Affected City Services

Based on recommendations from the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, the City of Hamilton closed all municipal facilities to the public on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. City facilities and programs remain closed at this time. We are continuing to follow provincial emergency orders and the province’s emergency declaration, currently extended to June 9.

The City is working on a plan to slowly and safely reopen facilities and resume regular services and operations in accordance with public health and provincial direction. Visit www.hamilton.ca/reopens

The City remains prepared to respond to emergencies. Emergency response by Hamilton Police, Hamilton Fire Department, and Hamilton Paramedic Services is not impacted.

City Service Impacts

The Hamilton Animal Services shelter is closed to the public. However, staff are working and all the animals in our shelter are being cared for.

If your pet becomes lost, please visit www.hamilton.ca/lostpets to learn what animals are in the shelter and for more information on what you can do to look for your pet.

If you believe your pet is in the shelter and would like to make arrangements to claim your pet, call 905-574-3433, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

If you have an animal related emergency, call 905-574-3433, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online services available:

All public beaches in the City of Hamilton are closed. Public Health Services is not monitoring beach water quality until such time as the Provincial Emergency Order has been revoked. 

While our municipal facilities, including City Hall are closed to protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors, the Building Division remains open for business. There are many options to ensure we can continue to receive your building permit applications (for unoccupied areas only at this time) and requests for Zoning Verifications (regular service only) including mail/courier delivery or online.

Online building permit applications can be completed at www.hamilton.ca/eplans and Zoning Verifications at zoningverification.hamilton.ca.  Staff are also working to provide a drop box outside of City Hall at the rear of the building. As well, we are investigating other innovative solutions to support our inspectors in the field.

You can find out the status of your Building Permit using the online Building Permit search

Residents should consider postponing non-essential renovations to a later date where possible. Under these unprecedented service delivery constraints, the Building Division will continue to maintain timeframes as much as possible for building permit applications, responding to information requests, building inspections, Zoning Verifications, etc.

Renewals for business licenses have been sent out. All licensing late fees have been waived until May 25.

The Hamilton Police Service together with the City of Hamilton’s Licensing and Bylaw Services are monitoring and, where necessary, using enforcement tools to ensure public safety in our community. Priority is being given to enforcement of the Provincial Orders requiring non-essential businesses to close and prohibiting organized gatherings of more than five (5) individuals, as well as monitoring closed City facilities such as Albion Falls.  Enforcement authority with respect to the Provincial Orders rests with the Hamilton Police Services, but City of Hamilton By-law Officers are providing support to the Police as needed.

Businesses and Business Operations

The Provincial Government has ordered that all non-essential businesses close until further notice.  The Province has released a list of what businesses are considered essential and are therefore permitted to remain open.

Each individual business will need to examine the provincial criteria to determine whether their business is considered essential or non-essential. The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the Provincial Order.

Businesses found in violation of the Provincial Order may be fined by the Hamilton Police Service.  Individuals may be liable for a fine up to $1000 for their first offence, with a corporation liable for a fine up to $500,000. If members of the public suspect any business of operating contrary to the Provincial Order, please contact Licensing Enforcement Team at the City of Hamilton Contact Centre at 905-546-2489.

Licensing Officers will assist the Hamilton Police Service to investigate violations of this Provincial Order.

If any Business or Employee of the Business is not following proper hygiene or precautions, this can be reported to Public Health COVID-19 Response [email protected] or call the hotline at 905-974-9848.

If any Employee of a Business has safety concerns while on the job it should be reported to their Health and Safety representative or the Ministry of Labour, Health and Safety Centre 1-877-202-0008.

Organized Gatherings of five (5) or More People

The City’s Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) division and the Hamilton Police Service continue to monitor for compliance of the provincial emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five (5) people.

The MLE will use a progressive enforcement approach if they do not obtain compliance or there is a repeated offence, and charges may be laid. Fines of up to $750 per individual may be applied, while corporations could face fines up to $500,000.

If members of the public observe a public gathering of more than five (5) people, they can contact Licensing and Bylaw Services at 905-546-2489.

Licensing and Bylaw Services will periodically monitor high traffic public areas to determine if there are additional measures that need to be taken by the City.

High Traffic Public Spaces

The City’s by-law officers are also monitoring and patrolling high traffic public spaces across the City. If members of the public observe a location where individuals are not practicing physical distancing, they are advised to avoid those areas.

Enforcement of Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is a matter of personal responsibility. It is not something that is enforceable by City by-law officers.

Public health officials at all levels of Government, including Dr. Richardson, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton, strongly recommend that everyone should be avoiding close contact with others. Close contact includes being within 2 meters (6 feet) of another person. It is everyone’s personal responsibility to practice physical distancing.  We are at a critical point in the evolution of this outbreak in Hamilton, and Canada, and it is up to all of us to influence how this unfolds. 

To the extent possible, public health officials are strongly recommending that people stay home.

When they do need to go out, they should be practicing physical distancing. This applies to people walking on the street, shopping in stores, working in their workplace, and everywhere else that people may come into contact with others.

While the City does not have the authority to enforce physical distancing through fines or by-laws, the City has been very aggressively and strongly communicating to the public that they should be physically distancing, both for their own safety and for the safety of others.

If members of the public witness locations where others are not practicing physical distancing, they are recommended to avoid those locations.

Online services available:

For parking related information, see Parking Operations
For more information, visit FAQ about Enforcement

Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries remain available to serve families. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the families we serve, our bereavement partners and our dedicated staff.

Offices will be open with limited public access. Please make an appointment and limit attendance to two people. Payments must be made in credit card.

Those in self-isolation are not permitted to attend any cremation or interment services. As well, services must be limited to immediate family of no more than 10 people. Physical distancing practices must be observed, and we ask that you avoid physical expressions of sympathy such as hand shaking, hugging or other direct contact.

