After the lunch, door prizes were given out. I sat down on the grass while the winners were randomly drawn.
The earth started to vibrate. It started like a truck passing along Carling Avenue, or like a plane taking off, but there was no planes or trucks around. Everyone started looking around to see what was the cause before it sank in that it had to be an earthquake.
The ground vibrated strongly. It was not like the ground was moving up and down or side-to-side. It was like a very strong vibration deep below. As the shaking continued, I tried to take in all of the experience. It was exhilarating. The earthquake lasted about half a minute. There was no sound as we were in the middle of a grass field and there was nothing to move around and cause noise.
Reading about the quake later, I found that it was strong enough to break windows in the Ottawa City Hall, break chimneys around the city, and it destroyed a bridge closer to the epicentre. The epicentre was just over 50km from the former Nortel campus. It was an magnitude 5.0 quake. It was the largest quake to be felt in Ottawa in 65 years.
About 10 years ago, when I lived in the Glebe, I was awoken by smaller quake. I had a glass jar of change on a table in my bedroom. It was the coins shaking in the glass jar that woke me up.
There are forces and powers in nature that are awesome and humbling if you spend time thinking about it.