Event Central works with event organizers to ensure special events are successful and contribute positively to the community. The special event process is governed by the Special Events on Public and Private Property By-law No. 2013-232 and the City Right-of-Way By-law No. 2001-260.
Conditional approval of the event location must be obtained from the property owner prior to applying for a special event.
- Assists in the coordination of all city services involved with special events
- Provides feedback on emergency preparedness and site and/or route plans in advance to mitigate the event's possible impact
When to apply
The following criteria are used to determine if an event is required to complete the Application for Special Events:
- Expected attendance of at least 500 persons at any one time;
- Examples include: fairs, festivals, competitions, or beach events;
- Any event that uses the City Right-of-Way (streets/sidewalks);
- Examples include: parades, processions, runs, walks, or bikes
For smaller events (such as block parties, demonstrations/marches, or street murals) please complete the corresponding application:
- Pyrotechnics or fireworks
- Food/beverage preparation, storing and/or sale
- Vendors of any type
- Uses City property
- Open air fires - specific event
- Uses property owned or leased by the Provincial or Federal government
- Requests a noise exemption
- Uses or includes aircraft, watercraft, or helicopters
- Temporary structures or equipment, such as large tents
- Alcohol sale and/or service
- Use and/or closure of a roadway/highway
- Occurs on Victoria Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day, New Year's Eve, or in alignment with an event of known significance
Should a special event not include any of the factors listed in paragraphs (1) to (3), the application deadline shall be 30 days.
Once the application form is complete please submit the application and any supporting documents to Event Central. If the event will have over 500 attendees a draft Emergency plan and Site plan and/or Route plan are required.
Event Guide and templates
Event Central has developed several tools in collaboration with City Services to assist you in completing your application and support documents.
Serving alcohol at events
To obtain a permit to sell and/or serve alcohol at your event, please consult the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
For outdoor events, the AGCO will require the applicant to provide notification to local authorities such as police, fire, building code and public health departments. To notify the municipality that you will be serving alcohol outdoors, please complete and submit the online notification form.
If the event is open to the public and the applicant is neither a registered charity nor non-profit organisation, a Letter of Municipal Significance is required to obtain a Special Occasion Permit. For inquires, please contact Event Central.
Contact Event Central
If you are interested in planning an event but still have questions please contact us at:
City of Ottawa
101 Centrepointe Dr
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7
613-580-2424 ext. 14613