What to Expect at City Hall

Hamilton Reopens - Phase Two: Gradual Recovery

To support those who are working at or visiting City Hall, the following section explains what you can expect during your time at City Hall.  

City Hall will be open between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. The building will be closed to everyone except elected officials and approved staff at 4:30 pm each weekday, except for pre-approved after-hours appointments. 


Before You Come In

In order to ensure the health and safety of employees and others visiting our workplaces, everyone who wishes to enter City Hall, or any other municipal facility, must complete health screening before coming into the building, each day before coming to work.

Drop in visitors

If you’re just dropping in to City Hall without an appointment, you’ll notice large signs asking you about possible COVID-19 symptoms, your travel history and whether you have had any close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  

Please review the signs and review the common symptoms of COVID-19. If you answer yes to any of the questions on the sign, please don’t enter the building. You should go home and self-isolate, and get tested for COVID-19.

Greeters will be available for those who need help with reading or understanding the signs.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in City workspaces, everyone entering City hall is requested to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is available at each of the entrances. 

Example of poster signage: Stop COVID-19, Do you have any of the following symptoms?

Scheduled visitors

All visitors with appointments, contractors, suppliers or vendors coming into City Hall for scheduled work must complete a COVID-19 self-assessment health screening before entering.

The self-assessment health screening asks questions about possible COVID-19 symptoms, your travel history and whether you have had any close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  

Your host will provide you with a copy of the self-assessment, but it can be completed in hard copy (PDF) or by visiting screening.hamilton.ca (when available for visitors). If you answer yes to any of the questions in the health screening, please don’t enter City Hall. You should go home and self-isolate, and get tested for COVID-19.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in City workspaces, everyone entering City hall is requested to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is available at each of the entrances. 

Members of Council, their staff and all other City staff

All members of City Council, their staff and all City staff must complete a COVID-19 self- assessment health screening each day before entering City Hall.

The self-assessment health screening asks questions about possible COVID-19 symptoms, your travel history and whether you have had any close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  

The self-assessment can be completed in hard copy (PDF) or by visiting screening.hamilton.ca

If you answer yes to any of the questions in the health screening, please don’t enter City Hall. You should go home and self-isolate, and get tested for COVID-19. Staff should also advise their manager and follow the directions on the self-assessment for next steps.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in City workspaces, everyone entering City hall is requested to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is available at each of the entrances. 

Example of poster signage: Reminder complete your COVID-19 self-assessment health screening


 

Entering City Hall

Visitors

To ensure we are able to properly monitor the number of people on the first and second floors of City Hall, all visitors must enter the building on the first floor through the north side doors on Main Street or the south side doors from the lower level parking lot. Signs are posted to direct visitors to the appropriate doors.

Example of City Hall COVID signageVisitors are not permitted to enter through the second floor southside doors on Hunter Street.

If parking is required, visitors should consider parking on the lower level parking lot, accessible from Bay Street or Jackson Street W.

The public areas of the first floor will be limited to a maximum occupancy of 40 people to ensure everyone is able to maintain a physical distance of six feet or two metres from others.

The maximum occupancy of 40 people includes:

  • Staff members at the service counters
  • Security staff
  • Greeters
  • Cleaning staff
  • All visitors (appointments or drop-in)

If required, visitors will be asked to line up outside and wait until space is available to enter City Hall.

A greeter will be at each entrance to monitor line ups, assist people in finding the service they require, assist anyone who may need help with the health screening questions or finding the elevator if necessary to reach the second floor, and to answer any general questions.

Members of Council, their staff and all other City staff

Members of City Council, their staff and City staff who have been approved to return to work may enter City Hall through the south side doors from the upper level parking lot off Hunter Street.

Visitors are not permitted to enter through the second floor southside doors on Hunter Street.

If they wish, Council and staff may also enter the building on the first floor through the north side doors on Main Street or the south side doors from the lower level parking lot. Staff who have been approved to return to work may be required to show their employee ID card to bypass the line, and will be asked to move directly through the first floor to their work area.


 

Going Through City Hall

Visitors

Example floor sign: Please Stand HereVisitors are permitted on the first and second floor of City Hall only. Access to floors three to eight are restricted to staff who have been approved to return to work.

Ample signage and floor markings have been installed to ensure the public knows where to stand in line, and where to go to access the available municipal services.

