OTTAWA -- With long lines forming at Ottawa's only COVID-19 testing facility with available appointments this weekend, a new drive-thru testing centre set up at Canadian Tire Centre.

In partnership with the Queensway Carleton Hospital, the Ottawa Senators and the Senators Community Foundation announced that two parking lots at the NHL arena in the west-end will serve at COVID-19 drive-thru testing centres this weekend.

The pop-up site, which will serve as a line-up drive-thru location, will not require advance appointment.

The hours of operation for the drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility at Canadian Tire Centre this weekend are:

  • Saturday: 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Officials say only OHIP patients over the age of 2 will be permitted to get a COVID-19 test at Canadian Tire Centre this weekend. 

At 5 p.m., CTV News Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo reported a long line of cars in the parking lot at Canadian Tire Centre waiting for testing.  The Queensway Carleton Hospital reported a 45 minute to 60 minute wait for testing at 4:30 p.m. At 5:22 p.m., the hospital announced the lines were closed for the door. 

The Queensway Carleton Hospital tweeted its thanks to paramedic partners from Renfrew County, Cornwall, Durham, Haliburton, Prince Edward County, Leeds-Grenville, Prescott-Russell and Lanark for their assistance with the COVID-19 clinic. 

There were only two COVID-19 testing facilities open in Ottawa this weekend– the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena and the Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing centre at RCGT Park on Coventry Road.

Social media posts showed parents lining up before dawn on Saturday to get a COVID-19 test for their child at Brewer Arena.

"We knew it was going to be jam packed," said Vanessa Malherbe, who arrived at Brewer Arena with the family at 5 a.m.

"At 7:30 a.m., they gave us a ticket to come back at 11:30 a.m. so no one had to wait."

Both CHEO and the Ottawa Hospital told CTV News Ottawa at 1 p.m. there was still testing capacity available for the day at Brewer Arena.

Some parents told CTV News Ottawa the children testing line at the Brewer Arena reached capacity at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 90 minutes after opening.

Postmedia reporter Jon Willing reported 100 families were in the CHEO line at Brewer Arena by 6:30 a.m.

Miriam Mottiar said on Twitter that a family member got to Brewer Arena at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and was third in line.

Mottiar said her spouse received a ticket to come back at 11:30 a.m., adding her kid is sick and she cannot work as a physician until he has a negative test.

There were no appointments available for the drive-thru testing centre on Coventry Road this weekend.