Programs and public spaces at Ottawa City Hall

On this page

Rink of Dreams

The Rink of Dreams is a 12,500-square-foot outdoor refrigerated ice surface that operates annually from December through to the end of March.

The ice surface serves as a community gathering place for both residents of the National Capital Region and tourists visiting our city.

Rink hours

The hours listed below may be altered in the event of extreme weather events.

  • Sundays to Tuesdays: 9 am to 11 pm
  • Wednesdays: 7 am to 11 pm
  • Thursdays to Saturdays: 9 am to 11 pm

Skating safety and regulations.


  • Beavertails
  • Final Pass Skate Pro

Subject to weather and ice conditions.

There is no talking in this video. The Rink of Dreams is a 12,500-square-foot outdoor refrigerated ice surface that operates annually from December through to the end of March. The ice surface serves as a community gathering place for both residents of the National Capital Region and tourists visiting our city. Many hours go into building the ice surface each fall which includes setting up the rink boards and building the ice surface over several days. There is also a technical component for our staff who maintain and operate the refrigeration equipment to ensure consistent ice temperatures when the Ottawa weather is often anything but consistent! There are three ice resurfacer operators over the winter season who prepare the ice daily before the first skater and continue to maintain its quality condition throughout the day until close-up at 11 pm.

Use of public space at Ottawa City Hall

Although the primary use of Ottawa City Hall is for municipal related business, rental of rooms and space can be booked for public use as available. Whether it’s a large gathering, small group meeting, outdoor event or festival, City Hall offers a variety of facilities to suit your needs.

Priority of space availability

As outlined by the Corporate Policy on the Use of Public Space, booking of space for municipal related business at Ottawa City Hall is given priority.

Space at City Hall is available for booking for:

Non profit organizations

Weekday bookings are available only after regular City Hall business hours (5 pm).
Weekend bookings are available.

  • Non-profit organizations conducting City/municipal related business and fund-raising groups
  • Non-profit organizations conducting non City/municipal related business
Other users

Weekday bookings are available only after regular City Hall business hours (5 pm).
Weekend bookings are available.

  • Such as wedding receptions, private functions

User fees and occupancy

As of January 2022.

Fees subject to change.

Location Occupancy Rate – Non Profit (per four hours) Rate –Non Profit (all day) Rate – Other Users (per four hours) Rate – Other users (all day)
Andrew S. Haydon Hall – Council Chambers • 189 fixed seating Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only
(No food or beverage) • 45 around horseshoe including Mayor’s seat
  • 24 at staff tables
  • 40 additional chairs
  *Max Capacity: 298 + wheelchairs at designated spots
Jean Pigott Place • 700 standing (no chairs / tables) $198 $396 $1,639 $3,278
• 200 seated at tables
• 260 chairs only
Champlain Room • 60 fixed seating $198 $396 $338 $676
(No food or beverage) • 13 horseshoe
  • 20 at staff tables
  • 20 additional chairs
Keefer Room • 60 (includes fixed seating and tables) Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only
(No food or beverage)
Councillor Lounge • 30 seated at tables with screen, 35 without screen (square) Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only
• 60 chairs theatre style
• 100 standing (no chairs/tables)
Marion Dewar Plaza • Up to 10,000 standing $889 $1,778 $1,705 $3,410
Festival Control • 38 at tables $262 $524 $332 $664
• 60 chairs theatre style
• 75 standing
Festival Boardroom • 37 at tables $66 $132 $198 $396
60 chairs theatre style
Colonel By Room • 36 seated at tables (square) $66 $132 $261 $522
• 40 classroom style (at tables)
• 70 chairs only – tables pushed against the walls
Richmond Room • 30 seated at tables + 10 additional chairs $66 $132 $198 $396
Honeywell Room • 30 seated at tables + 10 standing $66 $132 $198 $396
Billings Room • 20 seated at tables + 5 standing $66 $132 $198 $396
Caucus Room • 12 seated at tables Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only Internal Use Only
Lisgar Field   $189 $378 $381 $762


To enquire about public space availability at Ottawa City Hall

E-mail: or,
Call: 613-580-2424 ext. 22771.

