Severe rainfall update

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Information for affected areas

Updated Friday, August 18, 2:30 pm

Several parts of Ottawa experienced severe flooding due to the storm on Thursday, August 10. Residents are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 to report any instances of flooding, including flooded basements and issues with sewers and drains.

If you are experiencing a flood, call 3-1-1 and consult these links for more information:

Information about property damage and insurance is detailed further down on this page.

If you notice an issue with a sewer or drain, call 3-1-1 to report the location. The City is performing inspections related to sewer and drain issues and your report will begin the formal inspection process. Based on the results of the inspection, the City may recommend mitigations.

All major roadways that were affected yesterday are now clear and open. Any remaining road closures are expected to be lifted today.

The City’s Public Works Department is now prioritizing clearing the remaining catch basins and assessing the status of all City parks. Street sweeping and curbside waste collection will also begin in impacted areas. Some residents will have higher volumes of curbside waste collection. Any flood damaged furniture or waste – excluding construction materials – will be collected as part of the regular curbside collection schedule.

Most City services have resumed normal operations, however, several recreational locations remain impacted:

  • Indoor recreation programs at some facilities may be impacted. For more information, please check the facility’s web page.
  •  Sport fields and ball diamonds are open but still wet, please use discretion.
  • All City beaches have a no swim advisory for Friday, August 11 due to heavy rainfall.

Please continue to monitor for up-to-date information on recreation service impacts.

Clean up

As soon as it is safe to do so, the City’s Public Works staff will begin to make roads, parks and right of ways safe again. If you spot a tree, road or parks related hazard, report the hazard to 3-1-1 for follow-up.

Roadside sweeps will be arranged once clean up efforts are underway. Contractors engaged by insurance providers or by residents directly are responsible for the proper disposal and diversion where possible of construction and house related debris.

Please ensure that any debris is kept separate when placing tree and yard debris related to the storm at the curb for pickup. Find details on how to package tree and yard debris.

For any questions or for information on other City-related services, contact 3-1-1.

Property damage and insurance

If your property was damaged by the storm, please contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

If you have insurance questions, please contact your insurance rep or contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada by calling 1-844-227-5422 or emailing

Most home and business insurance policies cover damage caused by some extreme weather or emergency events. If you are a renter, contact the property owner and your renters’ insurance company. Your insurance company will give you direction on your next steps and assist with clean up and debris removal.

Protect yourself and coordinate everything through your insurance company. Document and take photos of any damage. Keep all receipts related to the storm, such as for hotels, food, pet boarding and supplies.

Property taxes for damaged structures

Property owners impacted by extreme weather may be eligible to cancel, reduce or refund part of their property taxes for the year where:

  • The structure was completely destroyed by extreme weather
  • The structure on your property has been destroyed or damaged to the point that it is substantially unusable
  • Repairs related to the weather event prevent its normal use for at least three months

For all requests to cancel, reduce or refund part of property taxes related to extreme weather events that occurred in 2023, homeowners must submit an application form by Thursday, February 29, 2024:

Forms are available online, Property taxes cancellation, reduction or refund | City of Ottawa or by contacting Revenue Services at 613-580-2444. Homeowners will have to provide details about the damage and repairs, including pictures and insurance reports. 

We realize the paperwork required can be difficult to manage. We are here to help. If you have any questions, contact:

  • Revenue Services – 613-580-2444 (TTY 613-580-2401)
    • Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm
    • Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm (as of Friday, September 1)

Resident support

The City of Ottawa’s non-governmental partner, Samaritan’s Purse, is coordinating with their trusted, local partners to help Ottawa residents impacted by last week’s significant rainfall and flooding. Their goal is to provide support to primary residences that are underinsured or that have no insurance. They can support residents by:

  • Taking out damaged furniture and other debris to curbside
  • Removing damaged flooring and insulation
  • Providing vacuum/clean up support
  • Conducting remediation sprays

This service is free of charge. Residents who are interested in pursuing this assistance can call Samaritan’s Purse at 1-844-547-2663.

More information can be found on Samaritan’s Purse’s website

Responding to stressful events 

The psychological impact of a stressful event can be immediate or delayed, and those affected directly or indirectly can feel a range of emotions and reactions. In the wake of stressful events our reactions can affect us physically or emotionally. It can affect our thinking.

Being resilient helps us recover and work through challenges in a positive way. Sometimes, we need a little help. It's OK Not to be OK.

Frequently asked questions: Building repairs and protection

The details below cover common weather damage and repair situations. If you are unsure of requirements for your specific scenario, please contact Building Code Services:

Call:  613-580-2424 ext. 68855

For less urgent Building Code Services inquiries, call 3-1-1

My home has been damaged as a result of extreme weather.  When is a building permit required for the repairs?

