OTTAWA -- Will COVID-19 numbers continue to fall in Ottawa with new lockdowns in place? OC Transpo starts getting serious on mask violations, and more details about the 2021 City of Ottawa budget. looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

Thanksgiving apart

It's a Thanksgiving like none other. A holiday that is usually marked by large get-togethers with family is being kept small this year.

Public health officials have been pleading with people to celebrate only with members of their households. No visitors, no big gatherings, no travel.

Restaurant dining rooms are closed in Ottawa and Gatineau under new provincial restrictions but are still open for takeout and delivery. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson urged citizens to support restaurants that stocked up on food for the holiday weekend before being forced to shut down.

Thanksgiving turkey

A blip or a trend? COVID-19 case numbers fall after record high

Daily COVID-19 case numbers in Ottawa have been falling steadily since a record-breaking peak of 183 new cases reported on Oct. 8. On Oct. 11, Ottawa saw its lowest number of COVID-19 cases in all of October, with 54.

However, it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue, as testing centres have shifted to appointment-based systems and some are closed over the Thanksgiving holiday.

City Council will hear a COVID-19 update from Ottawa Public Health on Wednesday.

Brewer Arena

OC Transpo cracks down on masks

The first full week of OC Transpo's "Operation Mask-Up" enforcement blitz is underway. OC Transpo special constables will be handing out written warnings to riders who are not wearing masks but lack exemptions under the city's mandatory mask bylaw.

Starting on Tuesday, anyone without a valid exemption who refuses to wear a mask will be denied boarding and fined $260.

OC Transpo mask sign

2021 Budget

Ottawa City Council meets Wednesday and is expected to approve the direction and timeline of the 2021 budget before the draft budget is tabled in November.

Last week the finance and economic development committee unanimously approved a 3 per cent property tax increase for 2021, no higher than the cap the mayor promised in the last election, despite budgetary pressures from COVID-19.

This year, the city is facing a projected deficit of more than $181 million, but is working with other levels of government to offset those costs. 

City of Ottawa

Gatineau in the "Red Zone"

The City of Gatineau and the MRC des Collines de l'Outaouais officially entered Quebec's maximum alert level on Sunday, with new restrictions on public and private gatherings, and closures of businesses like dining rooms, bars, casinos, and movie theatres.

Certain measures concerning schools and sports will come into effect on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Schools will remain open but will be under new restrictions.


What's happening in Ottawa this week

Monday: Thanksgiving

Tuesday: Ottawa's built heritage subcommittee meets at 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday: Ottawa's Public Library Board meets at 5 p.m.

Wednesday: Ottawa City Council meets at 10 a.m.

Thursday: Ottawa's community and protective services committee meets at 9:30 a.m.

Thursday: The Merrickville Jazz Festival (virtual edition) begins. It runs until Oct. 18.

Thursday: Beau's virtual Oktoberfest

Friday: 007 Goldfinger at The Drive In

Saturday: Captain America the Winter Soldier at The Drive In

Sunday: Hocus Pocus at The Drive In

Sunday: Friday the 13th at The Drive In