Current Situation in Whitchurch-Stouffville

Our community will be forever changed as a result of the COVID-19 virus. While the impacts have been felt across all areas of the Town, some municipal work and parts of our community are feeling pressures far greater than others.

As we move ahead and look forward in our continued response to the COVID-19 emergency and plan for our new reality, these areas require extra consideration, attention and problem solving. There will be a significant change to the way the Town delivers these particular services due to the profound impacts that will continue as we manage this pandemic in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Page last updated: January 13, 2021

Current Provincial Control Zone

LOCKDOWN

On January 12, 2021 the Province of Ontario declared a state of emergency.

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.

Section 22 Class Order
In addition to measures under the Provincial Framework, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health has the power under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to order individual people or businesses, or certain classes of people or businesses, to take or refrain from taking specified actions in respect of a communicable disease. This can include fines or potential closures.York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji, has issued a Section 22 Class Order, effective Monday, December 14, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and requires specified businesses to comply with all requirements set out under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROE).
Public Health Restrictions:
  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
  • Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.  
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
New Enforcement Measures:

The province will provide authority to all provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors in places open to the public, subject to limited exceptions, as well as retail operators and companies who do not enforce requirements under orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA) or EMPCA. Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to a set fine and/or prosecution under both the ROA and EMCPA as applicable.

In addition, all provincial offences officers will have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals who are in contravention of gathering limits an order and will be able to disperse people who are gathering, regardless whether a premise has been closed or remains open such as a park.

COVID-19 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK

PREVENT

Standard Measures

Under the Green-Prevent Zone, the focus is on education and awareness of public health and workplace safety measures in place. The restrictions in this zone reflect the broadest allowance of activities in Stage 3 in the absence of a widely available vaccine or treatment. High-risk settings remain closed.

PROTECT

Strengthened Measures

Under the Yellow-Protect Zone, the focus is enhanced education, targeted enforcement and fines to limit transmission, while applying public health measures in high-risk settings.

RESTRICT

Intermediate Measures

Under the Orange-Restrict Zone, enhanced measures, restrictions and enforcement are implemented while avoiding widespread closures.

CONTROL

Stringent Measures

Under the Red-Control Zone, broader-scale restrictions across multiple sectors must take place to control transmission (i.e. Modified Stage 2 measures). This is the most severe zone before a widescale business or organizational closure.

LOCKDOWN

Maximum Measures

Under the Grey-Lockdown Zone, maximum, widescale measures and restrictions, including closures, are put in place.

Summary

OPEN

  • COVID-19 Screening Procedure

     

  • Outdoor Skating Rinks (Greenwood Park only – Town maintained)
  • Running tracks
  • Rouge National Urban Park
  • Skateboard parks
  • Stouffville Reservoir trails
  • Toboggan hills (Memorial Park and Rupert Park)
  • Trails (Town-owned)
  • Whitchurch Conservation Area
  • York Regional Forests

SERVICES OPERATING / AVAILABLE

  • COVID-19 Screening Procedure

     

  • Community engagement (various)
  • Customer service
  • By-Law Enforcement including parking
  • Building Permits
  • Committee Meetings
  • Council Meetings
  • Emergency Services
  • Library services (curbside pick-up)
  • Planning applications
  • Property inspections
  • Public Planning Meetings
  • Road Maintenance
  • Virtual Programs, fitness  and workshops, various ages
  • Virtual and online programs at the Museum
  • Waste and Recycling collection
  • Water treatment services
  • Watermeter replacement program

CURRENTLY CLOSED

  • Arenas
  • Basketball courts (closed for the winter)
  • Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area (closed for the season)
  • Community Centers
  • Community gardens (closed for the season)
  • Cricket pitches (closed for the winter)
  • Gymnasium at Leisure Center
  • Indoor pool at Leisure Centre
  • Fitness Centre at Leisure Centre
  • Fire Stations 5-1 and 5-2 (public access)
  • Library,  Whitchurch-Stouffville Public
  • Museum (Tours and private rentals)
  • Latcham Art Center
  • Lebovic Center for the Performing Arts – ‘Nineteen on the Park’
  • Operations Center (public access)
  • Outdoor Skating Rinks (Town maintained)
  • Outdoor fitness equipment
  • Pickleball courts, outdoor (closed for the winter)
  • Playgrounds
  • Soccer fields (closed for the winter)
  • Stouffville off-leash dog park
  • Tennis courts (closed for the winter)
  • Town Hall

PROGRAM / SERVICE NOT OPERATING

  • In-person Museum programs
  • In-person fitness programs
  • In-person Library programs
  • Facility Rentals
  • Fire Department tours and educational programs
  • Food or toy donations at the Fire Halls
  • Wedding licences

