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Skip Navigation LinksRamara Township > COVID-19

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COVID-19 Information for Ramara

Page last updated July 2, 2020 at 1:39pm

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is the lead agency working with the Ministry of Health, Public Health and Ontario and local healthcare provides to monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and take actions as appropriate.  For specific COVID-19 information, including testing and assessment, please visit Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at: www.simcoemuskokahealth.org

The Township's senior staff and Ramp-Up Committee continue to meet regularly to ensure that decisions are based on recommendations from the province and public health officials. The Township will continue to make pro-active decisions that are necessary to protect residents and staff.

Reopening Ramara

The Township of Ramara is committed to retur​​ning to a new normal as the province and the Township move to a recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask residents that during this time to remain vigilant in following provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and patient with the Township as it reopens.

Our main priority is the health and safety of our community and staff. 

As the province announces further stages of reopening, the Township will need time to ensure that proper safety protocols are in place for users and staff.  View the Province's stages of reopening.

Announcements

All Township facilities and buildings, including the Administration Building, are closed to the public to help protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

Service Changes in response to COVID-19

As the situation develops, we continue to adjust our operations based on the latest recommendations of health authorities.

​As of June 12, 2020, the Brechin Dog Park is open.



 COVID-19 Impacts

Facility Closures and Cancellations

Effective March 16th, all Township facilities and buildings, including the Administration Building are closed to the public.  

Closed facilities include:

  • Township Administration Building
  • Ramara Centre
  • Medical Building
  • Fire Halls
  • Works Yards
  • Environmental Building
  • Udney Community Centre
  • Longford Community Centre

For questions related to facilities and programs, please contact 705-484-5374 or email ramara@ramara.ca

Recreational Amenity Closures

If you plan to visit a beach this weekend, to do so safely and responsibly.
We ask that you:
- Visit a beach close to your home
- Follow physical distancing guidelines of 2 metres
- Adhere to group gathering restrictions
Remember that none of our beach locations are lifeguarded and all beach and park amenities are closed.​​

The Province of Ontario issued an emergency order  under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, including playgrounds, effective immediately until further notice. As the province announces further stages of reopening, the Township has opened the following as of June 12:

  • Lagoon City Canals
  • All boat launches and water access points around the Township
  • Beaches including the Lagoon City private beach. Please note that amenities such as bathrooms will not be open.
  • Parks
  • Dog Park
  • Trails​

​​​​Please note that green spaces in parks, trails and conservation areas that are not otherwise closed would remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.  The Township reminds residents and visitors that any amenities are not sanitized and to use at their own risk, follow group gathering restrictions, and to take home their garbage.​

Enforcement of Provincial Orders

Our By-law Enforcement officers are on duty seven days a week to educate and enforce issues of non-compliance with the province's emergency orders.

Violations include:

  • Individuals using outdoor recreational amenities
  • Non-essential business remaining open
  • Events and gatherings of more than five people
  • Establishments remaining open that are prohibited from being in operation under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Please remember not to enter spaces that are barricaded or have signage indicating the area is closed. This is for your safety and the safety of our community.

​To report a violation, please call Monday – Friday, 705-484-5374 or e-mail a by-law enforcement officer 7 days a week at bylaw@ramara.ca.
Please DO NOT call 911 for these violations.

Short Term Rentals

While the province of Ontario has now permitted STRAs to resume operation effective June 5th, 2020 at 12:01 am, the Township of Ramara still requires all operators to obtain an annual licence before they begin to advertise and rent their short term rental  accommodation. 
 
Renters should also ensure that before renting an STRA in Ramara that they confirm the operator has a valid licence to operate. In addition, the social gathering restriction of five (5) people will still apply to these rentals and the occupancy numbers for these rentals may not exceed 5 occupants, based on their approved occupancy. ​​

The licence is valid for one (1) year from date of issue. 

For more information, please refer to the Short-Term Rental Accommodation page.​

Seasonal Residents

As recommended from public health officials, the Township of Ramara is recommending residents to stay home and self-isolate at their primary residence in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. As mandated from the Province, any event or social gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited. If you are accessing your seasonal residence, ensure that you are only with your primary family, that you are not inviting guests or other family members and that you are maintaining physical distancing. As the Township of Ramara has limited resources and facilities to deal with the influx of seasonal residents coming to the area, we ask residents to please take care and follow all provincial mandates and guidance from public health officials.​​

