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Filming in Ottawa

Background on the Film By-law

Update: COVID-19

On June 8, 2020, the Province of Ontario announced a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening that includes permitting film and television productions provided they are conducted in compliance with the conditions imposed under the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. All enquiries related to film permits can be directed to film@ottawa.ca.

Learn more about Ottawa’s reopening plan and new safety measures.

Background on the Film By-law 

Filming activity in Ottawa is governed by the newly developed Film By-law. The new Film By-law is designed to provide a consistent process for the industry when seeking City approvals. It will support Ottawa in becoming a ‘Film Friendly’ destination.

The Film By-law will also provide greater coordination of City services as they relate to filming and help minimize any potential disruption to residents, businesses and institutions during filming events.

Contact us

No matter the scale of your filming event, Event Central can assist you in determining if you require a film permit.

You can contact Event Central by email at film@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2424 ext. 38368

Applying for a Film permit

When to apply

You need to apply for a film permit:

  • If your filming event takes place on City property. Which could mean a street, pathway, facility or any other indoor or outdoor space that’s owned, leased or under the control of the City of Ottawa.
  • If your filming event includes the usage of a replica weapon, replica emergency vehicle or uniforms and is in view of or audible to the public regardless of who owns the property.
  • For each new filming event or location.

What you need to apply

For each individual filming event or filming location that falls under the jurisdiction of the By-law you will need to:

  • Fill out and sign a film application and provide details on the filming event at least five (5) business days before the earliest element required. If you are requesting parking the day before filming starts, the completed application must be submitted no later than five (5) days in advance of the parking request.
  • Provide a certificate of comprehensive/commercial general liability insurance that lists the City of Ottawa as the certificate holder, as well as additionally insured for the amount of 2 million dollars general liability.
  • Ensure that each separate location being requested has a corresponding location request form.
  • Additional information may be required on a case by case basis depending on the film event. Additional documentation may include: notice to residents and businesses, map of parking area request, traffic control plan for road closure, site plan, emergency plan, or fireworks plan.

Applications submitted that are incomplete will not be evaluated until all necessary components are present.

Application timelines

Please note that certain filming activities may take longer than five (5) business days to approve and often require additional documentation. Please refer to the additional elements below to learn which film activities may require additional processing time. For all applications submitted less than five (5) business days in advance of the film event a late fee will be applied.

Up to ten (10) business days if the film event includes:

  • Firearms, guns, replica weapons
  • Road closures
  • Transit detours
  • Paid duty officers
  • Emergency personnel and/or equipment
  • Artefact movement

Up to fourteen (14) business days if the film event includes:

  • Open air fire permit

Up to twenty (20) business days if the film event includes:

  • Noise exemption

Up to twenty-two (22) business days if the film event includes: 

  • Pyrotechnics or fireworks

Film event applications, guidelines and templates

Event Central has developed several tools and guidelines in collaboration with The Ottawa Film Office and the City’s Economic Development department to help guide producers through their film permit process.

Please note that a completed Filming Application is only required for initial requests. Productions with multiple filming locations are only required to fill in a supplemental Additional Location request form for subsequent filming events.

Applications

Please note: Before you fill in the form, download it onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader(link is external). Any information added to the form through the web browser will not be printable or saved.

Guidelines

Templates