Local Enforcement of Emergency Orders

Hello Ward 2! Here’s a brief update on the ongoing City and police response and enforcement of restrictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Non Essential Businesses:

Bylaw and Business licensing staff are proactively monitoring and responding to reports of non essential businesses. Staff are using education as tool, and will fine people or businesses if necessary.

Outdoor Amenities:

Outdoor recreational amenities that are intended for use by more than one family are closed, regardless of whether they are publicly or privately owned and regardless of whether they are attached to a park system.  Staff are enforcing outdoor recreational amenities both on public and private lands.  Amenities means the following:

  • All outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment.
  • All outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks, skate parks.
  • All off-leash dog areas.
  • All portions of park and recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment.
  • All outdoor allotment gardens and community gardens.
  • All outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in park and recreational areas.

The Province has indicate that nothing precludes individuals from walking through or using portions of park and recreational areas that are not otherwise closed and that do not contain an outdoor recreational amenity. However, as there is a small number of parks that don’t contain a recreation area in Guelph, we want to be clear that if you want to walk through a park to get from a to b, that is great, however residents are discouraged from driving to parks to use them.

Physical (Social) Distancing:

Bylaw staff are responding to calls regarding more than 5 people being together.  If staff confirm a concern, education is given. Please note that family members living in the same house with more than 5 members (eg. 2 parents and 4 children) are exempt.


  • Five or more at a social gathering – $750 + $125 victim surcharge
  • Engage in sports activity on closed field $750 + $125 victim surcharge
  • Fail to identify -$750 + $125 victim surcharge
  • Obstructing an enforcement officer -$1000 + $250 victim surcharge


Alternatively staff may issue a summons and fines upon conviction are based on the following:

Fail to comply with emergency order:

  • Up to one year, up to $100,000 fine for an individual, and
  • Up to $500,000 for a Director, and
  • Up to $10 million for a corporation.

If You Have Questions or Concerns About:

  • Non-Essential Businesses
  • Outdoor Recreational Amenities
  • Organized Public Events and Social Gathering
  • Physical Distancing

Please call:

  • City of Guelph Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement at 519-837-2529; or
  • Guelph Police Service non-emergency phone line at 519-824-1212.

Each situation will be assessed, and generally, the process will start with educating those failing to adhere to the law and progressive steps towards enforcement may be taken, if necessary.