OTTAWA -- As Ottawa sweats under the first heat warning of the year, the City of Ottawa is opening “cooling centres” for residents in need.

Mayor Jim Watson says four cooling centres will be open for those in need starting at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

The four locations are:

  • Ron Kolbus Centre on Greenview Avenue at Britannia Park
  • Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre on Paul Anka Drive
  • St. Laurent Complex on Cote Street
  • Sandy Hill Community Centre on Nelson Street

The cooling centres will be open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on gatherings means some places you would normally cool off are not available. City of Ottawa facilities, malls and movie theatres are closed until further notice due to the pandemic.

Ottawa’s splash pads and swimming pools are closed under Ontario’s pandemic orders. The beaches at Mooney’s Bay, Westboro and Petrie Island are open, but lifeguards are not on duty.

Ottawa's parks are also open, but playground equipment is closed. Ottawa Public Health reminds you to stay two metres away from other groups. 

Ottawa Public Health offers tips to protect yourself and help others during hot weather

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoid heavy outdoor activity
  • Wear a hat, light and looser-fitting clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses when outside
  • Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available
  • Cool off in the shade or at a park, greenspace
  • Use a fan and mist your skin with water
  • Take cool baths and showers
  • Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on south facing windows during the day

Ottawa Public Health recommends you watch for signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sunburn.