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Parkdale Food Centre closes public fridge and pantry

Demand has been so high a local food pantry has to close.

Good morning!

Well, winter sure was fun while it lasted. Now we’re into the dreary sort of cold that is unpleasant, without any of the fun of winter. There’s still a chance that the Canal could reopen for Winterlude…but it’s looking grim. 

Today we’ve got news about some of the issues facing food pantries helping out those in need, a look at the state of winter in the city, and plenty of events to get you through the week.

Let’s get to it!

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Monday: 0 🌡️ -10 | ❄️

Tuesday: -4 🌡️ -9 | ☀️

Wednesday: 0 🌡️ -5 | 🌤


Community fridge and pantry closed because of too much demand

What happened: The Parkdale Community Food Centre closed its indoor community fridge and pantry because they could not keep up with demand, the organization said on Facebook. The group had closed their outdoor fridge after a series of incidents last year.

  • “The demand for food has far exceeded our capacity to fill and manage the fridge, freezer and pantry, and we are unable to offer food from these sources in a dignified and equitable manner. The primary focus at Rosemount has always been community meals and advocacy support,” they said.

Not the end of help: While the community fridge is closed, it doesn’t mean they aren’t still offering food for those who need it. “Our grocery program, Mino'Weesini, continues to be dedicated to offering emergency food support to our community where neighbours can access food in our freezers, fridges and pantries.”

Wider problem: About 150,000 people in the city suffer from food insecurity, according to the latest annual report from the Ottawa Food Bank. Last year saw a record number of users, up 22 percent from the previous year. Since 2019, visits to the food bank have been up 69 percent. Demand has gotten so high that they needed to open a new, much larger warehouse to keep up with the volume.

Affordability: Food prices continue to be a leading component of inflation. However, high housing costs are making living increasingly precarious for many. With more money going to housing, people are having to put less toward food. 


🏗️ 2: The number of towers on Baseline Road council looks set to approve, after the federal government raised concerns over the shadows the buildings would cast over the Experimental Farm. The first tower in the three-tower development was approved just before the holiday. [CBC]


Winter blahs settle on the city

What happened: The brief glimpse of a typical winter that appeared with the opening of the Canal seems to have already faded. Winter-oriented businesses are starting to feel the pinch. It’s not just skating — those that cater to skiers, snowboarders, and other outdoor winter activities are taking a hit because of the wretched weather, CBC reported.

There’s still enough snow, particularly for cross-country skiers, but fewer people are buying new equipment.

Hope? The NCC is hoping it can reopen the Canal next weekend for the start of Winterlude. While the temperature is expected to rise above freezing during the day, lows of -9 and -10 are expected several days this week. The question remains if it will be enough.


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Facilities officer at the National Gallery of Canada

  2. Negotiator at the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

  3. Access to information and privacy investigator at Messa

  4. Aerospace program manager at Morson Canada

  5. Senior operations manager at Al’s Steakhouse

Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted.


🏗️ The head of the development company, Katasa, that agreed to give a voluntary payment for traffic calming and affordable housing, has a history of convictions for drug trafficking and fraud dating back to the 1980s, and more recently tax evasion. Samir Chowieri, who owns the company, is also the owner of the now-closed Résidence Herron, where more than a third of residents died during COVID lockdowns, many in horrible conditions. [Ottawa Citizen]

🚨 Former Ottawa Senators player Alex Forementon surrendered to London, Ont. police Sunday to face charges of sexual assault. Forementon is one of five players on the 2018 World Junior’s national team expected to be charged in connection with an alleged group sexual assault. [CBC]

⚖️ An Ottawa police detective being sued for allegedly stealing money and planting evidence during a drug raid has been ordered by a judge to testify despite his claims it will exacerbate his mental illness. The charges against the man suing the department and detective were thrown out because the raid was determined to be unlawful. [Ottawa Citizen]

