Enbridge Gas Distribution has apologized after controlled venting of natural gas lines resulted in multiple reports of gas leaks across Ottawa, as well as some building evacuations.

The gas distributor said Thursday it was conducting controlled venting of some gas lines for one to two hours beginning at 10:30 a.m. The company warned that residents in the following areas might notice the smell of rotten eggs or hear a loud sound:

  • Greenbank Road at West Hunt Club Road.
  • Eagleson Road at Hope Side Road.
  • Flewellyn Road at Shea Road.
  • Flewellyn Road at Huntley Road.
  • Enbridge’s Richmond gate station at 6783 Fallowfield Rd.

However, people working in downtown Ottawa could also smell the gas at about 2:30 p.m. Algonquin College also briefly evacuated its buildings after strong gas smells were reported.

The city closed Ben Franklin Place, Mary Pitt Centre and the James Bartleman Archives and Library Materials Centre for the day as a precaution due to a strong natural gas odour in both buildings.

The buildings will open again for normal business hours on Friday, the city said.

Enbridge said the wind likely blew the smell into other sections of the city. 

"We believe that wind direction has played a factor in the unanticipated spread of the smell, but we are investigating all possible causes," the gas distributor said in a statement.

Enbridge said the venting is safe, but said they will still be responding to all emergency calls using the same process as always. If residents are concerned there may be a gas leak in their vicinity, Enbridge said they should call 1-866-763-5427 (1-866-SMELGAS).