Positive novel coronavirus tests in the Hamilton, Burlington, and Niagara regions have persuaded many local organizations to cancel services and events that involve gatherings to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Public health officers from all three regions say it is unlikely that many will become infected with COVID-19, but that residents should be mindful that the situation is rapidly evolving, particularly with travel-related cases from abroad.
However, a number of organizations and facilities have opted to close, cancel or postpone events in light of the virus outbreak.
Check out our list below to help you plan the coming weeks.
City of Hamilton:
The City of Hamilton has closed all municipal facilities to the public. All municipal buildings, including City Hall, municipal service centres, and public counters will all be closed to the public until further notice.
Hamilton city-run programs and events, including public engagement events, are cancelled until further notice. The city is not accepting new group bookings for private events in city facilities.
HSR has dialed down service and will operate weekday buses on a Saturday schedule. Transit is currently free. Riders must board and exit buses from the rear doors. Burlington transit is also free until further notice.
Hamilton Public Library branches have all been closed. Bookmobile service and visiting library service is cancelled until further notice.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospitals — including Hamilton General and Juravinski hospitals — are no longer allowing visitors to their facilities as of Friday in an ongoing fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton programs and locations are closed. This includes all EarlyON locations, all licensed child care, outreach locations, and rentals. Spring session programs have been delayed.
Hamilton will be suspending all non-essential client programs and services including community participation day programs, drop ‘n’ shop thrift shop, and employment access.
Anglican Diocese of Niagara has suspended Sunday services at all of its churches until further notice.
At Temple Anshe Shalom have cancelled all services and programs. They are offering some online programs.
Beth Jacob Synagogue has cancelled all services and events until further notice.
Carlisle United Church has suspended worship service until further notice.
Diocese of Hamilton has suspended mass, funerals, baptisms and marriages until further notice.
First Unitarian Church in Hamilton is closed until until further notice.
Grace Lutheran Church is cancelling all events and services until further notice.
Kilbride United Church has cancelled services and programs for the time being.
Hamilton Downtown Mosque has suspended Friday sermons until further notice.
YWCA has closed all child care programming at all Hamilton and Dunnville facilities until until further notice, including before and after school care, and full-day child care.
The YWCA Fitness Centre and all associated Health and Wellness programming has been put on hold until further notice, 2020. This includes pools and all aquatics programming.
All YWCA Employment programming and classes, including the Employment Resource Centre, are closed until further notice.
YWCA Active Living Centre 55+ programming at 75 MacNab, Churchill and SAPP Fit at the Riverdale location are closed until further notice.
Hamilton events affected:
The AIDS Network has suspended all group programs, workshops, and training.
Allan Cup Canadian Men’s AAA Hockey Championships, which were to happen in Dundas, have now been cancelled.
Around the Bay Road Race will not happen on March 29. No new date has been scheduled.
Hamilton Bulldogs games at First Ontario Centre have been cancelled.
Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) Anti Racism Conference scheduled for March 27 and 28 has been postponed.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has rescheduled a pair of events. The Outstanding Business Achievement Awards will now take place on June 9, while the Business After Business event will be rescheduled for November.
Hamilton Lacrosse and the Ontario Lacrosse Association has suspended all league activity until further notice.
Hamilton Police Service’s Cop Camp event for March is cancelled.
Gritlit festival in Hamilton has been cancelled.
Monster Jam Triple Threat Series scheduled for April 17 through 19 at FirstOntario Centre has been postponed. Core Entertainment says the future date is yet to be announced. Customers can hold onto their tickets, and they will be contacted as soon as the new date is confirmed.
Sikh Heritage Month Hamilton which was set for April has been cancelled.
Westfield Heritage Village’s Maple Syrup Festival has been cancelled.
YWCA HPO Concert, Thai Lunch, Art Showcase on March 24, and Senior Women’s IWD Event on Thursday, March 26 are all cancelled.
Shopping and other retail services:
Cadillac Fairview (CF) has reduced operating hours of all it’s malls in Ontario including CF Lime Ridge for two weeks. CF Malls will now open be open Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Access to CF properties will remain unchanged and will operate at usual hours of business. However, many individual retailers, such as The Bay, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, lndigo, H&M, Uniqlo, and Holt Renfrew have closed their doors until further notice.
Most restaurants have closed dining rooms as per orders from the provincial government. Only take-out, drive-thru, and delivery are available.
Collective Arts Brewing has suspended growler filling at its brewery.
GoodLife Fitness has closed all locations in response to novel coronavirus spread.
Ikea has closed it’s Burlington location until further notice. The outlet will only offer online shopping with home delivery and pick-up services.
LCBO’s are only open between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., reducing morning and evening shopping.
Beer store hours are now 10 am – 7 pm Monday to Sunday.
Museums and attractions:
Fallsview Casino Resort has paused all gaming and entertainment effective immediately. Tickets for original performances will be honoured. Patrons are encouraged to hold on to their tickets until new dates are announced. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
Great Wolf Lodge resort in Niagara Falls is closed. The company said anyone with a reservation during the closure time will be given a full refund.
