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COVID-19 Update: Changes to Council and Standing Committee meetings until April 5, update on HSR Service, and other important updates

HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton today provided further updates to the community on its COVID-19 response:

Council and Standing Committee Meetings

In a continuing effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Mayor Eisenberger and Members of Hamilton City Council are announcing they will be suspending most Council and Standing Committee meetings until after April 5, 2020. All scheduled Standing Committee meetings up to April 5, 2020 (Public Works, Planning, Emergency & Community Services, Administration, Finance & Administration and Public Health) are cancelled.

Any time-sensitive agenda items from these scheduled Standing Committee meetings will be referred to a General Issues Committee (GIC) meeting that will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020. Further, a Special Budget GIC will also be held on Friday, March 20, 2020 and a Special Council Meeting will also be held on Friday, March 20, 2020 to ratify the reports from both the regular and Special Budget GIC.

The agenda and staff reports for the GIC meetings will be posted to the City website by the end of the day tomorrow, Tuesday March 17, 2020.

Although the GIC meeting on Friday, March 20, 2020 will be open to the public, the public is strongly encouraged not to attend in person. The meeting will be live streamed on the City’s website. Additional public health and social distancing precautions will be in place at the meeting.

The City is encouraging delegates to provide written delegations instead of attending in person. For those residents wishing to attend in person, only delegates who have sought delegation status 24 hours prior to the meeting will be permitted to delegate at the meeting.

In addition, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is recommending to all Chairs of City Advisory Committees that they postpone their meetings until after April 5, 2020. The EOC is also recommending that Boards and Agencies review their meeting schedules as well.

HSR Service

Effective Monday March 23, 2020, until further notice, HSR is moving to a Saturday level of service from Monday to Friday, across most routes. There are some exceptions, and all details will be posted on Current Saturday and Sunday schedules will continue and remain unchanged. Where required, revised timetables are being finalized and will be available by March 20, 2020.

What does this mean for customers?

  • You might need to adjust your schedule and leave a bit earlier
  • There may be extended wait times during the week
  • Every effort will be made to look for ways to enhance any service reduction levels, which are relative to operator and bus availability

With respect to specialized transit, currently, there are no changes in the availability of accessing DARTS. As a result of many program cancelations, organically people are not using the service, meaning they have the capacity to fulfill the currently scheduled trips. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as needed.

Customers can continue to find real-time information regarding HSR services in all the ways they always have. For information please visit and the following:

COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Online City services

There are alternate service options to complete transactions with the City, for example applying for child care subsidy, paying taxes and applying for animal licenses online. The City is encouraging residents to use online services wherever possible and will be providing a comprehensive list of links to services on the City’s website tomorrow.

Ontario Ministry of Health update

The Ministry of Health late this afternoon updated its recommendations, and is now recommending the closure of bars and restaurants province-wide (with the option of offering delivery and take-out). It is further recommending, that as much as possible, everyone work from home or stay home from work in continued efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Virtual Town Hall

The City will be hosting a virtual town hall on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in collaboration with Cable 14. The town hall will be live on Cable 14 and streamed on the City’s YouTube channel. Residents are invited to submit questions for the town hall at or via Twitter by tagging @cityofhamilton. In order to promote social distancing, the town hall will only be presented virtually. In-person attendance is not available for residents or media.

“The cancellation of most Council and Standing Committee meetings is an important step the City is taking to expand its COVID-19 precautions. Consolidating these meetings into a Special GIC and Council ensures urgent items are presented to Council. As part of the City’s precautions, I encourage delegates to submit written delegations and for our community members to watch the meetings remotely.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton

Additional Resources


Jen Recine
Manager, Communications
City of Hamilton
905-546-2424 ext. 4970
[email protected]

Michelle Shantz
Communications and Media Advisor
Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger
[email protected]