At this time, some cemetery grave side services are not available. This includes:

  • Providing tents, chairs, signage, graveside viewing of lowering and filling
  • Non-essential disinterments
  • Historical information requests
  • General gardening and spring cleanup
  • All pre-need requests

More info at www.hamilton.ca/life-events/burials

Emergency child care for essential frontline workers

The City of Hamilton has partnered with our three licensed home child care agencies to offer emergency licensed home child care to health care and other essential frontline workers during the pandemic, free of charge. Eligible workers include those working in health care, police, fire, paramedics, Public Health, long-term care, HSR and correctional officers. View the full list of workers eligible for Emergency Child Care in the City of Hamilton.

The three agencies are Todays Family, Wee Watch Golfwood, and Wee Watch Galbraith.

All agencies have providers who will provide child care in their homes to accommodate 12 hour shifts for children of staff aged 12 months to 12 years of age.

All three agencies are required to have pandemic plans in place and are working closely with Public Health to mitigate possible exposure to COVID-19. These agencies have implemented the following strategies:

  • Children and staff who are ill with fever and/or infectious respiratory symptoms are required to stay home
  • The consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning of the facility
  • Families who have recently traveled out of province are required to stay home from child care for 14 days to ensure they are not ill
  • Spaces are limited and the enrollment process is streamlined to ease access for these essential workers. Eligible families are to identify themselves as essential health care or frontline staff when they contact the agencies.
  • For more information on how to access this service please contact:

Red Hill Family Centre

The Red Hill Family Centre is currently closed until further notice.

Online services available:

The City has ramped up communications during the COVID-19 emergency to ensure residents are able to access relevant, timely and accurate information.

Social Media

Up to date information can be found on any of the City’s social media accounts:

Media Room

A media room dedicated to COVID-19 information has been set up at www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/media-room. Links to daily media briefings, media releases and other communications materials are available on this page.

Shareable Graphics

Residents are encouraged to help the City reinforce key messages about COVID-19 by sharing any of the graphics available at www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/media-room

Virtual Town Halls

Each Wednesday, the City hosts a virtual town hall in collaboration with Cable 14. The town hall is presented live on Cable 14 and streamed on the City’s YouTube channel. Residents are invited to submit questions for the town hall at www.hamilton.ca/askcovidquestions or via Twitter by tagging @cityofhamilton. In order to promote social distancing, the town hall is presented virtually, in-person attendance at the Town Hall is not available for residents or media.

Translations

The weekly virtual town halls are also translated into Arabic and Spanish.

All public and community engagement initiatives have been postponed until further notice.  Learn more about the City's Public Engagement initiatives.

As indicated on the list of essential workplaces issued by the Province of Ontario, City-led infrastructure construction has been deemed essential and will proceed for important City water and transportation infrastructure, as well as City facilities including parks and recreation facilities.

This construction is essential to ensure the City’s infrastructure and facilities remain safe, in a state of good repair and able to meet Hamilton’s needs.

City of Hamilton contractors must continue to abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and adhere to guidelines issued by public health authorities and the Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

All City facilities are closed.  The Corporate Security Office is still operational and will continue to provide security services during this time. 

All City Council and Committees are cancelled until June 30, 2020. Virtual meetings have been scheduled for:

View the Committee meeting calendar 
Changes on How to Delegate

All Municipal Service Centres remain closed at this time.
Residents are encouraged to call 905-546-2489 to reach the Customer Contact Centre, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

By email:

By phone:

  • 905-546-2489
  • For residents in Campbellville, dial 905-634-2971
  • The Bell Canada Relay Service is available to assist in placing a call from persons who use a TTY/teletypewriter.
  • For TTY, type 711 for the operator. The operator will also assist in placing VCO (Voice Carry Over) and HCO (Hearing Carry Over) calls. There is no charge for local calls.
  • Translation is available in 149 languages. When calling, callers can identify their language preference to be connected to the appropriate interpreter.

Online:

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, the FAQs for Develpoment Approvals will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and developers with current information.

While we know this is a popular time for spring cleaning, for health and safety reasons related to the COVID-19 emergency, please do not drop items off at outdoor donation boxes in the city (ie at Canadian Diabetes donation boxes). To maintain the health and wellbeing of everyone involved, these organizations cannot pick these donated items up at this time. Please keep them at home until these pick-ups can resume.

Event cancellations

Each year the City of Hamilton and Rotary Club of Dundas Valley Sunrise co-produce a Victoria Day Celebration and Fireworks in the Dundas Driving Park. We have made the decision to cancel the event this May 17, 2020 due to COVID.

Check the City of Hamilton events calendar for the most up to date cancellation information.

City-Run Events and SEAT Event Cancellation

All City-run and SEAT (Special Event Advisory Team) events and facility bookings are cancelled through to July 2, 2020. This announcement includes the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations, staff are working on a plan for virtual Canada Day celebrations.

All City facilities are currently closed.  During these closures, the City will conduct deep cleaning and disinfecting activities at the closed facilities. As well, wherever possible, minor maintenance activities will be scheduled to minimize possible future down time at the closed locations. 

Many types of financial support is available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19. Learn more about the financial supports available at www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/financial-support-individuals

Golf Course Openings with COVID-19 Safety Measures

The City of Hamilton is pleased to announce that King’s Forest Golf Course will be open on Wednesday, May 20 followed by the Beddoe Course on Friday, May 22 and the Martin Course Saturday, May 23.

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, play has been modified to follow provincial guidelines; tournaments, and leagues have been suspended.

Visit www.hamilton.ca/golf-hamilton/news-updates for more information

The City is responsible for removing graffiti on public property only. During this time, only removal of hate-related messages will continue.  Residents are asked to report hate-related messages on the graffiti reporting form at www.hamilton.ca/graffitiform

To further help fight the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to serve the needs of the community and our vendors, the Hamilton Farmers’ Market is reducing its hours of operation to 9 am to 4 pm each Market day Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

In addition, entrance to the Market is no longer available through Jackson Square. Shoppers must enter through the York Street doors.

More info at hamiltonfarmersmarket.ca

There are no service impacts to the City’s emergency response.

