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City confirms it has documents at storm-damaged Iron Mountain building

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Hundreds of file boxes are exposed after a section of metal wall on the Iron Mountain secure storage warehouse Kenaston Street in Ottawa was torn off by high winds on Monday.


Kieran Delamount / Postmedia

The city confirmed that it has documents stored at the Iron Mountain records management centre that was heavily damaged in Monday’s thunderstorm, but says it’s still waiting to find out whether any documents have been damaged.

Strong winds ripped a huge section of metal siding off Iron Mountain’s Kenaston Street building during the late afternoon storm, exposing hundreds of file boxes to the elements.

“The City of Ottawa sent a senior employee from the Information Management Branch to visit Iron Mountain’s facility on-site,” Tyler Cox, manager of legislative services with the city, said in an email. “Once it is safe to send staff into that area of the building, Iron Mountain will conduct an audit of the boxes to determine if there is any damage. No rain damage is visible from the outside.”

Cox said that they have been advised that the wire racks that hold the boxes were not damaged in the storm, and that “there is no possibility that boxes fell or were blown off the racking.”

It’s still not clear which boxes were being stored in the location where the metal siding fell off, including whether any of the exposed boxes belong to the city. Iron Mountain is still trying to determine who owned the boxes, and whether it needs to inform anyone about damage.

Cox said that the city is monitoring the security of the documents, which were exposed along a side of the building that was not fenced in and can be accessed by walking through a small section of brush, but that they were confident that Iron Mountain had things under control. “Iron Mountain demonstrated to the City official that a security guard has been posted outside of the damaged area since the incident,” said Cox. “The City’s offsite storage provider is obligated to ensure City records are secure and not damaged and protected from unauthorized access.”

In a statement, an Iron Mountain spokesperson said: “Iron Mountain has sealed the exposed portion of the building’s exterior, and we have restricted access while reparations are under way to add an additional layer of security to the facility and materials inside. In addition, we have added extra security to ensure the continued safety of the customer materials. We are actively working to repair the damage and will provide updates to customers as that work progresses.”

This is not the first time the city has had problems with documents stored with Iron Mountain. In 2006, a fire at the company’s Comstock Road building damaged some city files.

“When the fire occurred at the Comstock Road location in 2006, Information Management created a response team,” said Cox. “Once the City’s team received lists of affected boxes from Iron Mountain, the team created spreadsheets containing descriptions of the material, who the business owner was, (and) whether or not the records were designated as having archival value.”

There is little concern that, as in 2006, any documents have been destroyed. “In the current situation, it is unlikely that records have been completely destroyed,” said Cox. “Records that are water-damaged and/or contaminated with mold can be remediated. This usually involves freeze-drying the records for 30 days to destroy mold, thawing the records, and cleaning them.”

The city said that all costs associated with repairs would fall to Iron Mountain.

Had the damage been more extensive, and had any documents actually been destroyed, the city said that they would have to take stock of what was lost and what they could replace. Many documents now also exist electronically, for instance. In 2006, some of the documents were close to or past their retention date as it was. Some city records need to be retained by law for as little as one year, while others are required to be retained indefinitely.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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