A building permit is required:

  • When there is deformation or deflection of structure
  • When you will be removing, repairing or replacing structural framing, including trusses, rafters, support posts, piers, beams and joists

Are there any scenarios that do not require a building permit?

A building permit is not required for the following repairs:

  • Replacement of flooring
  • Removal of drywall or other interior finish
  • Replacement of windows or doors one-for-one in the same location and size
  • Replacement of cladding (siding, brick, etc.), deck boards or shingles
  • Reinstalling displaced exterior stairs, landings or decks that are less than 1.2 metres (approx. 4 feet) in height from grade
  • Reinstalling displaced accessory buildings such as sheds that are less than 10 square metres (approx. 108 square feet) in area
  • Repairs to sheathing and shingles

There are many other repairs that do not require a building permit.  If you are unclear whether a Building Permit is required to address your specific scenario, please contact Building Code Services.

Where do I obtain a building permit?

Building Code Service counters are open for personal services by appointment and walk-ins at the following four locations.

  • Ben Franklin Place – 101 Centrepointe Drive: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • City Hall – 110 Laurier Avenue West: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Kanata – 580 Terry Fox Drive: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Orleans – 255 Centrum Boulevard: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm 

The following Building Code Service Counters are open one day a week, 8:30 am to 4 pm:

  • Metcalfe - 8243 Victoria Street (open Tuesday)
  • West Carleton - 5670 Carp Road (open Wednesday)
  • North Gower - 2155 Roger Stevens Drive (open Thursday)

My home is showing signs of structural damage.  What should I do?

If structural damage is suspected, it is recommended that you contact a suitably qualified professional (such as a professional engineer) to assess the situation and provide direction on the required repairs. 

Do I need fencing?

If your property was significantly damaged by extreme weather, construction fencing must be provided to enclose it so that it does not cause a public safety risk. This includes open pools, hot tubs and outbuildings. This requirement is set out in the City’s Building By-law No. 2014-220.

The fence must be structurally sound and fully surround the site’s activities.

If your property is a residence of three stories or less and is located more than three metres from an adjacent public walkway, the fence height is a minimum of 1.2 metres high. If your property is less than three metres from a public pathway, the fence must be at least 1.8 metres high.

There are circumstances where fencing may not be required, including:

  • where the openings into the building are secure when the site is not attended
  • repairs have progressed so that protection is no longer required
  • large lots in rural areas where the neighbouring properties are sufficiently far apart, and the public does not have any reason to enter the site
  • existing fencing is in good order

There are several acceptable options for the fencing:

  • PVC plastic mesh safety fence supported top and bottom
  • galvanized chain link
  • prefabricated modular fencing of welded metal frame with wire mesh infill
  • 12.5mm thick exterior grade plywood, wafer board or OSB, close boarded
  • a combination of the above with equivalent performance level

The fencing must have a smooth exterior face to deter climbing. There must be no openings in the fence that would allow a spherical object of 100mm to pass through . Gated entries and exits must be clearly identified and securely closed and locked during off hours.

Does the City of Ottawa have copies of construction plans for my home?

Depending on the age of the home and its location, the City of Ottawa may have copies of the plans for the original construction and/or subsequent renovations.  Copies of these plans may be viewed through the Access to Building Permit Records process. Please contact Building Code Services or visit our website.

Do I need a building permit to reconstruct detached structures on my property?

A building permit is required for construction of any structure occupying a space larger than 10 square metres (approx. 108 square feet).  This includes reconstructing an existing structure.

How much time do I have to begin rebuilding structures on my property?

Buildings that have been damaged by extreme weather are not necessarily subject to a timeline for reconstruction, however access to severely damaged structures must be reasonably restricted to ensure safety.  See the fencing information below.

Can I rebuild my home on its existing foundation?

An existing foundation may be used when rebuilding a house provided the foundation is in good condition and capable of supporting the imposed loads.  A professional engineer may be required to confirm if reuse of the existing foundation is appropriate.

Why do I need a building permit?  What happens if I don’t get one?

By authority of the Building Code Act, a property owner is required to obtain a permit prior to construction or renovation.  Obtaining a building permit ensures that the minimum standards for health and safety, fire protection, structural adequacy, energy performance, and accessibility are met.  Failure to obtain one may result in enforcement under the authority of the Building Code Act and, in the case of a building failure or loss, insurance coverages may be void.

Do I need a building permit if my front porch was damaged?

A building permit is required for the structural repair of buildings, including their associated porches, roofs, sunrooms, additions and decks. 

How do I arrange for a Building Inspector to inspect my property?

Please contact Building Code Services to discuss your specific situation and arrange for your inspection. 

How quickly can an Inspector come to my home?

Building Code Services will make every effort to visit your home or business as promptly as possible.  Inspections will be scheduled within one business day following a request, however priority will be given to properties where damage from extreme weather has compromised the structural integrity of dwellings.