Open Air Burning

Residents are advised that, while the province recently announced restrictions to open air burning in Ontario, Hamilton is not located within the restricted zone. Open-air burning is still permitted in Hamilton in areas designated as rural, with the purchase of an open-air burning permit.

Open Air Burning permits are now available for purchase online. To purchase an Open Air Burning Permit online residents should refer to www.hamilton.ca/emergency-services/fire/open-air-burning-permit.

Recognizing that many residents, while staying at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, are undertaking spring cleanup of their property, everyone is reminded that only the burning of clean wood and brush is permitted. The burning of leaves is not allowed with or without a burn permit. The City has resumed leaf and yard waste collection on a bi-weekly basis. Residents should ensure their leaf and yard waste is at the curb by 7 am on Monday morning during the week of their pick up.

Please note:

  • Permits are required for all open-air burning.
  • An open-air burning permit costs $25 and is valid for the calendar year only.
  • Open-air burning must follow established regulations. 
  • Recreational campfires require a permit, must be kept to a maximum size of 0.6m in diameter, and must be confined.
  • Chimenea or outdoor fireplace use is deemed open-air burning and requires a permit.

There are no service impacts to the City’s emergency response.

The Gage Park Greenhouse is closed to the public and is not taking bookings for any future events at this time.

There are a number of changes, options and supports available to support tenants and property owners during these challenging times. Learn more about paying/collecting rent, tenant and landlord rights, financial supports and emergency shelters

CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) is working closely with the Public Health Services to monitor impacts of COVID-19 on tenants.

Tenant Updates

Get the latest updates on changes to services, measures for physical distancing and self-isolation, and information on what CHH is doing to support tenants’ health and safety during this difficult time.

Service Impacts

  • CHH offices are closed to the public until further notice.
  • Office hours for Property Managers and Tenant Support Workers are suspended.
  • Rent payments should be made online or through telebanking if possible. If cash or money order is your only option, place your rent payment and/or Annual Renewal paperwork in the drop box outside the office doors at 181 Main St W (Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday from 11am-2pm only).
  • Community spaces and common rooms are closed and locked to help reinforce the importance of physical distancing.
  • Annual unit inspections are postponed until further notice.
  • All tenant-led programming and third-party programming at all buildings is cancelled.
  • Laundry rooms remain open. Access to the laundry card machine in the hallway at 181 Main St W is available even though the office is closed.
  • Emergency repairs will continue, but all other routine maintenance requests will be completed at a later date.
  • Increased cleaning of commonly touched surfaces in all our buildings is ongoing.

We encourage all tenants to reach out to family, friends and neighbours to help each other with food and basic needs. If you are in need of help please call 905-546-2424 ext.5179 for emergency food assistance information.

At this time, all job interviews have been suspended until further notice except for essential service positions (Police, Fire, etc.)

Visitors are not permitted at Macassa Lodge or Wentworth Lodge until further notice. Both of the City’s long-term care homes continue to provide 24-hour care and service. 

Service of Claims

Claims can be submitted at this time by the following process:

  • Claims must be placed in individual envelopes labelled accordingly 
  • Claims can be submitted on Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at City Hall, 71 Main St. West, back entrance doors on the 1st floor.
  • Press the buzzer on the intercom to alert Security staff you are filing a Claim and wait for the Clerk (or designate) to meet outside the back door to accept the claim.   

Marriage Licences

  • At this time, we are not issuing marriage licences.

Freedom of Information Requests

Commissioning Services

  • Commissioning services have been suspended until further notice.   

Foreign Pension Documents

  • The service of signing Foreign Pension Documents has been suspended until further notice. 

Civil Ceremonies

  • Civil Marriage Ceremonies have been suspended until further notice.

Contact us

  • Any information for the Office of the City Clerk can be sent to [email protected], every effort will be made to respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

Ontario Works helps people who are in temporary financial need. It includes Emergency Assistance for Ontarians who are in a crisis or facing an unexpected emergency and are unable to meet basic living expenses.

Ontario Works Administrators determine eligibility for emergency assistance based on an assessment of the applicant’s ability to access other resources and meet their basic living expenses and the danger to health or risk that a child would be unable to continue living with the family if assistance is not issued.

Effective immediately, the ministry has expanded Emergency assistance from 16 to 48 consecutive days.

Individuals may continue to apply for income assistance and emergency assistance, by contacting their local Ontario Works office or through the existing Online Application for Social Assistance (OASA). In Hamilton 905-546-4800

The province has also implemented increased flexibility to cover discretionary benefits as a way of recognizing the unique challenges experienced during this evolving public health emergency and to address unexpected costs for individuals and families currently in receipt of Ontario Works or ODSP.

Individuals and families currently in receipt of Ontario Works can apply by calling 905-546-4800. Individuals and families currently in receipt of ODSP can apply by calling their ODSP Case Worker

Online services available:

Certain aspects of the City’s parking service have been amended to assist with the needs of the community, such as self-isolation, working from home, and caring for others, while continuing to ensure road safety, availability of parking, and safe traffic circulation.

Parking Lots and Parking Meters

  • Payment will be required and enforced at all parking meters and lots. The first 30 minutes at meters will be free until further notice.
  • As a security measure, payment will still be required for vehicles parking in the Convention Centre Garage and the York Parkade

Monthly Permits

  • In person renewal of monthly permits at all Service Centres, including 80 Main Street West, is suspended until further notice.
  • For the general public, all permits must be renewed for the month of June if your March, April or May permit has or is set to expire. Permits can be paid for over the phone utilizing a Visa or Mastercard by calling 905-540-6000, or by cheque dropped through the mail slot located at the front entrance of 80 Main Street West location. A Customer Service Representative will assist you in the mailing out or pick-up of your permit. Your current permit will continue to be honoured in all municipal parking lots until May 31, 2020.
  • For all city employees, your permit will continue to be renewed through payroll deductions or pre-authorized payment on the normal schedule. For employees who renew monthly in person at any of our service centres, May and June permits can be paid for over the phone utilizing a Visa or Mastercard by calling 905-540-6000, or by cheque dropped through the mail slot located at the front entrance of 80 Main Street West location. A Customer Service Representative will assist you in the mailing out or pick-up of your permit. Your current permit will continue to be honoured in all municipal parking lots until May 31, 2020.

