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Hydro Ottawa restores power for thousands overnight; many city services closed Monday – Ottawa




Hydro Ottawa says they were able to reconnect thousands of Ottawans with power overnight, two days after two tornadoes ripped through the Ottawa-Gatineau region on Friday night, causing enormous damage.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, about 3,570 customers remain without power in the Nepean area, in the city’s west end, down from 33,000 who remained in the dark at 11 p.m. on Sunday night, the company tweeted.

Customers still waiting to come back online are predominantly in the Arlington Woods and Craig Henry neighbourhoods, two areas among the hardest hit by the second, less powerful twister, Hydro Ottawa said. The company’s online outage map shows parts of Manordale, Sheehan Estates, Leslie Park and Centrepointe are still affected and waiting to be reconnected.

“Our crews continue to work to restore power in this heavily damaged area,” Hydro Ottawa tweeted.

Ottawa residents could be without power for days after tornado devastates Hydro One station

Hydro Ottawa crews have been working around the clock since Friday evening, when the two tornadoes destroyed dozens of homes, took down trees, smashed vehicles, and significantly damaged power lines and a critical transformer station in Merivale. Several people were admitted to hospital with serious injuries, two of whom were in critical condition.

Environment Canada confirmed over the weekend that an EF-3 category twister – with winds that reached 265 km/h – ripped through Dunrobin, about 35 kilometres west of the downtown area, before moving on to Gatineau.

The second tornado touched down in Arlington Woods at almost the same time, the federal agency said.

Power restored to 100K customers after Ottawa tornado

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out, but by Sunday morning, the Hydro Ottawa and Hydro Quebec websites reported the number had been reduced to fewer than 80,000 – 70,000 in the Ottawa area and 8,300 in the Outaouais region, which encompasses Gatineau.

Late Sunday night, Hydro Ottawa managed to restore power to the Barrhaven, Lincoln Heights, Westboro and Hintonburg areas.

Despite this, many municipal services, workplaces and schools are not operating as normal on Monday.

The government of Canada on Sunday night asked federal employees in the National Capital Region to stay home and work from home – if possible – on Monday to “minimize commuting as well as demand on the electrical grid.”

Government of Canada, schools closed in Ottawa Monday due to tornado damage

In addition, the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board announced citywide closures for Monday, citing power outages and extensive damage across the city.

The city of Ottawa has also posted changes to city services for the week of Sept. 24. Many services – including some library branches, child care centres, recreation facilities, the Ottawa Public Health dental clinic and the elections office – are closed on Monday.

Below is an excerpt from the city’s statement, available online here.

Client services

  • Ben Franklin Place at 101 Centrepointe Dr. and Mary Pitt Centre at 100 Constellation Dr. will be closed on Monday. All other client service centres are open.
  • Any matters scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24 at the Provincial Offences Court at Constellation Drive will be rescheduled
  • The City’s 311 contact centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the city’s immediate attention. Call 311 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For persons with a hearing-related disability, call TTY: 613-580-2401.

Green bin, recycling and garbage collection

  • Garbage collection continues this week as scheduled. If your green bin is full, you can place your organics in cardboard boxes or leaf and yard waste bags.
  • If you have damaged appliances, furniture and electronics, do not dispose of them. Do not touch or move hazardous waste, such as propane tanks, paint, gas and oil. Please contact your insurance company for direction.
  • There are no exceptions for construction and demolition waste or tree branches, which must be appropriately packaged. Twigs, tree branches and brush must not exceed 10 centimetres in diameter or 1.2 metres in length and must be appropriately packaged.

Transit services

  • All OC Transpo services are operating, with residual effects from the storm. Buses may be delayed where traffic signals are not operating and may be detoured where streets are not open.
  • All OC Transpo Customer Service Centres are operating on normal schedules, except Lincoln Fields
  • Power is unavailable at several Transitway stations. As a result, emergency telephones may not be working. OC Transpo special constables are patrolling those stations more frequently. For safety concerns anywhere on the transit system, call the special constables at 613-741-2478.
  • All Shoppers routes (301-305) will operate normally. There will be enhanced service on Shoppers route 303 from Dunrobin and Carp to Stittsville, Kanata Centrum, Bayshore and Carlingwood. Route 303 will operate every day this week from Monday to Friday to provide enhanced service to this affected community.
  • Follow @oc_transpo on Twitter or check for general status updates. Route detours and individual trip cancellations will be announced when possible on @octranspolive on Twitter and by email to customers who have subscribed to alerts at

Recreation and culture facilities

  • Visit for a complete list of recreation and culture facilities that remain closed
  • The Minto Recreation Complex at 3500 Cambrian Rd. and the Nepean Sportsplex at 1701 Woodroffe Ave. are open with power. People can go there to charge devices or shower.

Ottawa Public Health

  • The Sexual Health Clinic will be open as usual. For satellite clinics, check for hours and availability.
  • The SITE program office, supervised consumption services and the mobile van will be open as usual
  • The dental clinic on 1580 Merivale Rd. will be closed on Monday, Sept. 24. The clinic will contact patients who have scheduled appointments. Check for hours and availability.
  • The Ottawa Public Health Information Centre (613-580-6744) will be open as usual
  • Parenting in Ottawa drop-ins are cancelled on Monday, Sept. 24. Call the Ottawa Public Information Centre (613-580-6744) if you need parenting support.
  • Immunization appointments at 100 Constellation Dr. are cancelled for Monday, Sept. 24. The clinic will contact patients who have scheduled appointments.

Employment and Social Services

  • The following three Employment and Social Service locations are fully operational at this time:
    • South, 2020 Walkley Rd.
    • Central, 370 Catherine St.
    • East, 2339 Ogilvie Rd.
  • If you are a recipient of Ontario Works and/or Child Care Subsidy, contact your caseworker
  • If you are looking to apply for or request a benefit, you can contact 311 and select option 4

Elections Office

  • The Elections Office at 1221 Cryville Rd. is closed on Monday, Sept. 24

Archives services

  • The City of Ottawa Archives are closed on Monday, Sept. 24

Municipal child care services

  • Huron, Foster Farm and Borden Farm Child Care Centres are without power and will be closed on Monday, Sept. 24

Library services

  • The following branches are closed Sept. 24:
    • Nepean Centrepointe
    • Carlingwood
    • Emerald Plaza
    • Richmond
    • Ruth E. Dickinson
    • Sunnyside
  • Up-to-date information is available on the Ottawa Public Library’s website

— With files from Eric Stober and the Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme




Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year




In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal




MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.


The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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