Should the city freeze transit fares?

As city council votes on the budget, they’ll consider whether to freeze transit fares for the year.

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Good morning!

Hope everyone is taking it easy out there this morning. Environment Canada said yesterday’s freezing rain would turn to heavy snow continuing into this morning. We could be getting as much as 15 cm of snow.

They warn utility outages could happen, and roads, sidewalks, and more could become icy before they’re covered in snow. Basically, if you don’t have to go anywhere this morning, it’s probably a good idea to wait. And if you do have to be out and about, be prepared for delays.

The city has declared a parking ban as of 10 am this morning, which should end by 7 pm tonight.

Good luck out there, stay safe.

It’s always scary asking for help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. As a small publication, we want to be able to devote even more resources to it in the coming year. But as a primarily reader-funded publication, we rely on people like you contributing.

As a member, you’ll also get some amazing perks you can’t find anywhere else, like breakdowns of key issues at city hall and restaurant reviews of hidden gem spots around town no one is talking about brought to you by our food editor Ralf.

If you can’t afford it, no sweat. We always appreciate everyone reading and sharing when you can.

Now, let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Monday: +1 🌡️ -8 | ❄️

Tuesday: -3 🌡️ -12 | 🌤

Wednesday: -5 🌡️ -13 | ☀️


Fare freeze motion coming to council

What happened: Coun. Shawn Menard will ask council to freeze transit fares for 2024 when the draft budget comes up for a vote this week, CTV reported. The budget as currently drafted would raise fares 2.5 percent, with a single ride costing an extra 10 cents to $3.85.

  • Menard’s motion would instead ask council to increase the transit levy by one percent. This would equal about $8 for the average household’s property tax bill. The motion was referred to council from the transit commission.

Possible benefits: Menard’s motion said that a freeze would create about 300,000 additional transit trips, and “create new long-term ridership.…Ottawa transit riders should not continue to face fare hikes in the context of reduced and inadequate transit service.”

Budget week: The full city budget will come to a vote Wednesday. Overall, Ottawa is looking to pass another 2.5 percent property tax increase. Fees across the city will also be going up, mostly by 2.5 percent, if the budget is passed.

We’ll have full coverage for Friday’s issue of the final budget vote.

Last week, we spoke with Stittsville Coun. Glen Gower, the chair of the Transit Commission for an Insiders-only interview, about transit fares, how they fit into the budget of the future, and the troubled times OC Transpo is facing.


Mission accomplished. Thank you to all the donors who gave to our campaign to transform care for Seniors and Veterans

When we called, you answered.

Perley Health Foundation proudly announces the successful completion of its Answering the Call fundraising campaign.

This achievement marks a historic moment in the foundation's history. It represents a significant milestone in supporting innovation and excellence in Seniors and Veterans care at the Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care.

Support of the Answering the Call Campaign will go toward three critical areas needed to transform care.

  1. Applied Research & Innovation

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You can still help answer the call and enhance the quality of life for Seniors and Veterans. Click here to make a donation.


🔌 1,349: The number of Hydro Ottawa customers who lost power Saturday night for several hours. An “equipment issue” was to blame. Most had their power back by Sunday morning. [CTV]

🗳️ 53%: Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie became the new leader of the Ontario Liberal Party with this much of the vote on the third ballot, narrowly beating out the rest of the field. [The Canadian Press]


A gastronomic tour of Merivale Road

As the holiday season approaches, our food editor Ralf Joneikies is out and about looking for the best places to shop for your friends and family. Recently, his travels took him to Merivale Road, a commercial stretch of the city where he found a wealth of small shops and markets that offer great foreign goods.

While exploring and enjoying the city’s gastronomic delights is a pleasure, the greatest joy comes in the form of meeting the creators behind these businesses. The education you receive is multi-faceted and sometimes shakes up your sensibilities. 

As so many of us have benefitted from the cultural diversity in Ottawa, I thought it would be practical to highlight some of the shops brought to us by our friends and neighbours from around the globe. 


