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Drop-in activities

Gradual expansion of services under Step Three

Under Step Three, Recreation and Cultural Services will restart at select locations – with a new level of restrictions and measures in place. Access to most activities will require a reservation in advance.

Indoor recreation facilities and programs

The following activities will reopen with capacity limits:

  • Indoor public and lane swims at select pools on July 16.
  • Indoor Aquafitness programs at select pools on July 16.
  • Summer Learn-to-Swim programs, starting the week of July 26 with restrictions.
  • Weight and cardio rooms at select facilities on July 16.
  • Indoor sport activities at select facilities on July 16.
  • Drop-in programs such as fitness classes, older adult fitness classes, and skating will start atselect facilities on July 16 with capacity limits.
  • Reservations for drop-in activities can be made on ottawa.ca beginning July 14 at 6 pm.
  • Summer Learn-to-Swim registrations started on July 12 and are ongoing.

The resumption of other recreation and cultural programming and activities – including its 2021 fall programming – will be announced in the coming weeks.

Facility rentals

Select indoor and outdoor rental spaces will be available with capacity limits. Please contact the facility directly for rental information.

  • Halls
  • Rooms
  • Meeting spaces
  • Pool
  • Sports fields
  • Rental space for team sports
  • Arena and slab bookings

Please email sports@ottawa.ca for more details.

Cultural facilities and programs

Cultural facilities will gradually start to reopen over the next few weeks. While museums are open for outdoor activities, indoor self-guided tours with capacity limits will begin for the season over the next week. City-run galleries will begin to reopen on July 22, with restrictions and capacity limits in place.

More information will be announced in the coming weeks and months for all instructional programming and performing arts – including:

  • Virtual courses from the Nepean Creative Centre, Nepean Visual Arts Centre and Shenkman Arts Centre. 
  • Live performances at Meridian Theatres @Centrepointe and Shenkman Arts Centre, with limited audience capacity. Details on shows, dates and COVID-related measures will be announced at a later date. 

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.

Wearing a mask in City facilities

Masks are required when entering the facility, in common areas, lobbies, washrooms, change rooms and hallways as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-Law.

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.

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.

Arenas offering drop-in activities

You can reserve a spot online by selecting from the following facilities and clicking on the reservation button at the bottom of the schedule tab:

Drop-in fees 2021

Swimming fees

Standard and outdoor pool fees

Bearbrook Outdoor Pool, Beaverbrook Outdoor Pool, Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex-Orléans, Brewer Pool, Canterbury Pool, Corkstown Outdoor Pool, Crestview Outdoor Pool, Deborah Anne Kirwan Pool, Entrance Outdoor Pool, François Dupuis Recreation Centre, General Burns Outdoor Pool, Genest Outdoor Pool, Glen Cairn Outdoor Pool, Katimavik Outdoor Pool, Lowertown Pool, Pinecrest Recreation Centre, Plant Recreation Centre, Sawmill Creek Pool

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $3
  • Full-time students: $3
  • 19 to 64 years: $5.50
  • 65 years and older: $3.75
  • One to two adults and their children: $3 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $2.75 per person

Leisure pool fees

CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn, Minto Recreation Complex-Barrhaven, Nepean Sportsplex, Richcraft Recreation Complex-Kanata, Splash Wave Pool

  • Two years and under: Free
  • Three to 18 years: $4
  • Full-time students: $4
  • 19 to 64 years: $6.25
  • 65 years and older: $5
  • One to two adults and their children: $4 per person
  • Groups of 10 or more: $3.75 per person
  • Whirlpool/steam (Kanata Leisure Pool and Walter Baker Sports Centre): $5

Swim multi-visit pass

  • 12-visit pass for child, students or youth: $33.60
  • 12-visit pass for adults: $54
  • 12-visit pass for seniors: $48.60

Aquafit fees

  • Seniors, students and youth: $8
  • Adults: $9.75

Fitness fees

Valid for a single fitness activity.

  • Seniors, students, youth: $8.25
  • Adults: $9.75

Fitness multi-visit pass

  • 10-visit pass for youth, students or seniors: $72
  • 20-visit pass for youth, students or seniors: $133
  • 10-visit pass for adults: $89
  • 20-visit pass for adults: $161

Sports fees

  • Adult: $4.50
  • Senior: $4.25
  • Child, youth, family: $3

Sport multi-visit pass

  • 10-visit pass for child, students or youth: $27
  • 10-visit pass for adults: $40.50
  • 10-visit pass for seniors: $38.30

Older adult fees

  • Fitness drop-ins: $ 8.25
  • Sports drop-ins: $ 4.25
  • Social programming: Some social programming (movie night, walking club, teddy bear club and craft club) is offered at no cost. Please contact the facility for more information.

