What's open and closed on Christmas and Boxing Day in Ottawa

Long lines could be a problem just before Christmas with capacity limits aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, so if you still have some shopping to do, you may want to stop reading and get going.

Most businesses are closed on Christmas Day

Some restaurants and bars are open on Christmas, but it's always best to call ahead to be sure. (optimarc / Shutterstock)

Long lines could be a problem just before Christmas with capacity limits aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, so if you still have some shopping to do, you may want to stop reading and get going.

Grocery stores and malls

Most grocery stores close at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, and then reopen on Boxing Day.

If whoever's in charge overcooks the turkey, many restaurants are open but it's best to call ahead, especially with COVID-19 restrictions recently brought into effect.

Those restrictions mean malls and most other indoor public spaces have capacity limits of 50 per cent, including: 

  • Restaurants.
  • Malls and retailers, including grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Personal care services.
  • Gyms.
  • Marinas and boating clubs.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Indoor recreational amenities.
  • Tour and guide services.
  • Personal physical fitness trainers.
  • Strip clubs.

LCBO and Beer Store locations

All LCBO stores will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and are closed Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, select LCBO stores will be open. 

Beer Store locations are open Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day and open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boxing Day.

City services

Once you've removed all the decorations from your tree, just get it out to the curb on your regular collection day. (Cathy Alex/CBC)

Green bin, recycling and garbage collection will not be delayed due to Christmas. 

OC Transpo is running on a reduced weekday schedule on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, it is running on a Sunday schedule and Para Transpo holiday service is in effect.

On Boxing Day, it is running on a Saturday schedule and Para Transpo continues on holiday service. Monday and Tuesday also run on Sunday and Saturday schedules, respectively, because of the application of the statutory holidays. Details can be found here.

Christmas trees will be picked up on your regular collection day. Please remove all decorations. Christmas trees in plastic bags or frozen into a snowbank will not be collected.

The Ottawa Public Library will be closed Dec. 25 and 26. Check the hours for branches near you here.

Fun things to do

Refrigerated outdoor rinks will be operating on holiday schedules. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Many museums and art galleries are open over the holidays but it's best to check online or call ahead before leaving the house because most are operating on modified schedules.

The Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum are closed to the public until at least Jan. 19 because of rising COVID-19 cases in the region.

In a release, the museums said to check online for digital content during this time.

Pools, arenas and fitness centres will operate on modified schedules through the holidays, which include public swimming and fitness facilities. 

Refrigerated outdoor rinks including the Rink of Dreams, Lansdowne Park skating court, Ben Franklin Place skating rink and Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink will be on holiday schedules, which can be found here.

Shenkman Arts Centre will be closed Dec. 24 to 27.

COVID-19 vaccine and testing centres

Ottawa's COVID-19 booking line will be closed Dec. 25 and 26. (Jacques Corriveau/Radio-Canada)

Ottawa's COVID-19 vaccine booking line at 613-691-5505 will be closed Dec. 25 and 26 and will be open Dec. 27 and 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Though it's the last thing anyone wants to think about during the holidays, COVID testing clinics are operating. 

A full list of Ottawa-area testing clinics and the hours they are operating on is available here.

Other closures

The Ottawa Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital is closed due to COVID-19 exposure as staff members have tested positive. If your pet has life-threatening conditions they may be seen with precautions, but the hospital is re-directing patients otherwise.

Alta Vista Animal Hospital and the Ottawa Veterinary Hospital are also temporarily closed because of COVID-19 cases. Phone lines at the hospitals are likely to be busy so administrators suggested checking online and on social media for updates, and to take extra care to ensure pets don't need emergency care this weekend.


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