Events are some of the most prominent activities that occur in Ottawa. Every month, the city’s parks feature different occasions with varying themes that people attend.
I personally attend these events, having gone to all sorts of weddings, celebrations, business expos, and more. There have even been some occurrences where I rented a park myself to celebrate a surprise party for my dad.
If you are reading this article, I’m guessing that you’re wondering if park rental is possible in the capital city of Canada. Here’s a detailed look at Ottawa’s park rental scene so you know what to do.
Is it possible to rent a park in Ottawa?
You can rent a park in Ottawa for private, non-profit, and commercial events for a few hours or an entire day. The fee varies based on the length of your stay in the park.
The City of Ottawa has many parks and outdoor spaces that can be rented for private events like weddings, family reunions, corporate events, or community festivals. They have nice places to go and things to do for different kinds of events.
To rent a park in Ottawa, you will need to head to the city’s website and look for available parks that suit your event or occasion.
From there, you will need to sign a form and get in touch with the city officials. Keep in mind that popular parks and dates may need to be booked in advance, so it’s best to find out as soon as possible.
Also, some areas or facilities in Ottawa parks, like pavilions, picnic areas, sports fields, or community gardens, can be rented separately. These rentals can give you spaces that are perfect for your event.
Steps for Renting a Park in Ottawa
To rent a park in Ottawa, follow the steps that I’ve listed below so you can secure your own space for whatever event you have in mind.
Step 1: Head to the Ottawa city website to check out available parks for rental.
For your first step for a park rental, you will want to visit the official Ottawa website to start your inquiries. From there, you can find several sections that lead to different pages.
The page you want to go to is “Parks and green space,” which you can locate by navigating from Home > Recreation and culture > Recreation and cultural facilities.
Step 2: Fill out a park rental application form.
Once you are on the “Parks and green space” page, you will find a section that is labeled “Rent a park.” You can then click the bar to make it drop down and show the steps for renting a park.
Step number one will have a link that will lead you to a park rental application form. It will ask you to fill out different information, such as your name, home address, mobile number, email address, and more.
Make sure to fill out every box completely and add an alternate location just in case your desired park is unavailable for rental. It never hurts to double-check your details, as typos can be a common occurrence.
Step 3: Send your completed application form.
Once you’re done filling up every required detail, you can now send your park rental application form through fax by calling the officials or drafting an email.
For the call option, you can reach out to the department by calling 613-580-2683. If you prefer email, you can contact them through [email protected].
Step 4: Send details about the event.
Before your rental form gets approved, you will likely receive a call or an email asking you to elaborate on your event. When I submitted my own application for the first time, the park staff wanted to know the purpose of my event, so I sent them the full details.
The officials do this for a variety of different purposes, namely safety and to determine if the park is able to accommodate your activity. Depending on the details, the process could last a few days or a week.
I recommend that you send everything about the event, such as the type of event you will be holding, the number of attendees, and the duration.
Step 5: Review the email regarding the contract and payment.
Once everything has been approved, you will receive an email regarding your contract and payment. Make sure to review the document thoroughly and sign every required field.
After that, return the contract to [email protected]. Your rental application will become valid after they receive your payment and a signed copy of the contract.
Step 6: Bring a copy of the contract and receipt on the day of your event.
Once the day of your rental comes, make sure to bring a copy of your rental contract and a receipt. You will have to show it to the park officials to verify your exclusive use of the area.
After you accomplish all of those steps, you are ready to enjoy your day in the park of your choice! Before I forget, if your event has 500 or more attendees, make sure to call [email protected], as they will require further details from you.
Park Rental Fees
Before you rent your park of choice, you need to be aware of the park’s rates. The table below has a complete list of the rates based on category and duration.
Make sure to review this list thoroughly so you know the classification of your event.
|Not-for-profit or private (100 people or less)
|Half-day (under four hours)
|Not-for-profit or private (100 people or less)
|Full day (over four hours to 16 hours)
|Not-for-profit or private (101 to 200 people)
|Not-for-profit or private (201 people or more)
|Bootcamp or fitness class
If you wish to cancel the event in your rented park in Ottawa, you need to contact staff at least 10 business days prior for the request to be amended.
Your money will be refunded via bank credits. If you request the cancelation in less than 10 business days, you won’t be able to get a refund.
