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COVID-19 Update: Updates from the City of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON - Earlier today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of 9 am this morning, there are 521 confirmed positive cases, six probable cases, and 26 deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton. More details about cases are available on the City’s website including demographics, risk factors, exposure, etc.

“Hamilton Reopens” – NEW for May 15

Municipal Golf Courses
Hamilton’s municipal golf courses will begin to open next week. City staff are working to undertake the final pieces of coordination to get the courses up and running. It is anticipated that King’s Forest will reopen on Wednesday, May 20 and Chedoke will open next weekend. Details regarding payment, booking tee times, and all other information will be available on our website in the coming days.

Tennis, Pickle Ball and Figure Skating in Hamilton
Tennis, pickle ball and figure skating activities will be returning in Hamilton by the end of May within certain parameters and at certain locations. We ask residents to please wait for the City to provide an update on the restart of these activities before trying to access them at the various locations.

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

Bayfront Park Boat Launch
The boat launch at Bayfront Park will reopen tomorrow, Saturday, May 16.

Face Coverings for HSR Customers
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, HSR is asking customers to consider wearing a face covering/face mask on public transit. It is not mandatory, but can help protect others in spaces where physical distancing can be hard to maintain. The City wants to remind customers that transit continues to be for essential travel only. Operators are committed to providing a safe, reliable and professional service and will do their best to limit instances of over-crowding by monitoring the boardings of 10 or 15 customers the best they can, while safely operating buses. The public is reminded to adhere to the public health measures that have been put in place.

City Facility Closures and Programming Update
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 2. 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, and we will share the plan with Council and the general public on May 27.

Other Reminders

Parking Enforcement
This week, the Ontario government began to allow retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery. To ensure that on-street parking and parking in municipal lots is available for businesses and employees, starting this Saturday, May 16 payment will once again be required and enforced at all parking meters and lots. Monthly permits from March or April that were not renewed will be honoured in municipal lots through May, but permits for June 1 will need to be renewed.    

To support local businesses and restaurants participating in curbside pickup and delivery, the first 30 minutes at parking meters will be free until further notice.

On March 25, the enforcement of payment at meters and lots was suspended so that staffing resources could be redeployed to support the City’s emergency response efforts including safety related matters, enforcement at highly visited public sites and concerns from the community. Enforcement of some parking violations will continue to be suspended, such as time limits on residential streets, to support the high number of residents still working from home.

Fireworks Ban
On Wednesday, May 13, Hamilton City Council voted to amend the City's Fireworks and Administrative Penalties By-law (By-law 02-285) and invoke a temporary fireworks ban.

To help prevent large gatherings and the spread of COVID-19, to reduce the potential for fires at a time when emergency response teams are required to handle issues directly related to the COVID-19 emergency, and to protect emergency response and Municipal Law Enforcement staff from having to inspect more businesses or respond to more situations than necessary during the pandemic, effective immediately, the sale and discharge of all fireworks in the City of Hamilton is prohibited until July 4, 2020.

The temporary ban includes the use of sparklers, which the government of Canada classifies as consumer fireworks. Residents found to be acting not in accordance with the temporary ban will be subject to a penalty of $500. Penalties apply to residents, businesses and non-residents. After July 4, the ban is slated to be lifted, but the former regulations would apply. 

Open Air Burning
The Hamilton Fire Department has reported a significant increase in the number of city-wide burning complaints on residential properties in Hamilton. Residents living in urban areas of the city are reminded that open air fires are not permitted. For those living in Hamilton’s rural areas, a burn permit must be obtained before having an open air fire.

Burn permits are available online: visit

Announcements From Other Levels Of Government

The federal government announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community. The investment will provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 supports. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.

The federal government also launched a $100-million Farm Credit Canada program. The program offers convertible debt investments and other types of flexible financing.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, the province will enter Stage 1 of a three-stage reopening plan. Some businesses and services can reopen as early as this Saturday. Businesses are required to follow strict physical distancing guidelines. A full list of businesses can be found on the province’s website.

“With many of us heading outside this weekend to enjoy recently reopened businesses, parks and amenities, it is important to remember COVID-19 is still in our community. Please use your best judgement, maintain a physical distance from others and consider wearing a mask. We continue to remain the first line of defence against this virus. Wishing our community a safe, healthy and happy Victoria Day weekend.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

Additional Resources

Jasmine Graham
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
[email protected]

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