On May 14, 2020, the Ontario government announced the first phase of re-opening of the economy, bringing a sense of optimism to the Port Colborne community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the excitement to re-open, the City is also ensuring the safety of our community and staff by creating recovery plans that focus on a slow and gradual reopening.
Sugarloaf Marina, Public Boat Ramp, and Storage Yard
The public boat launch ramp will open as of Saturday, May 16, 2020, with barricades removed prior to 6 a.m.; however, City staff, following past practices, will not be monitoring the ramp. Users are to use the ramps at their own risk, are to practice social and physical distancing, limit gatherings to five or less, and only boat with those in your immediate household.
Some tips before arriving at the boat launch: fuel up at a gas station prior to arrival, as the Marina’s fuel docks are not open, bring your own hand sanitizer, and any other personal protection to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and equip boats with the necessary items to ensure boating safety, such as life jackets.
Those who have concerns about individuals violating public gathering restrictions can continue to report through our By-law department by emailing email@example.com. After 4:30pm, please call Niagara Region’s dispatch line at 905-984-3690 or 1-877-552-5579 for further bylaw response and assistance. Do not call 9-1-1.
Use of the public boat launch ramp will be free of charge until the pay and display machines are activated, as we know returning to the water is of importance to the boating community. Once activated, By-law will resume parking enforcement at the public boat launch ramp. Beginning Tuesday, May 19, annual passes can also be purchased online.
The Marina storage yard will also be open to boaters looking to begin working on their boat beginning Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Marina amenities, including docks, will remain closed to the public until early June as staff continue to prepare for opening, ensuring the safety of staff and marina patrons. Premier Ford’s announcement made it clear that businesses are only to open if they are ready and Marina staff’s priority is ensuring that protocols are in place by both the Province and Boating Ontario. Marina slip holders will receive updates as they become available.
Both the West Side Tennis/Pickleball Courts and Cedar Bay/Centennial Tennis Courts will be open for public use starting Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Only the courts will be available for recreational use, washroom and/or clubhouse facilities will not be available. Users are advised to abide by health and safety guidelines posted at the facilities.
Leash Free Dog Park
The Elm Street Naturalization Site and Leash Free Dog Park will open for residents and their furry friends Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Port Colborne Public Library
Public Library staff are excited about the recent announcement to begin curbside and delivery services and are currently looking at ways to begin offering this service to patrons in a safe and gradual manner. Stay tuned for more details.
Port Colborne Retail Businesses
With the Province’s recent announcement to begin easing restrictions on retail stores with curbside entrances, the City is showing its support with the creation of curbside takeout/pickup locations.
Beginning Wednesday, May 20, 2020, City staff will be installing 15-minute curbside pick-up zone temporary signage in the Downtown core for residents and visitors supporting local businesses to use. Businesses interested in having a sign located in front of their establishment are to call 905-835-2900 ext. 207.
Since Main Street has no on-street parking, curbside pick up locations will be created in parking lots along Main Street, including:
- Lock 8 Gateway Park (stalls closest to Main Street W);
- 98 Main Street W (Visitor Information Centre Parking Lot);
- Old Humberstone Village Parking Lot (Main Street W at King Street);
- 105-109 Main Street W (Parking lot east of Melina’s);
- 175 Main Street W; and
- 230 Main Street W (Subway Parking Lot – two stalls closest to the street).
Residents and visitors interested in supporting local businesses are also encouraged to visit https://resilient.portcolborne.ca/ to learn which Port Colborne businesses are open and how they are adapting services. Port Colborne businesses are also encouraged to visit this website to add their business and service offerings.
Curbside pickup locations and a curated website highlighting local businesses are a few of the ways the City is responding to create a ‘Resilient Port Colborne’. To learn more about recovery and support for local businesses, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/COVID-19_RecoveryandSupport.
Anyone taking advantage of these spaces listed above that are easing restrictions should be sure to follow the best practices as outlined by Niagara Region Public Health to limit the spread of COVID-19. These include frequent washing/sanitization of hands, physical separation, avoiding touching of shared surfaces and staying home if displaying symptoms or having been in contact with cases of the virus.
A few reminders heading into the Victoria Day long weekend:
- Playground equipment remains closed under emergency orders. Parks remain open for passive use only.
- Public beaches, including Cedar Bay/Centennial Beach and Nickel Beach will remain closed to public access until further notice.
- Trails remain open for passive use, including walking and bike rides. For a complete list of municipal trails, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/trails.
- Residents are asked to refrain from having fires during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s Burning Bylaw does not allow for open burning unless permission has been given, or for the purposes of cooking food. At this time, in all cases, if a complaint is received the fire must be extinguished. Permission will not be given to have an open fire during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fire Chief is requesting that residents do not have a fire, even to cook food, in an effort to reduce unnecessary calls that will involve the fire department coming to your home because of a complaint of a fire getting out of hand.
- The Port Colborne Fire Department will not be issuing permits for the sale of fireworks. This is being done in an effort to reduce risk in the community, including potential fires due to the mishandling of fireworks, and the number of complaint calls we receive from neighbours, ultimately protecting your frontline workers, including EMS, Police, and Fire.
Although fireworks are not available to purchase in Port Colborne during Victoria Day residents may still have access to fireworks. The Fire Chief reminding residents to use EXTREME CAUTION when igniting fireworks.
- Municipal offices are closed Monday, May 18, 2020 in recognition of the holiday and will re-open virtually on Tuesday, May 19 at 8:30 a.m. to continue to serve residents online or over the phone. In the event of a road and/or water/wastewater emergency over the weekend residents are to call the after-hours number at 905-835-5079.
- Niagara Region has advised that:
o There are no changes to waste collection due to the holiday.
o Niagara Region Transit is not operating on Monday, May 18.
o The COVID-19 Info-Line is open 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18.
o For all Regional holiday hours, click here.
For City COVID-19 updates, visit www.portcolborne.ca/page/covid-19.