Problems in parks and public spaces
A common problem in parks and other public areas can involve groups of people, often youth, drinking or doing drugs. They might make excessive noise or cause disturbances for others trying to use the space. Their presence can be intimidating and may make people stay away. All public parks are closed between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. No one should be in parks during those hours.
Here’s what you can do if you have a problem with young people in a park in your neighbourhood:
- If you know the young people and their parents, your first step might be to talk to their parents and let them know about the issue.
- You can also try to engage the young people in your neighbourhood to become positive agents of change in their communities. Encourage them to take ownership. Help them organize projects and more positive activities. This will help them become an important and valued part of their community.
- Do not approach a group of people if you do not know them. Your efforts might be seen as hostile or confrontational and might lead to a situation that quickly goes beyond your control. Call By-Law at 3-1-1 and report the situation, rather than try to solve it yourself.
- Always use caution and common sense when considering how to address a problem with a group of people. Your safety is important and you should never put yourself at risk.
Youth on the Move program
There are programs that exist already and can help you deal with problems in parks. Youth on the Move is a partnership between City of Ottawa Parks and Recreation, By-Law and Regulatory Services, and the Ottawa Police Service that runs each year from June to September.
Youth on the Move outreach teams work in parks and common meeting places city-wide to address youth issues in parks and other meeting places. The program delivers recreational activities for youth and helps link them to existing programming. You can find out more about Youth on the Move by visiting the City of Ottawa's website.
You can also call the Youth on the Move outreach team in your area:
- East 613-580-2424, ext. 29282
- Central 613-580-2424, ext. 27964
- West/South 613-580-2424, ext. 41257
- West 613-580-2424, ext. 33555
Or you can reach them by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.