full bike rack

The City of Peterborough is a great place to host a wide range of events, such as festivals, fundraisers, walks/runs, parades, concerts, and family focused events.

If you would like to host a community event in Peterborough, read the information below and complete a Special Event Application.

If you would like to rent a facility to host a private event, visit the Facility Booking and Permitting page.

Upcoming Community Events
Loading Calendar Feed...

Host an Event

The below categories are intended to help event organizers understand the information and documentation the City of Peterborough requires prior to approving an event. Please click on the categories below to learn about the areas that may apply to your event. 

Special Event Planning Guide & Application

Completing this application is the first step toward hosting your event in Peterborough.  The application provides the City with important details to ensure a safe and successful event. The Event Organizer is responsible for following up directly with the proper authorities regarding approvals for certain event activities. Click on the categories below to understand these requirements.

Complete the Special Event Planning Guide & Application

Annual Grant Programs

The City has several annual grant programs for local not-for-profit and registered charities that can be used in support of special events. 

The grant application forms, eligibility criteria and submission deadlines can be accessed through the Community Grants web page. This is a competitive process subject to Council approval.

Bouncy Castles and Inflatables

Inflatables that carry people, such as bouncy castles are considered a high risk activity. Choosing to include a bouncy castle type activity at your event will adjust insurance, requiring a minimum of $5 million in commercial general liability coverage.

Insurance provided by the bouncy castle companies is not sufficient and will not be accepted.

Events that have inflatables in the form of booths, arches, or movie screens should be included in your event application.


Advertised Events: Drone pilots are not allowed to fly near or over advertised events, such as outdoor concerts and sporting events, unless they have a Special Flight Operations Certificate that specifically allows them to do so.

If you choose to utilize drones during your special event, the Event Organizer will be required to upload a drone pilot certificate or special flight operations certificate.

Transport Canada outlines regulations for recreational and non-recreational drones. The majority of the air space in the City of Peterborough is controlled air space. Please see Nav Canada’s drone site selection tool for more information. If your event will include the use of a drone, please provide the details below along with proof of compliance with these regulations. The City reserves the right to limit drone use within municipal parks, open spaces and road closures.

Government of Canada Drone Safety

For information on where you can fly a drone within City limits, consult the Transport Canada interactive map.

For information on Privacy guidelines for drone users, see the Transport Canada Website.

Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

Events that include electrical equipment and generators larger than 12 kilowatts or 240 volts require an Electrical Safety Authority electrical permit and an electrical inspection.

For further information, contact the ESA at 1-877-372-7233 or visit the ESA Special Events website.

Event Accessibility

Accessibility should be at the top of your list when planning an event. Things you should consider to make your event more accessible include:

  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Public transportation
  • Paths of travel
  • Entertainment stage
  • Accessible seating
  • Accessible washrooms
  • Rest areas
  • Support persons
  • Service animals
  • Proper training for staff and volunteers
Events with Alcohol

If you wish to serve alcohol at your event, you will need to adhere to both provincial and municipal guidelines to ensure you are legally permitted to serve alcohol.

A license/permit is required from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)

Events with alcohol require Host Liquor Liability with a minimum of $5 million in the commercial general liability coverage.

Fireworks and Open-Air Burning

Fireworks are not permitted on municipal property. Commercial grade fireworks are only permitted to be discharged from the Fireworks Barge on Little Lake. 

Open air burning is not permitted within the City of Peterborough. Special consideration may be granted for educational or ceremonial purposes.

Please contact Fire Services at 705-745-3284 for more information.

Insurance Requirements

Insurance is mandatory for all special events. 

Insurance provides coverage for event organizers and volunteers for third party liability claims resulting from an injury to a third party and/or damage to their property. The City of Peterborough does not provide personal property and/or injury coverage.

The amount of insurance required depends on the components of the event. The City of Peterborough reserves the right to determine the minimum amount required.

Information to Include on the Certificate of Insurance

Please advise your insurance provider of these requirements. Failure to include this information on your Certificate of Insurance will result in a request for a revised certificate. This can result in delays in your approval and the possible cancellation of your event, or an activity associated with the event:

  • Name and address of the insurance broker providing the Certificate
  • Policy Number
  • Term of Policy
  • Type of Policy: General Liability Policy
  • Limit of Policy: $2 or $5 million per occurrence (to be determined by the City of Peterborough)
  • Name Insured (the 'Named Insured' on the certificate must be the same as the organization that is listed as the Event Organizer on the application, and the organization must be a legal entity)
  • Address of Insured
  • Corporation of the City of Peterborough is added as an 'Additional Insured'
  • Events that include alcohol must reference Host Liquor Liability coverage
  • Specific description and location of event, and the specific activity of the named insured for which the certificate is issued (i.e. festival or event and specific operation or activity taking place, such as carnival rides, bouncy castle, fireworks display, animals, etc.)
  • Dates and times of Event (include set up and take down dates)
  • Signature of insurance provider or broker (certificates are signed)
  • 30 days notice of cancellation must be provided on the certificate listing: The Corporation of the City of Peterborough, 500 George Street North, Peterborough, Ontario, K9H 3R9
  • A cross liability or severability of interest cause
  • Insurers must be licensed to transact business in Ontario
  • If the event includes transportation of participants or equipment, the City will require confirmation of Automobile Insurance with a minimum of $2 million per occurrence. Any other means of transportation used for an event must also provide proof of insurance (i.e. aircraft, watercraft, etc.).

If the Event Organizer is not able to submit insurance at the time of application, a letter from the Event Organizer's Insurer verifying that they will evidence acceptable insurance 30 days prior to the event will suffice. This letter must be submitted along with the Application. Insurance verification acceptable to the City must be received a minimum of 30 days prior to the Event.