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Communications manager at ByWard Market District Authority;

  2. UX product designer at TallSky Consulting Group;

  3. Editor and researcher at Joan Holmes and Associates;

  4. Event specialist at the Public Policy Forum;

  5. Software tester at Actalent.

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


🚂 The eastern end of LRT track was offline Saturday morning. Power was down to the section between St Laurent and Blair because of connection issues caused by construction work on the eastern extension. Crews were unable to get the power back on at the beginning of service, but were able to get trains going within the first hour. [CTV] 

🤖 A group from Carleton University plans to run a semi-autonomous robot on the Canal early in the winter to test the viability of the snow-clearing contraption. The hope is that it can clean the Canal of snow when it’s too early for people because the ice is too thin. This, if it works, would prevent snow building up and insulating the ice, and let it freeze better.

🏘️ Last week, new real estate rules came into effect allowing open bidding. Sellers can now choose whether or not to disclose what other bids they’ve received for their home. [CBC]

🛟 A man was rescued from the water of the Rideau Canal on Sunday. He was suffering from severe hypothermia and was taken to hospital in critical condition. [CTV]

🚨 A man has been charged with first-degree murder after the recent disappearance of a Sharbot Lake man. [CBC]

🔥 Neither man nor beast was harmed in an east end barn fire. Ottawa fire crews were able to get the blaze, just north of Limoges, under control after about seven hours, but were able to save other buildings on the property. [CTV]


Your weekly guide

🎶 2023 Musical Offering for Christmas, Wednesday 12 pm: Multiple choirs from uOttawa will perform traditional carols and other holiday music. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to sing along. At Tabaret Hall, 550 Cumberland St. Donation requested.

🎨 Christmas Paint Night at Driphouse, Friday 5 pm and 7:30 pm: Two different projects for multiple skill levels. First, for any skill level, do a step-by-step canvas painting, or if your skills are a little more refined, later on paint a custom wooden ornament. Take home what you paint in these guided sessions. At Driphouse, 340b Parkdale Ave. Tickets $40-$45.

🎄 The Last Blue Christmas, Friday 7 pm: The North Grenville Concert Choir presents an evening of classic and modern Christmas music, including arrangements by conductor Philip Konopka.At St John's United Church, 400 Prescott St., Kemptville. Tickets $23.

🎩 Scrooge's Christmas, Saturday 7 pm: A comic opera rendition of the Christmas classic. At Rideau Park United Church, 2203 Alta Vista Dr. Tickets $44 for adults, free for kids under 12.

🎅🏻 Christmas at Parkdale, Saturday 7:30 pm: The Parkdale Orchestra and the Parkdale United Church Choir are putting on a wide-ranging holiday concert with everything from Leroy Anderson to Mozart. At the Parkdale United Church, 429 Parkdale Ave. Tickets $20.

🫖 Christmas Tea at Billings Estate, Sunday: Until Christmas, enjoy a three-tier tea service at the city’s oldest wood-frame house. At the Billings Estate, 2100 Cabot St. Tickets $24, advance registration required

  • The Sens pulled out a 2-0 victory against the Seattle Kraken, as Anton Forsberg made 39 saves to earn the shutout. The team still sits last in the Atlantic division with a 9-10-0 record. [The Canadian Press]

  • Car thieves may have come up with some elaborate tactics to target certain vehicles. [Reddit]

  • Don’t spend too much time landmark spotting this Christmas, half as many holiday films were shot in the city in 2023 compared to the year before. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Looking to do something this holiday season without reaching into your pocket? Check out this list of free activities across the region. [CTV]

  • It might be getting cold, but that’s no reason birding season has to slow down. [Reddit]

  • Missing a skull-shaped key? This might be it. [Reddit]

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


Patrick McNeill/Ottawa Lookout Reader

Today’s photo comes from Patrick McNeill, who said, “I thought I'd send in an ‘in memoriam’ photo for the Hunt Club Forest that's being cut down. It was a beautiful place.”

Do you have a photo you’d like to share with the Lookout community? Send it in!


Just like newspapers, we’ve got our own classified ads that help fund our journalism. See what organizations and businesses are up to around the city:

  • Lainey's Luck is Ottawa's first "Buy the Pound" thrift store — vintage and thrift at only $5.99 a pound! 523 Bank St. 613-481-5246


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was SAWED, as in, unfortunately, the trees on Hunt Club Road.

For today’s quiz, we want to know: How much would a one percent increase in the transit levy cost the average home per year?

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