Marion Dewar Plaza


To provide direction for use of the Marion Dewar Plaza located at 110 Laurier Avenue W. adjacent to the Ottawa City Hall complex. Marion Dewar Plaza forms one part of the Festival area, which also includes Confederation Park (across Laurier Street) owned by the National Capital Commission (NCC). While these guidelines only apply directly to the Marion Dewar Plaza, they are also consistent with relevant NCC guidelines.

Objectives for the use of Marion Dewar Plaza

The purpose of the Marion Dewar Plaza is to provide a central site for festivals and special events which:

  • encourage economic development in the city (through attracting visitors and other direct/indirect economic spin-offs)
  • enhance the social /cultural life of residents and visitors via high quality programming of special events.

Application for use

Organizations wishing to use Marion Dewar Plaza must meet specific criteria and pay associated fees. A special events application, is to be filled out by the organization for attendance of 500 or more and submitted to the Special Events Co-ordinator. The Special Events Co-ordinator will then review each application and approve use of the Plaza based on concurrence with eligibility criteria and availability.

Festival and special event organizers must provide the following information:

  1. Description of the event, including purpose and goals, dates and time
  2. Outline of the theme, target clientele and programmed activities
  3. Description of the organization (history, structure, key contacts)
  4. Admission fees and projected attendance figures, local and from outside the Region
  5. Outline of the event’s marketing/promotion plan, including samples of promotional material
  6. List of artists, performers, groups participating in the event (where relevant)
  7. Description of food, beverages and merchandise to be sold
  8. Site plan (which must be approved in advance) and identification of required road closures
  9. Financial statements, including the projected value of sponsorship and sponsors’ names

Organizations must also provide:

  • an outline of required equipment and services (e.g. barriers, change area, use of site control area If the event organizers require the use of the Festival Control Room, the rental is included for the Operational Days Only. The schedule fee is applicable for any additional days.
  • an evaluation report within 60 days after the event, which includes attendance, marketing/promotional achievements, levels of amplification, financial statements and assessment of City of Ottawa services.

Eligibility and assessment criteria

Use of the Marion Dewar Plaza is awarded on a priority basis, contingent on availability of the site. Applications by Priority 1 groups will automatically take precedence over lower priority events.

Priority 1 Established major festivals
Priority 2 Emerging smaller festivals or larger, established special events (one day)
Priority 3 Events organized by commercial groups and events of one day or less, organized by community groups and other organizations. The latter will be approved by Special Events Co-ordinator or City representative based on availability of space and the nature of the event.

The priority of an applicant is assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • ability to attract tourists from outside the region
  • ability to generate economic development
  • existing event with a proven track record (vs. developmental event)
  • organization demonstrates a high level of fiscal responsibility and organizational stability
  • unique nature of the event, (i.e. public appeal, ability to attract new audiences)
  • duration (longer activities will have priority over short-term events)
  • impact on the surrounding community (e.g. requirement for road closures, sound amplification)
  • volunteer involvement

Cost of rental

Non-Profit Organizations:

Non-profit groups not charging an entrance fee; community associations holding events for one day or less; City funded organizations. Rental Fee of $889.00/day (plus HST to cover all support staff and utilities is applicable).

Other Users:

All successful applicants will be asked to enter into an agreement with the City of Ottawa. Rental costs for the Marion Dewar Plaza are $1776.00/event day (plus HST) for a three day period (one day set-up, one day of operations, one day of tear-down). Each additional day of operations will be charged $1776.00 (plus HST).

This fee will include:

  1. Water and Power, however, an ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) certificate of inspection must be acquired to ensure compliance and supervision of all electrical connections.
  2. Cleaning within City Hall building - “Outside by Organizer”.
  3. The use of existing (if available) barricades / cements weights.

