Remembrance Day 2020: What's open and closed in Ottawa

The pandemic is ensuring this Remembrance Day will be very different than past years.

Remembrance Day ceremonies go virtual to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread

Derrill Henderson lays a wreath on behalf of veterans during a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in August. This year's Remembrance Day ceremony in downtown Ottawa will be much smaller than in past years and the Royal Canadian Legion is asking people to honour veterans virtually. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The pandemic is ensuring this Remembrance Day will be very different than in years past.

For the first time, the Royal Canadian Legion is asking the public to pay respects to veterans virtually rather than in person at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

There will be no parade, and only 100 invited guests will attend the ceremony this year.

CBC will broadcast Remembrance Day specials on radio, television, online, and on mobile phones through the CBC News and CBC Gem apps. The television special will be hosted by CBC's Rosemary Barton, and the radio program will be hosted by CBC's Matt Galloway and Nil Köksal.

The legion will also broadcast live ceremonies through its Facebook page. Some individual branches will still hold their own ceremonies, and anyone looking for more information is asked to contact their nearest branch.

Ceremonies begin at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday with a two-minute moment of silence held at 11:00 a.m.

Food, drink and shopping

  • Most retail businesses will be closed until 12:30 p.m. in accordance with the city's Remembrance Day bylaw.
  • Restaurants, dry cleaners, small grocery stores, small pharmacies, convenience stores and gas stations are exempt from this bylaw.

Museums and galleries

  • The Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, and the Diefenbunker will be open.
  • The Canadian Museum of History will remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum will be closed.
  • The Karsh-Masson Gallery, Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame at city hall will be closed.
  • The City of Ottawa Archives and Gallery 112 will be closed.
  • All other City of Ottawa arts centres, galleries, theatres and museums will be closed.

City of Ottawa

COVID-19 testing:

  • COVID-19 care and testing centres at the Ray Friel, Moodie and Heron sites will be open regular hours, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The CHEO assessment centre at the Brewer Arena will be open during regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The Brewer assessment centre will be open during regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre on Coventry Road will be closed.

City services

  • Client service centres including the government service centre at 110 Laurier Ave. W. and the service centre at Ben Franklin Place will be closed.
  • All other client service centres and the city's Provincial Offences Court remain closed due to COVID-19.
  • The 311 call centre will be staffed to respond to urgent matters.
  • Green bin waste, recycling and garbage will be collected as normal.
  • The Trail Road waste facility will be open.


  • All customers ride OC Transpo and Para Transpo for free Wednesday.
  • All transit vehicles will pull over to the side of the road at 11 a.m. for two minutes of silence, if safe to do so.
  • OC Transpo and the STO will operate on normal weekday schedules on Wednesday.


  • All City of Ottawa parking regulations and restrictions will apply.
  • Free parking at city hall will be available between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. to veterans who wear their medals or uniforms, or who have veterans' licence plates.

Recreational services

  • All facilities will be open for drop-in activities. Most registered programs at swimming pools will operate.
  • Inclusive recreation programs will not run.


  • All branches and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed.

Municipal child care

  • All municipal child-care locations will be closed.

Public health

  • The Sexual Health Clinic and satellite clinics will be closed.
  • The Site program office and supervised consumption services at 179 Clarence St. will be closed.
  • The Site mobile van will run until 11:30 p.m.
  • The Ottawa Public Health information centre will be closed for general calls.
  • Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 phone line 613-580-6744 will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Dental clinics and the baby helpline will be closed.

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