Parking Enforcement

Until further notice, enforcement of the following parking regulations has been suspended:

  • 12-hour time limit for parking on City streets.
  • On-street signed time limit regulations such as 1, 2 and 3 hour time limits in residential areas.
  • Time limit exemption permits for City Streets with posted time limits.
  • Parking related fines for vehicles with expired Ontario License Plate Stickers.
  • Commercial Vehicle Time Limit Regulation for vehicles that may need to remain on street during this time.

The above parking offences may still be enforced in exceptional circumstances where a significant traffic safety, and/or of community concern exists. This includes No Stopping and No Parking Offences. Parking Enforcement Officers will continue to have discretion to use enforcement tools as necessary to ensure the safe and orderly movement of vehicles in the city.

Staff will continue to enforce parking regulations at highly visited public sites, such as Waterfalls.

Enforcement that may result in the towing of vehicles is being limited to priority safety concerns inclusive of blocked driveways/approaches.

Payment of Fines and Disputing of Fines

  • In-person payment of parking fines is suspended until further notice. However payment can still be made online via paytickets.ca or by mail as printed on back of tickets. Note that administrative fees will still be applied to unpaid tickets.
  • Disputing of a parking fine in-person is suspended until further notice. The public can continue to dispute a parking fine by email [email protected] or phone 905-540-6000. Additional Information pertaining to the applicable administration fees, amount increases, and dispute process can be found on the Penalty Notice.

For any inquires relating to the above please contact [email protected] or 905-540-6000

Online services available:

The City of Hamilton strongly encourages residents to follow the advice of Public Health officials to stay home, but if you and your household members choose to go out for fresh air or exercise please stay close to home (i.e. don’t travel to a trail), keep a 2m distance from others and wash your hands when you return home.

Exceptions to the above are if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms, have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, have an underlying medical condition, are immunocompromised or are above 70 years old.

Albion Falls

Albion Falls is closed to visitors. Parking lots, viewing platorms and areas are closed. Residents are requested not to congregate at Albion Falls.

City Waterfalls Remain Closed

  • Waterfall and escarpment areas remain closed to all users. These are particularly difficult to physically distance in as their natural features and limitations mean that the trail systems are narrow. Further, there are natural gathering areas such as lookouts and trail head entrances that encourage gathering.
  • The areas that remain closed include: Crooks Hollow, Spencer Gorge, Dundas Peak, Spencer Adventure Trail, Tew Falls, Webster Falls, Tiffany Falls, Devil's Punchbowl. Members of the public are not permitted on any of these areas or trails and those who access these properties are trespassing.

Dog Parks

Dog parks in the City of Hamilton will reopen on Tuesday, May 19.

Escarpment Stairs

Escarpment stairs are closed for all use at this time.
Note: Water fountains at the escarpment stairs are not operational

Parks

Parks and greenspaces are open. Do not gather in groups of than more than 5.
Hamilton Public Health strongly recommends keeping at least 2m or 6ft of physical distance between themselves and others at all times. Physical distancing is important, even outdoors.
Note: All bathrooms and port-o-lets in parks are closed. Litter collection in park is also temporarily suspended.

Play Structures

City play structures are closed until further notice.

Skate Parks

On May 22, the City announced the reopening of skate parks. Any users of skate parks must continue to maintain two metres of physical distance from other users and should remember to practice good hand hygiene. 

Trails

City of Hamilton Trails are open. However, Hamilton Public Health strongly recommends keeping at least 2m or 6ft of physical distance between themselves and others at all times. Physical distancing is important, even outdoors.

The Hamilton Waterfront Trail (between Confederation Park and the Burlington Lift Bridge) is open. The Waterfront Trail between Princess Point and the floating bridge at the Desjardins Canal is closed for construction Monday to Friday between 7 am and 7 pm. 

Hamilton Conservation Authority

The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) has reopened the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail (Dundas), Dofasco 2000 Trail (Stoney Creek), Lafarge 2000 Trail (Flamborough), Chippewa Trail (Hamilton) and Canal Park Trails (Dundas). All visitors must follow emergency measures and guidelines. All amenities will remain closed. There is no vehicle access to conservation areas at this time. For updates and more information, please visit conservationhamilton.ca

Tennis Courts

As of May 22, municipal outdoor tennis courts in Hamilton have also reopened. Guidelines for the safe use of tennis courts have been shared on the City’s website. All users must continue to maintain two metres of physical distance from other users and should remember to practice good hand hygiene.

Pickleball Courts

Similarly, municipal pickleball courts have also reopened. Guidelines for the safe use of pickleball courts have been shared on the City’s website. All users must continue to maintain two metres of physical distance from other users and should remember to practice good hand hygiene.

Property Tax Assistance Program Update

On May 20, 2020, City Council approved a modification to the City’s monthly pre-authorized payment plan to allow taxpayers wishing to enroll in monthly pre-authorization payments the ability to do so, even if their April 30 installment has not yet been paid. Taxpayers need to enroll in monthly pre-authorized payments before June 30 to begin monthly pre-authorized withdrawals in July.

Monthly pre-authorized payments are purely optional – the modification to allow inclusion of the April 30 instalment simply provides greater flexibility and assistance during these unprecedented times. To find out more about the City’s Property Tax Assistance Program visit www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus/support-property-tax-payers.

On April 8, Hamilton City Council approved the implementation of a temporary Property Tax Assistance Program to help ease the financial impacts on Hamilton taxpayers due to COVID-19. The City is advising all residents and businesses that 2020 property tax instalment due dates will remain unchanged at this time.

