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Two tornadoes confirmed touching down in Barrhaven last week

Researchers have confirmed there were two tornadoes that touched down in Barrhaven last week.

Good morning!

Hope everyone was able to survive the semi-annual traffic apocalypse. There are definitely way worse ways to replace a bridge, when you think about it. It’s just made that much more difficult on everyone when the city is designed with the car as the central way to get around.

In any case, good news, the highway is back open! (Unless something has gone horribly wrong over the last few hours while I’ve been sleeping.)

We’ve got a fair bit to get to today, including the latest on the tornadoes (yes, plural!) that touched down in Barrhaven last week.

Let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Weather Report

Monday: 27 🌡️ 17 | ⛈️

Tuesday: 24 🌡️ 15 | 🌧

Wednesday: 27 🌡️ 16 | ☀️


Two tornadoes touched down in Ottawa last week

What happened: Not one, but two tornadoes touched down in Barrhaven last week during the severe storms that ripped through the suburb. According to researchers, the two tornadoes crossed paths in the Exeter area, CTV reported.

Both tornadoes were EF1-level tornadoes, with maximum wind speeds of about 155 km/h.

The paths: The first tornado took a northeasterly path, roughly perpendicular to Jockvale Road, and cut a 150 metre-wide swath about a kilometre long. The second tornado started in Half Moon Bay, and travelled roughly northward through much of Barrhaven to the Greenbelt. It had a path about 200 metres wide, and five kilometres long.

The researchers said these were just preliminary results, and they would continue investigating the tornadoes for more precisely.

Preventing damage: The installation of a clip that costs about $200 could prevent roofs from being torn off in minor tornadoes. One researcher with the project told CTV hurricane straps or ties provide a direct connection between the roof and the wall, preventing it from getting blown away. He urged the province

Psychic damage: More than just property, disasters like the tornado also leaves behind less-visible damage. The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region told CBC it has seen an increase of calls to its support hotline in the wake of last week’s storm.

  • “With natural disasters, there's so much unknown. … People don't feel like they have a lot of control over them and that obviously leads to different reactions,” the centre’s Kathryn Leroux said to CBC.

How to help: One researcher told the broadcaster that contact and support from family and friends can be a big help for getting people past the trauma of a disaster.


🏠 $761,000: The aggregate price of a new home in the second quarter of the year, down 4.8 percent from the same period last year. CTV finds some of the homes you can buy in the city for that price in different neighbourhoods. [CTV]

🚤 5%: The decrease in the average sale price of a cottage in the Rideau Lakes area in the last year. [CBC]

☔️ 33.2 mm: The amount of rain the city received early Sunday, making it the rainiest July 16 on record. [CTV]

🎷 300,000: The estimated number of people who came to Bluesfest this year. [CTV]


417 reopening on time

What happened: Good news! By the time you’re reading this, the 417 should be fully reopened, CTV reported. The highway had been closed for three and a half days for the replacement of the Bronson overpass.

  • Paving was underway Sunday and barring any “unforeseen challenges” overnight, the provincial Ministry of Transportation said it would be good to go this morning.

Snarled traffic: It was a rough weekend to get around in a car. The highway’s closure was felt throughout the city, adding headaches to many on a weekend with lots of events. But four days for a bridge probably beats the year or more it would take to replace the bridge in a more traditional manner.

Bronson itself isn’t expected to open until later this month.

The bad news: Don’t get too comfortable, there’s still another replacement to go. From Aug. 10 to 14, the Percy Street overpass will be replaced, with similar closures. Preston will be next, likely sometime next year.


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Compensation advisor trainee (inventory) at Transport Canada

  2. Learning and organizational development coordinator at Stantec

  3. Transit communications officer at the City of Ottawa

  4. Policy and strategy analyst at the International Development Research Centre

  5. Equity diversity and inclusion officer at Carleton University


🚏 OC Transpo’s worst performing bus route, Route 85, had 165 trips cancelled just last month, and now the transit agency and local councillors are looking for solutions. [CTV]

🏥 As the healthcare system teeters and ER wait times skyrocket, a new form of medical practice has been born: “waiting-room medicine.” [CBC]

👨‍🚒 From province to province, what kinds of cancers are covered for firefighters who may have gotten the illness on the job, varies greatly. A new federal bill would look to get equal coverage across the country. [CBC]

🗳️ The Progressive-Conservative candidate in the Kanata-Carleton byelection decided at the last minute he wouldn’t bother showing up to an all-candidates debate. [Ottawa Citizen]