DETAILS COMING

  • none at this time

CANCELLED

  • Doors Open Whitchurch-Stouffville
  • Decoration Day at cemetery
  • Canada Day fireworks
  • Fire Department Open House
  • Food Truck Frenzy
  • Victoria Day fireworks
  • Markham Fair
  • Museum Antique & Classic Car Show

PROGRAM/SERVICE IMPACTS

Customer Service

All general inquiries will be handed by Whitchurch-Stouffville’s Customer Service Centre. We are available by telephone (905-640-1900) or email (customer.service@townofws.ca) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. For municipal emergency service outside these hours, please call 905-640-1900 ext. 0 and follow the prompts for our after-hours service

Outdoor Recreation Amenities

Most outdoor recreation amenities are closed, as a result of either COVID-19 restrictions or the winter weather.  Open outdoor areas may be used by individuals, or a group of up to 5 people from the same household. Town trails are open.  For a complete list, see the Summary posted above.

Police and by-law officers are charging people.  Fines begin at $300 and range to $5000 for repeat offenders. 

Recreation Programs

All facilities are closed to the public and all in-person Town programs have been cancelled until facilities reopen. This effects fitness, group fitness, aquatics and gymnasium programs. The closure is currently for 28 days, Monday December 14 to Sunday January 10.

There will be virtual programs taking place during the shutdown period, and more will be added as they become available.

Residents are asked to visit our website at townofws.ca/wsplayonline  for more information about virtual options.

All current registrations for in-person programs during the lockdown period, will be cancelled and a credit will be placed on account.

Winter programs, pending the end of the current lockdown, will begin the week of January 11, 2021. Registration for winter programs will begin as of January 5, 2021.

Residents are asked to call the Leisure Center at (905) 642-7529 or email leisure.services@townofws.ca for details.

Town Facilities

All Town facilities remain closed to the public until further notice.

Museum & Community Centre


The Museum is currently closed to the public.

The museum will continue to bring you a variety of Learn From Home options at townofws.ca/museum. Visit L4A.ca to view the virtual exhibit, Archaeology Alive: The Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site in Whitchurch-Stouffville. You will also find regular posts from the Museum on @WSMuseum on Facebook – posts include historic photos and local stories. For further information about rentals or research appointments and donations, please contact wsmuseum@townofws.ca or 1 (905) 727-8954.

Public Library

Due to Grey Zone restrictions, the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library will be shifting to curbside service beginning Tuesday, December 15.  Items can be placed on hold using the library catalogue and customers will be notified when they can come pick them up.  Curbside service will be offered at the Library’s location at 2 Park Drive, using the exterior doors to the leisure centre. The library’s external book return is open 24/7.

Curbside service will be offered on the following days and times:

  • Tuesdays 10:00 am-1:00 pm
  • Wednesdays 3:00 pm-7:00 pm
  • Thursdays 3:00 pm-7:00 pm
  • Saturdays 10:00 am- 1:00 pm


There will be no access to computers during this time.

Please be advised the Library will be running on modified hours over the holiday period:

  • December 24th – Special Curbside hours – 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • December 25th – Closed
  • December 26th – Closed
  • December 31st – Special Curbside hours – 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • January 1st – Closed


For up to date information, please visit the Library’s website at www.wsplibrary.ca.

Council and Committee Meetings

All Council meetings, until further notice, will be held via teleconference at 1 p.m.  Committee meetings are at various times, please check the meeting schedule on the Town’s website

Further details are on the Council and Committee Page.
 

By-Law Inquiries

Please send all By-Law enforcement inquiries by phone or email only. By-Law will not be setting up meetings or facilitating tickets in person, however, it can be done by phone, online or email. By-Law will be reviewing all complaints as to whether it is safe to attend that particular property and/or meet with property owners.

Parking bylaws are still being enforced. If any residents have any By-Law questions, please call 905 640 1910 (ex. 2229) or Customer Service at (905) 640-1900.

Animal Services

Animal Services’ calls will be responded to case by case. Our shelter has been shut down to the public therefore we will no longer be able to take in domestic animals. We would like to remind residents to be extra diligent at this time to ensure that their pets are not at large.  Also, if your dog does not have a dog tag it is highly recommended that you purchase one now. Dog tags can be purchased at townofws.ca/dogtags

Whitchurch-Stouffville shares animal adoption services with Pickering. Their animal shelter is still closed to the public, however, their adoption program is open. Anyone interested in adopting an animal is encouraged to visit www.pickering.ca/petadoption. If you see an animal of interest, complete the online adoption application form. The application forms are reviewed by staff and a phone interview and/or virtual chat takes place.

