Enhanced Stay-at-Home Order: City closes some outdoor rec facilities – masks to be worn at playgrounds

Alexander Grove Park / Photo by Barry Gray

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, has issued an Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) to require wearing masks at or within five metres of playground equipment, which remain open under the Province’s enhanced Stay-at-Home restrictions. These include:

  • Play structures
  • Swings
  • Slides
  • Climbers
  • Sand boxes

This masking requirement does not apply to an individual younger than two (2) years of age, or a child who is under five (5) years of age chronologically or developmentally, and who refuses to wear a mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver. The masking order takes effect at 12:01 on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

For compliance with the enhanced restrictions under the extended Province’s Stay-at-Home Order, the City of Ottawa has closed some of its recreation facilities, which include:

  • Public sports fields – including those located at recreation facilities
  • Ball diamonds
  • Basketball, tennis and pickleball courts
  • Skateboard parks
  • BMX and other bike parks

The closures took effect at 12:01 on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Walking, running and cycling through parks is permitted

While most outdoor park amenities are closed, you are allowed to walk, run and cycle through parks. You must keep a two-metre distance from others in parks, unless they are members of your household.

Benches and off-leash dog parks can still be used as long as people maintain a two-metre distance.

While By-law and Regulatory Services will exercise enforcement discretion, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reminds parents and guardians to ensure that children on playground structures, swings and slides wear masks and maintain physical distancing.  These regulations have been put in place to support current Provincial restrictions and help curtail the current surge of COVID-19 in our community.

The enhanced provincial restrictions also prohibit any outdoor social gathering with people outside your household. The only exception is for those who live alone, who may join only one household.

More information will be available upon further review of the Province of Ontario regulations.

Please stay home and help us bring down the spread of COVID-19 in our community.


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