Before you apply for a rental application form, I highly recommend that you know the right category of the event that you’ll be hosting. There are three types that you should know of, which I will be talking about below.
This is an activity that fits with the mission of the Parks and Recreation branch and isn’t meant to make money. This must be something that is open to everyone and is typically run on a small budget.
A not-for-profit relies on volunteers, sponsors, grants, and donations to cover costs and help them reach their charitable goals.
Not-for-profit events include a wide range of activities and can take many different forms, including, but not limited to:
- Fundraisers: Events that are held to get us to donate money or raise money for a good cause or organization. Charity galas, benefit concerts, charity runs, and auctions are all good examples.
- Awareness campaigns: A type of occasion that tries to make us more aware of and knowledgeable about a certain issue or cause. They usually have educational parts, such as guest speakers, workshops, or panel discussions.
Some examples are health awareness campaigns, efforts to help the environment, and conferences on social justice.
- Community events: These bring me and other locals from different communities or neighborhoods together and give us a sense of unity and belonging. Examples include festivals, street fairs, cultural celebrations, or volunteer days.
- Humanitarian efforts: The main goal of these events is to help and support people or communities who are in need.
They might include things like helping people after a disaster, collecting food, giving out clothes, or running medical clinics.
- Educational programs: The focus of these events is to educate us on new things that we might be interested in or to further our existing knowledge.
They can be workshops, seminars, training sessions, or conferences with the goal of teaching people about a certain topic or issue.
Events in the private category are non-profit occasions that don’t fit with the Parks and Recreation mandates. It is usually for a small group of people in the community or company events.
Private events often need careful planning, coordination, and attention to detail to make sure that all of the guests’ needs and preferences are met. Most of the time, the host or organizer pays for them.
The planning process includes hiring event planners, caterers, venues, entertainment, and other services to make sure everyone has a memorable and fun time.
A few examples of these occasions include:
- Social gatherings: Weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, and family reunions are all examples of private social gatherings.
These events are planned to mark special occasions or bring you together with friends, family, and acquaintances for a private or small-scale party.
- Corporate events: A private gathering that your company or organization holds for its employees, clients, or other important people.
These can be things like conferences, seminars, team-building activities, product launches, annual galas, and company retreats.
- Professional networking: These occasions are private events where you and other professionals in the same industry or field can meet and make professional connections.
Industry conferences, trade shows, business expos, and executive retreats are all good examples.
- VIP events: Private parties that are held for a small group of powerful people, celebrities, and other high-profile guests. There are events with a red carpet, private parties, movie premieres, and award shows.
- Personal milestone events: These events are often organized to commemorate significant personal milestones, such as graduation parties, retirement celebrations, or engagement parties.
Commercial events are organized gatherings or occasions that are mostly driven by business goals and the desire to make money.
Most of the time, businesses, corporations, or private individuals put on these events to promote their products, services, or brands and gain exposure to the public.
Here are some notable examples of private commercial events that can be held in Ottawa’s parks:
- Trade shows and expos: Business events where companies and industry experts show off their products, services, and new ideas. Companies can meet new people, show what they have to offer, and get sales leads at these events.
- Conventions and conferences: Large-scale events that are put together around a certain industry, topic, or interest. They often have keynote speakers, panels, workshops, and places to show off things.
You pay registration fees for these events to see different job opportunities and more. Businesses can sponsor or exhibit here to spread brand awareness and find new business opportunities.
- Product launches: These are special occasions where new products or services are shown to the market and promoted.
Companies can hold talks, demos, hands-on activities, and media coverage to get you and your friends talking on social media to boost sales.
- Promotional events: Programs that are set up to get the word out about a product, brand, or business. This can be store openings, product demos at malls or trade shows, sponsored events, and marketing activations in public spaces.
- Sponsorship-driven events: These events are mostly paid for by businesses that want to spread brand awareness. They can be anything from sports tournaments and music festivals to charity fundraisers and cultural events.
- Corporate hospitality events: Gatherings that businesses put on to entertain clients, prospects, or other important people, usually to build relationships, strengthen partnerships, or show appreciation.
Some examples are corporate dinners, golf outings, VIP events, and private parties.
- Consumer shows: These are events that have a wide range of exhibitors, vendors, and activities to attract and keep the attention of consumers. Home shows, auto shows, technology expos, and food and drink festivals are just a few examples.