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‘It’s only a house’: 84-year-old woman to rebuild after tornado rips through home

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It was Ruth Campbell’s good fortune a fracture, which led to a hip replacement, kept her in hospital for nearly two weeks before a ferocious tornado cut through Arlington Woods, and her home.

It might have even saved her life.

The 84 year-old was recovering in hospital when the storm snapped mature pine trees on her property. One tree nearly severed her four-bedroom bungalow in two. Another wiped out the side of the home.

Emergency workers needed a crane to remove the trees embedded in the house.

Ruth Campbell was recovering from a hip fracture in hospital when the tornado tore through her Arlington Woods bungalow causing so much damage the home will have to be rebuilt. (Stu Mills, CBC )

Pointing at the gaping hole in her childhood home’s kitchen ceiling, it is hard for Jan Dunn, Campbell’s daughter, to imagine what might have happened if her mother had been at home on Sept. 21.

A clear tarp put over the hole to protect against the rain is shredded and flapping in the wind. A panel of fluorescent lights is dangling from a piece of drywall. Cupboards have collapsed on one another and soil and tree leaves are strewn everywhere.

The tornado, Dunn said, struck right when her mother would have been preparing dinner.

« I knew where my mom sat at that kitchen table and if she hadn’t been in hospital I’m sure she would be killed, because the tree landed on the kitchen table right at the seat she sat at every night. »

A massive pine tree struck the home and destroyed most of Ruth Campbell’s kitchen, including a cabinet with her mother’s antique china dishes. (Stu Mills, CBC )

To say it’s been a trying few months for Campbell would be an understatement. Six weeks ago — before her hip replacement and the destruction of her home — her husband of 60 years died.

« My mom has a had a lot of loss, the family has had a lot of loss, » Dunn said. 

Campbell, sitting in her wheelchair in the hospital, took the loss of her home in stride.

« Well it’s been very abrupt for one thing, » she said laughing. « I don’t know, well, it’s only a house and it can be replaced. »

Campbell said her family was the second to move onto the street. The home has always been « in the woods » she said, and « had everything we needed to raise our family there. »

Jan Dunn fears her mother Ruth Campbell would have been killed if she’d been at home when the tornado hit Arlington Woods. Campbell was in hospital recovering from surgery at the time. 0:30

Once restored, she plans on moving back into the house.

« I don’t see any reason why not, once they get the house built…I’ll go back there to live, » she said. « I really hope so. »

Experts have told Campbell’s daughter they are « 99-per-cent sure » the house would have to be demolished and rebuilt with an estimated move-in date of December 2019.

In the interim, Dunn has found a spot at a retirement home for her mother to live. For now, the challenge is finding clothes that aren’t damaged. 

Jan Dunn stands at the back of the tornado-damaged Arlington Woods bungalow where her 84-year old mother lives and where she grew up in. (Stu Mills CBC )

« We got her wedding dress out, my wedding dress and my daughter’s wedding dress out the first day. »

Both women praised the team of volunteers from Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church who came over the morning after the tornado to help clean up and pack Campbell’s belongings that hadn’t been destroyed. Dunn said she had to work quickly to get things out of the house because engineering experts say the entire roof could cave in at any time. 

 « Trying to say goodbye is trying to find pieces of my childhood as I am going through the house and things are in disarray, »  Dunn said.

« We will restore. We will heal as a family and we will move forward and it doesn’t change the memories of living here and growing up here. »



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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