Good news for museum lovers, indoor diners and entertainment fans: some of your favourite businesses are reopening in Ottawa! As of July 17, 2020, you can enjoy additional access to restaurants, attractions and certain performances, as long as health and safety measures are followed. So grab your mask and keep your physical distance while experiencing more of Canada’s capital!
Note: The information below is valid as of July 17, 2020 or later. Businesses are opening independently and many have modified their hours, access and offerings; contact them individually to confirm before visiting. Please follow the most recent COVID-19 regulations as stated by Ottawa Public Health, which includes wearing a mask in indoor public spaces (mandated as of July 7, 2020).
Many of Ottawa’s numerous national and local museums, historic sites and other attractions have reopened with certain modifications considering the restrictions. For helpful info on current hours, ticketing and offerings, visit our article on Museum and attraction programming this summer.
Several tour services in the city, including some walking tours and boat cruises had already resumed operations (check out our Stage 2 article for info). Additional tour options include the following (see our Guided tours for individuals or small groups page for more details):
- C’est Bon Cooking: Culinary walking tours
- BrewDonkey: Local craft brewery bus tours
- Haunted Walk Bubble Ghost tours: Original (outdoors) and Haunted Ottawa Jail (indoors)
- A La Carte Tours: Cycle & Savour and Neighbourhoods Unlocked
- Gees Bees Honey Company: Outdoor beehive tours at the farm
- 1000 Islands Rockport Cruises: Boat tours on the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands
Amusements and fun (for kids and adults)
Indoor and outdoor gathering limits have increased, which means you can once again access indoor spaces like the attractions above, plus casinos, escape experiences, bowling alleys and pool halls, as well as outdoor playgrounds and structures. A few reopening highlights:
- Ottawa City Rafting is offering a new Ottawa City Tubing experience on the Ottawa River departing just west of downtown and ending near Lebreton Flats.
- Take advantage of the temporary closure of certain parkways to motor vehicle traffic (days and hours vary) until September 27 to go cycling, running or walking.
- Several Escape Manor locations are now open, including the kids’ summer camps at their Junior location in Barrhaven. Their Escape the Diefenbunker activity—the world’s largest escape room—opens on July 24. Jigsaw Escapes in the ByWard Market neighbourhood is also open.
- Funhaven, an indoor entertainment centre for all ages, is open.
- The Casino du Lac-Leamy reopens on July 23.
- Outdoor city playgrounds and structures are accessible.
Indoor performances are now allowed within certain guidelines. Although many festivals and events remain cancelled for the foreseeable future, smaller or modified performances can take place, such as:
- Sparks Street’s Songs from the Shed series features free live music performances from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of August. Local musicians play in an open wooden structure between O’Connor and Bank Streets.
- The National Arts Centre and RBC Bluesfest are hosting drive-in live concerts by Canadian musicians at the Zibi site in Gatineau, July 31-August 1 and August 7-9, 2020.
- In addition to the drive-ins mentioned in Stage 2, you can once again watch movies inside Ottawa’s independent local theatres. Catch a flick at the Mayfair Theatre starting on July 17 or at the ByTowne Cinema starting on July 24.
- Laughter is the best medicine! As of July 17, you can LOL during live comedy shows at Yuk-Yuk’s Comedy Club and Absolute Comedy.
- Some Ottawa venues, such as Live! on Elgin and Rainbow Bistro, as well as many pubs and other gathering places, are welcoming back live music acts (check listings).
Many eateries have been offering takeout and opened their patios, and they can now also serve customers indoors. Contact individual restaurants, bars and other establishments to find out if they’re open and what they’re currently offering.
Keep visiting our Ottawa Insider blog for more updates on what you can see and do in Canada’s capital!