Gatineau moves to orange, Arnprior man faces deadline to move his bunkie and Council votes on the Chateau Laurier expansion: Five stories to watch this week
A person speaks to Ottawa Bylaw officers as they patrol the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, on the first weekend of Winterlude, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. Bylaw officers were present to enforce COVID-19 guidelines such as physical distancing. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Gatineau moves out of the red zone for the first time in four and a half months, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier expansion faces another vote and the clock is ticking for an Arnprior man to move his bunkie.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the five things to watch in Ottawa this week:
Gatineau moves to the "orange" zone
Gatineau and the Outaouais move into the orange zone in Quebec's COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, after 134 days in the red zone.
The city of Gatineau and the MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais moved into the maximum red level on Oct. 10, while the rest of the Outaouais moved to the red zone on Dec. 17.
When Gatineau moves into the orange zone, restaurants will be allowed to open for in-person dining. The curfew will start 90 minutes later, and be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
On Feb. 8, Quebec relaxed the COVID-19 restrictions to allow non-essential stores and hair salons that have been closed since Christmas to reopen.
COVID-19 activity increasing in Ottawa
Ottawa's medical officer of health will provide an update to Council on Wednesday about the COVID-19 situation in Ottawa.
Dr. Vera Etches presentation will come one week after the stay-at-home order ended and non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen.
However, there are signs that the COVID-19 activity is increasing in Ottawa.
Ottawa Public Health reported 80 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases in February. The previous high was 73 new cases on Feb. 7. Ottawa's cases per 100,000 increased to 36.9 cases per 100,000 on Sunday, compared to 26 cases per 100,000 on Feb. 14.
"We're actually starting to project upward in the next week, our short-term projections," said Dr. Doug Manuel, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, on Newstalk 580 CFRA on Friday.
"I think given everything we're seeing; we’ve been stable for the last two weeks, but those times, unfortunately, may be coming to an end."
After years of controversy and several proposed designs, the proposed expansion of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier will move one step closer to reality this week.
Council will vote Wednesday on the design changes to the expansion at the back of the iconic hotel and issue a heritage permit for the project. Earlier this month, the planning committee voted 7-to-2 to recommend council approve the changes, with Jeff Leiper and Riley Brockington voting against it.
Larco Investments, the hotel’s owner, filed a new application with the city in November for a 159-room, two-pavilion addition at the back of the hotel on Rideau Street.
According to the application, the 11,846-square-metre addition includes two pavilions - one a 10-storey tower, the other 11 storeys tall, extending from the east and west arms of the original hotel and connected by a transparent two-storey connector. There would be 159 long-term suites, 301 parking spaces in a five level underground garage, space for meetings and special events and a landscaped courtyard.
The National Capital Commission will also need to vote on the plans.
Homeless Arnprior man looks to move his bunkie
The clock is ticking for Guy Lamarche to find a way to move his hand-made shelter from a farm near Carp.
The homeless Arnprior man built the bunkie on a piece of land, complete with a roof, chimney, windows, siding, wood stove and a futon bed.
The property that Lamarche has been building his bunkie on has been sold, and the new owners have asked him to leave by the end of February.
Since CTV News Ottawa aired Lamarche's story Friday night, he has received several offers of help. On his Facebook page, Lamarche said he would try to get back to everyone who texted, called and private messaged him with offers to help.
Snow and a mid-week mid-winter thaw
The new work week will begin with snowy conditions, before a mid-winter thaw begins in Ottawa.
Environment Canada's forecast calls for 5 to 10 centimetres of snow on Monday, with flurries continuing Monday night and Tuesday.
The snowy weather will be accompanied by mild temperatures this week.
The forecast calls for a high of 0C on Monday, plus 2C on Tuesday and a high of 0C on Wednesday, before seasonal temperatures return on Wednesday night.
Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CTV Morning Live on Thursday that Ottawa will go 17 days in a row without melting temperatures.
"That's long, even for the Ottawa area in February."
Ottawa received 31 centimetres of snow last week, including 19.6 centimetres on Tuesday and 5.6 centimetres on Friday.
Events in Ottawa this week
Ottawa Police Services Board meeting – 4 p.m. (Meeting available on YouTube)
Ottawa's Arts, Culture and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting – 6:30 p.m.
Ottawa Carleton District School Board meets at 7 p.m.
Ottawa Catholic District School Board meets at 7 p.m.
Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens. 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200
Ottawa City Council meets – 10 a.m. (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)
Ottawa's Planning Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. - (Meeting available on the Ottawa City Council YouTube channel)
Ottawa Senators host the Calgary Flames. Game time is 7 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200
The Diefenbunker reopens
Ottawa Senators host the Calgary Flames. Game time is 1 p.m. on TSN 5 and TSN 1200