West Ottawa community holds meeting to discuss grow-ops
Homes used for marijuana grow operations are often hard to spot, and it's a subject that's becoming a hot button issue in neighbourhoods across the Capital.
Members of one west Ottawa community held a meeting Monday night to learn how to spot homes that are used for grow operations in their neighbourhoods.
"I think it's disgusting that people actually take over property, they invade neighbourhoods, they pretend that they're living there and they're actually performing criminal acts," Ottawa Councillor Maria McRae told CTV Ottawa.
Realtor Patricia Verge attended the meeting to educate residents about various signs that point to a possible grow operation.
"I almost sold a grow operation to a young family with three small children coming (to Ottawa) from Winnipeg," Verge told the crowd.
She says factors that identify a possible grow operation include a foul odour and condensation.
"The humidity in these houses is just incredible. It's beyond your imagination - moisture, of course, creates dampness which creates, then again, mould," Verge said.
She added: if residents believe they live near a grow-op, the best way to fight it is to report it to police.
In February, Ottawa police began listing the addresses of former grow-ops and crystal meth labs on their website in an effort to warm potential homeowners.
In the last 60 days, police have been advised of 11 grow-ops across the city.
"I'm happy with it. I think we have an obligation to people to identify to them when we take down a residence that's a grow-op," Ottawa Police Chief Vern White told CTV Ottawa.
"It's high risk. We don't want people buying their residence that has mould in it without understanding the impact that has - it could be a $100,000 - $150,000 cost to a new homeowner."
The addresses of grow-ops are currently listed on the Ottawa police website for three months.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Aliya Jiwan