A photo of a house destroyed after the Ottawa tornado.

On September 21, 2018, a devastating storm ripped through Ottawa.

Multiple tornadoes touched down in the region, causing significant damage to houses and local hydro grids. Almost all of western and southern Ottawa was without power—170,000 households were affected. Homes were lost, food was spoiled, and communities were forever changed.

The Response

In the immediate aftermath of the tornadoes, the community and its front-line workers responded. First responders, the City of Ottawa, and Hydro Ottawa have been nothing short of astounding.

We were there for each other. From small moments of kindness to enormous acts of bravery and dedication—we are proud of our city, and our commitment to build (and rebuild) it together.

Many of the city’s leading organizations have also responded, forming After the Storm — an important partnership where all members are committed to coming together and planning for recovery.  The mission of the group is to share data and expertise, identify the city’s greatest needs, and collaborate to invest and deploy resources where they are needed most and will have the greatest impact.

Partners include United Ways, City of Ottawa, Ottawa Food Bank, Salvation Army, Ottawa Senators Foundation, Ottawa Community Foundation, Ottawa Community Housing and the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, the Champlain Community Support Network and more.


The Road to Recovery

Recovery from natural disasters continues long after the immediate needs are met. Sometimes invisible struggles will linger. We are committed to standing with those most affected—today, next month, and next year.


When you give to United Way, you are helping provide:

Basic Needs

Basic needs – timely assistance for those requiring urgent fundamentals like groceries, clothing, gas and other household supplies.

Support – so that those struggling have access to counselling, crisis lines and help navigating vital community services.

Connection – so that vulnerable seniors are safe and supported by their community.

Food security – so that food banks and agencies can rebuild their stock and provide people with fresh, healthy food.

Local love


We’re so proud to be a part of this city. We also know we have a responsibility to care for those most affected by the tornadoes that ripped through the region.

After the storm, let’s rebuild – and recover.



Community, social, government and health services


Customer service and municipal information


Police, fire and ambulance


Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region: 24/7 mental health support

Help Directory

List of local resources – counselling, financial assistance and more.

Photos by Nicole Novonty.
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