Due to the varying nature of Special Events, The Corporation of the City of Peterborough reserves its right to amend insurance requirements. The above insurance requirement is meant as a guideline only.

Noise Amplification
Amplifiers, loud speakers and other noises likely to disturb must comply with the City’s Noise Bylaw as found under Peterborough Municipal Code 691. Sound levels during the event must remain at an acceptable level given consideration to the type and location of the event.

If an event is going to impact City parking facilities including on-street parking, and pay and display areas or arenas, parks, or open spaces, the Event Organizer must prepare a Parking Plan that indicates how this will be managed. 

Parking spaces that are occupied on weekdays have a daily fee of $13.75. There is no parking charge on Saturdays, Sundays or Statutory Holidays.

If you have any questions, please contact the Parking Division at 705-742-7777 ext. 2758

Road Closures

The Event Organizer is responsible for all costs related to
road closures. Event Organizers can apply for the following types of road closures through the Special Event Application:

Rolling Road Closure: temporary closure managed by police to permit a small parade or procession. 

Lane Closure: during a lane closure, only those accessing the event can use the closed lane. Traffic continues on remaining open lanes.

Temporary Road Closure: the road is closed, only those accessing the event can use the closed lane. 

Applications for Financial Assistance
Registered charitable organizations can request funding to assist with the administrative, policing and/or barricading fees associated with their event. To qualify the Special Event Application must include:
  • A detailed event budget that identifies all anticipated revenues and expenditures.
  • The anticipated donation to the registered charity must be included in the budget for fundraising events.
Road Closure Approvals
Approval is contingent upon ensuring adequate signage and barricading and providing adequate emergency access at all times to the satisfaction of the Transportation Division, Fire, Police, Public Works and City staff who have the right to determine the adequacy of same. Barricades must be easy to remove to allow emergency vehicles to access the closed portion of the street and must be placed in accordance with the Traffic Control Plan (provided by the City). The Public Works Division will supply road and lane closure barricades to locations required and remove or pick up. The Event Organizer will locate the barricades on the traveled portion of the highway and remove following the event.

For further information, contact the Clerks office 705-742-7777 ext. 1820 or email

 Site Plan

Applications must include a detailed site plan showing the location and dimensions of all physical components of the event such as:

  • Temporary structures such as tents, stages, bleachers
  • Beer Gardens
  • Fencing
  • Standard portable washrooms
  • Accessible portable washrooms
  • Generators
  • Exits and entrances
  • Staffing
  • First Aid stations
  • Barricades/pylons
  • Portable water stations
  • Fireworks
  • Spectators
  • Emergency vehicle access
  • Customer Service/Info Kiosk
  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Food/merchandise vendors

A document upload of the site plan is required to complete the application.

Temporary Stages and Structures

If you are planning to erect a temporary stage or structure the Ministry of Labour must be notified. Refer to the Ontario MOL's Temporary Performance/Event Structure Safety Guidelines for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario.

All temporary structures must be identified on your Certificate of Insurance within the description of operations.

An accurate scale drawn plan that shows the layout, size and stance from other structures and property lines is required. 


Tents require on-site overnight security for the duration of the event, including set-up and take down days.

If the tent requires stakes to be entered into the ground, the Event Organizer must request locates to identify where utilities are before staking.

Tents greater than 60 sq metres require a building permit. Groups of tents erected closer than 3 metres apart that cover an area over 60 sq metres also require a building permit. For example, you can have a maximum of six 10x10 ft tents placed together.

Please note that tents cannot be erected closer than 3 metres to property lines or other structures.

Tent Permit Requirements

Building permits must include:

  • Permit application form
  • Owner's authorization form (where applicable)
  • A construction set of plans stamped by a professional engineer
  • The flame spread rating information sheet for the tent material

If the tent is greater than 225 sq metres, has bleachers proposed inside, and/or has enclosed sides, the building application must also include:

  • A Commitment to General Review Form

The Building Division will have final say with respect to permit requirements.

If you have questions, please contact the Building Division at 705-742-7777 ext. 1892


If you choose to include vendors at your event, they must be noted in the description of operations within your Certificate of Insurance.

The Event Organizer is responsible for obtaining a Certificate of Insurance from every organization participating in the event. Certificates must include both the Event Organizer and the City of Peterborough as additional insureds. 

Food Vendors

Event Organizers who wish to have food vendors must complete the Food Vendor Requirement Form for Peterborough Public Health, and a health inspection will be required.

Merchandise Vendors

Depending on the event details, vendors selling goods, wares or merchandise may be required to obtain a Temporary Trader License.

Please contact the Clerks office at or call 705-742-7777 ext. 1819 for further information on Business License requirements.

Medical Vendors 

Examples of a medical vendor include massage therapy, or chiropractic services taking place at the event. If you choose to include medical vendors at your event, it will adjust insurance requirements.

 Waivers: Participants and Vendors

Based on the nature of your event the City may require the Event Organizer to collect a “release and waiver” from event participants, vendors and/or volunteers. The release and waiver shall release the Event Organizer and The Corporation of the City of Peterborough from any liability for personal injury or death arising out of the person’s participation in the event and must contain a provision acknowledging that any risk or possibility of injury or death arising out of participating in the event is voluntarily assumed by each participant.

If applicable, the Event Organizer will be required to submit a sample release and waiver as part of their application.

Washrooms and Sanitary Facilities

Event Organizers are responsible for providing portable washrooms and hand sinks if the location for the event does not have sinks if the location for the event does not have sufficient washroom facilities to accommodate the anticipated crowds and people with disabilities.

Event Locations

Host an event at a City of Peterborough location.

Events Calendar

View or add to the community events calendar.