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What can we do to prepare Ottawa for climate change?

What should the city do to prepare for more storms caused by climate change? Plus, the train is back!

Good morning!

Would you believe it? The LRT is actually supposed to start again today. Hard to imagine that it’s been yet another month (well, nearly) of downtime on what is basically a brand-new system. But here we are, one more at a glorious dawn of train service.

Anyhow, today we’ve got more on the after-effects of last week’s flooding, and what we should do next; and plenty of other news from around town.

Let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Weather Report

Monday: 24 🌡️ 14 | 🌤

Tuesday: 22 🌡️ 12 | 🌧

Wednesday: 26 🌡️ 14 | ☀️


🤿 Swim signups: Tonight’s the big night. Swimming class registration opens tonight at 9 pm, and all other recreation registration opens on Wednesday night. Before you sit down to register, make sure you’re up to date on the city’s new website.

🚂 It’s back (kinda): Single-car LRT service restarts across the whole line today after 28 days of shutdown. R1 bus service will also be running.


City needs to consider better infrastructure to weather climate change

Juliane Desjardins/Ottawa Lookout Reader

What happened: Multiple councillors said the city needs to prepare Ottawa’s infrastructure for the effects of climate change after yet another storm battered the town, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Massive flooding after a heavy dump of rain filled basements with water, turned streets into rivers, and backed up toilets and drains in several parts of town.

What is to be done: Upgrades to the sewer system are top of mind for many councillors, CBC reported. Hydro improvements are also part of the puzzle, after the storm caused another large outage. Hiring more public works staff may also help, with more people ready to be redeployed during a disaster.

But wastewater won’t solve all the problems caused by last week’s storm. In some parts of the city, 70 mm of rain fell in about 90 minutes, far too much for any system to reliably handle, Coun. Marty Carr told the broadcaster. But they can “help minimize the impacts of severe climate events in the community,” she said.

  • “We, as a responsible government, have to act accordingly.… The city just has to adapt our planning, our budget, the way we use our personnel, to reflect the fact this has to be one of our top, ongoing priorities. We have a number of priorities — transit, housing — but this has to be one of them,” Devine told the Citizen.

Underfunding: Many climate initiatives have been underfunded for years. This was the first year in which the budget set aside money for stable funding for climate projects. (Previously, it was funded entirely out of the Hydro Ottawa dividend.) Devine told the Citizen that straightforward plans like increasing the city’s tree cover by 40 percent were behind schedule.

Damaged homes: Restoration companies that deal with issues like flooded basements faced a barrage of calls last week, CBC reported. The huge volume of water meant that storm and wastewater sewers backed up in some homes, while others were simply flooded by the water rising high enough to enter basement windows.

  • Acting quickly is key after a flood, as mould can set in quickly — while drying sewage can aerosolize dangerous pathogens.

How the storm affected Lookout readers

Last week we asked you to send in stories and photos of your experience of the storm. Here are a selection of what you shared:

“Front yard and backyard! We lived on an island, for a while!” Becky Wright said.

“Better pictures of Riverside and Bank Street parking lot. Water went up to mid steering in my friend’s car by the time her ride picked her up,” Juliane Desjardins said.

“I am located in the Walkley, Southmore, Thorndale neighbourhood and as the only house with the slopes driveway sloping in the wrong direction...we have been flooded,” Sylvie Torok-Nagy said.

“I couldn’t figure out why my banana plants were shredded and why there were holes in my sunflower plants’ leaves — then I realized that the hail did this. I went outside to experience the storm — and gathered some hailstones,” Irv Osterer said.

“Caught at the drugstore at Dalhousie and Murray,” Abigail Gossage said.


