All you need to know about Ottawa’s ceremonies honouring the Queen

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Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast for Monday in Ottawa as the city hosts a day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II with a parade and service at Christ Church Cathedral.

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The Department of National Defence put out a statement at about 11:30 Monday morning saying that due to inclement weather, the planned Vintage Wings of Canada and RCAF flybys had been cancelled.

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Many streets are closed in downtown Ottawa Monday morning and federal public servants are off work for a day of mourning.

The ceremonies begin with a parade in Ottawa set to start after the funeral for the Queen ends in London.

Here’s what you need to know:

The weather: If you are heading to the parade, bring rain gear. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement at 3 a.m. Monday warning of intermittent showers and thunderstorms through the day in Ottawa North, Kanata and Orleans. Expect an additional 15 to 25 mm of rain.

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The parade: The parade begins at 12:10 p.m. at Cartier Square Drill Hall, on Queen Elizabeth Driveway at Laurier Avenue, passes the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument and the National War Memorial, and winds down Wellington Street to Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Sparks St.

The  parade will include two mounted detachments of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride, each composed of 13 riders; a 100-person Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) quad-service guard of honour (navy, army, air force and special forces); the CAF Central Band, supported by the Royal Canadian Air Force Pipes and Drums and the Governor General Foot Guards Band; 17 honorary pallbearers (representatives of regiments affiliated with Her Majesty The Queen and a representative of the RCMP); and a flag bearer (a member of the CAF National Sentry Program), according to Canadian Heritage.

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In recognition of the Queen’s passing, there will also be a gun salute with 96 shots fired, one for each year of the monarch’s life. The shots will be fired from a secure area on LeBreton Flats, as the parade slowly progresses along Wellington Street. They will last approximately 16 minutes.

The parade will end at about 1 p.m.

The service at Christ Church Cathedral: The invitation-only service will include eulogies by former prime minister Brian Mulroney and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, a tribute by Algonquin Spiritual Advisor and English Poet Laureate of Ottawa Albert Dumont, songs performed by Rufus Wainwright and Ginette Reno, and the national anthem interpreted by singer and actor Kim Richardson.

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The full program is available online from Canadian Heritage.

Queen Elizabeth II toasts with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in Quebec City on Oct.23, 1987.
Queen Elizabeth II toasts with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in Quebec City on Oct.23, 1987. Photo by Ron Poling /The Canadian Press

Watch it live on Canadian Heritage’s Youtube channel on on the Crown in Canada’s Facebook page.

Traffic closures: Many streets in downtown Ottawa are closed to vehicles Monday morning, so visitors are advised to consider using public transit.

Queen Street westbound is closed  Friday from Bay Street to Bronson Avenue from 6 p.m. Friday to 5:30 p.m. Monday.

The following are closed Monday from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Bay Street from Wellington Street to Queen Street
  • Queen Street westbound from Lyon Street to Bay Street
  • Elgin Street from Wellington Street to Queen Street
  • Queen Street eastbound from Bay Street to Bronson Avenue

The following are closed from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday:

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  • Wellington Street from Elgin Street to Lyon Street
  • Kent Street from Wellington Street to Queen Street
  • Bank Street from Wellington Street to Queen Street
  • O’Connor Street from Wellington Street to Sparks Street
  • Metcalfe Street from Wellington Street to Queen Street

The following are closed from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday:

  • Laurier Avenue West off-ramp onto Queen Elizabeth Driveway
  • Lyon Street between Wellington Street and Queen Street
  • Wellington Street eastbound between Portage Bridge and Lyon Street

The following are closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

  • Bay Street from Queen Street to Albert Street
  • Queen Street eastbound from Bay Street to Lyon Street

Rolling closures may occur between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Monday

  • Laurier Avenue West between Nicholas Street and Metcalfe Street
  • Elgin Street between Gloucester Street and Queen Street
  • Wellington/Rideau Street between Mackenzie Street and Elgin southbound
  • Other road closures and detours may be required. Plan for extra time to travel through downtown. Consult the Canadian Heritage map for more information on the street closures.

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