🏛️ Organizations across the city and through the region are struggling with a lack of volunteers to keep them going. It’s a problem for all sorts of charities, non-profits, community groups and other organizations. [CBC]

🟧 Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent was laid to rest after a state funeral Sunday. He was remembered as a compassionate force for good. Broadbent was 87. [CBC]

⌨️ An Ottawa man was sentenced to two years in prison for thousands of hacking attacks that defrauded more than 1,000 people out of at least $49,000. Matthew Philbert had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud-related charges. [CBC]

💥 A crash allegedly caused by a drunk driver involving four vehicles sent one person to the trauma centre, while another was sent to hospital in stable condition. No charges were immediately announced, and Riverside Drive was closed north of Bank Street for several hours. [CTV]

📸 A new speed camera was covered in paint near Mooney’s Bay. The Riverside Drive photo radar camera is still in its testing phase, and is set to go into operation in the next week or so. [CBC]

🚚 Because of the lessons learned during the convoy, a former senior national security official said it’s unlikely the government would ever need to use the Emergencies Act to deal with a future protest. [CTV]

🚨 The Dovercourt Recreation Association said it was cooperating with police and Children’s Aid, after a counsellor at one of its camps was charged with sexual assault of a minor. The alleged victim is a child under the age of 12 with special needs. [CBC]

🚒 A man and his dog were rescued by Ottawa firefighters after falling through the ice on the Ottawa River near Orléans. The man was taken to hospital and treated for hypothermia. Officials are warning people to stay off the ice. [CTV]


What to do this weekend


🌲 Cold Comfort for a Hot World, Until Feb. 4: The latest artist-in-residence series at the Diefenbunker museum which looks at coping with the crisis of climate change through a Cold War lens. At the Diefenbunker, 3929 Carp Rd. Included in museum admission.


💿 Green Day - Dookie 30th Anniversary Tribute, Friday 7 pm: A live musical tribute in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the album Dookie. At Overflow Brewing Company, 2477 Kaladar Ave. Tickets $26.


🍦 National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day, Saturday: It’s ice cream. It’s breakfast (including waffles!). It’s at the Merry Dairy, 102 Fairmont. Takeout or eat at their heated patio.


Snowshoeing under the stars, Fridays in February: Go for a guided tour of the Pinhey’s Point Historic Site on snowshoes at night. For ages 15 and up. Snowshoes are provided, for all skill levels. Registration required, $15.


🏃 Ottawa Fitness & Wellness Expo, Saturday 9 am: Demos, consultations, workshops and more at this expo for everything fitness. At the Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. Tickets $12.

👶 Snow Angels for CHEO - Fundraiser Trivia Night, Sunday 4 pm: A trivia night to raise money for CHEO Oncology, with pool, ping pong and more. At Tail Gators, 1642 Merivale Rd. Tickets $23.


❄️ Pibòn (Winter) Festival - Winterlude Edition, Feb. 2-19: A wide range of Indigenous activities for the winter festival. Various locations. Some events ticketed.

  • The first of five Bring a Cup events on home efficiency was held last weekend. The Glebe Community Association is hosting the events for people across the city to learn more about how to improve their homes. [CTV]

  • The Hill sure looks lovely in the winter, especially in black and white. [Reddit]

  • The worst version of the Sens are back, as the team lost 2-7 against the Rangers, giving up all seven goals after blowing a 2-0 lead at home. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Montreal beat Ottawa in the PWHL 2-1 in overtime, as the Quebec side held on to first place in the league. [The Canadian Press]

  • A new zero-emissions bus was spotted in the city. [Reddit]

  • Firefighters rescued a cat who got a little too curious and got stuck after entering a hole in the wall of an Orléans home. [CTV]

  • A new documentary details the trials former No. 1 draft pick for the Senators Alexandre Daigle faced during his career from the player’s perspective. [The Canadian Press]

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Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle. The answer was TOOTH…for reasons your newsletter writer can’t quite remember. But there you go.

For today’s Ottawa Quiz, we want to know…