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On Wednesday, October 21, a four-alarm fire devastated the buildings at Somerset W. and Percy St. and ravaged four businesses and multiple apartments. Many of us could hear the sirens blaring and smoke rising from the area, and anxiously waited news on the situation. As photos started spreading through social media, it became obvious that things were much worse than we could have imagined. All that remained is the collapsed buildings charred with the black soot and good memories of what once was.
What started as a small fire on the second floor of The Daily Grind quickly spread out of control, eventually affecting Middle East Bakery, Shiraz Food Market, A Dark Cloud tattoo parlour, and apartments upstairs. CBC reported that no one was injured and that there were around $1 million in damages reported.
It’s hard to know where to start. The Daily Grind was a quaint little art cafe and bistro, but it was so much more than that. It was one of the neatest little places to see music in Ottawa, and although unconventional, shows were always really fun there. I was always amazed by how much that little spot did with the room that they had. Whether it was local art being featured on the walls, bands playing right in front of the window facing the sidewalk, or important social events and meetings happening upstairs, the DG was always abuzz. Ottawa Showbox has had many important meetings and interviews their that have translated into the material that ends up on our website. A friendly staff, a great atmosphere, and delicious local craft beer and food were always staples of the place. You couldn’t go wrong.
Whenever something this devastating happens nearby, the community reels and many of us empathize with those affected by the situation. We’re still stunned by the loss of such a hub of the arts community, not to mention the impact it will have on the owners of all the small businesses that were damaged due to the fire. That begs the question: what can we do as a community to help?
Well, there are a few options that have popped up just recently:
If any more ways to help victims of the fire become available, we will update this post. Our thoughts go out to all those affected. We’re here for you. Here are a few links to past articles we wrote that featured The Daily Grind.