Ottawa’s Rideau Centre will remain closed on Sunday, as the protest against COVID-19 mandates continues just blocks away on Parliament Hill.

The popular shopping destination closed its doors early on Saturday as reports circulated of unmasked people filling the mall.

Photos on social media showed dozens of unmasked shoppers in line at the LCBO and sitting in the mall looking to warm up during the demonstration against COVID-19 mandates two blocks away on Parliament Hill.

The temperature was -13C Saturday afternoon, with the wind chill making it feel like -23.

“The safety of our guests, tenants and employees is our priority and out of an abundance of caution, CF Rideau Centre will be closed for the remainder of the day," said Cadillac Fairview in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

Ottawa Police said they assisted Rideau Centre management and security with the decision to close the mall due to crowds.

Some stores at the Rideau Centre stayed closed all day Saturday, while others that were opened closed at around 3 p.m.

“We’ve had people go in and disregard public health rules when it comes to getting something to eat; not wearing a mask, arguing with 17-year-old minimum wage student whose trying to make a living for university or college," said Mayor Jim Watson in an interview with CTV News Channel Saturday evening. "These kinds of behaviour by some people are completely unacceptable.”

Masks are mandatory in indoor public places in Ontario, including shopping malls.

The mall's closure came an hour after the city of Ottawa says the downtown core was full and there was room for other vehicles.