🔥 13.4 million: The number of hectares burned in this year’s fire season nationally — the worst year on record. Over the last 10 years, the average area burned is about 2.2 million hectares. [CBC]

💰 $55 million: The value of a winning Lotto Max ticket sold in Ottawa for last Friday’s draw. [CTV]

🏢 $2,130: The average monthly rent for an apartment in the city last month, down slightly from $2,134 in June. Year-over-year, the average cost of an apartment is up 6.7 percent. [CTV]

🏎️ 163 km/h: The speed a driver was caught doing on Highway 174, 83 km/h over the speed limit. [CTV]


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Physiotherapist at Bruyère Continuing Care

  2. Evening warehouse supervisor at Coca-Cola Canada

  3. Geographic information system (GIS) specialist at NAV Canada

  4. Agricultural specialist at Hipra Animal Health Canada

  5. Software developer - AUTOSAR at Actalent

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


🚂 The LRT returns to partial service across the whole system today. Single-car trains will run from Blair to Tunney’s Pasture every four to five minutes during peak hours. R1 bus service will continue this week. The train was shut down for 28 days because of bearing issues. [CTV]

🚲 Hundreds of cyclists took to city streets Saturday, including down the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, to demand more safe cycling routes in the city in a “Critical Mass Ride.” Organizers said the mayor’s recent tweets about reopening a section of the QED to cars during the day drove more turnout. [CBC]

⚖️ A man pleaded guilty to breaking into an Ottawa apartment and forcing a 12-year-old girl to jump from a third-floor balcony, breaking her ankle, leg, and back. Fifty-eight-year-old David White was sentenced to nine months house arrest and two years probation for assault, resisting arrest, and breaking and entering. [CBC]

📚 The slow pace of bargaining with the provincial government means teachers across the province will likely start the school year without a contract. A strike vote is possible later this year. [CTV]

🔌 The hydro workers union raised concerns about unsafe work by contractors hired while they’re on strike, after they found a broke pole bolted back together. The pole has since been properly replaced, Hydro Ottawa said. [CTV]

🪖 Canadian Forces training exercises on the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River last Saturday will continue for the next two Saturdays — Aug. 19 and 26. [CTV]


What to do this weekend


🎤 Alan Cross Music Salon: An open Q&A with legendary radio host Alan Cross about anything music. At Queen St. Fare, 170 Queen St. Tickets $28.


🏀 Chris Boucher Basketball Camp, Thursday and Friday: For boys and girls eight to 16 years old, this camp led by Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors is suitable for all skill levels in a fun environment. Each ticket includes a camp T-shirt, a photo with Boucher and a signed card. At uOttawa Montpetit Hall (MNT), 125 University Pvt. Tickets $266.

🤼‍♂️ FIGHTING BACK 12 - Wrestling With Cancer, Friday 7:30 pm: An annual wrestling fundraiser in memory of Phrank Mornin. One-hundred percent of the night’s profits go to the Canadian Cancer Society. At the Preston Event Centre, 523 Saint Anthony St. Tickets $44.


🫒 Masterclass by Aurelius Fine Oils, Sunday 2:30 pm: For anyone looking to elevate their olive oil experience. Learn the history and uses of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in this in-depth seminar. At Chef's Paradise, 1314 Bank St. Tickets $40.


☕️ High Tea on the Veranda, Friday 12 pm: Experience delicious eats and specialty teas at the veranda at the Laurier House National Historic Site. At Laurier House, 335 Laurier Ave. E. Tickets $49 per person (two-person minimum).


🧶 Introduction to Crochet, Wednesday 6 pm: A two-hour class that covers the basics of crochet, from what yearn and hooks to choose, to basic stitches and making your first chain. Hooks and yarn are included in the price of the class. At the Square Lemon Artistic Association, 2350 Stevenage Dr. Unit 14. Tickets $62.


🇬🇷 Ottawa Greek Fest, Aug. 15, 18-20: With live music, authentic dance and performances, and plenty to eat and drink. At the Hellenic Event Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr. Free admission.

  • For the first time, the North American Halal Ribfest made a stopover in Ottawa to great success. [Ottawa Citizen]

  • You’ll find great value in this wine of the week, made from an Italian grape saved from extinction.

  • Had a chance to check out The Miser in Strathcona Park? This review might convince you to go. [Apt613]

  • Believe it or not, there used to be car races at Lansdowne. [Reddit]

  • Whoops, seems like someone was able to hack into a construction sign in Kanata… [Reddit]

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


We had so many photos for today’s flooding story, we’ve decided to pause the Top Photo for today. Don’t worry, it’ll return Friday! If you have any photos you’d like to share, reply to this email.


Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was GOOSE, as in the birds that are all around. (It’s also the nickname for my dog, Astrid.)

Today for the Ottawa Quiz we want to know how much the average rent was in the city for June of this year. The first five people to write in with the correct answer will get their names mentioned in the next issue.

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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