Development Services

The Town continues to accept building and planning applications and customers can drop non-confidential plans and relevant information in the drop-box at Town Hall. Due to construction, the drop-box is now located near the entrance next to the York Regional Police office.  All meetings with external clients will be converted to conference calls. We will continue to schedule and conduct building and engineering inspections on unoccupied buildings and inspections that are outside (open-air) only.

For more information about the effect of COVID-19 on Planning Division procedures, visit the dedicated COVID-19 updates page for planning.  For more detailed information about building permit applications and inspections, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 page

Emergency Services

All emergency services provided by the Whitchurch-Stouffville Fire & Emergency Services will remain uninterrupted. All public education events have or will be cancelled until further notice, including school visits and station tours. All non-essential fire prevention activities have also been cancelled or postponed. The Fire Prevention Division will still be responding to requests and/or complaints that involve immediate threat to life. Burn permits are still available online on the Town’s website. Fire Station 5-1 and Fire Station 5-2 remain closed to the public.

Roads and Infrastruction

Our on-call Operator is available through the Town’s after hour service at (905) 640-1900. Down stop signs, flooding, trees that have fallen across roads/sidewalks will be dealt with immediately. Other road activities such as tree trimming, pothole patching, will continue. Winter maintenance activities of roads, sidewalks and municipal parking lots will continue and be conducted as required.

Water quality sampling will continue as per Provincial regulations and water/wastewater emergencies such as breaks and backups, will be dealt with immediately. Water/wastewater Operators will not be entering private homes, however, they will respond to investigate the municipal infrastructure and advise residents to contact a private plumber for internal investigations. Routine water/wastewater activities will continue. Further inquiries should be directed to Customer Service at (905) 640-1900.

Waste Collection

Solid waste collection and recycling will continue as usual. Inquiries should be directed to Green For Life (GFL) Customer Service at 1-866-421-5625.

POSTPONED / CANCELLED EVENTS OR PROGRAMS

Decoration Day at the cemetery

The annual Decoration Day Service at Stouffville Cemetery featuring a non-denominational service celebrating the memory of loved ones, traditionally held in June, is postponed due to COVID-19. Updates on a new date will be provided. In memoriam, donations are gratefully accepted year-round online or at the event. For more information, please contact Charlene Shaw at cemetery@townofws.ca 905-640-1910 x 2225

Strawberry Festival

The 2020 Whitchurch-Stouffville Strawberry Festival has been cancelled.  The organizers look forward to returning in 2021.The Strawberry Festival takes place over the Canada Day weekend and is run for the benefit of our community – all the Festival organized entertainment and kids’ activities are free. From the festival market, to inflatables, live entertainment, the food zone, pancake breakfast, the Red Berry Café, fireworks and all the fun in between – it’s a weekend where thousands come to participate and enjoy, and it takes place in the heart of Stouffville in Memorial Park.  For more information, please visit strawberryfestival.ca

Stouffville Ribfest

Friday through Sunday, October 2-4, 2020
Stouffville Country Ribfest is coming to you in an amended format this year: Drive-Thru.  Two of your favourite Rib teams are returning to deliver this annual event.  The new set-up will reduce contact and will give everyone a safe way to get the highly anticipated championship ribs with award winning BBQ sauces!  Registration for the event is now open!  Please be sure to head to the following link to obtain a FREE ticket to attend the event at your preferred date and time: Eventbrite – Stouffville Country RibFest

For further event information, please contact events@townofws.ca

Food Truck Frenzies

Please note that both Food Truck Frenzies for 2020 (June 18 & September 11) have been cancelled. We look forward to continuing these events in 2021.

Food Truck Frenzy occurs each year in June and September and allows you to experience Food Trucks from across the GTA in our own Memorial Park. You will enjoy bands and entertainment as you sample dishes from over 20 different vendors.

Antique & Classic Car Show

The Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre’s annual Antique & Classic Car Show has been cancelled this year due to current restrictions. Museum Staff and Volunteers look forward to picking up again in 2021.

The Museum’s Antique & Classic Car Show occurs each year in August and is a highly anticipated event that brings together the surrounding community with something for the entire family to look forward to, from tours of onsite historical buildings to hundreds of antique and classic cars. Next year the show will be celebrating its 48th anniversary, and the Museum is looking forward to welcoming their guests!

Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park will now be taking place on Fridays August 21, September 4 and September 11 in Memorial Park. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy family favourites under the stars!

PRE-REGISTRATION WILL BE REQUIRED as space is limited.  Please stay tuned for further details coming soon at: townofws.ca/events