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

·3 min read

For Ottawans trying to navigate the holidays and the looming lockdown that starts after midnight Saturday, here's what's open and closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day:

Grocery stores and malls

If you need a last-minute gift, make sure you hit the mall before 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, as they close Christmas Day.

Starting Boxing Day, malls close to in-person shopping, though curbside pickup and pickup inside the mall — at a designated location by appointment — is allowed. People may also enter a mall to access businesses and services that are allowed to stay open under lockdown.

Grocery stores across the city close the evening of Christmas Eve and reopen on Boxing Day with a limited 50 per cent capacity.

Museums and other fun stuff

Museums, galleries, theatres, cultural amenities, and indoor and outdoor sports and fitness facilities must close starting Boxing Day.

Some museums in the city are open on Christmas Eve, but hours might be limited so it's best to double-check times with each institution.

Tours of the Senate of Canada Building are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

Starting Boxing Day, the city's arenas and swimming pools will close.

Some outdoor recreational activities like parks, playgrounds, ice rinks and skating trails are allowed to be open, weather permitting, with physical distancing protocols in place. However, ski hills must close starting Dec. 26.

Free ice skating is available on a refrigerated ice at city hall on the Sens Rink of Dreams, every day.

The Rideau Hall skating rink temporarily closed Tuesday until further notice.

City services

OC Transpo will operate on a reduced schedule from Dec. 21 to Christmas Day. Schedules are available online. The OC Transpo service centre at Rideau Centre will be temporarily closed starting Dec. 26.

If Christmas Day is your regular garbage pickup day it will be moved to Boxing Day. Christmas trees will be picked up on regular garbage day.

The city's service centres will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Ottawa Public Library's open branches will be closed Christmas Day and through the weekend. Throughout the lockdown, it will offer curbside returns and holds pickup at branches that are open and at Bookmobile stops.

COVID-19 testing centres

The Moodie Drive clinic will be closed from Christmas Day to Dec. 27. The Heron Road clinic will be closed from Dec. 23 to 27.

The Ray Friel care clinic closes on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, the Brewer Arena and CHEO testing centres are closed on Christmas Day, and will operate on shorter hours on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, Dec. 27 and 31. The Brewer centre will be open on Dec. 28 to 31 with shortened hours.

The drive-thru testing at the National Arts Centre will be closed on Christmas Day, and will be open on shortened hours on Christmas Eve.

The McNabb Community Centre testing site is closed from Christmas Day to Dec. 27. It will be open on shortened hours on Christmas Eve and Dec. 31.

LCBO and the Beer Store

Liquor stores are limited to 25 per cent capacity starting Boxing Day, and cannabis stores are limited to curbside pickup or delivery only.

To grab a last-minute bottle of wine before Christmas dinner or a few bottles of bubbly for a decadent brunch, the LCBO is open on Christmas Eve until 6 p.m., but all stores are closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Beer Store locations across the province also close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and remain closed Christmas Day.

Some locations will be open on Boxing Day for limited hours, including 1860 Bank St., 1984 Baseline Rd., 548 Montreal Rd., and 515 Somerset St. W., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.