The Property Tax Assistance Program will see penalties and interest for unpaid 2020 Property Tax Instalments waived as follows:

  • The 2020 Interim Property Tax Instalment due on April 30th - penalty and interest charges will be waived for a period of 60 days.
    • Taxpayers who are not able to make a payment by the due date of April 30th, will not be charged penalty and interest in May or June on late payments. If the April 30th instalment is not paid by June 30th, it will be subject to penalty and interest starting July 1st. Waiving of penalty and interest is only applicable to this instalment amount, not prior arrears.
    • On May 20th, City Council approved additional assistance whereby if taxpayers enroll in monthly pre-authorized payments prior to June 30th, you can equally distribute your unpaid April 30th instalment in the calculation of your monthly payments from July to December 2020. 

  • The 2020 Final Property Tax Instalment due on June 30th - penalty will be waived for a period of 30 days.
    • Taxpayers who are not able to make a payment by the due date of June 30th, will not be charged penalties in July on late payments. If the June 30th instalment is not paid by July 31st, it will be subject to penalty and interest starting August 1st. Waiving of penalty and interest is only applicable to this instalment amount, not prior arrears.
  • The 2020 Final Property Tax Instalment due on September 30th - penalty and interest charges will not be waived, at this time.
  • Taxpayers currently enrolled in a pre-authorized payment plan, withdrawals will continue as per your respective plan. The City will waive the administrative fee for any returned payments, effective immediately and up to July 31, 2020. The waiving of the administrative fee for returned payments will also apply to returned cheques and other non-property tax payments.
  • The City will also be waiving any penalty and interest charges related to charges added to the tax roll (for example water arrears, property standards, etc.) until July 31, 2020. Any related taxation administrative fee to add charges to the tax roll will also be waived during this same time period.

More information at FAQs for Property Taxpayers

Hamilton Provincial Offences courtrooms and adminstrative office at 50 Main St. E. are closed. Court appearances scheduled until July 3, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. Do not attend court. 

Statutory timelines have been extended, including time to exercise your options on the Offence Notice (ticket). All provincial offences trials are being rescheduled. If you are a defendant, a notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. If you were summoned to appear in court for a provincial offence during the State of Emergency, you do not need to attend, as the matter will be rescheduled.

If you have any questions about the scheduling of your Provincial Offences Act offence, please contact the Hamilton Provincial offences office at 905- 540-5592 or via email at [email protected].

For more information visit the Government of Ontario, Ministry of the Attorney General website.

Public Health officials advise wearing face coverings

Public health officials began recommending that the public wear face masks when going out to run errands, attend medical appointments, taking transit, etc.

  • HSR is strongly encouraging customers to consider wearing a face covering when using public transit. It is not mandatory but can help protect others in spaces where physical distancing can be hard to maintain.

Sexual health and street health clinics

Closed effective April 9. Call Sexual Health Info Line at 905-528-5894 or your family doctor/local walk in clinic.

Additional mobile Van daytime hours will be available for harm reduction supplies. Call Van at 905-317-9966.

Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Services (ADGS)

Will not be offering face-to-face services at this time. Social workers are available by telephone. Please call us at 905-546-3606. We will review access to our services on May 25, 2020.

Healthy Growth and Development Services

Please continue to access Public Health Services’ breastfeeding support via the Health Connections phone line at 905-546-3550. All other Healthy Growth and Development Programs services remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, including parenting sessions (i.e., Parenting With Love, Triple P), in-class prenatal sessions, Car Seat Clinics, and Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) Welcome Baby groups. Online prenatal education is available and can be accessed by calling 905-546-2424 ext. 3591. Please also visit our Healthy Families Hamilton Facebook page www.facebook.com/HealthyFamiliesHamilton and our city website page www.hamilton.ca/familyhealth

Health Connections Phone Line

Phone line for expecting families and families that have children 0-6 years of age to learn and ask questions about: breastfeeding, child safety, growth and development, health eating, positive parenting, post-partum depression and anxiety, preparing for a healthy pregnancy and other programs and services. Please call Health Connections Phone Line at 905-546-3550 Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and your questions will be answered by a Public Health Nurse.

Child & Adolescent Services

Although in-person services have been suspended in our clinic at this time, clinicians continue to provide support, counselling and treatment virtually. Existing clients are encouraged to call their clinician should they need support. New referrals are being accepted at this time.  Children, youth and families can self-refer by calling Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888. Children and youth seeking brief, single session therapy can self-refer and/or book a session online or by calling us at 905-546-2424 x 3678. Please note that voicemails will be checked daily and responded to within 24 business hours. 

Vaccine Program

The vaccine program will no longer be accepting vaccine records in person. Please visit www.hamilton.ca/reportingvaccines for other ways you can report your child’s vaccinations to public health. Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) education sessions will be temporarily cancelled. Please call 905-540-5250 to rebook your education session. Suspension clinics and community clinics for vaccination will also be temporarily cancelled. Please call 905-540-5250 with any vaccine related questions or to rebook your community clinic appointment.

Food & Water Safety website

Effective immediately, Public Health Services’ Food and Water Safety Program staff are involved in responding to the COVID-19 emergency and are no longer approving any licenses, specal events, conducting food handler education courses or performing routine inspections. Public Health Services will respond to food and water emergencies only during this time. This change in service is expected to remain in place until further notice. Please visit www.hamilton.ca for up-to-date news and information.

Health Hazards & Vector Borne Disease Program

Effective immediately, Public Health Services’ Health Hazards and Vector Borne Disease Program staff are involved in responding to the COVID-19 emergency and are no longer investigating Non-Urgent complaints including pest issues and routine inspections.  Public Health Services will respond to health hazards and rabies investigations emergencies only during this time. This change in service is expected to remain in place until further notice. Please visit www.hamilton.ca for up-to-date news and information.

While all Hamilton Public Library branches are closed, HPL’s online resources are available 24/7. Register for a Library card online at hpl.ca. Your e-card gives you immediate access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, newspapers and more.

