Ottawa

Gas severed to Heron Gate residents days before evictions

Several of the few remaining residents of Heron Gate mysteriously had their gas severed on Tuesday afternoon, days before they have been ordered to vacate their homes.

Tenants have been without heat or hot water since Tuesday afternoon

Adbullahi Ali boils water in his Heron Gate home after the gas was severed to his home days before the eviction date for the neighbourhood. (Laura Osman, CBC News )

Several of the few remaining residents of Heron Gate unexpectedly had their gas severed on Tuesday afternoon, days before they have been ordered to vacate their homes.

The gas was shut off because of an error made by Enbridge, according to the utility's spokesperson Scott Foster. 

The landlord, Timbercreek, warned tenants of the looming eviction back in May. They announced plans to demolish about 105 low-rent townhomes — along the east-west extension of Baycrest Drive to Sandalwood Drive — because the maintenance costs had become too onerous.

"We hold Enbridge responsible for the mistake," said Kim Graham, who has been acting as spokesperson for Timbercreek.

For the landlord to interfere with vital services like gas would be illegal. 

About eight homes affected 

Enbridge said Timbercreek initially asked that the gas be turned off on Sept. 25, five days before people had to be out of their homes.

CBC spoke to former tenant Douglas Mcardle who moved out in July, a few months after the evictions were announced.

He called to cancel his gas service several months ago and was told at the time that Enbridge already had a note on his file to cut service on Sept. 25.

Several other tenants said they called Enbridge yesterday when they noticed the heat was out and were told Timbercreek ordered the gas to be shut off as of Sept. 25 as well.

According to Enbridge, Timbercreek changed the shut off date to sometime in November, but the change wasn't updated in Enbridge's records.

Many of the gas meters in Heron Gate were set to zero Wednesday morning. (Laura Osman, CBC News )

Adbulahi Ali realised the gas had been cut when his grandchild tried to use the sink and could only get cold water.

"We feel so bad, desperate," he said. The family of seven has been boiling water so everyone can shower in the morning.

Down the street, Sahra Ali discovered the gas had been severed yesterday evening.

"The hot water was kind of decreasing," said her son Abdul. "I went down to the basement and checked the heat. The machine was just going but there was no flame or anything."

It's not clear when heat and hot water will be restored, but crews are already on site. 

The tenants have been ordered to give back the keys to their units on Oct. 1.

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