Power expected back by Friday evening, maybe…

An update on the latest storm news, and how Gatineau residents are preparing for potential flooding in the coming days

Geoff Sharpe
27 May

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Hey everyone, 

Geoff here. I’m the one who does a lot of our marketing. Some of you may know me as the guy who fixes the email problems around here. I tinker around the edges, never writing the newsletter but always reviewing and reading.

Well, that changes today — I’ll be subbing in for Robert in today’s email. You’ll see me a few more times in June as Robert takes a much-needed vacation. But fear not, he’ll be around to catch any of my spelling mistakes. 

Today we’ll be covering new power storm updates, potential flooding in Gatineau, a National Geographic review of Ottawa and lots more.


PS - Thanks to everyone who completed our provincial election survey! We’ve heard back from some parties and expect to have answers shared on Monday.

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Weather Report

Friday: 20 🌡️ 16 | ⛈

Saturday: 24 🌡️ 13 | 🌧

Sunday: 25 🌡️ 15 | ☀️

Monday: 29 🌡️ 15 | 🌤️

Power expected back by Friday evening, maybe…

Status: As of yesterday 43,000 customers were without power, down from 180,000 who were impacted. Hydro CEO Bryce Conrad said they hope to have most of the power restored by tonight, but that’s weather dependent. 

Unfortunately, not everyone may get their power back. The main arteries should return, but some streets and cul de sacs may take longer due to downed trees. 

  • The delay in power restoration is not for lack of effort. Hydro crews are said to be working 16-hour shifts to restore the system. The focus yesterday, reported by CTV, is on Merivale Road, Woodroffe Avenue and Greenbank Road

Be careful driving: As of yesterday afternoon, there were still 50 intersections without power, down from almost 200 after the storm, according to the Ottawa Citizen. 

It’s not just families feeling the impact. Small businesses in the food industry impacted by the storm are facing massive losses. CTV reported that the co-owner of Around The Butcher Block Shop lost somewhere around $20,000 due to spoiled food. 

  • Some okay news, sort of: Some homeowner and tenant insurance policies cover food lost if your fridge or freezers are damaged. Check your policy just in case. Unfortunately as reported by OBJ, power outages aren’t grounds for living expense coverage.

Was this preventable? Not according to the Hydro CEO. In remarks yesterday he stressed, “No one builds infrastructure to withstand 190 km/h winds,” Conrad said.

  • Costs of the storm won’t be known for a while. But according to Mayor Jim Watson, Premier Doug Ford promised the province would cover the cleanup costs.

Sometimes crisis brings out the best in people. CTV shared a story about Jan and Malcolm Zander who shared their generator’s electricity with four other neighbours. 

  • “We didn’t even realize, I don’t think, that we could power so many homes… That’s the right thing to do.”

Looking for assistance? See our guide about what city and other services are available to residents affected by continuing power outages. You can also find up-to-the-minute information on the city’s website and Twitter feed.

Ottawa by the numbers

  • 3.8%: The drop in home prices Canada-wide between March and April of this year. The average price now stands at $741,517 across the country, and $829,318 in Ottawa. [CTV]
  • 0: The number of days PC Leader Doug Ford has visited Ottawa this election. [CBC]
  • 1 million: The number of vacant Canadian job positions in March, an all-time high. [OBJ]
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Gatineau prepares for floods

Situation: Gatineau’s mayor is calling for those in low-lying areas along the Gatineau River to prepare for flooding. According to CBC, Hydro Québec says the Baskatong Reservoir in Maiwaki, Que. is at capacity, with more water building up than expected. To prevent mechanical failure, the water needs to be released. 

  • What happened: A combination of spring run-off and high levels of recent rain are the cause.

Yes, but: According to CTV, the city doesn’t believe Gatineau will be as affected as the city was by the 2019 flooding, since it’s only the Gatineau River releasing water, not the Ottawa as well. 

According to the city, the areas at highest risk are:

  • Rue Cartier
  • Pointe-Gatineau between Rue Oxford and Rue du Prince-Albert

To find info on where areas at moderate risk and where you can find sandbags, the City of Gatineau has a  flood website up-to-date information.

Provincial election round-up

Is Ford ignoring Ottawa? A planned Thursday stop by PC Leader Doug Ford was cancelled and replaced by a Monday visit next week, three days before the election. Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says Ford refuses to show up, but a Ford campaign insider told CBC they didn’t want to distract from the flood response. But as Joanne Chianello from the CBC points out, that didn’t stop Ford from visiting Uxbridge after the storm last Monday. 

Fixing Ontario’s health system: The Ontario Medical Association, which represents doctors, released a five-point plan to fix the post-COVID healthcare backlog, including investing more money, expanding mental health services and expanding homecare. [CBC]

Policing not an election concern: Ottawa dealt with its fair share of recent policing issues. But according to the CBC, the issue of police reform is nowhere on the election map.

