City Services during COVID-19

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Updated Friday, April 3, 2020

To help protect the health and safety of people in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Peterborough is suspending operations of several municipal programs and facilities as well as postponing non-essential public meetings.

Core services such as water, wastewater management, curbside waste collection, transportation, public services, police, fire, and paramedics are still being provided.

The City declared a State of Emergency on Monday, March 23, 2020.The City's Emergency Control Group has been meeting daily since Friday, March 13, 2020. Prior to that, emergency management staff were meeting with provincial, public health and other community agencies to monitor COVID-19 and plan for its impact in Peterborough.

If you have questions about how a City-run service or program is being affected by this closure, please contact 705-742-7777 or email us.
Arenas, Community Services and Recreation

Arenas: All City-operated arenas will be closed until Monday, April 13, including the Evinrude Centre, the Kinsmen Civic Centre, the Memorial Centre, and the Northcrest Arena. All events and programs at these facilities have also been cancelled or postponed during this time. To contact Arena division staff during regular business hours, call 705-742-7777 ext. 2417 or send them an email.

Community Services and Recreation: The Community Services office at 210 Wolfe St. is closed to the public until further notice. To contact the office please call 705-742-7777 ext. 1822 or email You can visit the Recreation web page to find out more about upcoming programs, and to view the Fun Guide online. The Downtown Youth Space is closed until further notice.

Art Gallery
The Art Gallery of Peterborough is closed to the public until Monday, April 13. All scheduled programs and events at the Art Gallery during this time have also been cancelled or postponed.
Building Services and Planning

Building permit applications and plans can be submitted electronically at or Hard copies of plans and documents can be submitted by using a drop box inside of the doors of the north wing (Carnegie Wing) of City Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. The drop box is located between the outer and inner doors – the inner doors are locked and will not be opened.

Documents for planning applications that have already been initiated can also be submitted using the drop box inside the doors of the north wing at City Hall. With the temporary closure of City Hall to the public and the suspension of public meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is currently not accepting new planning applications.

Media release on the changes to Building Services and Planning application submissions

City Council

The City is consulting with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on potential ways for municipalities to adapt governance processes during the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the provincial emergency declaration.

Peterborough City Council will meet remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic with the meeting livestreamed at The provincial government passed legislation, the Municipal Emergency Act, allowing municipal councils to meet electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public participation in the virtual Council meetings will be through registered delegations that will be able to provide written submissions and phone-in verbal presentations during the meetings. Delegations will be required to register by 11 a.m. on the day of the scheduled meeting, which is the same as the regular Council meeting delegation process. Registering as a delegation can be done online or by phone at 705-742-7777 ext. 1820.

City Hall

City Hall at 500 George St. N. will be closed to the public as of Wednesday, March 18 until and including Monday, April 13. City staff will continue to be available during regular business hours by phone or email. If you do not know the individual or department you are trying to reach, please call 705-742-7777 or email us. Please understand that it may take longer to reply to messages with increased call and email volumes. We encourage residents to use online services where possible. 

Fire Services

Fire Services continues to operate during COVID-19. Fire halls are closed to the public. 

Open-air burning is not permitted within the City of Peterborough at any time, as directed by the Ontario Fire Code. Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry announced that the province is implementing a “Restricted Fire Zone” across the entire province effective Friday April 3, 2020. This will prevent fires caused by humans during the dry spring conditions and allow emergency first responders to focus on COVID-19 response. The province-wide restriction will remain in place until Ontario’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Only Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) approved appliances such as fire bowls, fire-pit tables and barbeques that burn propane or natural gas are permitted. Chimineas and other wood-burning devices are not approved appliances for open-air fires.

Food resources and community meal programs

Many grocery stores and pharmacies are offering delivery services and special hours for older adults and people who are immunocompromised. Visit our grocery and pharmacy resource page for further details.  

People in shelters have access to three meals a day at those shelters.

For people who are not in shelters, One Roof (St. John's Anglican Church, 99 Brock St.) is offering a take-out meal at 1 p.m. each day. Community groups that provide meal programs are finding it challenging to continue their programs as many of their volunteers are seniors who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and more and more people are needing to self-isolate.