Building Department

As of May 19th, 2020, all restrictions on building have been lifted. Please note that the Building Department staff will be busy getting processes back on schedule 
New permit applications are being accepted either electronically or by paper/hardcopy and can be dropped off in the outside drop off box. Applicants will receive an email or phone call notifying them that the application has been received and advised of the outstanding building permit fees. All fees can be paid online or by cheque payable to the ‘Township of Ramara.’ The payment will need to be made in full in order for the application to be deemed complete and ready to start the review process.
Building inspections are being carried out following strict physical distancing and hygiene protocols.  Please call or e-mail one of the building inspectors to find out more information and to schedule an inspection, a minimum 48 hours is required to book.
Contact the building department:

Charlotte Baker – cbaker@ramara.ca
Chris Robinsoncrobinson@ramara.ca
Amanda Renton – arenton@ramara.ca​

Bylaw Enforcement

Bylaw complaints or complaints related to emergency orders can be submitted Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to the general office phone number, 705-484-5374 or via email to bylaw@ramara.ca​ and the on duty officer will receive it and respond to the complainant Monday to Sunday.
Staff will respond to complaints via telephone/e-mail, but will only be acting on complaints that impose an immediate threat to public safety or a dog is at large where the location is known and the dog is restrained by caller.
Please note that all licensing Lottery Licences are suspended, effective immediately and no 2020 licences are being issued.

Environmental Services

​Water and wastewater operators are continuing regular plant operations to ensure essential services, such as safe drinking water.

At this time utility bill payment will not be deferred and the bill due date of April 30, 2020 will remain the same. However, to offer financial relief to residents, the Township has decided to waive interest and penalty fee for late payment of water/sewer utilities until June 30, 2020.

Finance Department

​In order to provide financial relief to residents, the Township has decided to waive the interest and penalty fees for late payment of property taxes until December 31, 2020.​

Residents and businesses are still encouraged to pay their 2020 taxes by the regularly scheduled tax due dates; however, alternative relief has been approved by Council to assist those who require​. 

  • Neither interest nor late fees will be charged for property taxes until January 1, 2021.
  • Taxpayers, who sent post-dated cheques to the Township for their tax instalment and would like to cancel the payment, are being asked to place a stop payment on the item and to call the Township office immediately.
  • Pre-authorized payment withdrawals or the monthly plan that are scheduled for April, May, June, and September will be withdrawn from the bank as scheduled. For tax payers enrolled in this program who wish to cancel from the program or delay either payment are asked to email -jthompson@ramara.ca or call 705-484-5374, ext. 223
  • If a cheque or a Pre-authorized payment is returned by the bank between now and December 31, 2020, the Township will not charge administration fee or penalty. 

For more information, please visit the Finance FAQs

Fire and Rescue Services

As of Friday, May 1st, the Township of Ramara has lifted the Fire ban.

Legislative and Community Services

At this time, all Council, Committee of Adjustment and Lagoon City Parks and Waterways Commission will continue their meetings electronically and can be viewed on the Township of Ramara's YouTube page.

Commissioning of documents is suspended at this time. Please seek alternative arrangements.

Until further notice, in person recreation programming is cancelled until January 2021. Watch for more information to come on virtual recreation programming. ​​

Planning Department

All planning applications are accepted either electronically or by paper/hardcopy and can be dropped off in the outside drop off box. No payments will be accepted in person, but all fees can be paid online or cheque payable to the 'Township of Ramara.'

Some planning application hearings are suspended until further notice based on Reg 73/20. The Committee of Adjustment meetings will be held electronically using the Zoom platform.  Please refer to the meeting and cut off dates posted on the website to ensure you meet the deadlines for submission.  Meetings can be viewed on the Township of Ramara YouTube channel.

Planning staff are available to answer the majority of planning related questions regarding your property such as zoning and OP designations, etc.  Please contact them by phone at 705-484-5374 or e-mail at dmccabe@ramara.ca or ebrathwaite@ramara.ca. ​

Infrastructure Services

Works staff are very busy maintaining essential services, so we are asking residents to be patient when it comes to maintaining non-essential services.  Spring is a busy time for road sweeping, gravel, park maintenance and more.  Please do not approach staff who are working diligently.  If you do have a complaint, please phone 705-484-5374 or email skarabin@ramara.ca

Please note that maintenance of park spaces and the Lagoon City canals will start after May 25th.  Unlike past years, parks will be cut every 2-3 weeks rather than weekly in order to safely follow health precautions from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Staff will follow protocols by maintaining physical distance while working and having one employee per vehicle. Additionally, PPE will be used when necessary.

The Mara Waste Facility will open up two days of week starting on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. For more information, please visit the media release​.