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City of Ottawa closing all facilities Monday and launching supports for festivals, small businesses

The city is expected to reassess all closures in the days leading up to April 5.
2020-03-12 ottawa mayor jim watson covid-19 conference
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson speaks at a COVID-19 news conference, March 12, 2020. Photo/ City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is closing all of its facilities, starting Monday, March 16, while planning meetings with business and tourism leaders.

City-run closures include all pools, arenas, library branches, cultural and recreation centres, and will last until at least April 5. Public events at City Hall will also be cancelled.

Mayor Jim Watson says refunds will be made available for third-party event organizers who had scheduled events over the next few weeks.

The city is expected to reassess all closures in the days leading up to April 5.

In the meantime a City of Ottawa task force has been assembled to reduce the affect of coronavirus-related closures on special events, restaurants, and small businesses in the local tourism economy.

According to the mayor, the city will help support festivals and special events in coming days and months as they prepare for festival season.

"The task force will ensure that the city provides ongoing and up-to-date information to organizers, and that we help them properly assess the [COVID-19] risk associated with their event and to better understand the mitigation measures and options that are available to them, to protect their participants and volunteers," said Watson.

The city will also be holding a meeting with Business Improvement Areas, the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Tourism on Monday, to "update them, and see how the city can support them in these trying times."

The city has also issued information, notifying residents of the following:

Long-term care facilities

Seniors are vulnerable for serious and life-threatening complications from COVID-19. An extensive screening process has been instituted in our long-term care facilities. Any visitors or staff who may be feelingill, been in contact with anyone not feeling well, or recently travelled outside of Canada, should not visit the centres – to protect your loved ones and their fellow residents.

More extensive cleaning and sanitizing procedures at city facilities

The City has increased its cleaning and sanitizing processes in our facilities – allowing us to continue with programming over the weekend. For the safety of our employees and residents, please avoid enteringour facilities and Client Service Centres if you are sick or not feeling well. 

Public consultation meetings

In-person City of Ottawa public consultations will be cancelled – including for the Ward Boundary Review and the Community Safety and Well-being Plan. You can still participate in consultations by completingonline surveys at

Committee and Council Meetings

The City is also working to limit the number of Committee meetings. If agendas are updated, information will be available on

Provincial Offences Act court appearances

If you have a scheduled court appearance at Mary Pitt Centre, 100 Constellation Drive, but you are showing symptoms, please call 3-1-1 before your court time to receive further directions.


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Village Media Community Editor,
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