Review of special event by-laws

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Whether for celebration, recreation, or expression, special events bring us together.

Ottawa hosts a great variety of festivals, charity runs, and cultural and community events throughout the year.

As Canada’s capital and host to both the federal government and 128 diplomatic missions, we are also a place for political expression.

These activities are regulated through the Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) and Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260). The City of Ottawa is currently reviewing these by-laws to ensure that they effectively support festival and event organizers, and ensure that all participants can have a safe, enjoyable experience.

During these reviews, the City will consider the unique nature of festivals and major events, community events and parades and demonstrations.

Key questions to be addressed in this review include:

  • Are application processes for special events permits efficient?
  • Do permit requirements and existing regulations effectively support the diverse array of special events hosted in the City?
  • Do regulations help ensure the safety and security of event patrons, staff, and volunteers?
  • Do regulations effectively manage community nuisance for neighbouring residents and businesses?
  • How can the City help organizers minimize the environmental footprint and reduce waste of their events?
  • How can the City foster equity, diversity, and inclusion with special event regulations?
  • Can regulations support continuing growth in the number of special events held annually?

Festivals and outdoor events with more than 500 people

City staff will be consulting with Ottawa Tourism, the Ottawa Festival Network, event organizers, suppliers, workers and the public to explore opportunities to improve application processes and permit requirements, review user fees, and otherwise improve support for these community building activities.

Economic and environmental sustainability will also be key considerations as part of these by-law reviews.

Outdoor events with less than 500 people

The current Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) only applies to events with more than 500 participants. However, the Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260) applies to events of any size, if they use City rights-of-way (streets and sidewalks). Many community organizations have also come to rely on the City to support more than 500 smaller community events each year. This by-law review will consider if a permit should be required for certain smaller events, and what that system might look like.

Events on City Streets

The Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260) regulates parades, races, sidewalks sales, block parties , and other events that occur, in whole or in part, on City Rights-of-Way (streets and/or sidewalks). This by-law will be reviewed in concert with the review of the Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) to enable staff from both departments to coordinate stakeholder and public engagement, research and other activities more efficiently and will further provide the opportunity to consider a comprehensive and integrated solution to managing large gatherings.

Stay informed

Register with the Stay Tuned feature to be notified about project updates and consultation opportunities.

Get engaged

If you represent an organization or business and would like to register as a stakeholder for this review, please email bylawreviews@ottawa.ca. Please note that by registering as a stakeholder, your name and contact information will be collected and used by City staff for the purposes of this by-law review project, including contacting you providing regular updates, in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information Act. Any questions regarding this collection of information can be addressed to Bylawreviews@ottawa.ca, or (613) 580-2424, ext. 29529.



Whether for celebration, recreation, or expression, special events bring us together.

Ottawa hosts a great variety of festivals, charity runs, and cultural and community events throughout the year.

As Canada’s capital and host to both the federal government and 128 diplomatic missions, we are also a place for political expression.

These activities are regulated through the Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) and Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260). The City of Ottawa is currently reviewing these by-laws to ensure that they effectively support festival and event organizers, and ensure that all participants can have a safe, enjoyable experience.

During these reviews, the City will consider the unique nature of festivals and major events, community events and parades and demonstrations.

Key questions to be addressed in this review include:

  • Are application processes for special events permits efficient?
  • Do permit requirements and existing regulations effectively support the diverse array of special events hosted in the City?
  • Do regulations help ensure the safety and security of event patrons, staff, and volunteers?
  • Do regulations effectively manage community nuisance for neighbouring residents and businesses?
  • How can the City help organizers minimize the environmental footprint and reduce waste of their events?
  • How can the City foster equity, diversity, and inclusion with special event regulations?
  • Can regulations support continuing growth in the number of special events held annually?

Festivals and outdoor events with more than 500 people

City staff will be consulting with Ottawa Tourism, the Ottawa Festival Network, event organizers, suppliers, workers and the public to explore opportunities to improve application processes and permit requirements, review user fees, and otherwise improve support for these community building activities.

Economic and environmental sustainability will also be key considerations as part of these by-law reviews.

Outdoor events with less than 500 people

The current Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) only applies to events with more than 500 participants. However, the Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260) applies to events of any size, if they use City rights-of-way (streets and sidewalks). Many community organizations have also come to rely on the City to support more than 500 smaller community events each year. This by-law review will consider if a permit should be required for certain smaller events, and what that system might look like.

Events on City Streets

The Special Events on City Streets By-law (No.2001-260) regulates parades, races, sidewalks sales, block parties , and other events that occur, in whole or in part, on City Rights-of-Way (streets and/or sidewalks). This by-law will be reviewed in concert with the review of the Special Events on Private and Public Property By-law (No. 2013-232) to enable staff from both departments to coordinate stakeholder and public engagement, research and other activities more efficiently and will further provide the opportunity to consider a comprehensive and integrated solution to managing large gatherings.

Stay informed

Register with the Stay Tuned feature to be notified about project updates and consultation opportunities.

Get engaged

If you represent an organization or business and would like to register as a stakeholder for this review, please email bylawreviews@ottawa.ca. Please note that by registering as a stakeholder, your name and contact information will be collected and used by City staff for the purposes of this by-law review project, including contacting you providing regular updates, in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information Act. Any questions regarding this collection of information can be addressed to Bylawreviews@ottawa.ca, or (613) 580-2424, ext. 29529.



  • Introduction

    Thank you for your interest in the review of special events regulations in the City of Ottawa.


    Our first survey, conducted in March, asked general questions about special events in Ottawa. This second survey focuses on safety, accessibility, and inclusivity. It should take between three to five minutes to complete. Additional surveys on specific topics related to special events will follow in the coming months.


    Just as a reminder, this survey is regarding outdoor events with more than 500 people and events that occur on City roadways. It does not include indoor events.


    Collection of Information

    Information collected through this survey will be used to inform policy options and development throughout this by-law review project. Individual survey responses will be kept confidential pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Only aggregate results will be reported publicly.  If you have questions about how information will be collected and used for this project, please contact By-lawReviews@ottawa.ca or the Public Policy Development Service at 613-580-2424, ext. 29529.


    Accessibility

    If you need assistance to complete this survey, require an accessible format, or have general questions or comments about this project, please contact us at the coordinates noted above.

    Take Survey
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  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Introduction

    Thank you for your interest in the review of special events regulations in the City of Ottawa. Please take a few moments to let us know how we are doing overall. This survey should take between three to five minutes to complete. Additional surveys on specific topics related to special events will follow in the coming months.

     

    Collection of Information

    Information collected through this survey will be used to inform policy options and development throughout this by-law review project. Individual survey responses will be kept confidential pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Only aggregate results will be reported publicly.   If you have questions about how information will be collected and used for this project, please contact By-lawReviews@ottawa.ca or the Public Policy Development Service at 613-580-2424, ext. 29529.

     

    Accessibility

    If you require assistance to complete this survey, require an accessible format, or have general questions or comments about this project, please contact us at the coordinates noted above.


    Note

    If you already have a registered account with Engage Ottawa, please save this page and sign in before continuing.

     

    Take Survey
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Page last updated: 16 Apr 2024, 04:16 PM