Currently most food banks in the City and County of Peterborough remain open with increased sanitation and social distancing practices in place. Visit our Food Support page for a full listing of food banks and other food resources in this region. 

The City is donating all revenue from pay-and-display machines for municipal on-street parking and municipal surface parking lots to Kawartha Food Share during the provincial emergency declaration period.

Garbage and recycling


Curbside waste collection is operating as normal.

Peterborough County-City Landfill is temporarily closed to the general public effective March 20, 2020 as part of the growing efforts to reduce close contact that could spread COVID-19. The curbside pickup waste collection service continues as normal.

Closing the landfill to the general public reduces close physical interactions for a service that is not essential during the provincial emergency situation.

The landfill is visited by hundreds of customers each day who interact with each other and staff at the landfill and who use cash, credit, or debit for payments. Alternative processes to reduce contact between people are being investigated for the drop-off site at the landfill. 

Commercial account holders will still be able to access the landfill.

For curbside collection, residents are asked to ensure their garbage is properly bagged for pickup to help protect the health and safety of staff who are handling the material.

Household hazardous waste

The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Drop-off facility at 400 Pido Rd. will operate under revised public hours. Hours of operation will be Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All residents will be required to follow physical distancing requirements and are asked to remain in their vehicle until they receive direction from on-site staff.


Curbside recycling collection continues as regularly scheduled and the public recycling drop-off depot at the Materials Recycling Facility at 390 Pido Rd. remains open.

Recycling blue boxes are temporarily not available for sale at the Materials Recycling Facility, 390 Pido Rd., at City Hall, or at Peterborough GreenUP.

The recycling drop-off depot at 390 Pido Rd. is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Green waste collection

The curbside collection of yard waste begins the week of April 7, 2020. Leaf and yard waste may go out to the curb every week for collection on your regular collection day. 


Both the downtown location and the DelaFosse branch of the Peterborough Public Library are closed to the public until Monday, April 13. All scheduled programs and events at the Library during this time have also been cancelled or postponed.

While the library is closed, you can still renew or activate a library card by leaving a message at 705-745-5382 ext. 2340 or by sending an email to Calls will be returned Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All due dates have been extended until the library reopens, and all fine blocks on accounts have been removed. Library card holders can continue to access digital resources including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, newspapers, and learning resources by visiting

Museum and Archives

The Museum and Archives is closed to the public until Monday, April 13. All scheduled programs and events at the Museum during this time have also been cancelled or postponed. 

MUSE Fine Films: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has suspended all Film Festival Circuit Group screenings after Thursday, March 19, which includes MUSE Fine Films that is offered by TIFF in conjunction with Peterborough Museum and Archives with screening of films at Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough. TIFF will revisit the Film Circuit Group program at a later time to schedule replacement dates.


During the period of the provincial emergency declaration, the City is not requiring people to pay for on-street parking or parking in municipal surface lots. The City has decided to close all pay-and-display to avoid the risk of further spread of illness. Paying for parking is still required at municipal parking garages, and the City will continue to offer one hour of free parking at all parking garages. The City will continue to donate any money paid through the HotSpot parking app for on-street or surface lot parking to Kawartha Food Share. The City encourages people to use online methods of payment when possible to reduce the physical exchange of cash. Many services are available online or by telephone. You can pay parking tickets online or by calling 705-742-7777 ext. 1865.

Parking enforcement

The City will maintain some level of parking enforcement to ensure that emergency services can still safely access neighbourhoods, and that services such as garbage and recycling collection and public transit can be delivered. In residential areas, enforcement will be focused on illegal parking in front of hydrants, blocking bus stops and no stopping zones, and ensuring people are parking on the right side of the street in calendar parking areas. In the downtown area, parking enforcement will be focused on illegal parking in front of hydrants, blocking bus stops and no stopping zones, commercial loading zones, and accessible parking spaces. The City asks that residents and business owners continue to respect the two-hour parking limit for on-street parking spaces. Enforcement of the two-hour limit for on-street parking will continue where and when necessary to ensure equitable access to on-street parking spaces.