What National Geographic says about Ottawa

Ottawa sign with chairs

This city hasn’t always been done right by international media travel guides but a new one from National Geographic may actually have done a decent job of it.

As a publication that covers Ottawa food and restaurant scene with our Insider newsletter, our team reviewed the guide. Here’s what we found:

The good: A smattering of unique and local spots graced the article, including Black Squirrel Books, SuzyQ and Oat Couture Oatmeal Cafe.

  • Tooth and Nail and Beyond the Pale both made the brewery list while Riviera was chosen for “a memorable dinner.” 

Could be better: Do we need another beavertail recommendation? Really? 

  • An alternative nearby would be La Botegga for an unforgettable Italian sandwich. 

A surprise: Rather than focusing on the Market, they branched out into local neighbourhoods, including the Glebe, Westboro and Hintonburg.

This is one of the better Ottawa guides, but for the best restaurants, shops and activities, we recommend our Insider newsletter instead.

City Hall update

Highrise approved: Somerset and O’Connor will soon look different. The planning committee approved an 18-storey residential building, with 156 units and commercial ground-level space. It’ll include a red-brick base “inspired by the streetscape.”

Registered candidate status: So far seven candidates have registered to run for Mayor. A review of wards by the Lookout indicates Ward 3 Barrhaven West, Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier, Ward 23 Kanata South and Ward 24 Barrhaven East have the most registered candidates. You can see the full list here.

Steve joins council race: Steve Desroches has thrown his hat into the Gloucester-South Nepean council race. The former councillor, who served from 2006 to 2014, as well as deputy mayor, joins one other registered candidate Em McLellan. The ward is currently represented by Carol Anne Meehan, who has yet to declare whether she will run for re-election.  

Stories you might've missed

LRT inquiry begins: Commission head Justice William Hourigan told residents they’ve collected 1,000,000 documents and asked 40 witnesses to testify in public hearings, including Mayor Jim Watson and executives of Rideau Transit Group. Hourigan said he hopes to hear from residents first. [CBC]

Strike potentially over: A strike by the Carpenters District Council of Ontario, which saw 15,000 carpenters on the picket lines across the province since May 9, may soon be over. The Council announced a tentative agreement, with ratification votes happening today. [CBC]

Marriott moving in: The site at 395 Slater Street will soon feature a new Mariott hotel, with 230 rooms, 270 rental apartment units, a bar and meeting space. The project developer Rimap believes Ottawa is an underserved hotel market and is working on two other hotels. [OBJ]

Traffic update: Expect traffic delays in and around Lansdowne this weekend as the Ottawa Redblacks kick off their 2022 season and Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend returns. See here for the full list of affected streets. 

Sloly to speak: Former police chief Peter Sloly, who resigned after heavy criticism of the forces’ handling of the convoy occupation, will speak at the parliamentary committee next Thursday about expanding security in the parliamentary precinct. [CTV]

Community highlights

  • Today’s the last day to fill out a survey for Rise for Architecture, who want to hear from you on how to improve our city and cities across the country.
  • Narcity has a profile on Ottawa Chinatown Night Market. Discover authentic cuisine and 170 different performances from July 22 to 24.
  • Not sure how you guide a huge moose, but Ottawa police managed to do just that near Old Montreal Road.
  • Brockville is creating a more accessible food bank by expanding home delivery.

What to do this weekend:

  • Ottawa Titans are back! They’re playing three games this weekend, so be sure to grab a ticket.
  • If you love punk music, check out the Ottawa Punk Fest at Cafe Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St. tomorrow and Satruday from 5 pm to close.
  • Pick up some lovingly used goods at the Great Glebe Garage Sale 2022 this Saturday at the Glebe Community Centre.
  • The Ottawa Children’s Festival at LeBreton Flats ends this weekend. Check out the schedule. 
  • The Korean Cultural Festival is in full swing with multiple events going on this weekend.
  • Sink your teeth into some ribs and music at the Kanata RibFest this weekend. 
  • Enjoy some Cuban music, food and cocktails at Fiesta Cubana this Sunday.

Today's top photo


Thanks to Allison for sharing this photo of storm damage near Old Ottawa East.

Do you have photos of storm damage in your area? Send them our way. We’re looking to run photos from the Lookout community on how the high winds have affected your area.

Daily COVID stats

All infection and vaccination data via Ottawa Public Health. You can find the status of the wastewater tracking here. And you can find vaccination stats here.

  • Active Cases: 468 (+42)
  • Deaths: 804 (+0)
  • Ottawans In Hospital: 17
  • Ottawans In ICU: 1
  • Acute Beds Occupied: 94% 
  • ICU Beds Occupied: 72% 
  • ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 28%

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