City of Ottawa – Updated as of April 7, 2020 – The information provided is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, for the most recent information please go to www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus.
It is important to continue to get physical exercise during this pandemic, however if you are outside in any greenspace area you are only allowed to walk, jog, or cycle through; any other activity can result in a warning or fine from By-law.
The Province of Ontario has used the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities including both public and private ones. As per the declaration:
Amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, benches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities. Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren’t otherwise closed would remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.
For more information, you can find the full provincial order here.
The Province has also set out a $750, plus a victim surcharge, ticket for violations. Only walking, jogging, cycling through green spaces is allowed, all other activity is expressly banned. We cannot play fetch with our dogs, sit on a bench, or kick around a soccer ball in any greenspace.
The Province also requires individuals to identify themselves when approached by provincial officers (whether Ottawa Police, By-law, OPP), if they are being charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Failure to do so could result in a $1000 fine. You can find the Provincial order here.
Residents have been seeking for very specific guidelines on what is and isn’t permissible under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. To be clear, residents must avoid engaging in recreational activities in any greenspaces with the exception of walking, cycling and running through. By-law has full discretion to make a determination as to whether someone is following the provincial order and walking through a park, or lingering or playing. If you are in a greenspace, it should be clear that you’re just passing through or you will risk getting a fine.
In accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the City of Ottawa has closed down all public amenities. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but this includes:
- Sports fields
- Ball diamonds
- Fields located at recreation facilities
- General turf areas at City facilities
- Skateboard parks
- Basketball courts
It is important that everyone stay off all park equipment until it is deemed safe to do so.
- Play structures
- Adult fitness stations
- Benches and picnic tables
Park equipment is not being cleaned and could potentially spread the harmful COVID-19 virus. Park equipment has surfaces that are touched frequently and are not safe to use at this time.
For more information on safe ways to practice physical (social) distancing, please visit Ottawa Public Health.