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Windstorm and tornado response

Donations

Canadian Red Cross is working to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people in affected areas as quickly as possible. Money raised will be used to respond to the immediate and/or emerging needs in and around the affected areas. You can make a financial donation to the Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Appeal – Ottawa Area or the Ottawa-Gatineau Tornado Appeal – Gatineau Area:

  • by calling 1-800-418-1111
  • by contacting your local Canadian Red Cross office

The Salvation Army is accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items in anticipation of increased requests from residents affected by the windstorm and tornadoes. You can make donations in person at Salvation Army thrift stores. To arrange a donation pick-up for larger items, please call the toll-free donation line at 1-613-247-1435 ext. 228.

The Ottawa Food Bank is providing ready-to-eat food like bread, peanut butter, and snacks to affected communities. They are accepting donations to purchase and provide food needed to feed families in these communities. You can make a financial donation, volunteer your time or donate food. For information on how you can help, please visit ottawafoodbank.ca.

Impacted residents

Residents impacted by the tornado and windstorm can obtain information by calling 3-1-1 or by contacting the Canadian Red Cross website for more information.

Cleanup

Residents looking for emergency clean-up assistance on private residential properties in the tornado/windstorm affected areas can contact Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Alliance Members of Ontario at 1-844-547-2663. They can provide assistance at no charge to private residential property owners.

Regular curbside collection continues as scheduled. If your garbage, organics and recyclables are not collected by the regular time, please leave them out. We will complete pickups as soon as possible, however there may be delays due to high demand following the storm and power outages.

Volunteers picking up roadside debris can leave it on the side of the road and City crews will pick it up.

Please do not move storm-related debris from your property to the curb. Contact your insurance company to arrange for proper disposal. The City is in the process of removing storm debris from roadsides and ditches on a priority basis.

Some properties built before 1990 may contain asbestos. Please contact your insurance provider for direction. Information on asbestos is available at ottawapublichealth.ca/tornado.

If you have damaged appliances, furniture and electronics, do not dispose of them. Do not touch or move hazardous waste, such as propane tanks, paint, gas and oil. Please contact your insurance company for direction.

Insurance and financial assistance

Scams

There have been reports of recovery companies misrepresenting themselves in tornado-affected areas. Speak with your insurance company about authorized work and be vigilant of these potential scams. If you are aware of any fraudulent behaviour, please report it with the Ottawa Police.

Residents affected by tornado should first contact their insurance company

If your home was affected by the tornadoes by the tornadoes and windstorm on Friday, September 21, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company. Most home and business insurance policies cover damage caused by a windstorm or tornado. 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.

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians

The Province of Ontario has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program.

Property taxes for damaged structures

The City of Ottawa may cancel, reduce or refund part of the property taxes levied on properties where the structure has been razed or damaged by the tornadoes and windstorm on Friday, September 21. 

Residents must submit an application form by February 28, 2019:

  • By mail: City of Ottawa Revenue Services c/o Tax Adjustments Section, 100 Constellation Drive, 4th Floor East, Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
  • By fax: 613-580-2457
  • By email: taxadjustments@ottawa.ca

Residents will have to provide details about the damage and repairs, including pictures and insurance reports. 

For more information, please contact Revenue Services at 613-580-2444.

Canada Post

For information regarding mail delivery for affected residents and businesses in Ottawa, please visit canadapost.ca.

Starting to rebuild your home

If you suspect that your home was structurally damaged by the tornado, contact a qualified professional, such as an engineer, to assess the situation and provide direction on the required repairs.

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 reusing the existing foundation is appropriate.

Buildings damaged by the tornado are not necessarily subject to a timeline for reconstruction, however access to severely damaged structures, including pool enclosures, must be reasonably restricted to ensure safety. If you have severely damaged structures on your property, please contact Building Code Services at 613-580-2424 extension 29312 or buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Building permits

A property owner must get a building permit prior to construction or renovation. This ensures that the minimum standards for health and safety, fire protection, structural adequacy, energy performance and accessibility are met.

Failure to obtain a building permit for construction may result in enforcement. In the case of a building failure or loss, insurance coverages may be void.

If your home has experienced any of the following, a building permit is required:

  • Deformation or deflection of structure, including associated porches, roofs, sunrooms, additions and decks
  • Removal or replacement of structural framing, including trusses, rafters, support posts, piers, beams and joists 
  • Construction or reconstruction of any detached structures occupying a space larger than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) in area on your property

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), deck boards or shingles
  • Reinstalling displaced exterior stairs, landings or decks that are less than 1.2 metres (approximately four feet) in height from grade
  • Reinstalling displaced accessory buildings such as sheds that are less than 10 square metres (approximately 108 square feet) in area
  • Repairs to sheathing and shingles

If you are unclear if you need a building permit, please contact Building Code Services at 613-580-2424 extension 29312 or buildingpermits@ottawa.ca.

Where to get a building permit

You can get a building permit at any Building Code Client Service Centre:

  • 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • 255 Centrum Boulevard
  • 101 Centrepointe Drive
  • 580 Terry Fox Drive
  • 8243 Victoria Street
  • 5670 Carp Road
  • 2155 Roger Stevens Drive

Construction plans

Depending on the age of your home and its location, the City may have copies of the plans for the original construction and/or subsequent renovations. Please contact Building Code Services at 613-580-2424 extension 29312 or buildingpermits@ottawa.ca(link sends e-mail).

Building inspections

Inspections will be scheduled within one business day following a request. Priority will be given to properties where tornado damage has compromised the structural integrity of the dwelling.

Mental health

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 have an impact on our thinking.

Learn more about mental health resources, including when you should get help and where you can get it. 

Facility closures

The following recreation and culture facilities remain closed:

  • Dunrobin Community Centre, 1151 Thomas Dolan Parkway
  • Trend / Arlington Community Centre, 50 Bellman Drive

Programming at all City of Ottawa ice facilities has resumed.

Vulnerable persons

The City has provided water, food and support to 18 buildings predominantly occupied by seniors. Wellness assessments have also been performed by Fire Services, Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Search and Rescue volunteer group, and they have connected with 3,000 households.