City changes COVID-19 policy on several services

OTTAWA – The city is re-opening all park play structures and equipment on Friday (July 17) and relaxing facility, sports field and ball diamond rental restrictions for organized sports play and practices, as part of the province’s Stage 3 reopening framework.

“The city will continue to examine the path forward this summer for resuming other recreation and cultural programming,” city staff released in a statement today (July 16).

 In addition, the city, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health (OPH), is reviewing information from Monday’s provincial announcement and conducting a thorough assessment of operational requirements. Staff redeployments, facility retrofits, demand for services, and financial feasibility are all being examined. Information on the resumption of additional services and facility re-openings will be announced in the coming weeks as they are finalized.

Park play structures and equipment

Effective Friday, July 17, all playground and exercise equipment at city parks will re-open after being closed for the past four months. All users are reminded to practice physical distancing from people outside your household, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands after using park equipment.

Outdoor and indoor facility rentals

With outdoor gathering restrictions expanded to no more than 100 people, rentals for sports fields, ball diamonds and parks have been relaxed. Team sports can now resume competitive play provided participants adhere to physical distancing guidelines, avoid prolonged and deliberate physical contact, and follow the guidelines of their governing organizations.

The city has cancelled all existing July indoor rental agreements for events, meetings and community activities. Staff are reaching out to August rental contract holders to advise them all indoor events for more than 50 people will be cancelled. However, the city will consider rental requests in August for up to 50 people on a case-by-case basis. These rentals would need to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and the City’s mandatory masking by-law.

Recreation and cultural programming and facilities

The city is examining how to best resume additional recreation and cultural programming offerings throughout the summer, including access to fitness facilities and programs. The city is working to design programs and retrofit facilities to support physical distancing and to help protect participants and staff.

Indoor pools have already re-opened for public and lane swimming by reservation. You can now book using the new online reservation system. Also, weekly modified swimming lessons will begin on Monday, July 20. Online registration is open now.

Municipal childcare centres

Effective July 27, all licensed childcare centres will be able to move from the current cohort size of 10 to a cohort size of 15 children, with a requirement to maintain ratios and group sizes under 15, as set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act. This should bring the childcare sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.

For up-to-date information, visit or call 311 (TTY: 613-580-9656).