Whether you’re a local, visiting or student production company, the Ottawa Film Office will help you obtain all the necessary approvals and permits you will need for filming on City of Ottawa lands.
Through our agreement with the City of Ottawa, we are charged with facilitating all filming requests, parking requests, full and intermittent road closure requests, and special equipment requests (use of pyrotechnics, aerial shots etc.). Once all the required approvals have been obtained, our office will send a filming approvals letter to the production.
The documents below, completed in full, are required for all filming requests on City of Ottawa property. You will first need to save the PDFs to your computer and then fill them out using the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The Production Information Form allows our office to obtain important information regarding productions that shoot in Ottawa, including the economic impact of the film and television industry in Ottawa. The collected data is confidential and will be aggregated before we share it with our stakeholders. Incomplete forms will not be processed and filming approval letters will not be issued until our office has received the Production Information Form.
Excluding city-owned parks (see additional documents below), most filmmakers seeking to film on City of Ottawa property will need to complete and submit the Filming Approval Application at least 5 business days before filming is scheduled to start.
Download the Indemnification Letter fill out the bold sections, and send it along with the other required documents
A minimum of $2 million in general liability is required and the certificates must be issued in the names of the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Film Office:
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. W.
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Ottawa Film Office
104-55 Murray St
Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3
Send us, in Word or PDF format, a short synopsis of your project. Please keep your synopsis under 1 page and do not include it in the body of your email.
To help us keep track of where productions are filming, we ask that filmmakers send us their daily call sheets and one-line schedules. This is especially helpful in the event that we receive questions or concerns from businesses and residents regarding a production’s activities in their area. The confidential information from call sheets and one-liners that is shared with us will not be disclosed with anyone outside our office.
By submitting your request to film on City of Ottawa property, you agree to read and follow the Filming Guidelines and Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct should be shared with your cast and crew to ensure that your shoot proceeds smoothly and safely, with minimal disruption to residents and businesses.Filming Guidelines and Code of Conduct
Requests to film on land owned or managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC) must be directed to its Contact Centre at (613) 239-5000 or [email protected] for proper referral. Please contact our office if you aren’t sure about your filming location’s jurisdiction. Commonly requested NCC locations include the Rideau Canal pathways (and most pathways in the National Capital Region), Major’s Hill Park, Confederation Park, and the courtyards in the ByWard Market.
5 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
3 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
3 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
15 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
30 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
10 business days' notice is requiredDownload Here
3 days' notice is required once approved by our officeDownload Here
Not sure if you need a filming approvals letter? Wondering if a Paid Duty Officer is required on set? Below you will find the answers to these questions and many more. If you don't find the answer you need here, contact us at [email protected]
A filming approvals letter is required when you are filming on any City of Ottawa street, sidewalk, park, building, or property. The letter, issued by the Ottawa Film Office, will list the city departments and stakeholders who have been notified of your proposed filming activity; it may also include specific conditions based on your request.
No. However, if you are filming on private property and parking production and/or circus vehicles on a City street you will need a parking permit. You will also need a pyrotechnics permit if you are doing special effects on private property, or a filming approvals letter if you are filming between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. In addition to the letter, for filming between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. you will need to obtain signed consent from a majority of affected stakeholders; productions are welcome to use our petition template for the signatures.
We are proud to offer filming approvals letters at no charge. Additionally there is no charge to apply for any of the other permits required; however, depending on your request there may be some costs incurred such as encroachment fees, City of Ottawa park use fees, Paid Duty Officers, and signage.
Whether you are a student company or a major production house you are required to provide evidence of insurance in the form of a certificate of insurance. The minimum requirement is two million dollars ($2, 000, 000.00) in General Comprehensive Public Liability. In most cases, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Film Office must be named as the certificate holders; this is to protect the interests of the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Film Office in the event of a third party claim arising from the applicant’s operations. Students are often able to seek coverage through their program’s insurance policy. If you have any questions about insurance requirements, please contact our office or visit our Resource Directory for a list of commonly used insurance providers.
If your production may impact the surrounding area, you will need to notify residents and merchants no later than 72 hours in advance of any filming or parking of production vehicles in their neighbourhood. You may use our Notice to Residents and Businesses template and include your company’s letterhead. The production company must provide a copy of the notification to our office for approval before distributing it.
You will only require signatures from a majority of affected residents if:
Productions are encouraged to use our petition template to collect the signatures.
You will need to hire off-duty Ottawa Police for assistance if your film shoot involves any interruption of traffic (lane closure or intermittent traffic control), stunts, or weapons visible to the public (fired or not). For more information on how to hire a paid duty officer, including fees, please visit the Ottawa Police Service website.
Appropriate Paid Duty City of Ottawa Paramedic Service on site medical teams and/or Paid Duty Fire Prevention Officers are required, when deemed necessary, during the filming of dangerous situations such as significant special effects, stunts and/or detonations of pyrotechnics where injury to people is possible.
All costs associated with these requirements are the expense of the applicant.
Please contact us if you’re unsure if paid duty assistance is required.
The first step is to obtain a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada, the national organization responsible for regulating the use of drones (unmanned air vehicles) in Canada. If you will be taking off/landing on City of Ottawa lands (street, sidewalk, park, etc.), and/or flying over city streets, you will need to obtain a Filming Approvals Letter from our office; a road closure and/or site meetings with appropriate internal and external stakeholders may be required.
Permission from Transport Canada is also required if you are a foreign operator and extra rules may apply. Visit Transport Canada’s website for more information. If you prefer working with a local drone operator, see our Resource Directory for a list.