Major closures to the 417 and the LRT this month
Parts of the LRT are closing in the evenings, and the 417 will be shut down for a bridge replacement.
Sponsored by Puppets Up!
To say the last month shocked us would be an understatement.
In June, Geoff, Ralf and I realized Ottawa needs better food and restaurant news. So we decided to launch a food publication. We thought you might be interested. But as a small independent publication, starting something like this mean asking you, our readers, to chip in.
Would people contribute? Could we hit our goal of 150 new members by July 31st? We were worried.
Turns out we shouldn’t have been worried at all.
I’m so excited to announce we not only hit that goal, we blew past it. In total, 221 new members joined our crowdfunding campaign to fund a new Ottawa food publication.
It’s humbling to know so many of you support what we’re doing. We don’t take that lightly.
In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more details about the food publication launch.
On behalf of our entire team, thanks again for your support.
Now let’s get to it.
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
PS: Still want to contribute? We’ve kept the 30 percent discount off your first year of membership available until the end of the week.
If you find this newsletter valuable, please consider forwarding it to your friends. New to the Lookout? Sign-up for free.
Wednesday: 26 🌡️ 20 | ⛅
Thursday: 25 🌡️ 19 | 🌧
Friday: 29 🌡️ 18 | 🌧
LRT, 417, and Chaudière Bridge to close for construction and maintence
What’s happening: Sections of the LRT will be closed for maintenance for two weeks, from Friday, Aug. 12 until Thursday, Aug. 25. Rideau Transit Group will be grinding and profiling the rails, the city announced in a memo.
What we know: The exact schedule for the maintenance hasn’t been finalized, but the city said it would give riders notice before any closures. Some sections might be closed as early as 8 pm. The city said the work would improve ride quality and comfort. They will also be calibrating the switch heaters in preparation for winter, track replacement of certain sections, and inspections of the system.
- R1 bus service will run for the sections of tracks that are shut down.
Queensway closure: The 417 will be closed for five days for the replacement of the Booth Street bridge starting Aug. 11. Both directions of the highway will be closed from Kent Street to Island Park Drive at 8 pm on the 11th. It’s expected the highway will reopen at 6 am on Aug. 15, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Bridge closure: Yesterday, the Chaudière Bridge began daily closures for repairs, the Citizen reported. The bridge will close every night from 8 pm to 5 am until Aug. 8. The bridge will be closed to cars, but open for cyclists and pedestrians.
Ottawa by the numbers
- 2: The number of men charged for having a loaded gun in the ByWard Market. Police also poured out 70 drinks. [CTV]
- 34%: The percentage of people who said they were considering voting for Catherine McKenney for mayor in a new poll. Mark Sutcliffe has 15 percent support, and 38 percent said they were undecided. [CityNews]
Sponsored by Puppets Up!
A weekend of puppets, fun and games with Puppets Up!
Puppets Up! is the weekend adventure your kids won’t ever forget.
Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival — Presented by Neilcorp Homes — features world-class puppet artistry and performers that’ll keep your kids entertained all day.
On hiatus since 2016, the festival takes place from August 12-14 in the beautiful town of Almonte. The schedule is jam-packed with things for the whole family:
- Some of the best puppet performers from around the world
- A puppet parade on Saturday and Sunday
- A kids' craft tent where they can create their own puppets
And don’t worry parents, there’s even more for you, including a vendors’ marketplace, food court and shady areas to relax with your kids.
Forget the complicated weekend planning. Puppets Up! has enough events to last the entire day.
But you’ll need to hurry, tickets are going quickly. Get your day pass before they sell out.
Ontario health minister finally emerges amid hospital crisis
Staffing crisis: Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones spoke for the first time about the health care staffing crisis that led to numerous ER closures and reduced hours across the province, including several hospitals in and around Ottawa, such as Perth Hospital and Queensway-Carleton Hospital.
Jones told CTV and CP24 the province had “done a lot” to address the issues facing hospitals. She would not say whether she thought it was acceptable for hospitals to have to close.
- Over the long weekend, about 25 hospitals had to scale back departments because of staff shortages, the Ontario Nurses Association told The Canadian Press.