HPL staff are also available to answer questions about tech devices and more, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Call 905-546-3200 or email [email protected]

During the closure, no library materials will become due and fines will not accumulate. For updates and information, please visit hpl.ca.

All S.E.A.T (Special Event Advisory Team) events and facility bookings are cancelled through to July 2, 2020. The City will not take any new bookings through this period until there is a better sense of our re-opening plan. Event organizers and customers with facility bookings have been notified about these cancellations. We will continue to communicate with our S.E.A.T. applicants regarding their applications. Many event organizers have already cancelled their application requests for event permits.

Changes to HSR Services

  • Restricting customer loads to 10 people on a 40 ft bus; and 15 people on a 60 ft articulated bus. Signs will be posted to identify which seats are not available for use.
  • Operators will be by-passing stops if the load on the bus is in excess of the above amounts, or if there are concerns with physical distancing.
  • All customers are now required to enter and exit through the rear doors. Customers using walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and all other personal mobility devices (PMDs) are no longer being loaded from front door.
  • To facilitate access to the bus, customers using walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and all other PMD’s will be required to travel with a companion. The companion will be required to deploy the ramp under the direction of the operator. If there is a requirement for the wheelchair or scooter to be secured, the companion will be required to facilitate this as well.
  • HSR will now only be able to accommodate one (1) wheelchair/scooter per bus regardless of the vehicle size.

Between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm these routes will experience the greatest impacts:

  • 2-Barton
  • 1-King
  • 5-Delaware
  • 10-B line

Essential Travel Only

HSR customers should use transit only if absolutely necessary for groceries, medical appointments or to go to work if you can’t work from home. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or going to an assessment centre for testing, please do not use public transit.

Customers are requested to practice physical distancing while riding the bus as much as possible.

Reduced Schedule

The HSR is operating on a reduced schedule until further notice. Most routes are operating on a Saturday schedule on weekdays. Weekend service remains the same: regular Saturday service will operate on Saturdays and regular Sunday service will operate on Sundays.

HSR is continuing to adjust schedules and is adding supplemental service on selected routes to help mitigate crowding and improve physical distancing.

Rear door entry

HSR customers are being asked to board buses from the rear doors only, and to keep a fair distance from the bus operators and other customers. Only customers with personal mobility devices (PMD) will permitted to enter and exit through the front door.

More information at:

In response to additional physical distancing measures implemented on HSR buses, beginning Saturday April 4, DARTS will be providing bus-stop to bus-stop service for HSR customers using wheelchairs, scooters and CNIB card holders.

This will allow those traveling with personal mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters, and CNIB cardholders to travel without a companion if they so wish.

Those wishing to use this service are asked to:

  1. Call DARTS at 905-529-1717 at least one hour before the desired departure time, or ideally up to two days in advance.
  2. Identify themselves as an HSR customer (i.e.: not a registered DARTS client)
  3. Provide DARTS with a departure bus stop number and the desired time of pick-up
  4. Provide DARTS with a final destination bus stop number (i.e.: exclude usual transfers)
  5. Wait at the bus stop for a DARTS vehicle to arrive and provide your name, and show your CNIB card, if applicable, to the DARTS driver before you board.

To book a trip and ensure safety, customers will be screened by DARTS based on the current essential travel, health needs, and confirmation of device type or CNIB card policies in place.

DARTS will book one customer per trip, plus a personal companion, if required. Like HSR, DARTS has additional COVID-19 precautions in place, including increased vehicle cleaning and disinfecting, and application of Aegis microbial shield to the entire fleet.

DARTS has the complete HSR bus stop number listing along with the addresses and will work with customers to book the trip. HSR Bus stop numbers are also available at http://www.hamilton.ca/hsr, we are asking Customers to arrive at their bus stop 10-minutes before their pick-up time.

Customers that book a DARTS ride are asked to honour their reservation so that HSR and DARTS can best meet customer and community needs. DARTS will not be able to pick-up HSR customers at bus stops who have not booked in advance due to the requirement of the screening process.

If travel plans change, customers are asked to call DARTS as soon as possible to cancel or change booked trips in advance to ensure we are not tying up resources.

All City recreation facilities will remain closed until further notice to keep the public and staff safe and help minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Summer Camps

All residents who had previously booked space in a municipal summer camp will be refunded. The City is continuing to review how summer and drop-in recreation programming will work this year. More information on recreation programming will follow over the coming weeks.

Recreation programming 

Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the City of Hamilton has cancelled all City-run spring recreation programs and extended the closure of all recreation facilities, parks, sports fields and recreation administration facilities. During this time, all bookings will be cancelled, and credits will be placed on accounts. Refunds will be issued based on request. Please be patient during this time as we process these cancellations and refunds. Questions or requests to receive a refund please contact customer service at  [email protected].

Recreation Facility Rentals 

All facility rentals and special event permits have been cancelled up until July 2, 2020. If you’ve booked a room, pool, or ice rental during our closure, you will receive a credit on your account for the time missed. To receive a refund instead of a credit, please contact customer service at [email protected]. Currently, we are not taking reservations for future dates.

Recreation Memberships and Passes 

All Participation Passes, Seniors Centre Memberships and Water Fit Memberships are affected by the current COVID-19 related facility closures.

Memberships and passes will automatically be adjusted to include closure dates for the remaining duration of the membership prior to us reopening. If you have any questions, please contact customer service at [email protected].
Recreation Assistance Passes will continue to expire. There will be a grace period for Recreation Assistance clients to submit renewal applications.
Clip cards do not have an expiry date and are not impacted by closures.  Remaining visits will be available for use once facilities reopen.

"Rec at Home"

The City of Hamilton Recreation Division has put together a list of activities for residents to try at home with family. While we are all doing our part to stay home and practice physical distancing, the Recreation Division wants to remind families of the role that active and creative play have in helping to keep us all healthy. We encourage you to check in regularly to see what activities/challenges are posted. New activities/challenges will continue to be added to this page on a regular basis so keep checking back for additional programming ideas and opportunities. Visit www.hamilton.ca/RecAtHome to access the activities.

