OTTAWA -- The Ontario government is imposing a stay-at-home order effective Thursday, April 8, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.

The stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, including going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services and for exercise close to home.

Premier Doug Ford says the new provincial emergency and stay-at-home order will continue for four weeks. It comes after Ontario implemented a provincewide shutdown last Saturday to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Here is a look at what the stay-at-home order means for Ottawa.


All events and social gatherings

  • Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)
  • Outside: A maximum of five people

You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • work, if you can’t do it remotely
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • helping vulnerable people
  • exercise and physical activity

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

  • Indoors: 15 per cent capacity of the room
  • Outside: the number of people that can keep two metres physical distance from each other

Bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments  

  • Indoor and outdoor dining is prohibited;
  • Take-out, drive-thru and delivery service available.

Discount and big box stores

Ontario is restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to groceries, household cleaning supplies, pharmacy items (pharmaceutical, health care and personal care items, and pet care supplies) only.

Malls and non-essential stores

Non-essential retailers may operate for curbside pick-up and delivery between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Access to shopping malls is limited to specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment. One single designated location inside the shopping mall must be set-up for pick-up.

Stores at the following Ottawa malls will be open for curbside pickup only:

  • Bayshore Shopping Centre
  • Billings Bridge Shopping Centre
  • Carlingwood Shopping Centre
  • Place d'Orleans
  • Rideau Centre
  • St. Laurent Centre
  • Tanger Outlets

You can visit each mall’s website for more details.

Stores permitted to open

Ontario says the following stores are allowed to operate for in-person retail by appointment only, with a maximum 25 per cent capacity:

  • Safety supply stores
  • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
  • Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
  • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft
  • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
  • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.

Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Garden Centres

Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses are allowed to open.

  • Capacity is limited to 25 per cent
  • There will be a restriction on hours of operation

LCBO and Beer Store

The LCBO and the Beer Store are allowed to remain open, but capacity limits will be in place.


Permitted services during the stay-at-home order include:

Rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental

Gas stations and other fuel suppliers

Automated and self-service car washes

Laundromats and drycleaners

Snow clearing and landscaping services

Security services for residences, businesses and other properties

Domestic services to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons, including

  • Housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • Indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services

Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services

Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services

Funeral and related services

Staffing services including providing temporary help

Veterinary services and other businesses that provide pet services and for the health and welfare of animals, including:

  • Farms
  • Boarding kennels
  • Stables
  • Animal shelters
  • Research facilities
  • Pet groomers
  • Pet sitters
  • Pet walkers
  • Pet trainers (including for service animals)

Businesses not permitted to open

  • Personal care services, including hair salons and nail salons
  • Gyms and fitness centres, as well as outdoor classes
  • Amusement parks, water parks
  • Bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive in or drive through events)
  • Day camps
  • Horse racing (open for training only, no races or spectators)
  • Motorsports
  • Museums and cultural amenities
  • Tour and guide services
  • Zoos and aquariums (permitted to operate for the care of animals).

City of Ottawa services closed during the stay at home order

  • Ottawa's recreation and cultural facilities will close to the public, including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, museums and art galleries
  • Outdoor refrigerated rinks will close: Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall, Lansdowne Skating Court, Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink and Ben Franklin Place

City of Ottawa counter services and other in-person service suspended or altered

The City temporarily suspended in-person services, 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.

City of Ottawa camps

The city of Ottawa says all in-person April Break day camps originally scheduled for April 12 to 16 have been cancelled.

The city will be offering virtual camp sessions for April 12 to 16. For more information, visit

Ottawa museums closed during the shutdown and stay-at-home order

  • Canadian War Museum
  • Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
  • Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • The Diefenbunker Museum
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Ottawa Art Gallery

Outdoor recreational amenities open during the shutdown and stay-at-home order

  • Parks and recreational areas
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Batting cages
  • Soccer, football and sports fields
  • Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
  • Basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • Skate parks
  • Frisbee golf locations
  • Cycling tracks and bike trails
  • Horse riding facilities
  • Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
  • Ice rinks
  • Tobogganing hills
  • Snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails
  • Playgrounds
  • Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
  • Golf courses and driving ranges (facilities and clubhouses must close)