Other websites to consult:

To contact Building Code Services

Call:  613-580-2424 ext. 68855

For less urgent building code topics, please contact 3-1-1


On August 10, 2023, the City of Ottawa was seriously impacted by a significant storm/rainfall event, which caused significant property damage throughout the City.  Many residents are struggling with dealing with damage to their property caused by flooding in the wake of this storm. 

This information sheet is meant to assist you in understanding some of your options.

Claim FAQs

Q: My private property has been damaged in the storm.  What is my recourse?

A: If the storm event has caused damage to your private property, such as your home or your vehicle, the first step is to contact your insurance broker or your insurance company directly.  In addition to potentially providing coverage for your loss, your insurer may be able to provide advice and assistance in dealing with your immediate needs, for example they may be able to assist in timely flood remediation, clean up, repair, or by providing a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired.  The City does not assess or arrange for repairs of private property damaged as a result of the storm.

If your storm-related damages are covered by your insurer, and your insurer has reason to believe that a negligent act or omission on the part of the City caused or contributed to the damages, your insurer may choose to bring a subrogated claim against the City seeking compensation for the loss.  If such an action is commenced, your insurer may include a claim for your deductible on your behalf. 

Q: What can I expect if I submit my own claim for storm related damages to the City?

A: The City of Ottawa is not the same as an insurer.  It does not provide compensation for all storm-related damage to private property or vehicles unless the City is legally liable for that damage. 

If a claim for compensation for storm-related damage is submitted to the City an investigation will be commenced. The City will not pay a claim unless it is determined that the damage was caused or contributed to by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City. 

If the investigation determines that the City is legally responsible for the loss, any payment made by the City will be based on the actual cash value of the property, taking depreciation into account.  In contrast, your insurance policy may provide a better basis of settlement, such as replacement cost, which does not deduct for depreciation.

Q: How do I make a claim against the City?

A: You must contact the City’s Claims Unit directly.  There are several ways to submit a claim.  It is recommended that you use the online claim Webform for ease of submission and to ensure that the Claims Unit receives all information that is required to review your claim.  This webform can be found at 

Alternatively, you can also submit a claim by email, fax or regular mail/courier.  If you are submitting via one of these channels, be sure to include all the following details, which are required to properly open and assess the claim:

  • Your full name, home address, phone number and e-mail address
  • A detailed description of what happened that caused the property damage, including date, time and location
  • A description of why you believe the City is responsible for your damages/property loss
  • Contact information for any witnesses, City staff and/or other parties with information that could help the City understand what happened
  • Any supporting documentation, including photos, estimates, receipts, etc.

Correspondence may be submitted as follows:

By Webform:
Claim Submission Web Form

By mail:
City of Ottawa
Legal Services, Claims Unit
110 Laurier Avenue West, 3rd floor
Ottawa ON K1P 1J1

By email:

By fax:

Phone: 613-580-2655 (Note: Even if the Claims Unit is first contacted by phone, the client must submit their claim in writing)

Who to call

  • Call 2-1-1 for information on food banks, free meals, health care, and other social services; you can also get assistance through the 2-1-1 website; this is a provincial service 

  • Call 3-1-1 for information on emergency housing and financial assistance; you can also get assistance through the 3-1-1 website; this is a City service 

  • Call 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency, fire or crime in progress; to contact the Ottawa Police Service for non-emergencies call 613-236-1222. 

  • Hydro Ottawa: 613-738-6400, 

  • Hydro One: 1-888-664-9376, 

  • Enbridge: 1-877-362-7434,

  • Ministry of Labour, Health and Safety: 1-877-202-0008

Be prepared

What if there is a power outage?

Battery-operated (or crank) radios are an important tool for you during a power outage.

The City shares critical information and public service announcements with our local news media so that they can include it in their news coverage.

If there is a power outage and you can’t access information online, tune into your local news radio channel for the latest information. You can also access information in your local daily or community newspaper.

Look out for each other

Have a conversation now with neighbours, friends and family members about how to stay in touch with each other in the event of an emergency. Plan to check in with each other in the event that one of you lives in a community that is affected by an emergency.

Equipment to have on hand

  • Battery or crank powered radio
  • Fresh batteries
  • Prepaid phone card
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Landline telephone that does not require electricity

Additional resources:

For more information about:

Stay informed

In the event of any emergency, such as power outages and tornadoes, the City of Ottawa provides important information and updates to affected residents in a variety of ways:

  • The City’s website,
  • The City’s app
  • The City’s Twitter account, @ottawacity
  • Your City Councillor
  • Door-to-door visits from City staff
  • Public information meetings in affected neighbourhoods
  • Media interviews
  • By email to subscribers of the City news e-newsletter

To view the media availability held on Thursday, July 13, visit note that some of this content may be out of date.