Full LRT service expected to return Friday
Lightning damage to the LRT means a section of the system from Rideau to St. Laurent will be down until Friday, officials estimate.
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Let’s get to some news, shall we?
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
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Wednesday: 28 🌡️ 17 | ⛅
Thursday: 25 🌡️ 16 | 🌧
Friday: 25 🌡️ 15 | 🌦
LRT repairs will take days after lightning strike
What happened: A lightning strike overnight Sunday took out a section of the cable that powers the LRT. Full service isn’t expected to return until Friday, CTV reported. Nearly a kilometre of wire will need to be replaced. Service has continued in the east end between St-Laurent and Blair, and R1 buses will replace the downed section.
Yesterday some service was restored to the west from Tunney’s Pasture to Rideau. R1 service is running between Rideau and St-Laurent.
- University of Ottawa professor Timothy Lethbridge posted an excellent video on Twitter showing the damage, and explaining why it was so serious.
Packed replacement service: Meanwhile, the R1 replacement bus service has been packed. One Reddit user posted a photo of their morning ride, filled with people. The need for extra buses along the LRT route caused disruptions throughout the bus system, with the OC Transpo Live Twitter account posting dozens of cancelled bus trips every few hours.
Early in the shutdown, there was little notice for users who may have come to LRT stations. As CTV’s Josh Pringle showed there were neither staff nor signs posted on Monday at the uOttawa station. By Tuesday, some information was posted at the station, directing people to take a replacement bus.
The other LRT problem: Unrelated to the lightning strike, several trains had to be taken out of service over the weekend because the failure of the wheel hub in one train. In total, 20 train cars had to be pulled for inspections, and four of those are expected to be in service this morning.
Our thoughts: Lightning striking the LRT? What’s next, flooding? Tornadoes? Another sinkhole?
Ottawa by the numbers
Shopify lays off one-tenth of its staff
What happened: After losing about $250 billion in stock value, Ottawa tech giant Shopify announced it was laying off ten percent of staff, CBC reported.
Of the approximately 1,000 people laid off, most were be in recruiting, support, and sales. It’s not clear how many of the layoffs were of Ottawa-based staff.
- Anyone laid off will receive 16 weeks of severance pay, plus an additional week for every year they’ve worked with the company.
What went wrong: CEO Tobi Lütke said Shopify had bet that e-commerce sales would leap five to 10 years ahead because of changes caused by the pandemic, the OBJ reported. The company bet heavily on this coming to pass, going on a large hiring spree through the pandemic.
Things did not turn out as planned. Instead, in a memo to employees, he said the mix of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shopping has reverted to about where it would have been on its pre-pandemic pace.
- CEO Tobi Lütke: “Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong. Now, we have to adjust. As a consequence, we have to say goodbye to some of you today and I’m deeply sorry for that.”
Drink of the week: Atypique No Alcohol Cocktails
Here’s some summer day drinking of a different kind. I found these lovely Atypique No Alcohol Cocktails at Rapido in Aylmer. You may be familiar with Rapido as the great beer store carrying more than five hundred brews, but they also do a standout job in the gluten-free and non-alcoholic categories.
These are a few examples of well-made ready-to-drink “mocktails” for when you don’t want the sugar or the fatiguing effects of booze.
The gin and tonic really does a good job of capturing the bitter, fruity profile of a classic G & T while the spiced rum and cola is a sure-fire hit for any cola lover and has that added layer of appeal in that it approaches an Italian chinotto (bitter herbs) soda in the finishing flavours.
The margarita was less successful. While all are made with natural ingredients there was something almost synthetic tasting in the margarita recipe. It needs a little something.
That’s the other beautiful thing about Atypique, you learn as you taste these terrific mocktails, that no soda actually needs more that 15 to 19 grams of sugar per 355 ml. can, to be delicious. Compare that to the average soda which clocks in at 38 to 42 grams per can.
A final note on an experiment: shockingly I was without gin and so I added an ounce of vodka to the gin and tonic beverage and boy did it do the job. I even fooled myself. Kudos to Atypique for actually caring about this market segment.
— Ralf Joneikies, food editor
Big price correction underway in the Ontario housing market
Housing market slowdown: Canada’s biggest bank RBC believes a housing market correction is underway, similar in magnitude to the correction of the early-90s in Ontario.
