LRT shuts down Tuesday for structural concerns

The LRT was shut down for much of Tuesday, as the city inspected the tunnel at St-Laurent Station for structural issues.

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Good morning! 

I want to also say a heartfelt thanks to all the new members. We were able to hit our goals for the year, and we can’t thank you enough. So many of you sent in lovely messages upon signing up. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reply to them all, but I have certainly read them. 

Because we hit our fundraising goals, that means this year I’ll be able to make the Lookout my full-time project.

Thank you all so much for keeping us going at the Lookout. In the two years we’ve been doing this, it was never a given that this would work out. But thanks to all of you, here we still are. So, thank you.

Now, let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

Consider forwarding this to your friends so they can discover the Lookout. New to the Lookout? Sign-up for free.


Wednesday: +1 🌡️ -6 | ❄️

Thursday: -9 🌡️ -16 | 🌤/❄️

Friday: -4 🌡️ -13 | ☀️


Eastern LRT shut down for as concrete falls in St Laurent Station tunnel

What happened: LRT service was shut down in the east after concrete debris was found on the tracks at St-Laurent Station early Tuesday morning. By evening, the city tunnel  inspections were complete, and it was safe to restart service.

More info: Inspections revealed that the surface layer of concrete from the tunnel had dropped off the top of the tunnel, the city said in a follow-up memo. The station was constructed in the 1980s as part of the Transitway, the city said, and this sort of delamination was not uncommon in a structure of its age. There was no damage discovered to the underlying structure of the station.

  • An outside engineering firm was brought in to oversee the inspections, and scaling was done to remove any other loose bits of surface concrete. The tunnel had been shut down out of an “abundance of caution” after the debris was discovered. This stopped trains running between St-Laurent and Blair station until a little before 5 pm. 

Replacement buses: With trains stopped, replacement bus service was running in the east end between Blair and Hurdamn, and the S1 shuttle between Blair and downtown continued running.

Rough start: It’s a difficult way for OC Transpo to start the year. Delays to the new north-south Trillium Line, with service as far as Riverside South and the airport, mean it likely won’t be operating until spring. With ridership slow to rebound, OC Transpo faces a difficult financial picture with fares not bringing in enough money.

OC Transpo is projecting a deficit of tens of millions of dollars, and has had to use its reserve funding to pay for operations. In the spring when the second train line is expected to open, bus service will be cut by nearly four percent.

  • Coun. Glen Gower, the head of the transit commission, spoke to the Lookout last month about the challenges facing OC Transpo, and the brighter future he believes the system is heading toward. Insiders can read part one here, and part two here.

Need some help staying motivated this year?

New year, new beginnings 🙏🏼

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You and your therapist can explore your core intentions, develop a plan, and explore the behaviours that get in the way of staying consistent. Sometimes having someone to listen makes all the difference.

  • Achieving your goals starts with better mental health. Their local team of registered psychotherapists is here to improve your self-knowledge and self-acceptance and give you the clarity to begin feeling better and have a successful and health 2024.

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🫨 3.6: The magnitude of an earthquake in western Quebec, with an epicentre about 70 kilometres north of the city. [CBC]

🚨 134: The number of drivers in eastern Ontario charged with impaired driving over the holidays. [CTV]

🚒 16: This many people were displaced by a fire in a downtown apartment building. The fire itself was contained to one unit. [CBC]

💰 $14.9 million: The average amount the 100 highest-paid CEOs in Canada will make this year, up 4.4 percent compared to last year. That’s $7,162 per hour, or 246 times the average Canadian worker. [CityNews]


🥫 In Barrhaven, residents are putting little food pantries in their front yards to give their neighbours struggling with food insecurity the ability to not go hungry. [CBC]

🕯️ The communities of Manotick and Barrhaven are reeling after two teens died after falling through the ice on the Rideau River. A vigil was held for the two 17-year-olds last week. [CBC]

