in a daytime shooting in Centretown. Police also seized two guns. [CTV]

🚔 A 29-year-old man was charged with a series of “hate-motivated offences” for a threatening phone call he made to a local rabbi. [CTV]

🩸 If you’re a blood donor, the Ottawa Hospital General Campus is still in need, after an electrical fire meant much of their supply was spoiled. [CTV]

  • Motley Crue will headline one night for next year’s Bluesfest. [CTV]

  • Lakeside Players Ottawa’s family friendly fall pantomime is back: Rapunzel, November 9-12, at Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre. Don’t miss your chance, get your tickets now!*

  • If you’re looking for great falafel, look no further than this Trainyards restaurant. [Capital Eats]

  • Do you think you’re the right forever home for this sweet dog? [Reddit]

  • Sign the Reveal the Chain petition today - only 24 hours left! By joining our movement, you can make a lasting impact for the women behind the tags.*

  • You’ve seen the car with all the baubles and trinkets, find out the full story behind the legend of Ismael LBG. [YouTube]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Contact our partnership team for more info. 

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Capital EatsHelping you discover the best restaurants, food and drinks in Ottawa and the Capital Region. From the team at Ottawa Lookout. Read by 18,000+ locals.

📢 Sens coach DJ Smith hopes his team will ignore the pressure from fans who are disappointed with the team’s poor start to the season. With the departure of the GM, Smith is now under his own pressure with “Fire DJ” chants breaking out in the crowd. [Ottawa Sun]

🏒 Captain Brady Tkachuk said he’s moved his focus to the upcoming game against Toronto after he vented his frustration at being booed off the ice by fans after the recent loss to Tampa Bay. [Ottawa Sun]


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Congrats to Tanya, Gord, Jill, Meghan, Elizabeth, and the many others of you who knew that 56 percent of Ottawa restaurants say they’re in danger of closing. 

Do you know where today’s Ottawa Guesser is? The first five people to respond get their names mentioned in the newsletter.

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