Skating fees

Public skating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-purchasing a membership doesn’t guarantee admittance.

Payment for Public Skating is to be made in exact change only. Limited sites can accept other methods of payment. Skaters may also use a City of Ottawa membership.

General skating fees

  • Children two years and under: Free
  • Children three to four years: $2.25
  • Children five years and older, youth, students, adults and seniors: $3.25
  • One to two adults and their children: $8.25

Arts centres fees

  • 19 years and older:
    • Pottery studio: $7.75
    • Art studio: $3.75

Drop-in program descriptions

Skating

  • Public skating: a leisure skating session for people of all ages. All children 10 years of age and under must have a parent/guardian with them for the duration of the skate. Children 10 years and under are required to wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet. We recommend that all skaters (especially new skaters) wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet. Bicycle, ski and snowsport helmets are not permitted.
  • Family skating: Leisure session for parents, seniors and children. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years and older. Children 10 years and under are required to wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet. We recommend that all skaters (especially new skaters) wear a CSA-certified hockey helmet. Bicycle, ski and snowsport helmets are not permitted.
  • Skating 50+: Leisure session for adults 50 years and older.
  • Adult skating: Leisure session for adults 18 years and older.

Swimming

  • Lane swim: Continuous lane swim workout. Children age eight to 10 must pass the facility's swim test. Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Maximum of 2 people per reservation.
  • Public swim: An unstructured swim time open to all ages. Non-swimmers aged 10 and under, and all children aged 7 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult or youth, at least 14 years of age, responsible for the direct supervision of the child and actively swimming within arms reach at all times. Children aged 8, 9 and 10 must be tested to demonstrate their ability to swim 25 metres uninterrupted in order to be permitted to swim unaccompanied. Only essential equipment will be provided for use on deck. You are welcome to bring your own equipment. Maximum of 6 people per reservation.
  • Preschool swim: An unstructured swim time with limited pool space allowing for playtime for preschool-aged children and their parents, ages 5 and under. Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 14 years of age and older.
  • 50+ swim: Lap swimming for adults aged 50 plus.
  • Women’s only swim: Open to all women and girls, 14 years of age and older.
  • Women’s only – Family swim: An unstructured swim designed for females-only and their children, boys over the age of 6 are not permitted. Adult females do not have to bring a child to these swims. Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 14 years of age and older.
  • Wave swim: A swim with the waves activated at a wave pool open to all ages. Non-swimmers aged 10 and under, and all children aged 7 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult or youth, at least 14 years of age, responsible for the direct supervision of the child and actively swimming within arms reach at all times. Children 5 years of age and under: maximum 2 children per responsible person 14 years of age and older. Children aged 8, 9 and 10 must be tested to demonstrate their ability to swim 25M uninterrupted in order to be permitted to swim unaccompanied.

Inclusive recreation swim programs

  • Swim for persons with a disability: Designated swim for youth and adult participants with a long-term disability. Swim is free of charge for qualifying participants upon completion of a participant information form. If assistance is required in the change room, participants must bring an attendant.
  • Wellness – Aqua therapy: A wellness program ideal for individuals living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis and individuals recovering from injury or surgery.
  • Wellness – Chronic pain: A wellness program ideal for individuals living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, osteoporosis and individuals recovering from injury or surgery.

Aquafitness

  • Aqua lite main pool: Offered in the main pool, the class is a low impact total body workout that offers a blend of cardio as well as muscular strength and endurance training combined with specific attention to core stabilization and relaxation techniques.
  • Aqua general shallow: Offered in the shallow end, the general aquafitness class is designed as a medium intensity total body workout, balance of cardio and muscular strength and endurance. A great introduction program offering easy choreography and options to modify the intensity.
  • Aqua lite warm pool: Offered in the warm pool, the class is a low impact total body workout that offers a blend of cardio as well as muscular strength and endurance training combined with specific attention to core stabilization and relaxation techniques.
  • Aqua general deep: Offered in the deep end, the general aquafitness class is designed as a medium intensity total body workout, balance of cardio and muscular strength and endurance. A great introduction program offering easy choreography and options to modify the intensity.

Fitness activities and weight and cardio rooms

  • Weight and cardio rooms: Sessions can now be booked for either 60 minutes or 90 minutes. Weight rooms have a mixture of free weights and weight machines. Cardio machines include treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers and stationary bicycles that are programmable for an exercise routine.

Bring your own mat (if required), towel and filled water bottle to the facility. Keep all personal belongings in your designated workout space.

Participants must fill room from back to front and exit via the designated exit route. Please follow floor markings, maps or staff instruction to queue safely before class. Follow staff instruction to enter and exit your designated workout space with assigned equipment.

