City of Windsor outlines what's open and closed under new provincial orders
WINDSOR, ONT. -- City of Windsor officials say they have quickly adjusted service delivery and staffing requirements as a result of Ontario’s renewed declaration of a state of emergency and stay-at-home orders.
Municipal services remain accessible via online tools, and the city says most Windsor public services will continue to provide value for residents as the province moves to bend the curve of the dangerous second wave of COVID-19.
City Hall Services:
Buildings at 350 City Hall Square West, 1266 McDougall and 2450 McDougall will be closed to the public unless an appointment has been arranged in advance. For all municipal business licence processing, in-person transactions have temporarily been suspended. For alternate methods to obtain a municipal licence, contact 519-255-6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Planning Division is continuing to accept all development-related applications. Mandatory pre-consultations on development applications will be available via electronic participation or by appointment. To schedule an appointment with the Planning Division, call 519-255-6543.
The building at 400 City Hall Square East will remain open to the public for service at some federal and provincial offices, as will any other building with self-contained leased space to non-City tenants (Mackenzie Hall and Gino and Liz Marcus Community Complex).
While garbage and recycling collection are continuing as normal, residents are asked to keep 6 feet (2 metres) away from collectors. All garbage related by-laws still apply (i.e. must be in acceptable containers, cannot be overflowing, must be under 44 pounds/20 kilograms). The Public Drop-Off Depot will remain open at limited capacity to ensure social distancing. Delays should be expected.
Parks and Recreation Services:
On Nov. 30, the City of Windsor proactively suspended all indoor recreational services in pools, arenas and community centres in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Parks, trails, green spaces, playgrounds, outdoor sports courts and tobogganing hills remain open for informal recreation purposes, but users are asked to please observe social distancing. Provincial guidelines for gatherings (no more than five persons congregating outdoor) must be observed, and masks must be worn while outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained with members outside of your household.
Outdoor ice rinks will remain closed and are not available for use at this time.
Effective Sept. 8, 2020, Transit Windsor began operating on an enhanced Saturday schedule.
Protective barriers have been installed on all Transit Windsor buses. Transit Windsor returned to front door boarding and fare collection as of October 26, 2020.
Riders are encouraged to board at the front door and exit at the rear door (with the exception of those with mobility needs who may exit at the front door).
Ridership has decreased over the course of late fall and winter and is currently 77 per cent lower than it was pre-pandemic.
Community Development & Health Services:
Community Development and Health Services continues to offer employment, housing, children’s services and social services to individuals and families in Windsor and Essex County.
While offices are closed to in-person service, residents can access services via telephone or electronic means. Please visit www.citywindsor.ca/socialservices, or call 519-255-5200 or toll free 1-866-925-2022.
The Province of Ontario has approved an extension to funding the City’s Targeted Emergency Child Care Plan for School-Aged Children to February 10. Emergency child care is being provided free of charge to support health care and other frontline workers whose children are enrolled in school. Eligible workers are those identified on the Province’s List of Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care.
Services that are closed to the public:
- City-operated EarlyON Centres
- Employment & Training Services Centre, Suite 101
- Community Development & Health Services Office, Suite 301
- Ontario Works - Windsor Office
- Ontario Works - Leamington Office
Services available via telephone, email or virtually:
- Provision of Ontario Works income support
- Children’s Services administrative supports
- EarlyON programming
- Homelessness and Housing Support administrative supports (i.e. Housing Stability Plan - Rent Assistance)
- Employment and Training Services programs and administrative support
Staffing and Redeployments:
External redeployments have been arranged to support local service delivery partners and relieve administrative burdens to allow trained, expert staff to focus more on core priorities, public health, client care and service delivery.
These deployments include:
- Assisting the Salvation Army and Downtown Mission with logistical support;
- Assisting the Unemployed Help Centre with the Food Hamper program;
- Providing administrative support to mobile testing and field health assessments;
- Conducting enhanced staff screening and non-medical administrative work at Huron Lodge;
- Supporting the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit through expanded frontline call centre services.
Internal redeployments have also taken place to increase the frequency of cleaning and screening at City of Windsor facilities and workplaces where employees continue to operate as part of ongoing public administration and service delivery that is not otherwise possible to be done off site.
Additional Services, Enhancements and Community Supports:
Bright Lights Windsor – Citywide has officially come to an end, however not all lights and displays will come down, as the City of Windsor seeks to showcase the contribution of frontline workers during this critical second wave of COVID-19.
For at least the next 30 days, City Hall will be lit in red lights each evening in solidarity with the incredibly dedicated health care heroes working each day to save lives in our community.
Additional lights and displays that will remain in place include:
- The Maple Leaf - located at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre Presented by WFCU Credit Union
- Lights at Charles Clark Square
- Lighthouse at Lakeview Park Marina
- Lights and displays on the balconies at Huron Lodge
211 Call Centre Supporting WECHU:
The 211 South West Contact Centre, operated by the City of Windsor, is now providing support to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit by taking general COVID-19-related calls from residents.
211 staff have been trained to respond to general questions about COVID-19 that the health unit has been receiving, and they have been provided with verified information to pass along to the public, including the following:
- Isolation and quarantine protocols
- Symptoms and testing procedures
- Public health recommendations, guidelines and restrictions
- Reports and complaints
- Vaccine availability and rollout
Along with the introduction of 211’s new community portal, www.211southwest.ca, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website continues to be an excellent resource for anyone with computer access, providing ongoing information updates, public health recommendations and local information on COVID-19.
Sanitizer Product for Service Delivery Partners and Not-for-Profit Organizations:
Since late May, working with community partners, the City of Windsor has been coordinating the distribution of locally produced hand sanitizer. Regional hospitals; first responders; long-term care and retirement homes; shelters; essential workers; small businesses and not-for-profit groups have received over 10,000 litres of product across multiple distribution events.
While the supply chain for commercially produced hand sanitizer product has now grown to meet increased global demand, the City of Windsor has maintained a volume of sanitizer produced during the first wave of this pandemic for further use.
At this time, the City of Windsor will be contacting key service providers in the non-for-profit sector, shelters and other social service delivery partners and making arrangements to pick up or drop off an additional, complimentary allotment of hand sanitizer in the days and weeks ahead to support their important frontline operations.
For additional details on City service adjustments due to COVID-19 and how to access them, visit www.citywindsor.ca/covid-19. The Frequently Asked Questions section can further address local resident and business questions.