Opposition reaction: Ottawa South MPP and interim Liberal leader John Fraser said at a press conference Jones and Premier Doug Ford were both missing in action. “The message the premier and the minister are sending to the front lines, to patients and their families is we don't care, it's not a big deal, you're on your own,” Fraser said.
Alexandria reopens: The Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, east of the city, partially reopened its emergency room overnight. From Monday to Thursday, the ER will once again be open 24 hours, but Friday to Sunday will only be open from 8 am to 6 pm. The hospital says staffing issues are still at fault for the closure. Ambulances will be directed to Cornwall or Hawkesbury.
Safety issues at Eastway Tank before deadly explosion
What happened: There were numerous safety issues and non-compliance notices during inspections at Eastway Tank in the years before an explosion killed six employees in January.
CBC dug up records from Transport Canada and Ottawa Fire Services that showed there were several problems, including welding near flammable substances, but none were serious enough to shut down the maintenance facility.
- The victims included were: Rick Bastien, Etienne Mabiala, Danny Beale, Kayla Ferguson, Russell McLellan, and Matt Kearney.
Inspections: Eastway wasn’t fined for any of the safety issues found over four inspections from 2015 to 2021. The company addressed the issues by updating procedures.
In the most recent inspection in September 2021, issues were found with record keeping, safety procedures and “highway tank design-related issues,” CBC reported.
The records confirm earlier reporting by the CBC where former employees alleged there were serious safety concerns about safety at Eastway.
- The investigation into the fatal fire is still ongoing. The provincial Ministry of Labour has until one year after the fire to lay charges, if they are necessary.
Ottawa’s best parks: Hog’s Back
See why Lookout readers rated Hog's Back as one of Ottawa's best parks.
House of the week
This week’s house is an interesting one. Built in Centretown in 1992 it has “bold geometry and free-flowing interiors.” But the interior colour may not to be everyone’s taste, so you might want to consider factoring in a painting budget. Even still, it’s a one-of-a-kind house.
Can you guess the price of the listing?
Stories you might've missed
Window washers saved: Two window washers were trapped 10 storeys in the air for more than five hours because of a power failure. Ottawa Fire Services used a ladder truck to get the two men safely to the ground. [CBC]
Mercury Lounge closes: The ByWard Market indie music club the Mercury Lounge has closed. The owner said the venue was never able to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Run as a non-profit, the Mercury was open for 20 years. [CBC]
Half-million in council severance: Every departing councillor could receive a “transition assistance allowance” when they leave city hall. Each one will be eligible to receive one month’s pay for every year they have been on council as long as they are returning to a job they held before being elected or are elected to another position, either in the city or at another level of government. For seven departing councillors, that could mean $55,555. Carol Anne Meehan will be eligible for $37,037, and departing mayor Jim Watson will be able to get $99,351. [Ottawa Citizen]
Some good news: CHEO summer camp opens
Camp! CHEO opened up its summer camp for children with developmental or physical disabilities. Kids got to go to the Agricultural Food Museum where they met some animals, learned about farm life, and made new friends, CTV reported.
The program has small groups that help children gain confidence in a supportive setting. About 40 kids are expected to take part in the program this month.
- Environment Canada predicts this month is going to be hotter than usual, with plenty of 30C days to come. [CityNews]
- Our intrepid food editor has set out to find some of the best burgers in the city.
- Looking for something to do this month? CTV has put together a list of 20 events going on in August, including the Ottawa Greek Festival and the Capital Pride Festival.
- The Redblacks are finally winners, after defeating the Toronto Argonauts 23-13 on Sunday. [The Canadian Press]
- If you’re in the Merivale area, check out Dao, a Euro-Asian bakery with some real flare. Our food editor loves it.
- Monday was Colonel By Day, and you can learn more about the soldier who built the Canal here. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Lookout Reader and OC Transpo operator Rob wrote in to say the Family Day Passes have been extended for use until the end of the month. At $11.25 for two adults and two kids, it’s a great deal for a day’s travel.
Today's top photo
It’s bee season here at the Lookout. Reader Jola sends in this great shot of one of the little guys hard at work.
Do you have a photo you’d like to share with other Lookout readers? Send it in!
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: 1,174
- Total deaths: 844
- Ottawans In Hospital: 27
- Ottawans In ICU: 3
- Acute Beds Occupied: 96%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 70%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 29%
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