The Hamilton Aviary has been closed to the public until further notice.
OLG has shut down all casinos across Ontario.
All Ontario Provincial Parks are closed until further notice.
Hamilton Civic Museums — including Dundurn National Historic Site, Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, Battlefield House Museum & Park, Whitehern Historic House & Garden, Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum, Griffin House, Hamilton Children’s Museum — are closed. Special events and programming are cancelled until further notice.
The Royal Botanical Garden will be closed until until further notice. The closures include all private functions, gardens, and natural areas.
GO transit has reduced both train and bus service in light of provincial action and to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
No.16 Hamilton / Toronto GO bus express between Hamilton and Union Station is almost completely been cancelled.
Only the 12:30 a.m. express bus to Union Station will operate Sunday through Monday.
No.18 Aldershot/ Hamilton GO bus will continue a train connection every half hour from 4:30 a.m. Monday to Friday as usual. Weekend hours for the route will remain the same as always.
Train service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines has also been discontinued.
However GO Bus Route 12 to Niagara Falls, which connects to GO train service at Burlington GO, will continue to operate.
Other routes that will see some minor departure changes will include:
- #15 Brantford/Burlington GO Bus
- #40 Hamilton/Richmond Hill
- Highway 407 West Routes 45, 46, 47 and 48
- Highway 407 East Routes 51, 52 and 54
UP Express in Toronto to Pearson airport will temporarily run trains every 30 minutes, starting from Union Station at 4:55 a.m. and from Pearson at 5:27 a.m. The last trains will depart Pearson at 12:57 a.m., and Union at 1:00 a.m.
Many Southern Ontario Parks have seen an increase in visitor traffic amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however, a few are reporting issues with large groups, illegal parking and entrance into closed areas. As such a couple have shut down their operations and access.
Conservation Halton has closed all parks until further notice. This includes Kelso, Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls and Robert Edmondson. All sites will be monitored for illegal access and trespassers will be charged.
The Grand River Conservation Authority has closed all parks to visitors, including membership pass holders as well as day-use visitors, until further notice. The closures include Pinehurst Lake, Laurel Creek, Shade’s Mills, Rockwood, and Guelph Lake.
City of Burlington / Halton Region:
The City of Burlington has declared a state of emergency in the city due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The move closed many city facilities and asks all local malls and non-essential businesses to close for the time being.
All-City facilities including City Hall will be closed to public access until further notice.
Burlington Public Library is closed to the public.
Essential services including Burlington Fire, Burlington Transit including Handi-Van, Halton Court Services, Traffic Services, By-Law Enforcement, Roads, Parks and Forestry Operations, Animal Control Services and POA Courts will continue to operate as usual to support our community. Cemetery services will be by appointment.
The city has also made on-street parking or in municipal parking lots free until further notice. In a statement, the city said it was to reduce the number of people touching the same parking machines throughout the day. Parking enforcement for lack of payment is also suspended.
The City of Niagara Falls has closed city hall and city facilities to the public until further notice.
The closures are expected to last at least two weeks.
Recreational and community facilities are also closed to limit the spread of the virus. The closures include the Niagara Falls History Museum, city customer service desks, MacBain community centre, the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub, and all branches of the Niagara Falls Public Library.
Niagara Falls Transit, WEGO services, and Inter-municipal transit will continue to operate on a regular schedule.
Civil marriage ceremonies at City Hall will be postponed until further notice. Water meter replacements, emergency water meter repairs, and sewer lateral cleaning will continue, while in-home water sampling will be discontinued for the time being.
St. Catharines has closed all it’s city facilities to the public until further notice. The closures include City hall, adult centres, recreation centres including Russell Avenue and Port Weller, all arenas, all branches of the public library, the Kiwanis aquatics centre, museum and Welland canals centre, sports fields, farmers market, and market square.
Meridian Centre and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre are also closed until further notice.
All critical services, including fire services, traffic services, water and sewer operations, and road operations will continue to operate.
All publicly-funded schools — including all catholic and non-catholic elementary and high schools — have been shut down until further notice.
McMaster University has cancelled all classes and non-core events with no in-person exams at the end of the term. As well as all fundraisers, intramurals, performances, tournaments, conferences, public speakers, public lectures, and non-academic presentations are cancelled.
Mohawk College has also cancelled classes. Classes are expected to restart online or with an alternative delivery method until further notice.
Redeemer University has cancelled classes and is also turning to e-learning. The school also cancelled all sponsored and student-sponsored events.
Brock University has also suspended face-to-face classes going forward.
Haldimand County is also closing all museums, libraries & arenas until further notice. A number of public workshops and meetings have been postponed including the Business Excellence Awards Breakfast and Official Plan Update workshop.
Grandview Lodge is restricting visits by non-essential visitors.
Oakville recreation and culture facilities are closed until until further notice. All recreation and culture registered programs, drop-in programs, services, events, and rentals are cancelled. All community use of school rentals is also cancelled, as are community centres, museums, and other town facilities.
Oakville Family Ribfest – scheduled for June 2020 – says it’s been postponed. Organizers believe the next event likely will not happen again until June of 2021.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.