Demonstrations

Definition: For our purposes, a demonstration is a spontaneous or planned collection of people using the road allowance as a place to express an opinion. This type of event can be stationary (confined to a specific location) or one which moves from one point to another (commonly referred to as a “march”). Both types of demonstrations are subject to the criteria outlined in this section.
The following conditions apply to demonstrations taking place on City of Ottawa streets.
1. Demonstrations having less than 150 participants shall be restricted to the sidewalk.
2. Demonstrations having more than 150 participants may use part of the roadway. The extent of the road use shall be determined by municipal staff or a police officer.
3. Demonstrations shall not interfere with the passage of pedestrians.
4.

Demonstrations having less than 150 participants conducted outside an embassy or other internationally protected property shall be restricted to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Demonstrations having more than 150 participants conducted outside an embassy or other internationally protected property may use part of the roadway adjacent to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. The Ottawa Police shall determine the precise parameters of the demonstration and whether the use of the roadway is required.

The sidewalk directly in front of the embassy or other internationally protected property must be kept clear for security and safety reasons. If no sidewalk exists, the demonstration shall not be permitted within 20 m of the fence surrounding the embassy or other internationally protected property, or if no fence exists, within 20 m of the building face. Depending on the nature of the demonstration, a distance greater than 20 m may be required for security reasons. This shall be determined by the Police Service protecting the embassy or other internationally protected property.

These restrictions are considered appropriate given the special status of internationally protected properties/persons and the increased security implications when a demonstration is occurring in the immediate vicinity.

5.

Demonstrations having less than 150 participants conducted outside a non-internationally protected property shall be restricted to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Demonstrations having more than 150 participants conducted outside a non-internationally protected property may use part of the roadway adjacent to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. The Ottawa Police shall determine the precise parameters of the demonstration and whether the use of the roadway is required.

If no sidewalk exists, the demonstration shall not be permitted within 15 m of the establishment. The Ottawa Police and/or municipal staff may make exceptions for small demonstrations or when it is more practical for the participants to be in front of the establishment.

6. Signs or banners, other than plastic foam core signs, must be made of cardboard or cloth/nylon. Plastic foam core signs must be limited to 1.0 cm in thickness, 41.0 cm in width and 61.0 cm in length. All types of signs or banners must be supported by cardboard or softwood supports no larger than 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm. These supports must not exceed 2.0 m in length. The ends of the supports must not be pointed or sharp.
7. In accordance with the old Corporation of the City of Ottawa Noise By-law Number 3-97, the use of sound reproduction devices during special events is authorized between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. so long as the police are satisfied that said devices are being “used in a reasonable manner” (i.e. the volume is not intolerably high so as to unreasonably disturb the peace and comfort of any person in any dwelling house, apartment house, hotel or other type of residence).
8. In accordance with Article 2.6.3.4 of the Ontario Fire Code made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, open air burning is not permitted unless approved, or unless such burning consists of a small, confined fire, supervised at all times, and used to cook food on a grill or a barbecue.
9. Police supervision is required for a demonstration. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer to contact the Ottawa Police to arrange for supervision. The demonstration organizer may be responsible for any costs associated with the provision of this service.
10. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer, or designate, to ensure that the demonstration does not block private accesses.
11. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer, or designate, to ensure that any litter generated as a result of the demonstration is picked up.
12. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer to inform the police of his/her name and/or that of his/her designate prior to its occurrence.
13. The demonstration organizer, or designate, must identify himself/herself to the police supervising the event and must be present at the demonstration site until the event is terminated.
14. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer, or designate, to ensure that any lawful instruction issued by a police officer is obeyed.
15. It is the responsibility of the demonstration organizer, or designate, to ensure that these criteria are adhered to.
16. The police may require barricades or traffic safety devices at a demonstration site. Costs associated with their delivery, erection and removal shall be borne by the City.
17. The provision of a completed and signed Statement of Indemnification by the applicant or a person with signing authority within the organization making application is required.
18. The demonstration organizer is forewarned that an approved demonstration may be arbitrarily moved or altered in response to an emergency situation. The use of this authority shall not be unreasonably applied.

 

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