By early 2023, the bank expects prices across the country to drop 14 percent in Ontario from their February peak, CTV reported. RBC said home resales in Ontario could drop by 38 percent in the next year.
While the bank isn’t predicting outcomes in specific cities, it said local outcomes will vary widely across the country, with the biggest drops likely in areas with the highest prices.
- “We’d argue the unfolding downturn should be seen as a welcome cooldown following a two-year-long frenzy that put a huge financial burden on many new homeowners and made ownership dreams harder to achieve,” RBC analyst Robert Hogue said in his memo.
The cause: Inflation at a 40-year high, and interest rates on the rise (and expected to go even higher) are forcing prices down.
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House of the week
This week we’ve found something special out in Cumberland. A log cabin on a big piece of property in the east end. Classic style, with upgraded everything, it’s really something.
- Three bedrooms, three bathrooms;
- High-end kitchen, including black walnut countertops;
- Wood-burning fireplace;
- 4.25 acre property;
- Pool, with fountain and hot tub;
- Two garages, one with a loft;
- Three-season sun room;
- And a family room with a games area and wet bar;
It’s not cheap, but it’s not as expensive as you might think.
Stories you might've missed
2022 COVID death toll tops 2021: More people have died of COVID this year than in 2021. So far this year 230 people in Ottawa have died of the virus, compared to 239 in all of last year. In a slim bit of good news, wastewater levels have begun to drop. [CBC]
Lich released on bail: A judge ruled yesterday convoy leader Tamara Lich should be once again released on bail. Lich was arrested in June when she was photographed with another convoy leader, in possible breach of her bail conditions. The judge’s decision yesterday overturns an earlier justice of the peace decision to hold Lich in jail until her trial. [The Canadian Press]
War Memorial ‘desecration’: A man filmed covering the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an US and Canadian flag is being called out for desecration the monument. The federal defence minister said the “desecration of this memorial is unacceptable and shameful.” [CTV]
Meehan drops out: Coun. Carol Anne Meehan has decided she won’t run for a second term. The former news anchor said with her youngest child heading off to university she wants to take on new pursuits and check off items on her bucket list. She had been registered to run in the new Barrhaven East ward. Four other candidates are registered to run in the ward. [CBC]
Police seek crash witnesses: Early Friday a driver of a truck hit and killed a woman just north of Montreal Road in Vanier. Police are looking for anyone who might have witnessed the collision at 613-236-1222, extension 2481. No charges have been laid at this time. [CTV]
Tornado confirmed in Sunday’s storm: The storm that swept through the region was strong enough that it included a tornado that touched down north of Belleville. Winds reached as high as 175 in the area. The power knocked out power, downed trees, and caused damage and injuries through the towns of Havelock, Marmora, Madoc, and Tweed. [CTV]
- The town of Renfrew was placed under a boil-water advisory because of elevated levels of manganese. [CityNews]
- South Bank Street has a host of hidden-gem food stores like Sultan Nuts, find out more of our food editor’s suggestions on where to check out on this strip.
- Gas prices are expected to jump seven cents today to about $1.83 per litre. [CityNews]
- This week the Insider is starting a series on burgers around town, you can see a sneak peek of the King Eddy Burger in last week’s issue.
- If you’ve experienced discrimination in Ottawa, CBC is looking to hear from you for a story project they’re working on.
Congrats to Bamidele Kojo, who answered Monday’s quiz question — the answer was there are 39 bike repair stations in the city. Bamidele said the map we posted in an earlier issue was really helpful, so here’s that link again, if you find yourself in need of making some on-the-go bike fixes. (We might have made this question a bit too specific, lesson learned!)
Today’ GeoGuesser is a park. But which one? Include your name and if you correctly guess the park or neighbourhood,, we’ll share it in the next newsletter.
Latest COVID stats
Note: Ottawa Public Health is now only updating COVID stats twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Because of the Lookout’s publishing schedule, this means the numbers here may be out of date. For the most recent stats, see the OPH COVID Dashboard.
- Active Cases: 1,346
- Total deaths: 840
- Ottawans In Hospital: 44
- Ottawans In ICU: 1
- Acute Beds Occupied: 96%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 73%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 19%
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