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 & You

Much of Kanata North is built on rock.  Precambrian rock (some of the hardest rock in the world) is found in the Town Centre, Kanata Lakes and Beaverbrook and sedimentary rock in Morgan’s Grant, Briarbrook and the Kanata North Business Park.    Since Kanata North is an area with a lot of new development dealing with rock is important. As a result, you may find you and your property close to a site where blasting activities are taking place.

What are things that you can do to help protect yourself and your property?

  • Take pictures of your property, particularly walls and foundations, with timestamps, before the blasting starts. This is so you can use them for evidence if you need to make a claim for damages.
  • Pre-blasting notifications are only sent to those houses in a certain radius (usually 75 metres but that can vary). Your home will then be visited for a pre-blast inspection by an independent company – which you can refuse but it is better to have it done. Take your own pictures with timestamps anyway, as a backup in case of a problem, and in particular if you are outside the inspection area.
  • The blasting company will have processes to handle damage claims and you should find that in the notification you receive. There will likely be a contact with whom you can get in touch to begin this process (if so needed). If you don’t have that contact information, ask one of your neighbours or get in touch with my office.
    • If you feel damage was done by a blast and are dissatisfied with the response, there is an option to sue for potential damage (of $25,000 or less) through the Ontario Small Claims Court (note that settlement is not guaranteed as that can only be determined by the Court).
  • If you are interested in seeing the seismograph readings from the blasting, please contact my Office and we will request them from the company to put on my website.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any additional questions.

Provided below is the general information text on blasting in the City of Ottawa from the City of Ottawa Website.

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.