Bylaw officers will monitor crowds in Ottawa parks, beaches on Canada Day

Fireworks explode behind the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill during Canada Day celebrations, in Ottawa on Wed., July 1, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Ottawa Bylaw Services officers will be making sure Canada Day revellers celebrate Canada's 153rd birthday responsibly, while practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All Canada Day events are cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 measures, including the giant party on Parliament Hill and at Major's Hill Park, along with festivities in Barrhaven, Kanata and Orleans.

The City of Ottawa says Bylaw Services officers will increase patrols at parks and beaches to make sure people respect the COVID-19 measures, including the ban on large gatherings. Bylaw officers will also be available to respond to issues on bar and restaurant patios.

"We are all aware of the resurgence of COVID-19 in some jurisdictions and no one wants to see that happen here," said Anthony Di Monte, general manager of Ottawa's emergency and protective services.

"We must all resolve to celebrate Canada Day responsibly this year."

Di Monte says officers will monitor parks, beaches and locations that have traditionally hosted Canada Day celebrations, "to ensure compliance with regulations and health guidelines."

Ottawa Police officers will also be deployed across Ottawa during Canada Day.

Ontario's COVID-19 measures limit gatherings in public and private places to a maximum of ten people.

"If you plan on visiting a park, remember to practice physical distancing, and leave alcohol and fireworks at home," said Di Monte.

The City of Ottawa insists officers will focus on educating people about the COVID-19 measures, but can issue fines under the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The Canada Day fireworks over Parliament Hill are cancelled, and the city says no permits have been issued for fireworks in City of Ottawa parks this Canada Day.