Friday, July 16, 2021

The Ottawan


Reader Len wrote to us yesterday:

I noticed in your reporting of the proposed new rail line, like many others you confused 'high frequency' with 'high speed'. No one has suggested it will be a high speed line, it's always been high frequency.

Immediately, the ottawan went into action, blaming Darren for the error and readying a correction.

But is it so clear cut? The announcement by the Federal Government to create the Quebéc – Montréal – Ottawa – Toronto line was touted to reduce the Ottawa – Toronto travel time by 90 minutes. It doesn't matter how frequent the trains are – you need to go faster to cut an hour and a half off the travel time.

The European Union defines High Speed Rail as over 200 km/h on upgraded lines and over 250 km/h on new lines. Current ViaRail trains can travel up to 160 km/h. The upgraded system – which would be a dedicated line – would allow trains to travel up to 200 km/h.

What makes this proposal interesting is the shorter travel time, not the frequency of the trains. Although, we're definitely in favour of more trains more often.

So this our verdict: the proposal is for high speed trains but not High Speed Trains. We're not going to quibble the difference.

Thank you Len for your email. But we're going to let Darren off the hook this time.

We'll see you Monday – Martha and Darren

✉️ Is there something that Ottawa should know about? Email us at We read every single comment.



Weather: ☀️ Mainly sunny. High of 26°, low of 16°

Number: $1,900. The monthly rent of the least expensive apartments available in the ‘affordable housing’ project in Alta Vista announced earlier this week. The median rent in Ottawa is $1300 per month. [Ottawa Citizen]

Ottawan of the Day: Karen Shepherd. Shepard is the new Integrity Commissioner for the City. The Commissioner is an independent and impartial person who reports directly to City Council and is tasked with making municipal government more transparent and accountable. [City of Ottawa] [Integrity Commissioner's Office]

Quote: ‘We’ve reached back into a lot of the communities that perhaps were traditionally not connected to the gallery, or not represented by the gallery and had some really hard but really good conversations that have resulted in some clear actions moving forward’ – Alexandra Badzak, director of the Ottawa Art Gallery, who says that the COVID-19 closure gave the organization time to reflect on their mission and to ‘build back better’.  [Capital Current]

Sports: CPL Valour FC 1 – Atlético Ottawa 0, last night. Ottawa meets Edmonton Sunday. 

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Summer Sales

We’ve arrived at that weird time in the summer when womenswear and beauty products are put on “End of Season” sale. Even though there are hopefully six or more weeks of gorgeous weather ahead of us, some of the best summer stuff can be had at a discount right now. Even better, many summer clothing items can be layered up to work during the colder seasons too. 

▪️ Montreal beauty brand BKIND makes vegan and eco-friendly products for skin, nails, and hair, and right now some fan favourites are available at special prices. The Duo Top and Base Coat Nail Polish set, popular with beauty fans who don’t want nasty chemicals in their nail polishes, is usually $30, but it’s only $20 at the moment. Meanwhile, the gorgeously branded Hand Gel Sanitizer in Lemon and Eucalyptus will look fabulous on the bathroom sink, and it’s currently half price at $7.50. 

▪️ Right now at Toronto’s Birds of North America, dresses, overalls and wrap tops have been marked down 30%. The Crescentchest Top is a classic long-sleeved wrap that will take you cool summer evenings as well as the colder months. Usually $136, you can grab it now for $95. 

▪️ The cotton and rayon Carly Dress from Parkhurst is a sheath with a twist, literally, on the hip. Available in black, red, Persian pink, and Alaskan blue, You can save a whopping $61.01 and grab one for just $44.99. 

▪️ Skinny, straight leg, wide leg, bootcut ... many styles are currently available for 50% off at Montréal brand Yoga Jeans. At a recent glance at the website, the Alex Bootcut in Dodger Blue was priced at $67, while the Lily Wide Leg was marked down from $130 to $69. At these prices the sizing is limited, but if you can find your size now is a great time to invest in some brag-worthy Canadian-made denim. 

▪️ The Onesime double layer cotton camisole by Melow by Mélissa Bolduc will keep you cool and stylish on those really hot and humid days for which Ottawa is famous. It’s available in blue, grey, and laurel and has been marked down from $95 to $40.

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All data is as of this morning, changes are compared with yesterday.


547,864? 1599,285 ?10 
? Eligible people with one dose79.1% 
? Eligible people with second dose58.6%

Ontario COVID Page    Ontario Vaccine Rates 


376,192?8311,235 ?3
? Eligible people with one dose82.1%
? Eligible people with second dose49.9%

Quebec COVID Page     Quebec Vaccine Rates



cases changedeaths
27,729? -1593 ? 1

A drop from one day to the next usually means a case has been moved to another health unit

? Vaccinated with one dose775,924
? Vaccinated with second dose513,849

Ottawa Public Health     Ottawa Vaccination Rates.    Ottawa Wastewater 


12,575? 3215 ? 0
? Number of doses of vaccine 447,117

Outaouais Public Health    Quebec Vaccination Rates


4729? 0111 ? 0

? Number of doses of vaccine

Eastern Ontario Health Unit



⭕ The mayor of Windsor had made a deal last month with the state of Michigan to vaccinate his residents in the tunnel between that city and Detroit using excess US vaccinations. The mayor had planned to paint a line in the tunnel with Canadians on one side, sticking their arms over to be jabbed. The Canadian government said no. [New York Times]

⭕ New Edinburgh resident Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says fully vaccinated Americans may be welcomed into Canada as early as mid-August. The borders may be opened to fully vaccinated travellers from the rest of the world in September. [CBC]

⭕ House hunters can now go to real, live ‘open houses’ under Stage 3 re-opening rules. [CBC]

⭕ Ottawa RedBlacks ticketholders will not need to be vaccinated when welcomed back into the stands on August 28, however, masks will still be required. [Ottawa Citizen]

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▪️ A 29-turbine wind farm owned by the Algonquins of Ontario has been approved just South of Ottawa. Nation Rise will generate 100 megawatts of electricity to be sold into the Ontario grid. The system has been operating unofficially since June 17. [Farmers Forum]

▪️Some portapotties are only open on weekends in National Capital Commission parkways. Gotta Go, the Ottawa public toilet advocacy group says people cannot be expected to need the facilities only on weekends and they should be open 24 hours per day. [CBC]

▪️Some cinemas reopen today. The Mayfair Theatre is showing The Specials, Pig, and Heavy Metal tonight and Wild at Heart tomorrow. Barrhaven Cineplex is showing Black WidowSpace JamF9 The Fast SagaEscape Room: Tournament of Champions, and The Boss Baby: Family Business.

▪️Residents at a Vanier apartment say they are being renovicted. Some of the residents have lived there for 30 years and are paying rents of $775 for a one bedroom. The owners say that the building is infested with bugs and mice and has fire marshal violations. [Ottawa Citizen]


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