Where most cars are stolen in the city

This suburb is the car theft capital of Ottawa, plus the Hunt Club forest is set for clear cutting.

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Good morning!

Hope everyone has been able to keep warm. Be careful out there today. A mix of snow and freezing rain has plowed through the city, so take it slow today. If you need to be out and driving, take extra care. Environment Canada said snow and/or rain would continue into the morning. 

Today we’ve got info about car thefts in the city, plus the airport’s plans to clear cut a forest on Hunt Club Road and a whole lot more.

One bit of housekeeping, in the last issue I mispelled Sindy Hooper’s name. The Lookout regrets the error.

Let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Wednesday: +3 🌡️ +1 | 🌧

Thursday: +4 🌡️ -4 | 🌦/❄️

Friday: 0 🌡️ +6 | ☁️


City suburbs cart theft hotspots

Ottawa Police Service/Handout

What happened: Barrhaven is the city’s car theft capital, according to the Ottawa Police Service. This year, there have been 262 thefts so far in the suburb. Another 205 have been stolen from Orléans, and 199 vehicles in Gloucester.

  • Thieves are targeting newer models of the Toyota Rav4, Honda CRV, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and higher-end models of Ford F-Series trucks. Police also said any car with a push-button start is a target.

Deterrents: Police suggest putting vehicles in a garage, blocking them in, and adding after-market security devices. They also suggest hiding GPS tracking devices to help aid in the recovery of stolen cars.

Poor stats: This year, police have only recovered 315 of the 1,239 vehicles reported stolen this year. That’s a recovery rate of only 25 percent. The other three-quarters of stolen vehicles are gone.

Good luck: The recent statistics aren’t much better. The non-violent crime clearance rate dropped 13 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to last year’s annual report. Police only solved 26 percent of non-violent crimes, down four percentage points from the year before. Things are slightly better on the car theft front, as last year police recovered 411 of 1,289 stolen vehicles (32 percent).

  • More than two-thirds of all stolen vehicles weren’t recovered by Ottawa police in 2022. Last year, 81 people were arrested for offences related to stolen vehicles.


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📌 When? This February 2024

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  • 🤝 Mingle with 400 whisky aficionados from across the nation.

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🕳️ $11.4 million: The size of next year’s pothole repair budget, up from $10.7 million this year. [CTV]

🩺 318,000: The estimated number of residents who could be without a family doctor by 2026. That’s double the current 165,000 without a doctor. [Ottawa Citizen]


🪧 Many schools in Gatineau were closed as public sector workers across Quebec walked off the job as part of a three-day strike in the province. [CBC]

🛢️ The councillors in Beacon Hill and Vanier are at odds over whether to put the city’s support behind a new natural gas pipeline through the city’s east. Beacon Hill Coun. Tim Tierney said Enbridge should be able to build a new pipeline, while Vanier Coun. Rawlson King said it would be irresponsible to build new fossil fuel infrastructure when the current pipeline could be repaired. [CBC]

🚨 A driver sent a pedestrian to the hospital, after hitting them at Hunt Club and Hawthorne roads. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries. [CTV]

🛬 A pilot made a safe emergency landing in a field in Stittsville. The single-engine plane set down Monday afternoon after an unknown issue. [CTV]

🏈 Congrats to Barrhaven’s St. Joseph High School Jags football team who are city champs, winning 24-22, and are off to the provincial finals in Windsor. [Instagram]


Hunt Club forest set for clear cutting for ‘safety’ reasons

What happened: The Ottawa Airport Authority said a tract of forest it wants to develop along Hunt Club Road needs to be clear cut for “safety” reasons. Citing its age and poor maintenance, as well as highlighting recent severe weather, the airport said it had no choice but to clearcut the trees despite strong public opposition.

  • “Safety is of paramount importance to the airport authority. At this point, the failure to proceed with the tree removal on this site poses a tangible and immediate threat to public safety, which we cannot overlook,” the authority said in a statement.

Development plans: The authority has been trying to develop the land for some time. In 2021 it had the BMW dealership along Hunt Club lined up to expand into the forest lands, but that deal fell apart because of public opposition, CBC reported.

  • “To claim that there's a threat to us and the general threat to public safety is absolute nonsense.…As a community, we have used this forest and enjoyed it for walking our dogs, jogging, riding our bikes, watching the birds or just getting some fresh air,” one member of the group Save Hunt Club Forest told the broadcaster.

An adjacent tract of land, owned and maintained by the Department of Defence, will not be cut down, according to CTV.

Tree deficit: The city is already struggling to keep up with its goal of increasing its tree canopy. The same storms the airport authority cites as a threat to safety, are the same ones that have removed thousands of trees from forests across the city. 

  • The city wants to have 40 percent of its total land area covered by trees. In 2017, only 31 percent of the city had tree coverage, a number that has likely dropped since the tree canopy was last surveyed, CBC reported.


This week’s house is all about the backyard. Despite being only minutes from downtown, this Riverside home has a huge private outdoor space. Add in the upgraded kitchen and other modern touches, and you’ve got a special home.

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. 


An authentic German beerhall in the heart of Ottawa

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Come and experience their traditional Bierhalle experience in Hintonburg at 175 Carruthers.

The large space is perfect for an afterwork get together or a holiday party, full of German beers and traditional European cuisine.

Experience authentic German beer and food anytime — stop by and check out Braumeister Bierhalle today.


🚧 The city closed the William Commanda Bridge for the winter in advance of yesterday’s storm. Staff said they were unable to safely clear the bridge, but hope in the future to groom it like other trails in the city with the help of community groups. Multiple councillors said they were opposed to the closure. [Twitter]

⚖️ Crown prosecutors finished making their case against convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, who are charged with mischief and other charges for their role in the convoy protest. The defence will begin making their case next week. [CBC]

✂️ The federal government will further cut spending in the public service, with an additional $346 million next year, and a further $691 million in the years afterward. Beyond the spending cut target, there were no details how it would be achieved. These cuts are on top of the $15.4 billion already laid out in the spring budget. [CTV]

🪧 The union representing public elementary teachers and the province reached a tentative four-year deal that would avert a strike. The details of the agreement will be shared with union members Thursday, and then go for a ratification vote. [CBC]

📝 More than 65,000 people have signed a petition opposing the suspension of uOttawa medical resident Dr. Yiping Ge, who appears to have been suspended for his pro-Palestinian posts on social media. [CBC]

👅 The band KISS abruptly cancelled their concert Tuesday night due to an “unforeseen illness” in the band. [Twitter]

🔥 The city’s environment committee unanimously passed a motion to speed up the study of an incinerator or other mechanical means of garbage disposal to extend the life of the Trail Road dump. [CBC]

  • Ottawa had three restaurants on OpenTable’s top 100 list of their spots in the country. [CTV]

  • What can be done to save struggling restaurants? Local owners have some ideas  and shared them with our team over at Capital Eats.

  • The Lego version of a Rideau Canal skating hut is ready, let’s just hope the real thing is this year, too. [Reddit]

  • A new scholarship has been started in honour of Riley Taylor, who died last year of an overdose. [CBC]

  • If you’re heading to the Ottawa River House for a snack, come with warm clothing, all their seating seems to be outdoors. [Reddit]

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


Congrats to Adam, Gord, Rohit, Ann, Bam, and the many others who knew the average wait time to get a first assessment by a doctor in Ontario is two hours.

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