Environment Canada is predicting a major winter storm, beginning tonight and possibly continuing through December 25th. The storm may bring extreme cold, freezing rain, heavy snow, high winds, and flash freezes.

Here’s some important information to help you prepare.

I have contacted the City’s Emergency Command Centre to request that, in the event of an extended power outage, area community centres be deployed as needed for warming, device charging, and access to wi-fi. I will update on Twitter throughout the weekend (@laine_johnson1).


Hydro Ottawa’s Crisis Management Teams will be in place to oversee the power supply and deploy resources as needed.

Ice and heavy snow can cause short-term outages, so please be patient. To find out the current status of an outage, residents are advised to visit our website and Outage Map at, which is updated every 15 minutes as new information comes in from

our crews. Hydro Ottawa relies on customers to help pinpoint the cause of an outage, by:

  • Calling our 24/7 outage hotline at 613-738-0188;
  • Submitting it online through their MyAccount customer portal; or
  • Through the Hydro Ottawa mobile app.

Snow clearing

I’ve heard from staff that they are putting extra resources into clearing our roads and sidewalks this weekend. Changing conditions and long-lasting storms are challenging because they need to keep returning to the same routes. Please be patient and allow our crews to do their work.

A Winter Weather Parking Ban will be in effect from 10 am Friday, December 23 to 7 am Saturday, December 24. The extension to the standard winter weather parking ban is essential for the support of our operations. The fewer cars parked on the road, the faster crews can clear the lanes.

In College Ward, you can park for free at Centrepointe Park (260 Centrepointe Dr) during winter parking bans.


Please give yourself extra time to get to your destination and expect delays. Articulated buses will likely be taken off the road, so buses might be a bit more crowded.

And be careful getting on and off buses as the curbside may be icy.

Text 560-560 or call 560-1000 and follow @OCTranspoLive on Twitter for the latest information.

How you can help

City crews will work hard to open catch basins ahead of this week’s event, but they cannot do it alone. If you are able, please clear your local catch basin. Cleared catch basins allows water to drain from the streets unrestricted, preventing water from pooling on our roads which in turn, helps them from freezing over should the temperature drop. As the temperature is forecasted to drop late Friday, clearing catch basins ahead of this event is crucial in preventing slippery and hazardous travelling conditions. You may also report a blocked catch basin by creating an online service request by visiting

With the holiday break just a few days away, we understand that many may have last-minute errands to run. In anticipation of the conditions that are expected later this week, please plan ahead by completing any errands before the winter weather event reaches the City on Thursday.

Emergency preparedness

Prepare an emergency kit

that includes things like: medicine, first aid supplies, flashlights, new batteries, a battery-operated radio, a manual can opener, canned food, bottled water, blankets, food for pets, and important documents and telephone numbers

Charge mobile devices and laptops

For those requiring an uninterrupted supply of power for specialized medical equipment, ensure you have a back-up supply in place or a plan to relocate to a facility that can assist you.

For those with mobile disabilities and live in a building that requires the use of an elevator, be sure to inform the building’s management that you may need assistance.

Install a backup power supply for your sump pump. This will help avoid flooding during power outages.

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