City of Ottawa Update: COVID-19 Pandemic and Special Events

Below is an April 6 update from the Events and Gatherings Task Force:

Earlier today, a decision was made in consultation with Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, and the Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) that includes all General Managers, to remain in a State of Emergency and extend the existing closures of City facilities, services and large public gatherings until June 30, 2020.

This decision will be reviewed on a regular basis by the EOCG, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health officials and the federal and provincial governments. However, it is important to act now in a concerted effort to continue to slow the spread of the virus, and prioritize the delivery of essential services.

In addition, the Ontario government continues to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people.

I recognize that this information is difficult to process, and deeply impacts event organizers across the city. Your on-going support is appreciated and we must continue to make all efforts of physical distancing in an effort to flatten the curve and stop the spread of this virus wherever possible.

The following information describes how these impacts may apply to you in more detail.

Site use
To support public health efforts, and based on recommendations by the Medical Officer of Health and the Emergency Operations Control Group, this announcement includes extending the closures of City facilities and park spaces until June 30, 2020.

Event planning and permitting requires participation from several City Departments. Until further notice, these Departments will not be able to support these efforts as staff are actively engaged in supporting the emergency response. As such, the processing of all City permits relating to special events is suspended. This includes the planning, processing and approval of special event permits, road closure permits, park permits, and site contracts.

Reimbursement of Fees Paid to the City

All events who have paid full or partial facility or permit fees will receive a full reimbursement from the City. Details on how these reimbursements will occur will be provided in the coming days and will be made available on

Gatherings and Events Task Force

At the onset of this pandemic, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre quickly mobilized a ‘Gatherings and Events Taskforce’ to continue to support event organizers during these challenging times. This Task Force remains active and will begin to shift its focus to address the re-integration of events and festivals back into our community, through the development of a Recovery Plan for this sector. Additional information regarding these efforts will be shared in the coming weeks.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Gatherings and Events Task Force email inbox: [email protected].

Thank you again for your patience and contributions to this important community response.

We are truly in this together.


Amanda Mullins
Program Manager|Gestionnaire de programme