OTTAWA -- Indoor skating, outdoor refrigerated rinks, swimming, sports activities and cardio-weight rooms at city of Ottawa facilities will close when the capital moves into shutdown this weekend.

Ontario is imposing a four-week, province-wide shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Saturday in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The city says it will temporarily close municipal-managed recreation and cultural facilities for most indoor activities and limit the capacity at outdoor recreational amenities. In-person counter services at city of Ottawa facilities will also be closed during the shutdown.

Recreation and culture

Ottawa's recreation and cultural facilities will close or remain closed to the public, including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, museums and art galleries.

The following recreation and cultural programs will temporarily suspend operations:

  • All reserved recreation activities – including indoor skating, swimming (public and lane swims), cardio-weight rooms, sports activities – team play and practices, and indoor fitness classes
  • Any aquatic program scheduled to begin in April
  • Select cultural programs that operated by reservation only at Nepean Visual Arts Centre and Shenkman Arts Centre

Restrictions in parks and outdoor sports facilities

No team or group recreation, sports play, scrimmage or training are permitted indoors or outdoors during the shutdown.

Most outdoor park amenities are open and the reduced gathering limit of five people and physical distancing must be followed.

Outdoor refrigerated rinks and Terry Fox Athletic Facility will remain closed until further notice. In line with typical seasonal opening dates, ball diamonds will remain closed until May 1, and sports fields will remain closed until May 15. Permits for synthetic turf fields are suspended until further notice.

Start of Spring Learn to Swim and Certification aquatic programs delayed

City of Ottawa aquatic programs scheduled to begin in April will be delayed until Ottawa transitions to a lower restriction level. Registered clients will be contacted by City staff and provided program amendment information.

Counter services and other in-person service suspended or altered

The City will temporarily suspend in-person services effective Tuesday, April 5, including:

  • Ottawa City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters. Client Services Centres will suspend current in-person counter services, which will move to online delivery. Building Code Services will continue to provide courier, curbside, email and telephone alternate service delivery options.
  • The Provincial Offences Act courthouse, located at 100 Constellation Drive, will remain closed.
  • The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue will remain open for drop-off of documents only and clients can call 613-580-2424 ext.12735 or email
  • The city's Central Archives' Reference Room at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive

Altered services include:

  • Complaints for unauthorized parking on private property will continue to require new electronic procedures for proof of authority.
  • Residents needing financial assistance are asked to call 311 and select option #4 for Social Services for information on all programs and services.
  • People cannot visit the Employment and Social Services or Rent Supplement offices, but staff are available to help residents by phone, email and mail from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • Ontario Works claimants do not need to drop off any documents, including income reporting statements. Those documents can be given the case worker at a later date.

Ottawa Library Services

  • Operating Ottawa Public Library branches will be open for holds pickup and returns. Visit the OPL website for further information and to access library services online.