City restarting in-person services under Orange-Restrict status

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – The Province of Ontario is lifting the COVID-19 restrictions and moving Ottawa to Orange-Restrict status, effective Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 12:01 a.m.

The Orange-Restrict status allows the City of Ottawa to resume some of the same services offered before the provincial state-of-emergency orders came into effect.

Recreation and culture

Recreation services will restart gradually at some locations under the provincial Orange-Restrict status. Access to most activities requires reservations in advance. Visit for more information on available activities, locations, facility and rink rentals, reservations and COVID-related protocols and restrictions.

The following activities and programs will resume Feb. 16:

  • Public and lane swims at select pools
  • Aquafitness programs
  • Weight and cardio rooms will reopen with capacity limits
  • Sport activities with capacity limits and physical distancing measures
  • Older adult programming
  • Public skating at select arenas will start on Feb. 20
  • Reservations for these activities can be made on beginning Feb. 14.
  • Skating on the outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue by reservation only, with a maximum capacity of 25 skaters.

The resumption of other recreation and arts programming and activities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Community outdoor rinks

The Ottawa Public Health directive keeps outdoor skating rink capacity at 25 skaters and 12 for puddle rinks. With non-contact sports scrimmages and play permitted, skaters may bring hockey sticks and equipment on the ice – ensuring rink capacity and physical distancing requirements are observed. Masks must be worn within 15 metres of the edge of the rink and are highly recommended while skating.

Sledding hills

Under Ottawa Public Health’s directive, the capacity at the gathering points at the top and bottom of the sledding hills will remain at a maximum of 25 people, and physical distancing of two metres must be maintained at all times.

Facility rentals

Select city rental spaces will be available to accommodate up to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, provided the space allows for adequate physical distancing of at least two metres.

Counter services

In-person services will start on Monday, Feb. 22, but clients can start reserving appointments for that week, starting Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Service Ottawa – Client Service Centres and Building Code Services       

City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (100 Centrepointe Dr.) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters will be open by appointment only. Visit for the list of in-person service offerings.

Residents must make an appointment for the Client Service Centre by using the online booking tool on Residents without internet access can reserve a time by calling 311 and choose option six for the Client Service Centre. Requests for same-day appointments will be subject to availability.

Building Code Services will continue to support application submissions by mail and electronically at

Employment and Social Services  and Rent Supplement Program Offices

Limited counter and document drop-off services will be available at all four centres – 370 Catherine St., Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Dr.), 2020 Walkley Rd., and 2339 Ogilvie Rd., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For all other services, staff will provide both telephone and email support from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Mary Pitt Centre location (second floor west, 100 Constellation Dr.) will also be the only location for limited counter and document drop-off services for the Rent Supplement Program, which will only operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. The staff will continue to provide telephone and email support on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Business Licensing Centre

The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Ave. will continue operations on Monday, Feb. 22 by offering the following in-person services, by appointment:

  • Business licences (all categories)
  • Pet registration

To make an appointment, email / or by calling 613-580-2424, extension 12735.

Ottawa Public Library branches

All 28 Ottawa Public Library branches are currently offering curbside service. Please consult for the latest service updates. Access to digital resources and requests for library items can be made via the Ottawa Public Library website.

City archives

The city’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Dr., will resume in-person appointments for residents wishing to visit the Reference Room, starting Tuesday, Feb. 23. Clients may make reservations for that week beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16 by emailing or by phoning 613-580-2857.

Parking enforcement

All residential on-street parking restrictions will resume on Monday, Feb. 22. Warnings will be handed out between Tuesday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 21.

“To help control the spread of COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health also recommends residents only travel outside of the home for essential reasons, such as for groceries and other necessities, to attend doctor appointments and to get physical activity,” city staff released in a statement Friday (Feb. 12). “More importantly, limit your contact with people outside of your household – including people visiting your residence or you visiting other households.”

For more information on city programs and services, visit or call 311 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

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