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VICE: Rideau McDonald's just a symptom of deeper problems in downtown Ottawa

The infamous Rideau McDonalds racoon video and a picture of the golden arches. (Vice News photo illustration)

Vice News posted a good story on Friday about the McDonald’s at 99 Rideau St. Because of a long history of problems at that restaurant (fights, gang activity, drugs etc.) it changed its hours from 24-hour to now be from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

But as Nick Dunne writes for Vice, the issues associated with that location are linked to deeper social problems happening in our city.

Though the location is the subject of ridicule and in-jokes for the people of Ottawa, the Rideau McDonald’s had become an important place for the homeless community downtown. With the city’s three shelters being at or over capacity, and as homelessness is generally on the rise in Canada, fast food franchises have become an essential stop for the nation’s homeless and home insecure populations. As the last 24-hour fast food location in the market closes, it is one less place to go for people seeking a late night coffee and a roof over their head. “When you look at an issue like the McDonald’s on Rideau, it turns into an informal respite space for people who are homeless and need a warm place to go, to sit down,” says councillor Catherine McKenney, council’s liaison on housing and homelessness.

Read more on Vice.com…