Parks, playgrounds, and trails

All shared outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields, community gardens and picnic areas, are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, by order of the Province of Ontario under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The Province issued the order on Monday, March 30 for all shared or communal outdoor recreational amenities, both on public and private property, including but not limited to playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard parks, picnic areas, community gardens, park shelters, and other outdoor recreational amenities.

Parks and trails remain open. People must not linger or congregate in these spaces. Walkers and cyclists must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.

It’s not practical to put up barriers around all City outdoor recreational facilities or to stringently monitor all park space. Compliance is expected as a way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The City had closed playground equipment and adult outdoor exercise equipment on March 27, 2020 based on advice from Peterborough Public Health.

The Riverview Park and Zoo, including the playground, is closed to the public until further notice.

Property Taxes

An emergency property tax relief measure to assist residents and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic was unanimously approved by Peterborough City Council at its meeting on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Peterborough residents and businesses can defer their property taxes for up to 60 days without penalty for both the March 31 and the May 29 instalment due dates.

The City is also considering other options to provide financial relief for residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic with recommendations expected at a Council committee meeting in May.

Provincial Offences Office

The office at 99 Simcoe St. will be closed to the public until Monday, April 13. Many services are available online. To contact the office, please call 705-742-7777 ext. 2099.

The Justice of the Peace intake office is closed and defendants will not be able to exercise Option 2 – Walk-in Guilty Plea – until after April 6, 2020.

Note: All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled March 16 to May 29 will be adjourned and rescheduled. If you have a matter booked during this time, you do not need to attend court. A notice of new court date will be mailed to your address on file with the Court.

Public Works
As of Wednesday, March 18 and until further notice, the Public Works office at 791 Webber Ave. will be closed to the public. For assistance on public works matters, please call 705-745-1386, email Public Works or report a problem online.
Shelter services

The City, Peterborough Public Health, the existing shelter operators – Brock Mission, YES Shelter for Youth and Families – as well as Fourcast, which delivers homelessness services, are working together to continue to provide services for people who are homeless.

To provide more space in the existing emergency shelter network for people who need to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 situation, the City of Peterborough will be using the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre for emergency shelter space.

Brock Mission and the overflow shelter bed program will be temporarily re-located to identified areas in the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre. The space may also be used as secondary shelter space for Cameron House and YES Shelter for Youth and Families to allow for social distancing within those shelters.

Everyone is being screened before they enter the shelter to see if they need to be diverted to alternative shelter arrangements.

Public Health is monitoring vulnerable populations and working with them to combat the spread of the virus.

Social Services (including Ontario Works and children's services)

Social assistance payments will flow according to regular schedules to ensure clients are able to pay rent and accommodation costs as well as buy necessities.

Public access to the Social Services office at 178 Charlotte St. will be limited to the reception area on the first floor, open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until further notice. Social Services client appointments will largely be done over the phone. Current clients are encouraged to contact their case worker for further direction. Call the office at 705-748-8830 or email social services. The Peterborough Employment Resource Centre will be closed.

Ontario Works

Ontario Works cheques are being mailed out to recipients. Physical pick up of cheques may be available under limited circumstances. Clients who have bank accounts are encouraged to contact their case workers about signing up for direct deposit. The local phone number is 705-748-8830. All Ontario Works applications will be done online or over the phone to minimize person-to-person interaction. For information about EI Benefits please visit Government of Canada Employment Insurance Benefits Online or call 1-800-206-7218. For information about the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit please read the Support for Individuals and Families on the Government of Canada website.

Child care

All regular municipal child care services are closed to the public until Monday, April 13. This includes the before- and after-school programs at Edmison Heights and Westmount Public School, the full-day program at Pearson/PCVS, and the Peterborough Day Care Centre.

Emergency Child Care Plan

Child care services are available for employees at Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough Public Health, long-term care facilities, community medical offices, and certain essential municipal workers (e.g. paramedics, police, and fire services) at no cost to parents starting Monday, March 30, 2020, through a new emergency child care plan for provincially identified essential workforces.