Winter maintenance and emergency road, bridge, bike lane, and sidewalk repairs will continue. Routine non-emergency road and sidewalk work has been suspended.

Additionally, other non-essential work such as traffic studies, installation of traffic calming infrastructure, two-way conversions and red-light camera installations have also been suspended. Staff will attend to emergency repairs of traffic signals, traffic signs and street lighting.

Some pedestrian signals in Hamilton are being reprogrammed so pedestrians do not need to touch them to activate the crosswalk lights. The reprogrammed signals are in high priority/high pedestrian areas, such as near local hospitals, urgent care centres and COVID-19 assessment centres.

While the reprogramming will ensure the pedestrian lights come on automatically, the enhanced accessible audible crossing will still need to be activated manually by those users who require it. Regular audible guidance will continue as usual. Other signals that require pedestrians to touch them in order to activate (pedestrian crossovers and independent pedestrian signals) will still need to be manually activated.

To date, the City of Hamilton has allocated over $700,000 toward supporting vulnerable residents during this difficult time by assisting with food and basic needs, keeping shelters open and working with agencies to provide access to washrooms/showers. Isolation Centres have also been set up to provide food and shelter to any individuals in the shelter system that test positive for COVID-19.

A temporary emergency shelter based out of FirstOntario Centre will offer additional support to individuals who are at-risk and/or experiencing homeless, accommodating overflow from the shelter system to help ensure physical distancing.

Staff are also exploring ways to provide online supports for older adults, offering property owners some form of tax relief and setting up a network to deliver essentials like food and medication to those who are self-isolating but have little support.

List of emergency shelters for men, women, youth and families

All attractions, natural areas and many of the food and drink establishments that have made Hamilton such an amazing destination, are temporarily closed and inaccessible for all our safety. Festivals, events and concerts are similarly cancelled or postponed.

The City of Hamilton will continue to process invoice payments during the COVID-19 shutdown. In order to ensure invoices are being processed on a timely basis, vendors should email invoices to the address of the Department/Division that the goods or services have been provided to. 

Automated Accounts Payable Approval system

Regular Leaf and Yard Waste collection resumes Monday, May 25
 

The City is starting regular weekly leaf and yard waste collection on Monday, May 25. There is no change to the schedule that was in place, pre-COVID-19 – leaf and yard waste will be collected on residents’ regularly scheduled waste collection day. 

Residents asked to help protect waste collectors by making a few small changes
While crews have their own health and safety procedures in place, residents are asked to help protect them on the job:

  • Place used tissues and napkins in the garbage, rather than the green bin.
  • Where possible, use liner bags (either paper or certified compostable plastic) in the green bin.
  • Ensure that all material placed in garbage bins is bagged, not kept loose.
  • Keep a physical distance of at least two metres from waste collection staff

These steps will help protect the health of crews who handle thousands of bins, bags and boxes each week.

Community Recycling Centres

Community Recycling Centres are open. Payment will only be accepted by debit or credit. Cash payments are not permitted.  The Re-use Store at Mountain Community Recycling Centre is closed. Please note there are currently long wait times at our Community Recycling Centre due to seasonal volumes, reduced staffing levels, and because we are only allowing so many people in at a time to ensure physical distancing.

Online services available:

Critical Hamilton Water operations will continue and include:

  • providing safe drinking water
  • safe collection and treatment of wastewater
  • stormwater management

Hamilton Water is an essential service for Hamilton’s residents and businesses. All emergency repairs and response will continue including emergency watermain break repairs. Critical construction projects related to water and wastewater treatment facilities will continue, including the Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade project.

Customer service and public education activities are suspended. The service counter at 330 Wentworth St. N is closed.

There are some services we can restart on a modified basis in a way that ensures we continue to adhere to the provincial orders and the health and safety of our staff and the community.

We will be implementing physical distancing practices, staggering hours and increasing cleaning practices. 

Restarted services critical to maintaining facilities as the seasons change

Weather dependent but typically, begins during the last week of April. This work will reduce the risk of standing water and associated mosquito habitat, tick infestation, sight line issues, and the liability of pedestrians encountering unseen hazards.

  • In parks and sports fields: Grass will be cut once every 7 business days to preserve the sensitive turf and prevent costly damage caused by weed infestations. As long as park assets such as play structures, sports fields and other park amenities remain closed, the grass will not be trimmed along fence lines or around trees. Grass along steep embankments will not be trimmed; this practice exceeds the capacity of full-time staff and is done exclusively for aesthetics.
  • On trails, at cemeteries and City facilities: Grass will be cut once every 7 business days.
  • In the right-of-way: Grass within the City right of way on the Red Hill Valley Parkway and Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway will be cut. Grass on all other right of ways will be cut by contractors to maintain sightlines as the City does not have the required equipment or staff.
  • Civic Museums: Grounds maintenance at the City’s civic museums is undertaken by a combination of Public Works staff (grass cutting) and external contractors (landscaping). This work will also be re-started.
  • In parks: At this time, garbage is currently being collected in parks as per the standard service level of twice weekly, and this will continue. As is usual practice in the summer, additional garbage receptables will be placed in parks, however, the number of seasonal receptacles won’t be as high as a typical year given the closures. Staff not currently working on essential duties will be redeployed to perform litter pickup in parks to ensure the spring cleanup is completed.
  • In the right of way: Currently, only emergency pickup on the roadway has been deemed essential. However, staff have returned to a standard service level to deal with customer complaints and begin proactive patrols along roadways and alleys to clean up the right of way. In addition, staff have started the annual spring cleanup of the Red Hill Valley Parkway and Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway.
  • Asset Safety Inspections: Parks investigators will continue to respond to citizen requests, hazard identification, documented asset inspection and claim investigation.
  • Critical Park Maintenance: Critical maintenance in parks will continue, this may include the repair and replacement of critical infrastructure such as gates, bridges, railings and stairs, as well as installing and maintaining signage and lighting.
  • Secondary Park Services: Secondary services will be undertaken in the event staffing levels allow and include sports field maintenance such as aerating, over seeding, irrigation and fertilization. These are chosen on the basis that they are critical, high priority work that can be segmented and undertaken by single staff members effectively. Secondary services would be paused or discontinued to supplement critical services.