Note: The groups shall be responsible for all damages to landscaping and equipment due to negligence. A $2500.00 + HST damage deposit fee will be applicable

Additional terms and conditions

The festival/special event organizers will, at their own cost:

  1. Provide a programming/logistics co-ordination contact person.
  2. Provide overnight site cleaning during and post the event.
  3. Provide adequate supervision, crowd control, co-ordination and technical support during the event.
  4. Install and dismantle necessary equipment and infrastructure.
  5. Provide a certificate of comprehensive liability insurance coverage with the City of Ottawa as additional insured to a minimum limit of $5 million dollars per occurrence.
  6. Ensure the Marion Dewar Plaza is left in its original physical condition.
  7. Recognize the Marion Dewar Plaza as the official event site in promotional material and signage.
  8. Obtain a Special Occasion Permit related to the sale of alcohol, if required.
  9. Respect all government regulations and laws, specifically City policies pertaining to use of tobacco and public use of City facilities.
  10. Be bound by the Terms and Conditions of the Municipal Alcohol Policy,
  11. Respect City of Ottawa regulations regarding use of the site (e.g. no use of ground stakes, monitoring of amplification levels, adhering to weight restrictions above the permanent stage and parking garage, etc.).
  12. Not conduct any illegal activity.


  1. Permission to use Marion Dewar Plaza does not necessarily ensure similar permission in subsequent years. A new application must be made on an annual basis (December of the previous year).
  2. These guidelines only cover usage of Marion Dewar Plaza, the site control office and the change rooms. The booking of all other interior/exterior space must be co-ordinated through the Special Events Co-ordinator, which will also look after logistical arrangements subsequent to booking the Plaza.
  3. The City of Ottawa reserves the right to request changes to a site plan in order to protect the natural, structural or architectural features of Marion Dewar Plaza.
  4. Event management guidelines outlining infrastructure resources (water outlets, power sources, etc.) and regulations will be provided.
  5. Normally a two week period will be scheduled between major events to allow the Plaza grounds time to rejuvenate.


Special event:

  • a one-time organized activity of a sports, social, recreational, touristic or cultural nature

Festival - cultural touristic:

  • annually recurring public celebration of limited duration of a nature organized by a not-for-profit group

Major established Festival:

  • has an operating budget over $100,000 and is at least two years old

Small emerging Festival:

  • less than two years old, and with an operating budget smaller than $100,000


To enquire about public space availability at Marion Dewar Plaza:
E-mail: or,
Call: 613-580-2424 ext. 22771

Updated September 2018

Terms and conditions

To enquire about public space availability at Ottawa City Hall
E-mail: or
Call: 613-580-2424 ext. 22771

Terms and Conditions for use of public space at Ottawa City Hall

The Special Events Co-ordinator or designate must approve furniture, equipment and/or signage, which are brought in by the organizer for an event, prior to the function date.

Items brought in for an event are to be removed upon completion of the same. All articles left on Ottawa City Hall property will be disposed of within 24 hours after the event.

To ensure that your event is a success we request that details be finalized at least two weeks prior to the function date.

Please review the additional information below:


  • all City of Ottawa properties are a public facility, therefore, we request that no event may block or hinder the normal passageway for pedestrians (including furniture, displays, cords, etc.).

Alcoholic beverages

  • all applicants shall be bound by the Terms and Conditions of the Municipal Alcohol Policy.
  • the use of alcohol in the facility is governed by the regulations as set out by the L.C.B.O., and a L.C.B.O. Special Occasion Permit is required.
  • the sponsor of the Special Occasion Permit is required to complete, sign and submit the Acknowledgement Statement (Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Assumption of Risks and Indemnity Agreement) prior to the event as identified in the Municipal Alcohol Policy.
  • a copy of the Special Occasion Permit must be posted where the event is being held (near the area where alcohol is being served).
  • the City reserves the right to withhold the sale of refreshment and/or alcoholic beverages for any reason.

Audiovisual services

  • all set up, operation and maintenance of City audio-visual equipment will be handled by the Special Events Co-ordinator.
  • should you require additional equipment that’s not in stock, a charge to the organizer will apply.
  • if City A/V equipment is required, a rental cost for equipment and cost of audio-visual staff required during and after work hours to operate equipment will be charged to Lessee.
  • alternately, Lessee may provide and operate his/her own equipment (Note: you cannot combine two different systems)
Equipment Rental Costs (flat rate):
  • LCD projector $100 + HST

  • Sound System $230 + HST

  • 60” diameter tables, 25 on-site free


  • only propane barbecues will be permitted (outdoors), provided that the event organizer/applicant supplies one fire extinguisher per barbecue unit.
  • barbecues must be enclosed at all times.
  • hot plate warmers are allowed indoors as long as they meet the Fire Code Regulations.


  • open-flamed candles and the burning of incense are not permitted within Ottawa City Hall due to Fire Code Regulations.

