Ottawa residents celebrate reopening of patios, salons and other businesses

The sight of thirsty patrons savouring pints on patios gave Ottawa restaurant owners ​– and plenty of other local entrepreneurs ​– good reason to raise a toast on Friday.

Phase two of the province’s plan to gradually restart the province’s economy officially launched in the nation’s capital, with a range of enterprises getting the green light to serve the public after being shut down for nearly three months in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Among the businesses reopening Friday were hair salons and barber shops, one of which counted Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson among its first customers. Malls and tattoo parlours were among the other services that were allowed to return to business.

As businesses opened their doors Friday, the local tourism industry received more good news. 

Local MPP Lisa MacLeod announced $1 million would be made available for marketing tourism in the National Capital Region, while the Diefenbunker said it would reopen on Wednesday, July 8. The Carp museum is putting several safety measures in place, such as issuing tickets for specific dates and entry times to limit the number of people inside the building and allow for physical distancing as well as encouraging visitors to wear a mask.

Many of the major museums and galleries in Ottawa and Gatineau are still working on their own plans and have not yet set a reopening date.