I have received many questions from residents who are confused about the new measures imposed to control COVID-19 in our communities. I will be hosting a meeting on Wednesday, January 20, on COVID-19. I invited Brent Moloughney, the Deputy Medical Officer of Health from Ottawa Public Health. He will be available to answer your questions on COVID-19. Sign up to receive the Zoom link.
The City of Ottawa has clarified how the Province of Ontario’s new stay-at-home measures will alter public access to some of its facilities and temporarily suspend in-person counter services.
The Province is requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.
Impact on City services & facilities
What facilities are opened and closed:
- The City will continue to operate and provide some services during the stay-at-home order, including virtual arts and recreation programming.
- No public access to administrative buildings, including 100 Constellation and Ben Franklin Place.
- Public access to City Hall will be restricted to the Service Ontario counter and the municipal daycare service. Municipal counters, such as ServiceOttawa, will be closed as of the end of the business day on Friday, January 15, 2021 and will be moving to online delivery.
- All indoor recreation and cultural facilities remain closed to the public, excluding respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres, municipal childcare centres (ages 0-4), inclusive recreation programs and Before-and-After School programs when elementary schools resume.
- Ottawa Public Library facilities will remain closed – including the bookmobile – but will continue to provide contactless curbside services.
Outdoor rinks and sledding hills remain open
Outdoor rinks – community and refrigerated – and sledding hills will remain open with the current 25-person capacity restriction and masking requirements outlined in the order issued by Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. Outdoor refrigerated rinks will continue to operate with the online reservation system on ottawa.ca/skating.
People are reminded they must maintain two-metres from others and masks must be worn in public accessibility areas that are within 15 metres (50 feet) distance of the edge of the ice surface. While masks are not mandatory when skating, OPH recommends wearing one for added protection.
Under Provincial Regulations, no team sports are permitted and the City is directing that only skating take place on all rinks with no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice.
Temporarily suspended in-person services include:
- City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (100 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters. Client Services Centres will suspend our current in-person counter services which will move to online delivery. Building Code Services will move to an alternate format such as mail services, electronic submission, phone, etc.
- The Provincial Offences Act courthouse, located at 100 Constellation Drive, Nepean, will remain closed.
- EarlyON Child and Family Centre remains closed from the current shutdown
- The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue is open for drop-off of documents only and clients can call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735 or email email@example.com
.Altered services include:
- Complaints for unauthorized parking on private property will continue to require new electronic procedures for proof of authority.
- Residents needing financial assistance are asked call us at 3-1-1 and select option #4 for Social Services for information on all programs and services.
- People cannot visit the Employment and Social Services offices, but staff are available to help residents by phone, email and mail from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.
- Ontario Works claimants do not need to drop off any documents, including income reporting statements. Those documents can be given the case worker at a later date.
- Virtual arts and recreation programs will be offered with registration starting on January 14 at 9 pm.
- To support those staying home during these provincial measures, By-law and Regulatory Services will not be enforcing overtime parking on streets that do not have posted time limits. All other parking restrictions that ensure safety and mobility remain in effect, including parking bans due to snow accumulation, no-stopping zones, no-parking zones, fire routes, accessible parking spaces, pay and display, and rules around sidewalks, driveways and fire hydrants.
Acquiring services or doing transactions online or by phone or cheque
While all counter services are suspended, residents can acquire some services and complete payments and registrations online or by phone or cheque. Please confirm with your City contact prior to mailing a cheque.
Residents can go to myservice.ottawa.ca to pay water bills and your interim property taxes. If you do not have an account, registration is simple – just sign-up with your email address. Once registered, you’ll need your account or property roll number to pay your bill.
City bills have other payment options besides the myservice.ottawa.ca accounts, which include:
- Paying by credit or debit card online at ottawa.ca
- Paying through your financial institution by creating a payee number on your institution’s mobile app or through an ATM machine
- Paying by phone with your financial institution
- Sending a cheque by mail
Residents can access many other services online as well. You do not need to come in-person to a Client Service Centre if you want to:
- Register or renew a pet registration
- Apply or renew an open-air fire permit
- Pay a parking or traffic ticket
- Look up extension or reopening applications
- Apply for a Food Premise Business License
- Sign-up for future recreation programs
- Load and manage a Presto Card
The City of Ottawa thanks all residents and businesses for their continued patience, kindness and resilience in doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The rate of spread is at a dangerous point. We need to pull together again as a community by staying apart, respecting all measures, and practicing all preventative measures.