On Wednesday (May 13), Port Hope lifted restrictions on municipally owned property, including beside the Ganaraska River and East and West Beach, but is reminding residents that gatherings of more than five people are prohibited — and that there is a ban on the use of fireworks on the Victoria Day weekend and on open-air burning in the urban area.
Access to municipal green spaces, trails, and paths along the Ganaraska River are open to the public for pass-through use only.
However, all conservation areas north of Molson Street owned by the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) remain closed. GRCA’s Ganaraska Forest and conservation areas will open to hiking only on May 22nd.
People are also now permitted to use East Beach and West Beach as additional pass-through areas.
Physical distancing measures remain in effect, including staying two metres away from other people, and loitering or gathering is not permitted in these spaces. The provincial prohibition on events and gatherings of more than five people is still in effect. Residents who do not comply with these regulations may face fines.
The sale and use of fireworks in Port Hope is not permitted for the Victoria Day holiday weekend. The municipal ban not only reflects the limitation on gatherings of more than five people, but it will prevent essential fire and emergency services resources from being required to respond to complaints and accidents associated with the discharge of consumer fireworks.
Open-air burning is also prohibited in the urban area of Port Hope. This includes wood burning chimineas, screened fire bowls or containers, fire pits, and barrels. Urban residents are permitted to use natural gas or propane outdoor appliances, provided they are listed for use in Canada and are installed following the manufacturer’s instructions.
In the rural area of Port Hope, burn permits are required, with specific conditions for any controlled burning, as per by-law 15/2006. Burn permits can be issued for property owners in the rural area by contacting the fire administration office at 905-753-2230.
The minimum penalty for unauthorized or uncontrolled open-air burning is $485, and residents who contravene the by-law may also be required to pay the full cost of fire department vehicles, equipment, and staff that respond to unauthorized or uncontrolled open-air burning.