Catering / Food services

  • the City reserves the right to regulate all catering and refreshment services for any public or private event held in any of the meeting rooms and activity areas.


  • children under the age of 12 years are not to be left unattended on Ottawa City Hall property.


  • there will be a charge for full payment to the organizer if there’s a cost associated with damage and/or excessive cleaning requirements as a direct result of an event


  • please advise the Special Events Co-ordinator regarding your decorating setup prior to your event.


  • all scheduling of loading and unloading privileges must be co-ordinated at least one week in advance through the Special Events Co-ordinator.
  • the freight elevator may also be used and is scheduled in specific time blocks based on availability.
  • loading dock access is available; if you have to arrange deliveries outside our normal business hours, a charge may be incurred by the organizer.


  • floor plans for displays such as tables, showcase and/or stand-alone panels must be co-ordinated and approved by the Special Events Co-ordinator or Representative prior to the event.

Electrical power

  • all electrical requirements and plans are to be presented two weeks prior to the event for approval by our technical staff.
  • additional power requirements that require extra wires and/or electrical services will be made available upon request; cost may be incurred by the organizer.
  • the Building Operations staff of the facility will do all operating and adjustment of the facilities electrical or mechanical equipment.


The organizer of an event is responsible for obtaining the necessary insurance. Should the event require liability insurance, the following provisions must be included:

  • proof of liability insurance may be required in accordance with the City’s insurance policy.
  • minimum liability of $2,000,000.00
  • the City of Ottawa to be named as an additional insured; and
  • cross liability/severability of interest clause.


  • all City of Ottawa properties have various lighting capabilities and must be requested in advance.
  • please note that all properties have emergency lighting, which cannot be dimmed or turned off.


  • the applicant is responsible for the issuing of any press release or public service announcement unless the event is co-sponsored by the City of Ottawa.


  • parking is available at your own cost at Ottawa City Hall. An enclosed public parking area is located underneath City Hall. Parking lot locations and parking fees.
  • deliveries (see “deliveries” section”) may be arranged via temporary parking permits, however, we request that all vehicles be removed promptly after loading and/or unloading.
  • all unauthorized vehicles on City Hall property will be ticketed and/or towed at the owner’s expense.

Placards and Signage

  • placards and/or picket signs are not permitted on Ottawa City Hall property.
  • printed material is not to be affixed to any walls, pillars, windows, etc. at Ottawa City Hall.
  • signs may be placed on easels and/or display units with prior approval.
  • all signs shall be in both official languages. Failure to comply will result in removal of signage.


Rules and Regulations

  • the organizer must comply with all applicable City of Ottawa rules, regulations and by-laws.
  • failure to comply will result in the event being cancelled.
  • no illegal activity shall be permitted.

Safety and Security

  • for safety and security reasons, all exits, stairwells and security/reception desks must remain accessible at all times.
  • all security and life safety requirements for events must be co-ordinated through the City of Ottawa Special Events Co-ordinator.
  • the City reserves the right to request security personnel to be present at specified periods during the rental period, costs to be charged to the Lessee.


  • no commercial sale of goods or services is permitted.
  • sales by charitable organizations require prior approval.
  • for public events with an admission charge, the Lessee is responsible for providing ticket sellers and takers.


  • the No Smoking By-Law (in public spaces) is enforced on Ottawa City Hall property.
  • please be advised that anyone caught smoking will be dismissed from the premises and are susceptible to personal fines and/or the termination of the entire event.

Staffing costs

  • additional staff may be required during an event. After finalization of event details, the Special Events Co-ordinator will forward specific staff requirements.
  • the rates (based on four-hour minimum) are as follows:
    • Housekeeping Personnel $45.00 /hour/Cleaner
    • Security Staff $37.50/hour/Officer
    • Technical (A/V) Staff $46.00/hour/Technician
    • Building Eng. (HVAC) $62.00/hour/BST

(Rates are subject to change)


  • storage facility/space is not provided at Ottawa City Hall.
  • the City of Ottawa is not responsible for any stolen or misplaced items left on City Hall property. In the event it should happen, please call the City of Ottawa Special Events Co-ordinator at 613-580-2424 ext.22771 or e-mail

Updated September 2018