While many have been excited and ready for life to return to a familiar sense of normal, many businesses and residents of Ottawa alike are still concerned for their health and safety. As of March 1, the province of Ontario is lifting restrictions including the proof of vaccination requirement in non-essential businesses such as restaurants and theatres.
The government has put it to the discretion of business owners to decide if they plan on keeping vaccination requirements or not. A number of Ottawa restaurants and shops feel that the best decision, for the time being, is to keep asking for the vaccine passport for indoor dining and activities.
We have been navigating many changes and struggles together over the past two years, and it is a good time to remember that we all have different comfort levels when it comes to the pandemic. For those who feel safer in places that still require you to be fully vaccinated, here are fourteen restaurants and businesses that are still asking to see your QR code.
Supply and Demand
Cuisine: Seafood and raw bar
Address: 1335 Wellington St. W., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This classy neighbourhood meet-up spot is a fun place to grab cocktails with oysters or pasta. They've made the tough decision to keep the vaccine passports in place at their restaurant through spring, until COVID-19 numbers drop to a lower rate.
Address: 1091 Bank St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This noodle bar focuses on quality over quantity, best known for its 'Beast' ramen. They recently opened in Ottawa so you can still be one of the first to check it out. They decided to keep checking vaccination status for the time being as they try their best to keep everyone safe.
The National Arts Centre
Address: 1 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: The performing arts centre hosts a variety of shows from comedy to live music and theatre. They also have an on-site restaurant, 1 Elgin Restaurant. Both the performance space and dining will require proof of vaccination until further notice to create the most comfortable and safe environment for audiences, artists and staff.
Citizen and Town
Cuisine: International fine dining
Address: 207 Gilmour St. & 296 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: These sister restaurants are just around the corner from each other, sharing a kitchen so you can get similar, if not the same meals at both spots. They are upscale but not pretentious. They will continue requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining at least through the month of March, and feel this is the best option for their smaller spaces right now.
Cuisine: Café & bottle shop
Address: 5 Arlington Ave., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This community coffee shop is a bright, quirky space full of artwork and plants. They have decided to keep the vaccine passports for now, in their best efforts to keep their community comfortable and safe.
Bytowne Cinema & Mayfair Theatre
Price: $11.95 +and $12.50
Address: 325 Rideau St. & 1074 Bank St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can step back in time and enjoy an old-school theatre experience at one of these two historic cinemas. You'll discover many independent and foreign films. They have each made the difficult decision to require proof of vaccination in order to see a film, for the foreseeable future.
The Manx Pub
Cuisine: Brunch & pub eats
Address: 370 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This basement pub on Elgin Street seems like a hidden gem, but make sure to get there early for brunch or dinner because they get busy quickly. For the time being, they have decided to continue the requirement of vaccine passports partly due to the size and layout of their space.
Address: 224 Beechwood Ave. & 151 C Second Ave., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: Whether you're in the mood for brunch or tacos and margaritas, this is a beautiful spot to dine. They will still require proof of vaccination for indoor dining and believe it to be the safest option for guests and staff at this time.
National Gallery of Canada
Price: $20, free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: 380 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: With collections of antiques to modern art, you'll find one of best collections of Canadian art in the world, amongst work from other cultures. They feel that they can increase capacity while maintaining safety by keeping the requirement for proof of vaccination, so have your QR code handy if you visit.
Cuisine: Upscale gastropub
Address: 1242 Wellington St. W., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This Ottawa spot has been named one of the top 100 restaurants in Canada, offering up cheese plates and various fine dining options, plus a stocked wine bar. They've been monitoring each pandemic stage slowly while playing it safe, and therefore have chosen to still ask for proof of vaccination when dining in for now.
Cuisine: Brunch and Italian
Address: 749 Bank St, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: Not only can you enjoy Italian dishes that will remind you of Tuscany, you can buy grocery items such as preserves and wine. They have made the decision to keep asking guests for proof of vaccination when dining in for now.
Canadian Museum of History
Price: $20, admission is free Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC
Why You Need To Go: As one of Canada's oldest museums and the most visited in the county, it's a must-see. While they will be following the provincial guidelines soon and not asking to see the vaccination passport, this will come into effect on March 14. You have two additional weeks to visit with all visitors being fully vaccinated if that makes you feel comfortable.
Canadian Museum of Nature
Price: $16, visit for free Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: Explore the nature of Canada and the world, from the arctic to fossils from a land before our time. As part of their ongoing safety measures, the museum will continue to ask for proof of vaccination until further notice.
The Hintonburg Public House
Cuisine: Canadian pub
Address: 1020 Wellington St. W., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can enjoy casual eats and drinks in a bright atmosphere surrounded by antiques. Most days of the week, HPH will be following the new provincial guidelines and not be asking for proof of vaccination. They have set each Thursday as 'two-dose Thursdays' for those who are not yet comfortable dining in without needing to show their vaccine passport. They will monitor how guests feel to either add another vaccine-requirement day, or remove it once things improve.