Ottawa’s rat population has exploded in the last few years with sightings at all times of the day.

The City of Ottawa decided to conduct a video investigation to determine just how many rats swim and crawl in our sewer system.

It was a two year rat patrol project using Closed Circuit Cameras.

According to city staff, the city’s rat population is more of a problem above ground.

“As the 2-year CCTV pilot program to monitor rat activity in sanitary sewers will conclude this year, footage has revealed that the rat population in the sewers is low, with 8 sightings in 2018, and 23 sightings in 2019. To date in 2019, the city has performed approximately 225,000 meters of CCTV inspection. The City cannot confirm if each rat sighting is unique, or if footage shows multiple sightings of the same rat.”  stated  Scott Laberge , Acting Director, Water Services.

The numbers provided by the city over the past 5 years are as follows:


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Downtown construction of the LRT project over the last few years has often been mentioned as the cause for the increase.

The rat problem will be on the Ottawa City Council agenda November 5th.

Councillor Mathieu Fleury wants the city look into new measures such as forcing developers to deal with any rat problem before demolishing buildings.