Ottawa police are appealing for change at an infamous downtown McDonald’s. A sexual assault in the bathroom of the 99 Rideau restaurant last week was the breaking point for the police chief, who appealed to the president of McDonald’s Canada to step up their safety strategy at the location.
The fast food outlet is a hotspot for drug deals, brawling and panhandling, which is a reflection of the bustling neighbourhood. It is located close to the Byward Market, a busy tourist destination.
“This area has drawn on our resources quite heavily over the years,” Insp. Ken Bryden with Ottawa Police told Yahoo Canada.
Members of the force met with McDonald’s reps to work on a plan moving forward. Bryden says the meeting was “extremely positive” and as a result of the strategizing, the restaurant has hired private security to patrol the property.
“We’re going to put these strategies in place, keep an open mind and be innovative, and then reassess after a period of time,” says Bryden.
The 99 Rideau McDonald’s has had its fair share of exposure. Here’s a roundup of some of the more eye-raising moments in recent years.
October 2016 - Video of brawl at 99 Rideau that includes a raccoon goes viral
i don’t know how to describe this .gif of a mcdonald’s fight on rideau street except to say that at one point, someone pulls out a raccoon pic.twitter.com/auMdeHBwQK
— Alison Mah (@alisonmah) October 3, 2016
A GIF of a 2014 video from a massive brawl inside the 99 Rideau location goes viral. The clip shows a large group of people tussling, when suddenly a raccoon is pulled from the chaos. The original video is longer available, but shows more cameos of the raccoon, who appears to be tucked inside a man’s sweater.
April 2018 - Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper spotted at 99 Rideau
A Facebook user posts of photo of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the infamous McDonald’s outlet, where he’s snapped wearing a baseball cap and looking at his phone. Despite the volatile reputation of this McDonald’s outlet, the former leader seemed to keep the peace. The photo is captioned : “Ran into Stephen Harper at McDonalds, and everyone ignored him.”
December 2018: Former manager of 99 Rideau McDonald’s takes to Reddit
Someone claiming to be a former manager of the 99 Rideau McDonald’s signs on the Reddit to take questions. The anonymous person shared the most memorable stories of their time working there, which includes many lewd and unsanitary acts by customers. The former manager also maintains that Halloween and Canada Day are the worst times to be inside this particular establishment.
They admitted that while the job was stressful, it had some beautiful moments.
“You’re centered in an area with a lot of darkness, and every now again you get to be a light in someone’s life. Especially with so many people in need in the area. People are people.”