Saying goodbye to the Rideau Street McDonald’s and March Break: Five stories to watch this week

The deadline is fast approaching for Ottawa residents to fill out their vacant unit tax declaration form and saying goodbye to the Rideau Street McDonald’s. looks at five things to watch in Ottawa this week.

March Break

It’s March Break for tens of thousands of students and teachers in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, the first March Break without COVID-19 restrictions since 2020.

There are several events and activities happening across Ottawa this week, including special activities at museums.

For a list of events, click here.

Vacant unit tax declaration deadline

The clock is ticking to fill out the city of Ottawa vacant unit tax declaration form.

Ottawa residential property owners must complete the form by March 16. If a declaration is not filed, the property will be deemed vacant and the vacant unit tax of an extra one per cent will be applied.

As of Thursday, approximately 300,000 Ottawa residents had submitted the declaration.

Property owners are required to submit annual declarations indicating their home’s occupancy status, even if it is their principal residence. Any property that is vacant for more than 184 days in a year will be taxed an extra one per cent.

City staff estimate the tax could raise $25 million over five years, with the funds supporting affordable housing initiatives.

Preparations for President Biden’s visit

Ottawa police, the city of Ottawa and the federal government will ramp up preparations this week for U.S. President Joe Biden’s two-day visit to Ottawa.

Biden will visit the capital on March 23 and 24 to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and address Parliament.

A detailed itinerary for the trip has not been released.

Police have been preparing security plans for the president’s visit, with in-camera briefings to the Ottawa Police Services Board.

President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., Friday, March 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Goodbye Rideau Street McDonald’s

A farewell march for the Rideau Street McDonald’s will be held next week, ahead of its closure.

The infamous fast-food restaurant in downtown Ottawa is closing its doors in April after the franchise owner decided not to renew their lease.

The restaurant in the heart of Ottawa’s tourist district became a notorious spot for late night crowds after last call at bars and restaurants. The McDonald’s gained particular notoriety following the release of a video filmed in December 2013 showing a man pulling a baby raccoon out of his sweater while others were involved in a fight.

Six University of Ottawa students are organizing a farewell march for the Rideau Street McDonald’s on Sunday, March 19.

“Rideau McDonald’s has strangely become an Ottawa landmark and I thought that someone might attempt to do some sort of big public thing about it and I decided that ought to be me,” the organizer said in an email to CTV News Ottawa.

The march will begin at Confederation Park at 12:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable item for the Shepherds of Good Hope, and a racoon plushies to place outside of the store.

McDonald’s at 99 Rideau St. Ottawa. Jan 18, 2023. (Natalie van Rooy/CTV News Ottawa)

Ottawa Senators playoff push

The Ottawa Senators continue their push for a playoff spot this week with four key games, including two at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators enter Sunday’s play sitting six points behind Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders for the final wild card playoff spot.

The Sens are in Calgary on Sunday and Edmonton on Tuesday, before returning to Ottawa.

On Thursday, the Senators host the defending Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche at Canadian Tire Centre. On Saturday, the Sens host the Maple Leafs for the latest round in the Battle of Ontario.

The Canadian Tire Centre will remain the home of the Ottawa Senators as the club takes the next step in building a new arena at LeBreton Flats. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)

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