The War Memorial. Photo by Allison Palubiski.
The War Memorial. Photo by Allison Palubiski.

Remembrance Day in Ottawa - November 11, 2014. What's open, what's closed, what's on.

On Remembrance Day, November 11, 2014, Canadians honour and remember our veterans, and all who served Canada during war, armed conflict and peace. In Ottawa, veterans will gather at the War Memorial on Elgin Street, for the annual Remembrance Day National Ceremony. Other parades and ceremonies around Ottawa are also listed on this page, along with what's open and closed.

Remembrance Day Events

Remembrance Day - Open & Closed & Schedule Changes (2013)

  • Most retail businesses are required to close until 12:30 p.m. on November 11th each year to honour Canadian Veterans and those currently serving in the military. For 24 hour businesses, they're required to close from 8:00am until 12:30pm. For more information, including businesses exempt from the by-law, click here...
  • Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in Ontario, but it is a federal holiday. Federal government offices and City Hall will be closed on Monday, November 11. Schools remain open.
  • OC Transpo will operate a regular weekday schedule on Monday, November 11. War veterans who wear their medals or uniforms may ride OC Transpo, Para Transpo and Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) for free during National Veterans’ Week – November 5 to 11. Call 613-560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613-741-4390 or visit octranspo.com.
  • STO will also operate a regular schedule on November 11. Riders are invited to consult the User’s Guide, visit Plani-Bus on the STO web site at www.sto.ca or call 819-770-3242 for more details. The INFOBUS system also provides the exact time that the next two buses are scheduled to arrive at a particular stop by dialling 819-778 plus the bus stop number.
  • On November 11, buses will pull over to the side of the road (where it is safe to do so) to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. The Last Post and Reveille will be played over the radios of OC Transpo buses. OC Transpo operators may also wear red on November 11 in support of Canadian Forces troops.
  • Banks are closed on Monday, November 11.
  • Libraries will be closed on November 11.
  • There is no change to garbage/recycling/compost pick-up for the week of November 11.
  • City recreation centres and pools will be open on November 11 with regular schedules. There are some exceptions, check with your facility.
  • Some national museums are open. Free admission at the Canadian War Museum on November 11. The Museum of Civilization and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum are open. Check out our Museums Guide for links to Ottawa's museums...
  • The War Museum will be live streaming an image of Memorial Hall, showing sunlight through the single window that illuminate the headstone of Canada's Unknown Soldier. It's an event that happens yearly on Remembrace Day. More info...
  • The flags at all City of Ottawa will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise to sunset to honour the memory of all Canadians who have served their country in time of war.
  • More City of Ottawa schedule changes...

The National Ceremony

  • Each year Ottawa hosts the National Ceremony of Remembrance at the National War Memorial at the corner of Elgin and Wellington.
  • The ceremony marks the anniversary of the end of the First World War, at 11:00am on November 11th, 1918.
  • Prior to the ceremony, a parade of pipers and war veterans march from Cartier Square Drill Hall towards the War Memorial. (The pipe band leaves Cartier Square Drill Hall, marching via Laurier Avenue to Metcalfe & Queen. They're joined by veterans at this location, and then continue marching down Queen Street towards the War Memorial.)
  • The ceremony begins at 10:55am at the National War Memorial.
  • Wreaths are laid by dignitaries (usually including the Governor General and Prime Minister), along with veterans, and representatives of Canada's armed forces.
  • The ceremony is broadcast live on major tv networks in Canada.
  • More info, including a full program, is available here from The Royal Canadian Legion...

More Local Parades and Ceremonies (2013)

  • Bells Corners – 10:45 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Bells Corners Branch 593), Centrepointe Drive between Constellation Drive and Chrysalis Way, and to the ceremonial site.
  • Eastview/Vanier – 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Eastview Branch 462), north on Cyr Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion (294 Cyr Avenue) and Montreal Road, east on Montreal Road between Cyr Avenue and Hannah Street, and north on Hannah Street between Montreal Road and Marier Avenue, and to the Vanier Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • Kanata – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Kanata Branch 638), east on The Parkway between Earl of March High School (4 Parkway) and Teron Road, south on Teron Road between The Parkway and Colchester Square, Colchester Square, and to the Kanata Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • Manotick/South Carleton – 10:30 a.m. to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (South Carleton Branch 314), east on Beaverwood Road from the Royal Canadian Legion to Manotick Main Street, north on Manotick Main Street from Beaverwood Road to Bridge Street, east on Bridge Street from Manotick Main Street to Dickinson Street, south on Dickinson Street from Bridge Street, and to the Manotick Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • National War Memorial – 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command.
  • Navan – 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Colonial Road between Henn Drive and Delson Drive, and to the Navan Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • Orléans – 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 632),Vimont Court and Taylor Creek Boulevard between Vimont Court and the Royal Canadian Legion at 800 Taylor Creek Boulevard, and to the Orleans Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • Osgoode – 10:45 to noon, Royal Canadian Legion (Osgoode Branch 589), Victoria Street between Eighth Line Road and Louise Street, and to ceremonial service at Osgoode Cenotaph in front of Municipal Building.
  • Richmond – 10:45 a.m to 11:45 a.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Richmond Branch 625), Perth Street between the Richmond Shopping Plaza and the Richmond Memorial Park for the ceremonial service.
  • Stittsville – 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Stittsville and District Branch 618), north on Stittsville Main Street between the Royal Canadian Legion, (1480 Stittsville Main Street) and Warner-Colpitts Lane, and west on Warner-Colpitts Lane between Stittsville Main Street and  the Stittsville Cenotaph for the ceremonial service.
  • Strathcona – 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, November 10, Royal Canadian Legion (Strathcona Branch 595), Main Street between Hazel Street and Beckwith Street (Beckwith Memorial Gate) for the ceremonial service.
  • West Carleton – 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 9, Royal Canadian Legion (West Carleton (Branch 616), Constance Bay Road between McConnell Lane and Allbirch Road, and Allbirch Road between Constance Bay Road, and to the Royal Canadian Legion for the ceremonial service.
  • Westboro – 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion (Westboro Branch 480), north on Winston Avenue between the Royal Canadian Legion and Madison Avenue, east on Madison Avenue between Winston Avenue and Churchill Avenue, south on Churchill Avenue between Madison Avenue and Richmond Road, and west on Richmond Road between Churchill Avenue and Broadview Avenue, and wreath laying and ceremonial service at the Westboro Cenotaph.
  • Vars – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, November 10, Rockdale Road between Devine Road and the 
    Vars Cenotaph (Rockdale Road and Buckland Road).

Source: City of Ottawa

Veterans Week

    The week leading up to Remembrance Day is recognized as "Veterans Week", with events and activities across Canada to honour our veterans. Organized by Veterans Affairs Canada.

At the Canadian War Museum

    On Remembrance Day, at exactly 11 a.m., sunlight shines through a single window to frame the headstone of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. A limited number of free tickets will be available as of 9 a.m. at the Information Desk. No reservations permitted. This event will also be webcast on the Museum’s website and broadcast within the Museum. More info...

Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign

    The Poppy Campaign is conducted each year for about 2 weeks prior to November 11th in order to raise funds for needy Canadian veterans, ex-service members and their dependants, as well as Commonwealth veterans

    Intention of the Poppy Campaign is to remind Canadians of the sacrifice of the 117,000 Canadians who died in the military, Merchant Navy and Ferry Command in two world wars, the Korean War and other theatres globally

    Donations received are put into trust accounts and used to assist needy veterans, ex-service members, their families and former members of Commonwealth and allied military services

    18 million poppies are distributed each year

    Source / more info: Royal Canadian Legion

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