Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

BLASTING INFORMATION AVAILABLE

Please contact me directly if you have any concerns about blasting in Kanata North, by using the contact form, marianne.wilkinson@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2474.

General information on blasting in the City of Ottawa from the City of Ottawa Website: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/laws-licenses-and-permits/laws/general-descriptions

Blasting in the City of Ottawa

Blasting is an acceptable construction practice within the City of Ottawa for the purpose of removing rock. The use of explosives may be required in a variety of construction projects including the construction and/or installation of roads, sewers, water mains, utilities, foundations, tunnels, etc. To prevent flooding, blasting is also used to clear ice blockages in the Rideau River. In either case, stringent rules and a process for notification must be followed. The former Cities of Ottawa and Kanata, and the Region had blasting by-law‎s that were repealed in 2003 following this report.

  • Rock excavation is completed on both City projects and private property via either mechanical excavation or use of explosives (blasting).
  • Blasting is common in certain geographical areas within the city as dense rock is found close to the surface. Whether using mechanical excavation or explosives, adjacent properties will be able to hear the noise produced and feel the vibrations transmitted by the work.
  • For both mechanical excavation and the use of explosives, there are standards and regulations that apply in order to reduce the noise/impact of the work and ensure the vibration levels are low enough not to cause damage to adjacent properties.
  • These standards and regulations also cover topics such as how the work will be conducted, information to be provided to adjacent properties in advance and preparatory work that must be completed, and monitoring activities before, during, and after the work.

Applicable Standards and Specifications

The City regulates the use of explosives through specific mechanisms:

  • City of Ottawa Standard Tender Documents for Unit Price Contracts provides S.P. F-1201 for blasting-related requirements. 
  • The Ontario Provincial Standard covering the use of explosives is OPSS 120(link is external)PDF opens in a new tab or window. There are two versions, municipal- and provincial-oriented. 
  • Road Activity By-law – Use of explosives is not specifically regulated under the Road Activity by-law but the requirements are referenced. 
  • Site Plan and Subdivision agreements (blasting on private property for projects subject to Planning Approval)
  • Various aspects of the use of explosives are addressed in Federal (Explosives Act, Dangerous Goods Transportation Act) and Provincial (Pits and Quarry Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act) legislation.

City of Ottawa Process for Blasting

Both City Special Provisions – F-1201 and Ontario Provincial Specifications and Standards (OPSS) 120 include similar and detailed requirements for the Contractor to inform residents at several time points in the project.

Pre-Construction (Blast) Survey

  • A pre-construction survey, to record pre-construction conditions, is required for comparison should a damage claim be entered. A pre-construction survey is required for all buildings, utilities, structures, water wells and facilities likely to be affected by the blast and those within a minimum of 75m of the location where explosives are to be used. It is required by the City that the Developer/Contractor must carry liability insurance before any work may proceed.
  • Description of the pre-construction survey process – for example, our current sample householder letter states:

“You may be asked by the contractor’s insurance agent for permission to survey your property before the work commences, as Contractors typically conduct pre-construction inspections to document existing conditions for their own purposes. It is to your benefit to allow the inspection to be conducted on your property, as it may assist with establishing the impact, if any, that construction has had at your property after work is complete. In addition, you may wish to complete your own survey of pre-construction conditions on your property. Your survey should include photographs.” 

Damage

  • If you have any questions about the contractor’s inspections or concerns about property damages, please contact the person identified in your notification letter, or if you have not received a notification letter you may contact the City at 3-1-1. Alternatively, residents may initiate a claim against the City.