City to close recreation and cultural facilities, and libraries to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa

City to close recreation and cultural facilities, and libraries to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa

Ottawa – The City of Ottawa is closing all City-managed recreation and cultural facilities, and all Ottawa Public Library branches, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health’s guidance to limit mass gatherings. These proactive measures are being taken as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Staying ahead of the curve will require us to work together – the City and you – to help stop the spread in our communities.

  • All recreation and cultural facilities, including recreation complexes, community centers, arenas, swimming pools, theatres and museums will be closed, effective Monday, March 16.
  • City programs, including March break camps and fitness classes, will also be cancelled, starting Monday, as will performances at the Shenkman and Meridian Theatres. There is no need for ticketholders to call 3-1-1 as tickets will be refunded automatically. Programming and rental fee refunds will also be processed automatically. All other inquiries can be sent by email to
  • All Client Service Centres and City Hall will remain open.

The City of Ottawa will be providing regular updates through on and through our social media channels. Ottawa Public Health will also continue to provide updates related to COVID-19 in Ottawa on This is an evolving situation and the most current information will be shared with the public through all official City channels.

Ottawa now has confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. To date, all have been related to international travel. In addition to preventive measures that you can take at home, at work and in public settings, here are some steps your City is taking to limit the impact in Ottawa.

What the City is doing

Service Ottawa

The City is taking steps to help prevent the spread of the virus in our facilities. You can go on to to pay your water bills and your interim property taxes. If you do not have an account, registration is simple – you can sign up with your email address. Once registered, you’ll need your account or property roll number to pay your bill.

City bills have other payment options besides the accounts, which include:

  • Paying by credit or debit card online at
  • Paying through your financial institution by creating a payee number on your institution’s mobile app or through an ATM machine

Residents can access many other services online as well. You do not need to come in person to a Client Service Centre if you want to:

  • Register or renew a pet registration
  • Apply or renew open air fire permit
  • Pay a parking or traffic ticket
  • Look up extension or reopening applications
  • Apply for a Food Premise Business License
  • Sign up for future recreation programs
  • Load up and manage a Presto Card

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 feeling ill, 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 entering our 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 completing online 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.

What you can do

If you are showing symptoms, please avoid taking public transit.


There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we recommend that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community

For additional medical information, visit