The change in the Provincial order relating to Community Gardens moved them from the list of recreation amenities in parks that were closed under Provincial order. Instead, they designated community gardens that grow food as an essential service that was removed from the Provincial order removing access to most equipment and features in a park. The Province also imposed strict requirements for Community Gardens to be used, including a plan set out by Ottawa Public Health, where each garden location needs to follow the recommendations provided by Ottawa Public Health, at minimal.
As per these regulations, each community garden in Ottawa (whether on City land, NCC land, Ottawa Community Housing land, or on private land owned by schools, faith communities, businesses, etc.) needs to work with Just Food, a local group that coordinates the food gardens, and Ron Matyas (City of Ottawa) to establish an operational plan that covers off health and safety related to COVID-19 for their ongoing activities before they receive an email from Just Food approving their garden is open. Residents who had gardens last year should contact their Garden coordinator to get confirmation when their respective gardens will open.
There has been no change is the designation of ornamental flower beds and they would still be considered a recreation amenity under the Provincial Order that closes parks. There is no ability to allow work of this type in parks at this time. Even the relaxing of Provincial rules for landscaping companies only allows for essential work like grass cutting and aeration, and not ornamentals yet. It is possible that the Province will relax some of its regulations shortly, but it has not done so at this time. It is also likely, based on the approach to date, that conditions will be placed on the return of this type of activity.