Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

On this page

  1. News updates
  2. Closures and reopenings
  3. Enforcement of emergency regulations
  4. Refunds
  5. Changes to City of Waterloo services
  6. Community support
  7. Business support
  8. Arts and culture support

Page last updated: Friday May 29 at 12:30 p.m.

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News updates

For previous updates visit our news page.

Closures and reopenings

Currently closed or cancelled:

  • city hall and the service centre until June 15
  • recreation facilities until June 30
  • in-person city events through July 1
  • in-person committee meetings
  • recreation programs (with the exception of summer camps)
  • sport fields
  • playgrounds

Currently open:

  • parks and trails for walking, biking and rolling
  • park activities such as playing catch, kicking a ball, personal fitness or yoga
  • park visits with chairs or blankets
  • tennis, basketball and outdoor pickleball courts
  • Bechtel Park dog park
  • picnic shelters and benches for passive use
  • Waterloo Park skate park

All park activities must observe physical distancing and gathering size requirements.

Enforcement of emergency regulations


We have processed refunds for cancelled programs and bookings that were scheduled to take place from April 6 to June 30.

Visit our refunds page for full details.

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 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, May or June

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

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

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 July 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 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.

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 by appointment only

In-person counter service at city hall is closed except by appointment.

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.

Cemetery look up not available

During the current shutdown, look ups will not be available

Street sweeping delayed

During the current shutdown, street sweeping will still be maintained, however the service will be delayed.

Residents can assist by removing materials covering catch basins in front of their home (using gloves) and placing it out with their yard waste collection.

Property assessments on hold

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has postponed the 2020 Assessment Update.

Community support

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.

Waterloo at Home

City staff and community partners have come together to create Waterloo At Home - a curation of helpful tips and resources for residents to make the best of their time at home. 

Using Engage Waterloo as the platform, Waterloo At Home is a one-stop-shop for ideas, resources and stories aimed at keeping residents active, connected and creative at home. 

City of Waterloo neighbourhood newsletter

We're all neighbours. Now more than ever, sharing information and having points of connection is important.

We publish a weekly email newsletter with information to help you stay informed and socially connected while physically distancing.


Past editions:

To contact the neighbourhoods team during this time, email

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 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.

Restaurant, cafes and food shops in Waterloo open during COVID-19

If you're looking for restaurants, cafes or food shops to service you during the temporary closures in Waterloo, this list has everything that is open.

If you are a food service business and would like to be added to this list, please apply below.

Apply to be on map

Resources for re-opening your business
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.

Helping business avoid layoffs and rehiring
Helping businesses access credit
Other business programs

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.

Advocacy groups with resources
Grants and financial support
Learning resources