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Parks and green space

City permits limited use of spaces in City parks. Use of playground equipment and park amenities remains prohibited

The City is implementing the Province’s stage one reopenings that relate to park amenities.

In response to last week’s Provincial announcement, outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields are open, including:

  • Baseball diamonds
  • Soccer fields
  • Frisbee golf locations
  • Tennis
  • Platform tennis
  • Table tennis and pickleball courts
  • Basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • Skate parks

In addition, off-leash dog areas, benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open. In all cases, physical distancing of at least two metres is required.

City crews will begin installing tennis nets and unlocking off leash dog areas immediately and the work will be completed over the next few weeks. Sports fields are available for casual use only, respecting physical distancing measures and groups of no more than five people. The rental of fields for competitive sports will not resume until Provincial Orders allow for competitive play.

Provincial orders remain in effect prohibiting the use of:

  • Play structures,
  • Swings
  • Slides
  • Splash pads
  • Wading pools
  • Exercise equipment

During the first stage of reopenings, Emergency Provincial Orders remain in place prohibiting gatherings of more than five people outside of your current household. This applies to all public use of opened outdoor park facilities. To allow for physical distancing and to limit the spread of COVID-19 when using outdoor sport amenities, maintain a two-meter distance from others, avoid picking up someone else’s sports equipment, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Benches, picnic tables and gazebos

Restrictions on benches, picnic tables and gazebos have also been relaxed under the Provincial stage-one reopening framework. Benches and tables are not cleaned frequently. Please wash your hands after using them, and be sure not to touch your face.

Enclosed off-leash dog parks

Enclosed off-leash dog areas in City parks are now reopened. Please remember that the gates at off-leash dog parks are high touch-points that are not cleaned. Please wash your hands before entering and after exiting a dog park, and avoid touching your face.

You can also walk your dog in a park’s greenspace, as long as you follow the park’s designation.

Residents can check the map on ottawa.ca to see the dog walking designation in their neighbourhood park.

You can also check the National Capital Commission’s website for updates to parks that they oversee, such as Bruce Pit and Conroy Pit.

Beaches

  • Like the green spaces in City parks, visitors can sit or walk on City-owned beaches. Please remember, beaches located in provincial parks remain closed under Ontario’s Emergency Orders.

Park Ambassador program

Parks Ambassadors are trained City staff who can provide guidance for residents who are using some of Ottawa’s busiest parks. They will provide information, answer questions and clarify any confusion about what’s permitted in City parks. Of course, all while maintaining a safe two-metre distance from others.

You may see Park Ambassadors working in pairs, wearing green City of Ottawa t-shirts and red jackets on cold days. They will not be giving out tickets, but are available to educate and inform park users about how to use the parks, and how to get more information about recreation, social and mental health resources in Ottawa.

Boat launches

  • Boat launches at City parks will open on Saturday, May 16, as permitted in the Province of Ontario stage-one reopening.
  • It’s important to note that even in normal times, it is never permitted to launch watercraft from beaches. The Parks and Facilities By-law prohibits watercraft from being launched in areas that are not specifically designated for launching watercraft.

Parks

The City operates and maintains roughly 4,300 hectares of parkland at over 1,300 sites, including 2,000 play structure components.

Are you holding a special event or family reunion? The City’s parks are a great outdoor alternative to being inside. Parks are open daily from 6 am to 11 pm, unless otherwise posted. People in a park while it is closed may be subject to a fine.

Popular City parks

Park amenities

Washrooms

Most parks do not have full washroom facilities. Some parks have portable toilets or washrooms in field houses that can be rented or accessed with keys.

Parking

Not all parks have parking lots. Some charge an hourly fee for parking. If you choose to park on the street, obey all street signs.

Barbeques

Without a permit, you can only barbeque in designated areas. A designated area has a free standing barbeque pit.

To bring your own propane barbeque to use in a non-designated area, you must obtain a park permit by calling 613-580-2595 or emailing sports@ottawa.ca. Barbeques must be kept at least five meters away from any structures.

Park locations

The interactive map and table below display the locations of the City's parks. The number of parks listed in the table will expand or contract as you zoom in, zoom out or pan the map view. You can navigate to an area of interest by searching for a park name, address, intersection or City facility in the “Find address or place” search box. Click on a park for more information about that location. Park information is also available in the City’s Open Data Catalogue.

Rent a park

You need a permit to hold an event at a City park. Events include community picnics, fundraisers, sporting events, weddings, birthdays and special events.

  1. Complete the park rental application form [ PDF - 78.7 ].
    1. Please provide alternate locations, as your preferred park may not be available or suitable for your proposed event. Clearly indicate which locations are your second or third choice.
  2. Send the completed application form by fax to 613-580-2683 or by email to sports@ottawa.ca
  3. We may request more information about your event. This process varies in length of time.
  4. We will email a contract and payment information. Review, sign and return the contract to sports@ottawa.ca. The contract will be valid once we receive payment and a signed copy of the contract.
  5. On the day of your event, bring a copy of your contract and your receipt.

Please note: If your event will have 500 or more participants, please contact eventcentral@ottawa.ca.

Park rental fees 2020

Parks are open for daily bookings from 7 am to 11 pm. All rental fees include HST.

Category Duration Rate
Not-for-profit or private (less than 100 people) Half day (four hours or less) $29.95
Not-for-profit or private (less than 100 people) Full day (five to 16 hours) $59.90
Not-for-profit or private (101 to 200 people) Full day

$119.65

Not-for-profit or private (201 people or more) Full day $239.15
Commercial Full day

$477.95

Bootcamp or fitness class

Hourly

$35.50

Types of activities

  • Not-for-profit: An activity that fits with the Parks and Recreation branch mandate and is not intended to generate a profit. This activity must be open to everyone.
  • Private: A not-for-profit activity that does not fit with the Parks and Recreation mandate and/or is intended for select members of the community.
  • Commercial: An activity that intends to generate a profit. This could involve selling goods or services or requiring a registration fee.

Cancellations

  • To amend or cancel a park rental, you must provide notify us 10 business days in advance.
  • No cash refunds. Only credits on account will be provided.
  • No refund is provided if the cancellation or amendment is made less than 10 business days in advance.

Frequently asked questions about park rentals

What if someone is on my rented site?

General or non-designated park permits do not give you exclusive use of a park. If you have a permit for a defined space (such as an outdoor shelter), you have exclusive use of that area.

Bring a copy of your rental permit with you on the day of the event and show it to the other group. If this does not resolve the conflict, call 3-1-1 to request a by-law officer.

May I bring alcohol to the park?

Alcohol is permitted if you obtain a Special Occasion Permit at your own expense and get approval from Centralized Allocations. Please review these rules and regulations about alcohol in City of Ottawa facilities. 

May I set up inflatable amusements?

Staff will review each request. Proof of insurance is required for all bouncy castles in City parks.

May I set up a tent for shelter?

Small (up to 10 feet by 10 feet) tents are permitted as long as they are not pegged into the ground. 

May I play music?

To play music or use any form of an amplified device, you must apply for and receive an exemption to the Noise By-Law. Please contact noiseexemption@ottawa.ca for further information.

Splash pads (summer only)

All Splash Pads are currently closed. For summer 2020 reopening timelines, please check back shortly.

For more information please contact the Seasonal Recreation office at 613-580-2590.

This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa’s splash pads. Splash pads marked in light blue are accessible.

Wading pools (summer only)

All Wading pools are currently closed. For summer 2020 reopening timelines, please check back shortly.

Bring the kids to a neighbourhood wading pool to cool off and play. This interactive map shows you the locations of Ottawa's wading pools, along with their dates and hours of operation.

In order to maximize operational hours to the public, wading pools will be open during draining procedures. Staff will notify swimmers once the water has reached a depth that is no longer safe.

Fees

There is no cost to swim at a City of Ottawa wading pool.

Dog parks

Parks can provide a pleasant and safe environment in which to exercise dogs. Safety for other park users is also a consideration however. The Animal Care and Control By-law provides for a variety of park usages or "designations" for dogs (below) and there is a Dogs-in-Parks Designation Policy (DIPDP) that applies.

City parks and amenities are now closed, including off-leash dog enclosures. Walkthroughs permitted only.

Learn More

Request city park maintenance

Please call 3-1-1 if the issue is related to the following:

  • An immediate hazard to people or property
  • Personal accessibility

Requests submitted through this online form are reviewed Monday through Friday during regular business hours (7 am to 3:30 pm).

Select the feature or structure that requires maintenance:

Ball diamond field

Garbage can in City park

Shrub or bush in City park

Trail in City park

Grass in City park

Grass is maintained according to Council-approved maintenance standards. The use of pesticides for aesthetic weed control (including dandelions) is prohibited by the Ontario Pesticides Act.

Parks in consultation and development

The City of Ottawa wants input from you on the design of new parks! Find all new park projects on our Public Engagement Project search tool and provide comments on designs currently being reviewed.

Information for community gardeners at Kilborn Allotment Gardens

Ontario has deemed community gardens as an essential service. Gardening at the Kilborn Allotment Gardens will go forward as planned.

The 2020 gardening season at Kilborn Allotment Gardens will run from May 4 to October 23, Gardening hours between 7 am and 7 pm.

  • Access to the gardens will only be allowed on foot until May 15 (weather permitting). We ask you to not use wheelbarrows as they could damage the ground and cause future issues.
  • Access to the sheds will begin on May 4
  • Water is expected to be turned on May 11

The delivery of waste and compost bins may be delayed for a few weeks due to the ground’s softness.

Rules and guidelines

Please review the General Rules and Conditions and OPH guidelines. There are a few new rules in place to comply with the safety protocols of the COVID-19 situation.

Garden schedule

A sign-in and sign-out system will be in place to track gardeners each day. This system will help Ottawa Public Health with contact tracing if someone develops COVID-19. The system will need to record:

  • Full name, phone number and email of person who visited the garden
  • Date and time of when the visit began and ended

Gardeners must comply with the following schedule in order to adhere to the guidelines set out by Ottawa Public Health.

    • Gardeners with even-numbered plots will be allowed in the garden on even-numbered calendar days.
    • Gardeners with odd-numbered plots will be allowed in the garden on odd-numbered calendar days. Garden plots that are shared amongst multiple friends, neighbours or households, will follow the same as above. Sharing members should not be in the garden at the same time as the garden renter.
    • Gardeners who have multiple plots must still follow the above rules regarding which plots can be worked on, based on the calendar days.
    • Time spent in the gardens at any individual visit (within the calendar days allowed for your plot) is limited to four hours.

Waste and compost bins

  • The delivery of the waste and compost bins will be delayed for a few weeks due to the ground’s softness.
  • Please be mindful to properly separate organic waste and regular waste.
    • Bins at the location are for either organic waste only, or for regular waste only, and are not to be combined. Waste management will not be picking up the bins if they are not pre-sorted first, which will make it harder to maintain gardens.

Water

  • Water is to be used for gardening and handwashing purposes only.
  • Water is shared amongst all gardeners, so please be mindful to allow other gardeners the use of the water valves.
  • For those who have multiple plots, please be mindful not to use all surrounding water structures at once. This greatly reduces the water pressure for all other gardeners.
  • You may not leave the water unattended on your plot via sprinklers.
  • If you notice a broken or leaking valve, please email Dempsey@ottawa.ca with the location (plot # area) so that we can try to fix it.
  • All gardeners must use caution when using shared equipment, such as water taps, and must wear gloves for its use.
    • If using dispsable gloves, it is your responsibility to dispose of them appropriately; failure to do so is considered littering and you can be fined by By-law.

Maintenance of plots

  • Especially with the current situation, there are many people looking for gardening plots. Therefore, any plots that have not been tended or worked on by June will receive a warning.
    • If the plot is not tended to by the end of June, the plot will be removed and reallocated to someone on our waitlist.
    • Please note, if you are in a situation where you may be sick or unable to garden, please email Dempsey@ottawa.ca with your plot number and we can work together to find a solution.
  • Community gardens are for food production. Ornamental gardens are outside the scope of Community gardens. There is no issue if gardeners plant pollinators within their existing community garden in approved plots, although they should not be adding additional features without the City's approval.

Safety and personal hygiene equipment

  • Consider wearing a non-medical face mask when physical distancing is difficult, to protect others from the spread of droplets generated by breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, etc.
  • Use your own garden gloves and bring them home to wash each day.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly immediately after taking off your gloves.
  • Frequently-touched surfaces may be contaminated. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in the garden.
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19. These cleaning and disinfection recommendations aim to reduce the risks associated with surface transmission. Clean surfaces first, then disinfect them. But remember that you cannot rely on a surface to be clean when you touch it – always wash your hands before touching any part of your face even if you think a surface you have touched is clean.

Handwashing

  • Practice good personal hygiene practices including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your arm. Do not touch your face (mouth, nose, or eyes) unless you have washed your hands immediately before.
  • Washed hands are the best protection against accidentally transferring the virus to your mouth, nose or eyes where infection can start.
  • Wash hands upon entry to the garden and when leaving the site. If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred. Hand sanitizer can be effective if dirt is removed from hands first.
  • It is the responsibility of the gardener to bring soap with them.

Washing and selling of produce

  • Selling vegetables from your garden is not allowed and against our rules. If you are found selling, you will no longer be allowed to rent from us in the future.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running tap water is recommended as per normal when preparing food. Always wash your hands with soap and water before washing fruits and vegetables, and between handling different kinds of foods. Visit Ottawa Public Health’s Keeping food safe (clean, cook, chill, separate) for more information.

Outdoor washrooms

  • Outdoor washrooms will be installed this year.
  • Please note that they will only be pumped and disinfected once per day. You should use every caution if you use the washrooms.
  • Disinfect the area prior to use and use protective equipment such as gloves.
  • Handwashing after use is mandatory.