�� Coun. Jeff Leiper said he was “disheartened” by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe’s “inappropriate” comments saying the Queen Elizabeth Driveway should be reopened to cars, as that is not official council policy, as there has been no vote on what council’s policy is. [Facebook]

🩺 The Ontario government will recover outstanding COVID loans to doctors over a year-long period by deducting from their OHIP reimbursements. Previously, the government was going to recover the money over just five months. [The Canadian Press]


Double crosses and a love quadrangle? Only at Affairs of State at Art Courts Theatre

The award-winning Classic Theatre Festival presents Louis Verneuil's funny, intriguing Affairs of State, about Washington, DC, diplomatic deals and double crosses, featuring a memorable love quadrangle threatening a top diplomatic appointment.

Revisit an age when satirical comedies were smart, sassy, insightful, and fun, with Turner Classic Movies-era wit and charm. This Capital Comedy runs 8 times weekly. Lookout readers enjoy 20% discount tickets with HTAF code. Book tickets now.

Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave. Book www.classictheatre.ca, (613) 695-9330


What to do this weekend


🎸 2023 Kemptville Live Music Festival, Thursday to Sunday: Four days of music along the Rideau Canal and includes performances by Colin James, Melissa Etheridge, Blue Rodeo and more. At 830 Prescott St., Kemptville. Ticket prices vary.


🍽️ Global Gourmet Three-Course Dinner, Thursday 5:30 pm: A three-course meal and fundraiser for the Parkdale Food Centre. Featuring live jazz and a silent auction. At Restaurant International at Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Ave. Tickets $66.


🔨 Introduction to drywall repair, Wednesday 6 pm: Learn how walls are put together, and how to properly patch your drywall. Part of the fun is you get to make your own holes, too. At the Ottawa Tool Library, 877a Boyd Ave. Tickets $69.

🍺 Bluesfest Beer Garden Bingo, Thursday 7 pm: THink you know Bluesfest over the years? Come and find out. A curated musical trivia night with a bingo twist. Seat reservations free, bingo supplies available for sale.


👗 613Flea, Saturday 10 am: As many as 150 vendors with everything from vinyl records to vintage clothing, and everything in between. At the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. Free admission.

  • The Redblacks did something uncharacteristic, coming back from 25-17 in the fourth quarter, to win 31-28 in overtime. [The Canadian Press]

  • A new shop in Hintonburg may change how you think of bubble tea.

  • The world’s biggest bouncy castle at Saunders Farm is so big, even adults can give it a go. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Contact our partnership team for more info.


Commercial real estate market in “bear” territory, what’s next for downtown?

This story is available for Insider City Hall members. Consider becoming a member today and support independent journalism that investigates and explores the issues happening at city hall and across Ottawa

What happened: The federal government’s decision to significantly cut down on the amount of physical office space it uses has put the commercial real estate in the city into a bear market, according to a new report from Avison Young. It raises complicated questions about the future of downtown.

The short term: For now, it means that businesses looking for office space downtown are in the driver’s seat. Tenants looking to move or negotiate their leases are likely to get favourable terms, according to the report. It is very much a renter’s market.

The long term: There are at least nine buildings the feds want to sell off in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, with four of those downtown, according to CBC. With the commercial real estate vacancy rate above 10 percent, that would mean even more office space sits empty.


Judy Mulligan/Ottawa Lookout Reader

Today’s photo comes from Lookout reader Judy Mulligan, who has a charming tale about this particular turtle, and why she’s important:

“This beautiful lady laid 48 eggs which were collected by turtle researchers and volunteers and are currently being incubated at the Ottawa Riverkeeper’s new location at River House. Once hatched the baby snapping turtles will be released at Petrie Island,” she wrote.

“The Petrie Island Turtle Project is a non-profit project located along the Ottawa River at Petrie Island. The mission of the project is to conserve the freshwater turtles at Petrie Island and the Ottawa River through research and education. The project is continuing for a third year in 2023, partnering with the Canadian Wildlife Federation.”

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


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle! The answer was BLUES, as in Bluesfest.

In today’s Ottawa Quiz, we’d like to know how much rain fell on the city Sunday morning? The first five people to reply with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue. Good luck!

Capital EatsHelping you discover the best restaurants, food and drinks in Ottawa and the Capital Region. From the team at Ottawa Lookout. Read by 18,000+ locals.

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