FAQ

Not sure if you need a filming permit? Wondering if a Paid Duty Officer is required on set? Below you will find the answers to these questions and many more.

If you have a question about filming in Ottawa that's not listed here, let us know!

When do I need a permit?

A filming and/or parking permit is required when you are filming or parking on any City of Ottawa street, sidewalk, park, building, or property. If you are unsure if the property you want to film or park on falls under this category, please contact our office.

Do I need a permit to film on private property?

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 permit if you are filming between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

What is the cost of a permit?

We are proud to offer filming permits 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.

How do I apply for a filming or parking permit?

Instructions on how to apply for permits through our office can be found on the Apply for Permits page. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the process.

When do I have to submit my request for a filming permit?

In general, filming and parking requests on City of Ottawa property must be submitted no later than 3 business days before filming is to begin. Requests to film on Parliament Hill, for full or intermittent road closures and special effects must be submitted at least ten business days in advance.

Why do I need insurance?

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 must be named as the certificate holder; this is to protect the interests of the City of Ottawa in the event of a third party claim arising from the permit 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.

Please ensure the City of Ottawa's general mailing address is included on the certificate of insurance.

City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Do I need to notify the neighbourhood or obtain signatures to film?

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 the “Notice to Residents and Merchants” template found in the Permits section and include your company's letterhead. The production company must provide a copy of the notification to our office before distributing it.

You will only require signatures from a majority of affected residents if:

  • filming is to take place at any time between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • production vehicles will be arriving or departing during this period
  • filming takes place in a residential area for more than 7 consecutive days
When do I need police or paramedic assistance on set?

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, 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.