There are 114 spaces available for children from infants to 12 years old. To be eligible, the family must have no other option for child care.

The provincial government has allowed for the limited operation of licensed child care centres and licensed home child care that are approved to operate under the emergency child care plan. The Province has identified jobs that are eligible to access the program, such as essential service health care professionals.

The application is online at

Sport and Wellness Centre
The Sport and Wellness Centre is closed to the public as of Saturday, March 14. All scheduled programs and events at the PSWC during this time have also been cancelled or postponed. An update for current members was issued March 24.

Due to reduced ridership and the need to ensure the health of patrons and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Transit is changing its service schedule on most routes starting Tuesday, March 31.

  • Transit service will operate on an enhanced Sunday service schedule from 8 a.m. to 7:20 p.m., including the #12 Major Bennett route. Trips on Technology Drive will continue to be offered Monday through Friday, except for Good Friday (April 10). Bus frequency on routes remains the same as regular 40-minute service.
  • The Community Bus will operate from 9 a.m. with service until 4:50 p.m., seven days a week, including Good Friday. 
  • Specialized service (Handivan) start times remain unchanged. End of day service will be adjusted to 7:20 p.m.
  • Customers are not required to pay or show fare media to board the bus. This eliminates the personal contact that is required for the physical exchange of fares and allows for transit users to be able to board the bus using the rear door, with exception of individuals with accessibility needs who can still use the front door.
  • The customer service area at the Simcoe Street Bus Terminal will be closed to the public effective 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
  • Drivers are monitoring the number of customers who board buses to reduce customer loads, promoting physical distancing. We encourage people to limit their use of public transit when possible. The seats directly behind the drivers are not in service. 

Reducing the number of people on buses may result in delays, but this measure is essential as the City of Peterborough makes service changes that will help to protect the public and the staff. Peterborough Transit continues to provide important services to the community and it will monitor and respond to changing conditions.

Riders are encouraged to check the City’s website regularly for changes that may impact travel planning. Peterborough Transit provides real-time service update on their Twitter feed @ptbo_transit. Please contact the Peterborough Transit customer service line at 705-745-0525 for Peterborough Transit-related questions.

By-reservation transit service to essential workplaces

Beginning March 31, 2020, Peterborough Transit will deliver dedicated by-reservation transit service in the evening to serve riders travelling to and from work at essential workplaces as identified in the list of essential workplaces by the Province of Ontario, such as healthcare and the supply of critical products such as groceries and medication.

The service will operate using accessibility vans between 7:20 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., seven days a week. In line with Peterborough Transit’s current physical distancing measures, there will be no fare transactions for the service.

Reservations will be accepted starting Friday, March 27, 2020. Please contact Peterborough Transit’s accessible booking line between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at 705-740-6797.

Trent and Fleming transit services

Starting Thursday, March 19, Peterborough Transit will cancel Trent University and Fleming College services to match expected reduction in ridership associated with school closures due to COVID-19. The transit routes for Trent University and Fleming College, including the Fleming Lansdowne, Fleming Sherbrooke, Fleming Late Night, Trent East Bank, Trent West Bank, and Trent Late Night services will be cancelled until further notice. 

For health-related questions, people are encouraged to contact Peterborough Public Health by calling 705-743-1000 ext. 401, emailing or visiting the agency’s website at  

For updates from the Ontario Ministry of Health, please visit

COVID-19 compliance and law enforcement

There are consequences for individuals and businesses who choose to defy the  Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act  while emergency orders are in force. The media release issued March 27, 2020 by Peterborough Police provides details. For more information please call the Peterborough Police Service’s non-emergency line at 705-876-1122. Do not call 911.

Government of Canada benefits and services

The Government of Canada offers information on a range of services related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information related to Employment Insurance, care and support, Canada Child Benefit, Canada Student Loans, and worksharing.

Information for businesses

Leaders from Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Developmentthe Peterborough DBIAthe Greater Peterborough Chamber of CommerceCommunity Futures Peterborough and Innovation Cluster (#TeamPTBO) are working together to be a resource for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information for businesses related to COVID-19