Tenting in Parks

full bike rack

Parks aren't intended for camping. Overnight camping is prohibited, except where specifically designated. The only public park in the City that's designated for camping is Beavermead Campground.

The City and County of Peterborough have passed by-laws establishing minimum standards for the shared use and the protection of the natural environment in public parks.

There are housing services and there is capacity within the shelter system. The City of Peterborough, working with its partner agencies, helps on average 15 people per month move from homelessness into housing - into homes. Over the last month, there has been an average of about 30 shelter beds available each night.

Anyone needs assistance is encouraged contact Social Services to get on the by-name list that details their housing needs and desires so that they can be connected with housing as it becomes available.

Social Services can be contacted at 705-748-8830 or in-person at 178 Charlotte St. Outreach workers have been in Victoria Park from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, starting on August 15, 2019.

We'll continue to post information here as we move forward.

Overview of the Parks and Facilities By-Law

Victoria Park

We are monitoring and assessing the situation of people staying in tents in Victoria Park as well as in other parks and public spaces in the community.

We're concerned for the health and safety of all involved, including people who are camping in parks, other users of parks, and the general public.

Victoria Park will be closed effective Tuesday, August 27 at 9 a.m. Entry into the park is prohibited during the closure. Anyone who is encamped in the park must remove their items and leave the park before the Effective Date. Anyone in the park after the Effective Date is trespassing.

Public notices were posted on Friday, August 23, 2019.

Peterborough County, in consultation with the City of Peterborough, decided to close Victoria Park because conditions in the park have deteriorated to the point where it is not suitable for the shared use of the public.

There are numerous and continuing failures to comply with the requirements of the Parks and Facilities By-Law that established minimum standards for the shared use of public parks and protection of the natural environment.

Victoria Park will re-open after the encampment is gone and the grounds have been restored.

Victoria Park is owned by the County of Peterborough. We're working closely with the County to respond to the situation.

Public feedback

As part of the monitoring and assessment, we're listening to people about their experiences and perspectives. We're hearing from people who are tenting in parks and from the broader community. We're listening and responding. We want to work with people who are staying in tents in public spaces to help them move into safe, stable housing. And we want to make sure public spaces are available for everyone.

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Available shelter space - support and housing

On July 17, 2019, we opened 30 overflow shelter beds, bringing the total number of shelter beds up to 110. Outreach workers are talking to people who are homeless to listen to their needs, to connect them to available services, and to hear how we can improve the services. And we're looking at how we ensure public spaces remain public spaces.

Each month, the City and its community partners help connect on average 15 people who are using shelter beds with housing - with a place they can call home.

We encourage people who are homeless to use available shelter beds and to speak with outreach workers from the City and our community partner agencies to help them on the path toward getting into safe and stable housing.

We provide safe overnight space for people who are homeless. Ultimately, we want to connect people with support and housing, not just temporary shelter.

The City, working with YES Shelter for Youth and Families, Brock Mission, Fourcast, and the Peterborough and District United Way, opened 30 new overflow beds starting on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The temporary location at the Peterborough Public Library, 345 Aylmer St. N., outside of the normal operating hours at the Library, is an interim measure while we continue to search for a longer-term location for the service.

The overflow beds are open from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. each day. Central intake is being done at the Peterborough Public Library where staff are working with people to direct them to available shelter beds or overflow beds as well as to connect them with other support and housing.

City staff can help arrange for storage space for belongings for people who want to use the shelter beds.

Overflow beds are provided for people when they're unable to be accommodated in the regular emergency shelters - Brock Mission, Cameron House, and YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

Until July 1, 2019, Warming Room Community Ministries, a program of St. John's Anglican Church, provided overflow beds with funding from the City. The Warming Room's lease for its former location expired at the end of June. On the last night of its operations, 27 people stayed at the Warming Room.

We will regularly update this page with details on the available shelter beds and new information about tenting on public property. You can subscribe to this page by clicking on the "Subscribe to this page" button on the right hand side of the page.

Available shelter beds
Date (2019)Overflow beds (30 beds total)Brock Mission (40 beds total)Cameron House (10 beds total)YES Shelter for Youth and Families (30 beds total)Total available beds (total system 110)
August 20 24 0 0 0 24
August 19 23 0 0 0 23
August 18 24 0 0 0 24
August 17 23 0 1 0 24
August 16 26 1 1 0 28
August 15 24 1 0 0 25
August 14  26  29
August 13  24  25
August 12  24 26 
August 11  23 27 
August 10  24  2 29 
August 9  18 22 
August 8  18 21 
August 7 14 3 0 0 17
August 6 20 1 0 1 22
August 5 21 1 0 2 24
August 4 25 4 0 4 33
August 3 24 2 0 4 30
August 2 23 6 0 4 33
August 1 21 3 1 4 29
July 31 21 1 2 6 30
July 30 22 0 2 13 37
July 29 17 1 2 13 33
July 28 17 1 4 13 35
July 27 22 0 4 18 44
July 26 21 0 3 18 42
July 25 18 0 3 11 32
July 24 19 2 1 11 33
July 23 24 0 2 4 30
July 22 23 0 2 9 34
July 21 19 0 2 9 30
July 20 23 0 2 9 34
July 19 22 0 2 10 34
July 18 26 2 2 10 40
July 17 28 0 1 10 39
July 16 N/A 0 2 3 5
July 15 N/A 0 2 10 12
July 14 N/A 0 3 10

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Coordinated community response

Mayor Diane Therrien is working with Peterborough County J. Murray Jones, Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, and Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith on a coordinated community response, including a Mayor's Task Force to plan for a more permanent, low-barrier shelter for the most vulnerable in the community.

 10-point plan on coordinated community response
  1. Immediately implement recommendations arising from the Rapid Response to Homelessness and Housing Meeting on July 23 to provide more supports and services to encourage those living rough to move indoors.
  2. Mayor will strike a Rapid Shelter Task Force to determine a Plan A and Plan B for more permanent, low-barrier shelter for the most vulnerable in our community, with a report due to Council in 60 days.
  3. Willing government partners will help the Task Force by providing staff to form a Secretariat.
  4. Willing government partners will help the Task Force by suggesting community experts to form the membership of the Task Force.
  5. The voices of those living rough in our community, as well as community experts and advocates, will be heard through the development of the Task Force report and the future creation of low-barrier shelter through multiple avenues, including representation on the Task Force and consultations.
  6. City of Peterborough will continue to develop its Official Plan to ensure that creative solutions for housing are available to the community, such as allowing for tiny homes through zoning and by-law amendments, and will look to create an inventory of land that could be made available for affordable housing development.
  7. Willing government partners will continue to work together to support a community response to the opioid crisis and mental health needs, including by supporting a Consumption and Treatment Site.
  8. A public summit will be held on August 13 to ensure the community can help inform the path forward.
  9. Willing government partners will work with community and service providers, as well as willing local developers, over the next 60 days to create new applications to the National Housing Strategy that meet the housing needs of the City and County of Peterborough and that move to build 2,000 units over the next two years.
  10. Regular information updates about progress on this plan will be delivered to internal partners and to the community at large.‚Äč