While moving through City Hall, visitors are asked to maintain a physical distance of six feet or two metres from anyone outside their “social circle” of 10 people.

Members of Council, their staff and all other City staff

Staff who have been approved to return to work will be asked to stay within their working areas, as much as possible, to avoid increasing the occupancy limits on the first and second floor.

Where traveling through City Hall is required for work purposes, Council and staff are asked to maintain a physical distance of six feet or two metres from anyone outside their “social circle” of 10 people.


 

Using the Elevator and Stairwells

Visitors

Since all visitors should enter the building on the first floor, those who need to use the elevator to reach the second floor should indicate so to the greeter and follow the floor markings to wait in line and travel in the elevator.

The elevators in City Hall will hold a maximum of two passengers at one time, with signage and floor markings indicating the capacity and where to stand while waiting or traveling in the elevator.

The centre stairwell in the main lobby and the stairwell across from the elevator are open for use in both directions, but users should maintain a physical distance of six feet or two metres from others while on the stairs, as much as possible.

Members of Council, their staff and all other City staff

Staff who have been approved to return to work and need to reach the upper floors of City Hall may use the elevators or stairwell across from the elevators.

The elevators in City Hall will hold a maximum of two passengers at one time, with signage and floor markings indicating the capacity and where to stand while waiting or traveling in the elevator.

The centre stairwell in the main lobby and the stairwell across from the elevator are open for use in both directions, but users should maintain a physical distance of six feet or two metres from others while on the stairs, as much as possible.

Example poster: Physical Distancing on Elevators, Max capacity 2


 

Accessing City Services

While City Hall will reopen to the public, not all City services will be immediately available for residents to access in person.

Many services will continue to be offered virtually, to maintain physical distancing where possible, with many staff continuing to work from home.

However, beginning the week of July 20, 2020, the first and second floor of City Hall will reopen to the public, and the following services will be available:

Public Service Counters

West side of the first floor. Available for drop-in service.

  • Marriage licenses
  • Tax payments
  • Provincial Offences Act (POA) fines
  • Parking fines
  • Animal licenses
  • Transit transactions including: PRESTO cards, HSR tickets, HSR passes, taxi scripts and DARTS tickets

City Clerks

West side of the first floor. These services are by appointment only.

  • Commissioning services
  • Foreign pension forms
  • Assessment roll reviews
  • Accessing information under the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act
  • Copies and / or information regarding by-laws
  • Lobbyist registry
  • Internal print and mail services

Planning & Building Services 

East side of the first floor. These counters are for applicants to pick-up and drop-off documents and plans only. The upper floors of City Hall remain closed to the public, and in-person consultation is unavailable at this time. 

  • Growth
  • Building
  • Planning

Some parts of the first floor will remain closed, including:

  • The back area of the Small Business Centre
  • Business Licensing and Business Facilitation Services
  • Federal Government Services counter
  • Country Style 

 

Using the Washrooms

The washrooms in City Hall have been adjusted to ensure users are able to maintain physical distance while inside. Some of the sinks have been temporarily blocked off, and signage on the doors indicate the capacity of the washroom.

The washrooms in City Hall will be cleaned twice daily.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in City workspaces, signs are posted in the washrooms to remind users about the proper techniques for hand hygiene.

Example washroom sign: Washrooms Cleaned Twice Daily

Example Hand Washing poster: Reduce the Spread of Covid-19, wash your hands


 

Attending Meetings

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in City of Hamilton workplaces, all face-to-face meetings continue to be discouraged at this time.

Essential in-person meetings that need to proceed should still follow the current restrictions on the number of people gathering as per the Provincial Emergency Orders.

As such, meeting rooms on the first and second floor are not available for use at this time. Those meeting rooms that are open for essential business have signs posted on the doors to indicate the maximum capacity of the room.


 

Visiting Elected Officials

Administrative Offices for all elected officials are located on the second floor of City Hall. Residents wishing to meet with their Ward Councillor in person are encouraged to make an appointment, whenever possible.

Contact information for the Mayor’s Office and City Councillors is available at www.hamilton.ca/council-committee/mayor-council


 

Visiting Council Chambers

At this time, virtual Council and Committee meetings will continue, and both Council Chambers and Room 264 will remain closed to the public. 


 

Media Room

At this time, the media room will remain closed. We anticipate reopening the media room when Council Chambers reopens and Council and Committee meetings return to the in-person format.