🏎️ A driver was given two speeding tickets within three minutes by the OPP east of the city. Two different officers caught the driver going more than 30 km/h over the speed limit near Spencerville on New Year’s Eve. [CTV]

🚨 A collision in the east end where a driver was charged with impaired driving, has left a seven-year-old boy unable to talk or move while he heals from the serious injuries he sustained. [CBC]


PWHL makes record-breaking launch, Staios made permanent Sens GM

What happened: The Ottawa’s Professional Women’s Hockey League team played their first game in front of a record, sold-out crowd at TD Place. The team lost to Montreal 3-2 in overtime in their first ever game., the two teams played the first game in Ottawa in front of about 8,312 fans, according to the league.

  • The first two home games of the 24-game season are sold out. This blew well past the previous North American attendance record for a professional women’s hockey game of 4,301 set late last year by the PWHL in St. Catherines, CTV reported.

Hayley Scamurra got the team’s first ever goal, to an explosion of cheers from the crowd:

Elsewhere: The Ottawa Senators made it permanent, announcing the appointment of president of hockey operations Steve Staios as the team’s permanent general manager. Staios had been holding the position on an interim basis since the dismissal of Pierre Dorion.

  • The team also appointed Dave Poulin as senior vice-president of hockey operations and Ryan Bowness as associate general manager.

Bad start: Yesterday, the Sens started the year off, well, not so great, losing 3-6 to the Vancouver Canucks on the road, Sportsnet reported.


Today’s home is one in an older neighbourhood with plenty of interior upgrades. The bathroom in particular, with a walk-in shower and separate jacuzzi soaker tub, is a real stand out. Plus the gigantic backyard.

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. 


👶 The city’s first baby of the year was born exactly at midnight at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. Alluna Nadalynn Djenar Mahanandra arrived healthy, weighing eight pounds and three ounces. [CTV]

🌊 Biologists worry a proposed nuclear waste storage facility near Chalk River could put endangered species of sturgeon and mussels at risk. A decision on whether to allow the facility may only be weeks away. [CBC]

📢 Nine people, including local MPP Joel Harden, were given noise bylaw fines during their participation in a pro-Palestinian protest downtown. Harden said he was given his fine for using a small megaphone during the protest. The fines were worth $4,410 in total. [CTV]

🔎 It’s been months since two men were shot dead and six others were injured at a wedding. No one has been arrested, and police won’t update the public on the status of their investigation. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Have a problem with a tow truck? As of Jan. 1 you need to report issues to the province, not the city. [City of Ottawa]

  • The temperature over the holidays was warmer than average, but it didn’t break records. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Firefighters rescued a deer trapped on an ice shelf who was suffering from hypothermia. [Twitter]

  • The fire service also saved the St. Hubert on St Laurent after one of the restaurant's delivery cars caught fire, and was called in by a passerby. [Twitter]

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


Looking through the selfie glass into the mind of the mayor

Mark Sutcliffe/Twitter

If the eyes are the window to the soul, the selfie video is the viewport into the mind of the politician. At least, that was the theory.

I figured, what better way to look back at the first year of Mayor Mark Sutcliffe’s time in office, than by watching the numerous selfie videos he posts to his Twitter account, and on Instagram. It’s through these videos we get to see Sutcliffe as he most wants to be seen, talking about the things he wants to talk about the most. From that, surely we can see into his political heart?

The format of the selfie video is intimate in its everydayness, but still keeps that distance. In the hands of someone like Sutcliffe, a former broadcaster, it remains slick without feeling polished. It’s a one-way format in a way that seems more disarming, which is perhaps why it is one of the major ways Sutcliffe communicates on social media. It’s also one of the most popular online video formats these days.


Google Maps

Congrats to everyone who got our pre-Christmas Ottawa Wordle, the answer was SANTA because of, well, Christmas.

Do you know where today’s Ottawa Guesser is? The first five people to respond get their names mentioned in the newsletter. Bonus points awarded to those who can guess when (approximately) the photo was taken.

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