Tornado-damaged church no longer a polling station

Letters have been sent to thousands of voters telling them not to cast ballots at Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church on voting day.

Arlington Woods Free Methodist church sustained major damage in Sept. 21 storm

The City of Ottawa says Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church was too badly damaged by a tornado on Sept. 21 to serve as a polling station in this fall's municipal election. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

A tornado-damaged church in Ottawa's Arlington Woods neighbourhood will no longer serve as a polling station in this month's municipal election.

The Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church was severely damaged by one of the six tornadoes that tore through the region Sept. 21.

High winds ripped off part of the church's peaked roof, leaving the altar open to the sky above.

Now, the City of Ottawa says voters who were told to cast their ballots there are instead being redirected to Knoxdale Public School at 170 Greenbank Rd.

Letters have been sent to some 4,300 voters informing them of the change, the city said. They should arrive this week.

A security guard will be placed at the school on voting day. 

Displaced voters have options

The City of Ottawa also announced Wednesday that voters still displaced by the September tornadoes can choose to vote in either the ward they call home or — if it's different — the ward where they're temporarily staying.

People who vote based on their temporary address will have to complete an application to change their voting information.

As for any voters who lost their identification in the tornadoes, they can vote by making a statutory declaration declaring that they are indeed eligible, the city said.

Both forms can be found online, the city said, and will also be available at polling stations.

The final day of advance voting is Oct. 12, with election day on Oct. 22.