Burials in municipal cemeteries will continue as-needed. If demand for municipal cemetery services increases and it is required, staff from Parks will be cross-trained to assist. Non-essential cemetery work such as gardening, pre-need sales, foundation placement, trimming, maintenance of non-active cemeteries will not be completed at this time. 

  • Gage Park Production Greenhouse: A small number of staff returned to work at the Gage Park Production Greenhouse. Typically, at this time of year horticulture staff would be tending to juvenile plants that would be used for flower islands and other gardens throughout the city. Work in the Greenhouse is now required, given staff are still targeting a level of service of 70% of the traffic islands to be planted with flowering plants. If the young plants are not maintained between now until the end of May, this goal will not be attainable. Additional staffing resources will be required at these times through redeployment if seasonal staff and students are not employed. This will be decided at a later date.
     
  • Mum Show: In order to have plant material flowering at the right time for the annual Mum Show, staff must take cuttings and propagate plant material in mid-April. To complete the full amount of propagation in preparation for the Mum Show, horticulture staff are being deployed for three weeks to complete these tasks. Beyond this three-week period, on site staff requirements will be less and staff will be transferred to work outside.
     
  • City Flower Beds & Traffic Islands: City horticulture crews began work to prepare municipal garden beds and traffic islands May 4, 2020. It is anticipated that approximately 70% of traffic islands will still be planted with flowering plants this year. Planting for these flowers will begin in late May.

On April 25, 2020 the Government of Ontario lifted certain COVID-19 restrictions, allowing the use of allotment gardens and community gardens to operate following the guidance of the City of Hamilton's Medical Officer of Health.

The City posted safe operating guidelines for community gardens (PDF, 136 KB). Community gardens are now permitted to re-open as long as the comprehensive Public Health guidelines are adhered to, and the appropriate measures are put into place by the garden owners or coordinators. 

  • Annual road maintenance programs: Activities such as drainage improvements, concrete sidewalk grinding, annual sidewalk inspection and hazard identification replacement program will restart. These programs will operate at reduced staffing levels due to the reduction of student resources and full-time staff will be redeployed to fill those duties.
  • Escarpment crossing clean up: An assessment and cleanup of all escarpment crossings will also be completed as part of the spring cleanup.
  • Sidewalk and curb replacements: Sidewalk and curb replacements remain temporarily suspended at this time because concrete crews are not able to work within the physical distancing guidelines.
  • Line painting: The night shift for line painting will be initiated.
  • Signs and markings: The Neighbourhood Speed Limit Reduction program will restart to continue the installation of 30 and 40 km/hr speed signs in neighbourhoods. In addition, a backlog of damaged signs from the winter will be replaced.
  • Traffic signal controller modernization: The replacement program for traffic signals will be restarted to remove and upgrade older models.

Work in the Planning & Economic Development department continues at this time. Three main areas are most relevant to our COVID-19 response, as follows:

  • Level of service: The City’s by-law enforcement capacity is at full deployment with the general level of service as follows:
    • Weekdays: 25 officers in Municipal Law Enforcement (8:00 am to 1:00 am), 7 officers in Animal Services (24 hours) and 7 officers in Business Licencing (7:00 am to 7:00 pm)
    • Weekends: 8 officers in Municipal Law Enforcement (11:00 am to 1:00 am), 5 officers in Animal Services (24 hours) and 5 officers in Business Licencing (7:00 am to 7:00 pm)
  • COVID-19 related calls prioritized: enforcement of facility closures (e.g. waterfalls, park structures, dog parks) and Provincial Orders, as well as the City’s physical distancing by-law.
  • Enforcement of other by-laws: Officers continue to respond to issues related to other City by-laws that represent a health and safety concern, including Vital Services, Vacant Buildings, emergency Property Standards matters, as well as the illegal cutting of trees.
  • Staff redeployment: Starting April 27, there will be enhanced enforcement of non COVID-19 related calls, particularly property standards, which will bring the level of enforcement of non-COVID-19 calls up to a standard more in line with pre-pandemic service levels. Supervisors from the Parking Enforcement team that normally supervise the crossing guards’ program will be redeployed to do by-law enforcement at Albion Falls. This will free up four by-law officers to focus on property standards. Staff will monitor the service levels associated with this redeployment and re-evaluate on a weekly basis.
  • Full deployment: while some parking regulations have been relaxed during the COVID-19 response, Parking Enforcement Officers are still fully deployed in the field and focused on traffic safety and/or community concern matters and enforcing parking regulations at highly visited public sites, such as Conservation Areas. Staff have altered shifts to remove the overnight shift (10 pm to 7:30 am) in order to add seven day per week coverage. As a result, there are currently 10 officers on duty every day, seven days per week, three shifts per day, with coverage from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm. A Supervisor is on standby 24/7 for any immediate concern in need of action.
  • School Crossing Guard services discontinued: no hours are scheduled for these part-time staff. Supervisor hours previously allocated for school crossing guard services are being redeployed to assist with by-law enforcement at waterfalls, in order to free up by-law capacity to address property standards issues.
  • Suspension of contracted services: as a cost savings measure, staff are suspending contracted enforcement services (i.e. Corps Commissionaires) effective April 30 due to lower need, and existing City parking enforcement staff will take on these duties.

Maintenance of surface lots: grass cutting at City parking lots will be every 3-4 weeks as opposed to 1-2 weeks. Garbage and litter pick-up will remain at same standard, ie. minimum 1-2 times per week in lots and daily in garages. Parking maintenance staff will do spring maintenance on surface lots including pot-hole filling, line painting and minor repairs. Parking labourers will also be assisting with garbage and litter pick-up in areas surrounding downtown parking facilities.

Going outside in Hamilton parks & trails