Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Find information on City of Waterloo services affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • visit the Region of Waterloo for public health updates and what to do if you live in Waterloo and feel sick

  • visit the Province of Ontario for updates on the current state of emergency and provincial relief efforts

  • visit the Government of Canada for updates on federal benefit programs for individuals and businesses


On this page

  1. News updates
  2. Closures and cancellations
  3. Changes to City of Waterloo services
  4. Community support
  5. Business support
  6. Arts and culture support

Page last updated: Wednesday April 1 at 3:00 p.m.


News updates

For older news updates, visit our news page.


Closures and cancellations

All city buildings are closed and all scheduled programs are cancelled until further notice.

As of March 30, most outdoor spaces are also closed by order of the Province of Ontario:

  • playgrounds
  • sports fields
  • basketball and tennis courts
  • off-leash dog parks
  • beaches
  • skateboard and BMX parks
  • picnic areas
  • outdoor community gardens
  • park shelters
  • outdoor exercise equipment
  • condo parks and gardens
  • other outdoor recreational amenities

Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren't otherwise closed remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.

Event and meeting cancellations
  • All committee of council meetings
  • April: Royal Street open house
  • April 1: Roosevelt Avenue open house  
  • April 21: mayor's State of the City event
  • April 30: Food and Funds, Games on Tap
  • May 12: Forwell Trail public information centre

Changes to City of Waterloo services


Customer service open to calls

Customer service staff will continue to answer phone calls. Please report urgent issues only.


City council meetings are online only

Council meetings are fully online. The public can stream meetings live and watch recordings. Feedback can be sent to the city clerk via email.

For times, agenda and streaming links, visit the council calendar.


Senior support programs still operating

Our grocery shopping and telephone reassurance programs continue to operate. These programs are designed for people 65 and up but other people with special needs may qualify.

To inquire, call 519-579-6930 from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Parking time limits not enforced

Bylaw officers will not enforce overnight parking regulations or on-street time limits. Safety issues such as parking on fire routes will still be enforced


Parking permit fees not charged for April

Monthly pass holders for uptown parking lots will not be charged.


Late payment fees not charged for payments due in April and May

Late payment fees will not be charged for property taxes, water and all other accounts receivable. Non-sufficient funds fees will not be charged for cheques that do not clear.

Bills will continue to be issued during this time, but payments can be deferred to June 1 without penalty. Regular interest charges will resume at that time.

No application form is needed. Late fees will be withheld automatically for payments that are not made.

Contact revenue@waterloo.ca or 519-747-8718 to cancel a pre-authorized payment or a post-dated cheque already in our possession.

Collection of accounts in arrears will be stopped during this period.


Recreation program refunds

We are finalizing the process for issuing refunds for cancelled programs.


Uptown patio application fees not charged

The Uptown Sidewalk Patio application fee is waived for 2020.


Building permit approval and inspections are limited

In-person counter at city hall is closed. Permit applications, issuance and inspections are affected.

For details, visit our building information.


Marriage licences not available

In-person counter at city hall is closed. You can still start the process by applying online, but licences won't be available until we open.

For details, visit our marriage and oaths.


Business licences online only

In-person counter at city hall is closed. You can still apply for a license online.

For details, visit business licences.


Residential rental licences available online only

In-person counter at city hall is closed. You can still apply for a license online.

For details, visit residential licences.


Burial permits by phone only

In-person counter at city hall is closed. We will continue to issue burial permits.

Call 519-747-8777 for service.


Freedom of information (FOI) requests by mail or drop off only

In-person counter at city hall is closed. We will continue to accept requests via mail or drop off.

For details, visit our FOI page.


Development application inquiries by email only
In-person counter at city hall is closed. Staff working on existing planning files will continue to be available via email.

For details, visit zone changes.


Community support initiatives

For a list of local community supports, visit the Region of Waterloo's community support webpage. This includes food delivery, and public spaces open for warming or washroom use.

The city's neighbourhoods team published a special edition of their Neighbours Helping Neighbours newsletter, with tips on staying connected during physical distancing.


Business support

Our economic development office is working with regional partners to monitor and assess developments related to COVID-19 and their impact on businesses in the City of Waterloo. 

We have put together a series of resources to help during this time. For questions or additions/changes to the list, please contact ecdev@waterloo.ca or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre and Uptown Business Improvement Area also have helpful resources for local businesses.

Local businesses helping businesses
  • Shopify: get a retail business online quickly with a three-month trial
  • Vidyard: free video messaging conferencing tools
  • Accelerator Centre: free mentoring workshops across Canada
  • Blackberry: secure connectivity tools free to businesses for 60 days
Call for suppliers to help during COVID-19
Government of Canada resources and programs

As programs are changing regularly, please check Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for the most up to date information.

The following are specific programs for businesses:

The federal government is working with Canadian lenders to make credit available. The six largest financial institutions have made a commitment to work with personal and small business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions.

Contact your current lending institution for details.

Province of Ontario
Other organizations offering support

Arts and culture support

The city's arts and culture team has put together a series of resources to help during this time.

For further updates, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram,