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Inclusive Recreation

Proof of vaccination required

As of September 22, 2021, you must present proof you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter an indoor recreation facility for most activities, as mandated by provincial regulations.

Required proof

  • Proof you are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means you have received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine at least 14 days prior. The following are accepted:
    • Electronic or hard copy of your vaccination receipt
    • Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate (QR code)
    • Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) vaccination booklet
    • Confirmation of vaccination issued by another jurisdiction
  • Valid identification that shows name and date of birth and has been issued by an institution or public body. Photo identification is not required and the identification does not need to be government-issued.


  • Age 11 and under
  • Those with a documented medical exemption from a doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 participating in organized sports, including on ice sports, sport leagues, badminton, table tennis, tennis, ball hockey, martial arts, dance, basketball, swimming lessons, aquatic certification courses or volleyball. However, this youth age group will require proof of vaccination for recreational swims, public skating, use of a cardio and weight room or attending an activity or sporting event as a spectator.

About Inclusive Recreation programs

Integrated and specialized recreation programs at City community centres give children, youth and adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in community recreation. Integrated and specialized programs are made possible through the support of partnership funding.

If participation in a program presents any serious risk to health and safety, a support person may also need to attend. A support person means someone who accompanies the participant in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs. Participants must provide their own support person. Contact a coordinator in your district for more information on accessibility policies and procedures, and to receive a Release for Support Person form.

Specialized recreational programs and activities

Browse the Inclusive Recreation eGuides to find specialized programs and activities. An intake meeting with the Inclusive Recreation Coordinator in your area prior to participation is advised, in order to discuss support needs, program activity and program environment. You will need to complete a program enrolment form prior to the meeting.

Fall 2021 Inclusive Recreation programs

Register now!

Shared Care support

Shared Care is an Integration opportunity for children with a special need to participate in various programs, such as After School, PA Days and camps.

  • Program participants must meet criteria. Contact your district’s coordinator to see if your child is eligible.
  • Shared Care is based on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The City does not provide 1:1 support for regular seasonal activities except for those noted.
  • There are a limited number of spots.

Please note the following:

How to register for Shared Care Support

Browse the shared care section on join.ottawa to find the program you would like to register your child in.

Registration is a two-step process:

  1. Register and pay for the program using the program barcode found in the eGuide.
  2. Contact the Inclusive Recreation Coordinator indicated in the program description to have your child assessed prior to the start of the program.

PA Days

Browse PA day programs.

Community supports, healthcare & recreation

inclusive recreation, home support services, Ottawa Hand in Hand, finding healthcare…

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COVID-19 safety measures at City facilities

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures are in place at City facilities:

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is required at all times for all users not living in the same household or in their social circle.
  • Plexiglass shields installed at customer service desks to protect workers and users.
  • Directional signage to manage traffic flow.
  • Room capacities have been reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations are available and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
  • Clients will need to conduct a health screening and assumption of risk upon arrival at the facility.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been implemented.
  • Air dryer use, including personal dryers, are not permitted at indoor facilities and change rooms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • All participants/volunteers/staff must wear masks during outdoor recreation programs except when actively engaged in athletic or physical activity.

Proof of vaccination

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and valid ID is required to enter an indoor recreation facility for most activities as of September 22, 2021. More information.

Wearing a mask in City facilities

Masks must be worn in enclosed public spaces, including when entering the facility, in common areas, lobbies, washrooms, change rooms and hallways, as mandated by province-wide masking regulations.

We require that all clients wear masks. Only the following programs, activities and individuals are exempt from the mask requirement:

  • Swimming: masks may be removed when entering the water but are required in other areas of the building.
  • Arenas: A mask is required at all times except while on the ice surface.
  • Children under the age of 5 years chronologically or developmentally, who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
  • Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities rendering them unable to safely wear a mask.
  • Individuals who are unable to put on or remove their mask without assistance.

Those who are exempt need to let staff know at the entrance during the screening process and let us know how they meet one of the exceptions listed above. They may be asked to use a face shield if their circumstance allows.

All other City of Ottawa programs not listed above, require clients to wear masks throughout participation with the goal of preventing transmission and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

Additional safety measures at City pools

When you come to an aquatic facility, you’re going to notice several changes we have made to ensure we live up to our commitment to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Clients are asked to keep their personal items to a minimum.
  • Swimmers are required to keep their masks on until they enter the pool.
  • Traffic measures will be implemented around the pools and entry and exit will be staggered so crowding doesn’t occur.
  • Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through a gate and not through the facility.
  • Viewing areas will be either closed or their capacity reduced, to allow for proper physical distancing.
  • Equipment that is not regularly in contact with chlorinated water will be disinfected every four hours at minimum.

Do your part to slow the spread by:

  • Showering at home before going to the pool.
  • Wearing your bathing suit to the pool.

Additional safety measures at City arenas

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety measures have been implemented at City operated arenas:

  • Participant access to the arena is granted 20 minutes prior to the booking start time.
  • Spectators are permitted at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Limited capacity in change rooms.
  • Designated skate tying areas outside dressing rooms.
  • Showers are off limits at this time.
  • Water fountains should be limited to bottle filling only.
  • Players are encouraged to arrive dressed in as much equipment as possible.

Additional safety measures at City fitness facilities

Participants may remove their masks and store them in a safe/secure space while actively engaged in an athletic or fitness activity, or when outdoors.

This includes:

  • weight and cardio rooms
  • during drop-in sports
  • public skating
  • fitness classes
  • on-ice activities
  • walking track.

Masks should be worn while transitioning between areas.


  1. A participant may remove their mask during a workout in a weight and cardio room. If the participants stop their workout, leave the workout area or transition to another area of the building, they are expected to wear their mask.
  2. A participant may remove their mask during a drop-in basketball activity, pickleball, badminton etc. When the activity is over, or if they leave the area to visit the changeroom, approach a staff member with a question or fill their water bottle in the lobby, they are expected to wear their mask.

Ottawa Public Health states that the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases progressively with age, particularly beyond 50 to 60 years. In addition to increasing age, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (cardiovascular, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung, chronic liver, cancer, immunocompromise) or severe obesity are at higher risk for severe illness. Every individual needs to take into account their personal risk factors when making decisions about going out.

Inclusive virtual activities

Physical programs

Dance activities

Yoga, meditations, affirmations

Cognitive activities

Life skills

Music therapy

Horticultural therapy

Cooking, baking programs and nutrition

Art therapy

Animal therapy


Museums and famous places with virtual tours

Aquariums and zoos with virtual tours


Contact us

For more information or help with scheduled payments please contact the Inclusive Recreation Admin Clerk at 613-580-2424 ext. 29283.

To schedule a telephone meeting with our staff, please call the Inclusive Recreation Coordinator in your district:

  • East District: 613-580-2424 ext. 29300
  • Central District: 613-580-2424 ext. 29292
  • South District: 613-580-2424 ext. 29291
  • West District: 613-580-2424 ext. 41226
  • Health Programs: 613-580-2424 ext. 29320

Accessibility design standards & features

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