Hydro One is donating $200,000 to the City of Ottawa for community beautification and upgrading of infrastructure, $50,000 of which will help tree replanting efforts in the Knoxdale-Merivale area.
Tree Canada's Operation Relief will use the $50,000 as it assists in areas devastated by last September's tornadoes.
Knoxdale-Merivale City Councillor Keith Egli, attended the announcement by Hydro One on Tuesday morning, and said the donation is a step forward in re-greening the area, as well as helping the community get back on its feet.
"It had a major impact on the character of the neighbourhoods and the people living there," said Egli. "Even though Hydro One has to go in and do more work to clean up vegetation and trim down some trees, and possibly remove some other trees along the transmission line, they've committed to help re-tree the area, and help people through their donations that otherwise would have had difficulty affording to purchase the new trees."
We’re proud to support @TreeCanada in their effort to replant trees following the devastating tornadoes in #Ottawa last September. Our investment of up to $200,000 will support the city's beautification in communities. Learn more: https://t.co/kELuLuPH0C #OperationReLeaf #ottnews pic.twitter.com/2zoLz5EXI3— Hydro One (@HydroOne) March 26, 2019
Many of the trees that were displaced by the storm affected the Merivale Transmission Station, causing extensive power outages across the Ottawa area.
Tiziana Baccega-Rosa, a spokesperson for Hydro One, said they have significant investment work to do in the Ottawa area for upgrades, making the infrastructure more resilient and continuing to make it a reliable supply source of electricity for the city.
"The [hydro] lines that we are working on this year; three of the five of them all connect to Merivale Station," she explained. "They are critical infrastructure and that's why it's really important our crews get out and ensure that there is nothing that can be hazardous to the lines anytime in the next couple of years."
These upgrades to infrastructure include ensuring that hydro lines are free of hazardous vegetation and blockages that might disrupt the flow of electricity.
Egli said, going forward, the city has to act in partnership with Hydro One.
"It's been a bit of a patch-work quilt as we put it together, but I think that's also a sign of a very healthy community," he added.