OTTAWA -- The number of couples purchasing a marriage certificate in the City of Ottawa to say "I do" in 2020 dropped by nearly 50 per cent, as COVID-19 restrictions closed wedding venues and imposed limits on the size of public and private gatherings.

Statistics on the City of Ottawa's open data website shows the City of Ottawa issued 2,360 marriage licences in 2020, compared with 4,378 marriage licences issued in 2019.

The city only issued eight marriage certificates in April, May and June of last year, during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the spring.  In 2019, the city issued 1,727 marriage certificates in April, May and June.

The summer was the most popular time to get a marriage licence in Ottawa. The city issued 543 licences in July and 434 licences in August.

A marriage licence is required to get married in Ontario. The licence is valid for 90 days from the issue date, and is valid for use anywhere in Ontario.

The City of Ottawa charges $171.50 for a marriage licence.

Here is a month-by-month breakdown on the number of marriage licences issued by the City of Ottawa in 2020:

  • January: 233
  • February: 180
  • March: 146
  • April: 3
  • May: 2
  • June: 3
  • July: 543
  • August: 434
  • September: 302
  • October: 184
  • November: 158
  • December 172