OTTAWA -- A child’s birthday party, a yard sale and people gathering at Lansdowne and Britannia Parks are among the complaints filed to the City of Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Jim Watson told reporters on Wednesday that Bylaw Services has been kept busy responding to calls since City of Ottawa public parks were closed and people were told to practice physical distancing.

“Bylaw and Regulatory Services received 139 calls for provincial orders and closed parks, and that was just (Tuesday),” said Watson.

“Please stay home and respect the physical distancing guidelines.”

On Monday, the City of Ottawa announced Ottawa Bylaw officers will be proactively monitoring and enforcing calls related to:

  • Gatherings of five or more people in a public or private residence
  • People congregating in parks/using park facilities or equipment
  • Restaurants that continue to offer dine-in services

As of Wednesday afternoon, Bylaw Services had not issued any fines for violating the rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I suspect that will change in the next couple of days if we continue to see the kind of bad behaviour of people gathering," said the Mayor. 

Watson told reporters Bylaw and Regulatory Services responded to the following calls over the past few days:

  • A child’s backyard birthday party that had between 12 and 20 children
  • A complaint about 20 people playing on the play structures and skateboard park at Lansdowne Park
  • A yard sale in the Greenboro area
  • Over 200 people gathered over the past few days at Britannia Beach.

“We just can’t have these types of gatherings,” said Watson.

“I know we want to continue some sort of normalcy in our lives, we want to spend time with family and friends, I get that, but please limit your gatherings to the members of your immediate family who live in your residence.”