Parks and Facilities By-Law

full bike rack

City parks are for the community’s shared use and enjoyment, the City of Peterborough Arena, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee heard during a presentation at its meeting on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

The committee reviewed the Parks and Facilities By-Law, which City Council approved in August. When Council put in place the by-law, it asked staff to consult with the Arenas, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee then report back to Council on any potential changes to the by-law.

The by-law basically reflects the existing practices for how the City manages the use of parks, specifying what types of uses are allowed, what uses may be regulated, and what uses are prohibited. Before the new by-law, the City didn’t have a single, specific by-law for the use of parks and open spaces.

“Parks are community spaces,” Arenas, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Diane Sargent said. “The by-law helps clarify what the expectations are for people when they’re using our community’s parks and open spaces.”

The committee passed a motion asking Council to amend the by-law to allow fishing in parks under conditions that may be set by the City. A report on the by-law is expected to go to Council for its consideration by the end of January 2020.

"The new Parks and Facilities By-Law provides protection of our shared use and enjoyment of parks by identifying activities into specific categories such as activities that require a permit, that are subject to specific rules, or are prohibited," said Councillor Lesley Parnell, the Chair of Council's Arenas, Parks and Recreation portfolio. "Open activity and use of our parks are encouraged but need to be respectful of all users and the natural environment. As always with by-laws, there is room for common sense."

Examples of activities in parks that require the permission from the City include:

  • Selling or advertising food, drinks, merchandise, and services in City parks and facilities;
  • Setting off fireworks or having an open-air fire;
  • Using sport fields for organized league play;
  • Using a public address system or large speaker system; and
  • Setting up a structure, hut or tent.

Examples of activities that the City may put in place rules or conditions to manage their use of parks:

  • Taking a boat through a park, launching a boat, or putting a boat on the shore or beach;
  • Cooking food;
  • Playing sports, which could include designating some areas for active use such as sports with other areas designated for more passive uses;
  • Riding a bicycle, such as staying on paths in some areas or staying off sport fields;
  • Skateboarding, rollerblading, or roller skating, which could be designated activities for specific park areas;
  • Swimming, wading or bathing, such as where and when those activities can occur in public parks; and
  • Using motorized vehicles.

Examples of activities that are banned in parks:

  • Interfering with or becoming a nuisance to the general public;
  • Cutting, climbing, breaking, injuring, defacing, disturbing or removing any public property;
  • Throwing stones or other objects that may injure or damage people or property; and
  • Disturbing or injuring animals.

The complete by-law is available online at under By-Laws.