Provincial shutdown will close Ottawa recreation and cultural facilities and suspend some services starting Boxing Day


Outdoor community and refrigerated skating rinks will remain open for skating only, weather permitting, indoor skating will close

With the province-wide shutdown scheduled to start at 12:01 am on Saturday, December 26, the City will temporarily close City-managed recreation and cultural facilities to the public and suspend some in-person services until Saturday, January 23, 2021. This excludes respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres and municipal childcare centres.

The City of Ottawa thanks all residents and businesses for their patience, kindness and resilience in doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We are a community pulling together by staying apart. Visit for City and provincial rules and regulations.

In addition, Before-and-After School Programs and inclusive recreation programs will continue when elementary schools resume.

Current City in-person counter services will remain operational:

  • Ottawa City Hall and Ben Franklin Place Client Service Centres (101 Centrepointe Drive) – including the Building Code service desks (by appointment-only)
  • Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue (by appointment-only)
  • Employment and Social Services offices
  • Rent Supplement Office (100 Constellation)

Outdoor community and refrigerated skating rinks will remain open for skating only, weather permitting. Change huts will be closed. No hockey or other team sports are permitted on the ice and skaters must maintain a two-metre distance from people outside their household.

Other City park amenities remain open for public use. Residents are reminded to follow public health guidelines and maintain physical distancing.

As of December 26, recreation and cultural facilities will close to the public – including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, galleries and museums.

Suspended or altered services

The City will suspend or alter the following in-person services during the 28-day provincial shutdown, which include:

  • All drop-in recreation activities and programs – including indoor skating and swimming (public and lane swims)
  • Outdoor recreation classes including Terry Fox Cross Country Ski program
  • Any indoor recreation, aquatic and arts program scheduled to begin in mid-January will be delayed until after the shutdown
  • Ottawa Public Library branches will not allow public access, but contactless curbside services will continue
  • EarlyON and Family Care Centres will be closed but will be providing virtual services
  • Ottawa Fire Services’ Fire Prevention unit will conduct immediate-threat-to-life inspections and paid or complaint inspections on a case-by-case basis
  • OC Transpo Service Centre at the Rideau Centre will also be closed. Online services are available at (link is external)

Parking enforcement

To support those staying home during the shutdown, By-law and Regulatory Services will not be enforcing overtime parking on unsigned residential streets. All other parking restrictions that ensure safety and mobility remain in effect, including parking bans due to snow accumulation, no-stopping zones, no-parking zones, fire routes, accessible parking spaces, pay and display, and rules around sidewalks, driveways and fire hydrants.

No-charge transit service on New Year’s Eve

OC Transpo and its partners, MADD Ottawa and Safer Roads Ottawa, will no longer be offering no-charge transit service on New Year’s Eve. This decision was made in consultation with Ottawa Public Health and supports the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recommendation that all Ontarians stay home and only leave when necessary for work, grocery shopping and medical appointments.

Recreation and Cultural program refunds

  • Clients can go to their online account to withdraw from a registered program and can request a refund for the credit on their account. If assistance is required, staff will process refunds in the new year.

Residents are encouraged to continue acquiring services or doing transactions online or by phone

Residents can continue to acquire many services and complete payments and registrations online or by phone.

Residents can go to to pay water bills and your interim property taxes. If you do not have an account, registration is simple – just sign-up with your email address. Once registered, you’ll need your account or property roll number to pay your bill.

City bills have other payment options besides the accounts, which include:

  • Paying by credit or debit card online at
  • Paying through your financial institution by creating a payee number on your institution’s mobile app or through an ATM machine
  • Paying by phone with your financial institution
  • Sending by mail

Residents can access many other services online as well. You do not need to come in-person to a Client Service Centre if you want to:

  • Register or renew a pet registration
  • Apply for or renew an open-air fire permit
  • Pay a parking or traffic ticket
  • Look up an extension or reopening applications
  • Apply for a Food Premise Business License
  • Sign-up for future recreation programs
  • Load and manage a Presto Card

Be sure to visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656) for complete and up-to-date information on closures, impacted services, and support and services.

SOURCE City of Ottawa News Release

photo by Julian Lankstead

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