City-run rinks and pools to close for 28 days; farmers’ market, libraries and museums remain open

Guelph moves to level red/control in Provincial COVID-19 Framework

Guelph, Ont., Friday, December 11– As of Monday December 14, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health moves from level orange/restrict to level red/control in Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open.

The earliest the region would be eligible to move back to level orange/control would be January 11, 2021.

“Every person in Guelph needs to know COVID-19 is spreading very quickly in our community. The rate at which cases continue to grow—especially in the last few days—requires immediate action,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Public Health will use the tools available to us but I’m asking every one of us to make the choice starting right now to help stop the spread of the virus, to keep us safe, to keep our friends and family safe.”

“We’re not in lockdown yet, and I know Guelph can stay out of lockdown if we all follow the guidelines,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Health officials keep telling us the virus is spreading through social gatherings in people’s homes. Increasing spread in our community means there’s more risk of someone carrying it into a recreation centre, shopping mall, school or workplace. To prevent more people from getting sick, and to keep businesses open, we have to stop having visitors in our homes. We can do this Guelph! Let’s get us back to not only orange, but all the way back to green as soon as we can,”

City-run indoor pools and rinks close for 28 days

On November 30, the City of Guelph announced it would go beyond provincial requirements and close City-run indoor rinks and pools at level red/control. The City’s rinks and pools will be temporarily closed on Monday, December 14.

“Thankfully, we haven’t had COVID-19 spread in Guelph recreation centres. It is spreading in the community, so there’s more risk of someone carrying it into a team practice or group class. To prevent that from happening, we’re pausing indoor recreation programs and encouraging people to stay active at home or outdoors for now,” says Colleen Clack-Bush, deputy chief administrative officer of the City’s Public Services. “We’ll reassess our situation after 28 days and consider reopening the City’s indoor pools and rinks.”

Measures at City recreation facilities go further than provincial requirements

Privately-owned sports and recreation facilities may remain open in accordance with provincial regulations; up to 10 people are permitted to use sports and recreation facilities at level red/control.

The City reviewed the framework, consulted Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and neighbouring municipalities before deciding to

  • close City-run pools, rinks and gyms
  • pause team sports, practices and training in City facilities
  • pause all drop-in or registered fitness classes or programs in City facilities

While indoor recreation programs are paused, the City is placing 125 part-time casual employees on declared emergency leave and helping them access financial support from the Government of Canada.

“It’s disappointing, especially so close the holidays and we hope to get our people back to work in January,” adds Clack-Bush.

Service counters at City recreation centres remain open

People can visit to register for programs scheduled to start on January 16, 2021. If classes are cancelled due to low enrolment or COVID-19 restrictions, the City will issue refunds to registered participants. Recreation centres will also continue selling Guelph Transit bus passes, City gift cards, large waste item tickets, and processing waste cart exchanges.

Outdoor rinks, parks, playgrounds and trails remain open at level red

The City encourages people to find safe ways to get outside and stay active this winter.

At level red, up to 25 people can use Guelph’s fenced dog parks, the skate park and outdoor skating rinks. Users should wear masks, stay at least two metres away from people they don’t live with, and bring hand sanitizer. Signs will be posted, and the City’s bylaw team will respond to concerns.

If an outdoor recreation facility regularly draws more than 25 people, the City may close it temporarily.

Starting on Monday, the Market Square skating rink open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (weather permitting). Outdoor community rinks in City parks will open in December. The City maintains several trails, and portable washrooms will be available in some parks this winter.

Visit for more information.

City Hall and Provincial Offences Court

No service changes. Service counters remain open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Guelph Farmers’ Market remains open at level red

The Guelph Farmers’ Market is open on Saturday mornings. Up to 75 people can shop indoors. Visit for a list of vendors and shopping guidelines.

Shop local. Shop safe. #guelphshops

For a directory of local shops and services visit Share photos and stories about your favourites using #guelphshops

Guelph libraries remain open at level red

All Guelph Public Library locations continue operating. The Scottsdale branch has reduced hours and offers curbside pickup service only.

All other branches are open to the public; masks are required, and measures are in place to maintain physical distancing. Visit for details.

Guelph Museums remain open at level red

Guelph Museums is open with a maximum of 10 visitors allowed indoors. Museum visits must be scheduled in advance at

Guelph Transit

No service changes. Guelph Transit conventional service will continue on a 30-minute schedule, Monday to Saturday. Sunday is regular service.

River Run Centre

The River Run Centre remains closed to the public.

Report a COVID-19 concern

The City is educating people and businesses about COVID-19 regulations at level red/control.

Retail and grocery stores

Stores should have hand sanitizer at every entrance, limit the number of customers inside, have measures in place to keep people at least two metres apart, and employees and shoppers should be wearing masks as required.

Restaurants and bars

Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery are permitted. Restaurants or bars can sell or serve alcohol 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and must close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Up to 10 customers can dine indoors if there are barriers or at least two metres between tables. Up to four people can sit at a table, and all seated customers must provide contact information.

Workers must wear personal protective equipment, including eye protection if they come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering.

To report a concern about large gatherings or business not following COVID-19 guidelines

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Media Contact

Stacey Hare
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2611
[email protected]