  • Strength: Combine strength training movements with flexibility to improve muscular strength, posture, balance and mobility. Various resistance-based equipment or body weight exercises will be used.
  • Yoga: The combined focus on mindfulness, breathing and physical postures, practiced regularly, increases strength, flexibility, posture and balance as well as decreasing stress. Please note that fans will not be available.
  • Pilates: Introduction to foundational moves that develop core strength, proper posture, pelvic and hip stability (to combat low back pain), while enhancing muscular strength and endurance.
  • Indoor cycling: Focus on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity and recovery. Excellent cardiovascular exercise. Resistance is tailored to participants' ability.
  • Dance: Get fit, let loose and have fun! Classes include cardiovascular exercise choreographed to various music genres. All levels welcome! Styles include: Belly dancing, Zumba®, The Party and more!
  • Cardio: A choreographed cardio class with high or controlled impact.
  • Cardio and strength: Choreographed controlled impact cardio class designed to work different muscle groups with various movements and intensities. Various resistance-based equipment or body weight exercises will be used to improve strength and balance.
  • HIIT: High-intensity class that builds strength, speed and power through various cardio training and muscle conditioning techniques.
  • Track walking: Maintain 2-metre physical distancing. Participants must wear masks when not engaged in physical activity.

Sports

Youth: For youth between the ages of 13 and 18 years
Adult: For adults 18 and older
50+: For adults 50 and older

  • Pickleball, badminton and table tennis: The reservation links allow you to reserve up to 2 places for singles play. As of March 29, doubles play is no longer permitted due to provincial regulations. Bring your own paddle. Shared courts are subject to availability. Players should not switch sides during match.
  • Open gym: See sport specific details. No gameplay, only practice based activities. Players are to remain in the same team. Ball will be sanitized regularly during play.
  • Basketball practice: The reservation links allow you to reserve one ball and hoop (for use by members of your immediate household). No gameplay, only practice based activities. Ball will be sanitized regularly during play.
  • Soccer practice: No gameplay, only practice based activities. One net, one playing area and one ball per household cohort. Ball will be sanitized regularly during play.
  • Track walking: Maintain 2-metre physical distancing.
  • Kindergym: Play, run, climb and jump to burn some energy. Children ages 0 to 5 must be supervised by a caregiver while they have free play with a variety of sports equipment and toys in our gymnasium.

Older adult drop-ins

  • Learning / Lecture series: We will offer a variety of topics through presenters, online video or open discussion. Please call the centre you wish to attend for topic details.
  • Movies: Looking to enjoy the latest movies? Sign up today. Please note that our movies are subject to availability and shown in Closed Captioning (CC).
  • Walking club: Join our friendly walking group for low-impact exercise. Good for your bones, tones your bones, tones your body and improves your overall fitness. Walking may take place indoors or out.
  • Book club: Do you enjoy reading and discussing books with others - then come join our monthly club.
  • Shuffleboard: Bring a friend and get into the “shuffle!” this disc type game is lots of fun and easy to learn.
  • Billiards: Sign-up for this strategic game on our billiard-snooker table. Please bring your own cue, balls will be provided.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a simple practice available to all, which can reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness.
  • Craft club: Our drop-in activity provides you an opportunity to socialize while working on your own craft project. Bring your own supplies.
  • Teddy bear club: Our drop-in activity provides you an opportunity to socialize while working on your own craft project. Bring your own sewing supplies.

Arts activities

  • Oil and Acrylics Studio: No space at home to paint? This flexible painting studio allows you to pay for individual studio slots and build a schedule that suits you. Bring your own subject matter or still life to paint. Please use only odour-less solvents. No instruction provided.
  • Abstract Mixed Media Studio: Work spontaneously and intuitively on your own mixed media pieces in this supportive and creative studio setting. This flexible studio allows you to pay for individual studio slots and build a schedule that suits you. Bring your own subject matter and supplies needed to paint. No instruction provided.
  • Watercolours Studio: Need a space to be creative? This flexible painting studio allows you to pay for individual studio slots and build a schedule that suits you. Bring your own subject matter or still life to paint. No instruction provided.
  • Pottery Studio – Handbuilding: This flexible pottery studio allows you to pay for individual studio slots and build a schedule that suits you. Previous experience in the Nepean Visual Arts Centre pottery studio or instructional class is required. Participants must bring their own clay and tools. All clay must be purchased at the Nepean Visual Arts Centre for a per bag fee. No instruction provided.
  • Pottery Studio – Wheel: This flexible pottery studio allows you to pay for individual studio slots and build a schedule that suits you. Previous experience in the Nepean Visual Arts Centre pottery studio or instructional class is required. Participants must bring their own clay and tools. All clay must be purchased at the Nepean Visual Arts Centre for a per bag fee. No instruction provided.