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: November 19, 2020

Current Provincial Control Zone

CURRENT CONTROL ZONE

As of 12:01 a.m. Friday November 13, 2020, York Region has been in a RED-Control zone.

On Friday, November 13, the province announced updates to the provincial framework threshold. As a result, York Region was placed in RED-Control zone effective Monday, November 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

General Safety measures for all York Region residents:
  • Physical distancing to be maintained for all events and gatherings with individuals outside of one’s household
  • Workplaces are required to screen
  • Face coverings are required in all public spaces (with limited exemptions) including indoor workplaces
  • Worker protections, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and eye protection, are required where patrons without face coverings are within 2 metres of workers (indoors and in the absence of a Plexiglas or some other impermeable barrier)
  • Advice to restrict non-essential travel from areas of high transmission to areas of low transmission
What this means for York Region businesses:

Under the Red-Control Zone, most businesses are permitted to remain open with further restriction in place. Examples include: 

  • Gathering limits for events and private social gatherings are 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors at restaurants and bars is limited to 10
  • Gyms and fitness studies are permitted to open with a maximum of 10 people for indoor classes, a maximum of 25 people for outdoor classes and a maximum of 10 people indoors for the areas with weights or exercise equipment
  • No games, scrimmages or practices are permitted for team sports
  • Cinemas are closed with the exception of drive-in cinemas
  • Performing arts facilities are closed to spectators
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments are permitted to be open with a limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Personal care services requiring removal of face coverings are prohibited

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.

MANDATORY MASK / FACE COVERING INFORMATION

As of 12:01 a.m. Friday July 17, 2020, masks or face coverings are required inside enclosed public spaces in York Region.

The Regional Municipality of York has endorsed a recommendation from York Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji to issue an instruction requiring operators of enclosed public spaces in York Region to have a policy in place that prohibits persons from entering premises of the establishment if the person is not wearing a face mask or covering, subject to appropriate exemptions.

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 as of 12:01 a.m., business owners and operators in York Region must have a policy in place to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a face mask or covering. Customers, employees and visitors who enter enclosed public spaces must wear a face mask or covering.

This Instruction applies to the following establishments:

  • Premises or any portion thereof which are used as a place of business for the sale or offering for sale of goods or services, and includes a mall or similar structure which contains multiple places of business
  • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship
  • Community centres including indoor recreational facilities
  • Libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities
  • Community service agencies providing services to the public
  • Banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces
  • Premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes
  • Common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities
  • Concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos, and other entertainment facilities

Information for Business Owners and Operators

  • You must create a mask policy for your establishment
  • You must communicate this new policy to staff and customers
  • You must train your staff on the policy and who is exempt
  • All staff, customers or visitors must wear a mask indoors, with some exceptions (e.g. children under the age of five and people with certain health conditions, employees in designated areas or protected by a physical barrier)
  • Proof is not required if someone has an exemption
  • Signage must be posted at all entrances advising everyone to wear a mask

Summary

OPEN

  • COVID-19 Screening Procedure

     

  • Arenas
  • Basketball courts (non-team play)
  • Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area
  • Summer camps & programs – Museum
  • Community gardens
  • Cricket pitches (non-team play)
  • Gymnasium at Leisure Center
  • Indoor pool at Leisure Centre
  • Farmers’ Market
  • Fitness Centre at Leisure Centre
  • Library,  Whitchurch-Stouffville Public
  • Museum (Tours and private rentals)
  • Outdoor fitness equipment
  • Pickleball courts, outdoor
  • Playgrounds
  • Running tracks
  • Rouge National Urban Park
  • Soccer fields (non-team play)
  • Skateboard parks
  • Stouffville off-leash dog park
  • Stouffville Reservoir trails
  • Tennis courts
  • 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 (various)
  • Movies in the Park
  • Planning applications
  • Property inspections
  • Public Planning Meetings
  • RibFest, Stouffville Country
  • Road Maintenance
  • Virtual fitness and other programs
  • Waste and Recycling collection
  • Water treatment services
  • Watermeter replacement program
  • Wedding permits

CURRENTLY CLOSED

  • Community Centers
  • Latcham Art Center
  • Lebovic Center for the Performing Arts – ‘Nineteen on the Park’
  • Operations Center (public access)
  • Town Hall

PROGRAM / SERVICE NOT OPERATING

  • Facility Rentals
  • Fire Stations 5-1 and 5-2 (public access)
  • Fire Department tours and educational programs

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

All outdoor recreation amenities are open, with the exception of beaches, playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, and school properties.  Open outdoor areas may be used by individuals, or a group of up to 10 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

Aquatic programs will remain as currently scheduled. Lane swim, Aquafit, Leisure swims and lessons are now available.

Pre-registration is in place for all pool activities and programs. Link to the details and schedule with barcodes can be found at: townofws.ca/whatsnew

New, virtual programs for 55+, fitness and childrens programs.

The Fitness centre and all in person group fitness and gymnasium programs is now open with limited access.  Pre-registration is in place for all activities and programs. Details and schedule can be found at: townofws.ca/wsplayonline  

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

Town Facilities

The following Town facilities remain closed to the public until further notice under the direction of the Province:  Town Hall, all community centres, 19 on the Park, both Fire Halls, SoccerCity and 6240 Main Street (55+ Club).

Museum & Community Centre


Museum staff are pleased to announce the museum reopening on Wednesday, August 12th. From Wednesday to Saturday each week, the museum will be offering private tours – visit the site today to book your preferred time.

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, research appointments and donations, or to book your tour, please contact wsmuseum@townofws.ca or 1 (905) 727-8954.

Public Library


The library will remain open during the Red Zone Restrictions. The Library’s hours are:

  • Monday- Closed
  • Tuesday- 10am-6pm
  • Wednesday- 10am-6pm
  • Thursday- 10am-6pm
  • Friday- 10am-6pm
  • Saturday- 10am-2pm
  • Sunday- Closed


Under the Red Zone Restrictions, 10 members of the public are allowed in the library at one time.

Customers are still able to browse the collection, use a computer, and use the photocopier and printer.

Customers who wish to use a computer can make a computer reservation in person or by phone 905–642–7323 ext. 5225. Customers are limited to one computer session (up 45 minutes) per day per library card. Customers from the same household can share a computer (i.e. 2 people on one computer). With physical distancing precautions in place, we will only have a limited number of computers available for use. Walk-in bookings will be available based on current demand.

Study rooms and tables are not available at this time.

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

Council and Committee Meetings

All Council and Committee meetings, until further notice, will be held via teleconference at 1 p.m.  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, will be postponed until Fall 2020 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 Stephanie Thomson at stephanie.thomson@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

Markham Fair

According to the Markham Fair’s website,

“It is with a heavy heart that the Board of Directors of Markham Fair announce the cancellation of the 2020 Fair, originally scheduled for Oct. 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2020.

This decision was made with the consultation of our membership, trade organizations and government agencies. Using all information currently available, the Board has unanimously decided that the safety of our visitors, volunteers, staff and vendors is our primary concern.”

The Markham Fair is an annual event hosted by the Markham and East York Agricultural Society. Originally agricultural societies would meet on a regular basis to discuss various concepts of agricultural improvement such as livestock development and increased grain yields. Often the society would collectively purchase a bull or seed grain, which would be made available to members only. The fall fair would then be an opportunity for the farmers to compete by showing off the fruits of their labour.Due to increased technology and rapid communication, agricultural societies no longer find it necessary to provide this service. The Markham Fair continues to create the forum known as the fall fair.