Council Highlights

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Council Highlights

Council Highlights provides an update with the most important information discussed at the previous Council meeting. To learn more, view upcoming meetings or watch past Council meetings.

Council Highlights from November 23, 2020

Council continues to support residents and local businesses through these challenging times by extending the Town's Financial Relief Program until January 31, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, Newmarket Council introduced a Financial Relief Plan for businesses and residents. This plan would assist those in need financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Financial Relief Program includes:

  • No penalty and interest charges on property tax payments until January 31, 2021
  • No penalty and interest charges for late payment of water/wastewater bills until January 31, 2021
  • No penalty and interest charges for all Town accounts receivable including development agreements, leases and sponsorships until January 31, 2021.

This program, which was set to expire on January 1, 2021 has been extended until January 31, 2021. The possibility of further extension is being considered as part of the 2021 budget deliberations by Council on December 7.

For more information on the Financial Relief Plan, please visit newmarket.ca/propertytaxes


Council continues to be fiscally responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic as Newmarket reports Q3 Operations – tax supported, Water and Wastewater, Stormwater, Capital Program and Investments.

Newmarket Council was provided with a detailed update on the status of the Town's Third Quarter Operations – Tax-supported, Water and Wastewater, Stormwater; Capital Program and Investments.

In this update, it was noted that some departments are forecasting unfavourable variances due to the impact of the pandemic and some are reporting favourable variance. However, due to mitigating measures carried out by Town staff and assistance from the Province's Phase 1 Safe Restart funding of $1.8 Million, the Town is projecting a surplus of approximately $200,000 for its Tax-Supported Operating Budget.

Council and Town staff will continue to monitor its financial status with an emphasis on reducing pandemic related costs, while continuing to serve the community.

For more information, please view the Q3 Operating, Capital, Water and Wastewater, Stormwater and Investment Summary Staff Report to Council


Past Council Highlights 

Council Highlights on November 2, 2020
Council Reviews Established Neighbourhood Compatibility Study
Council reviewed the findings from the Established Neighbourhood Compatibility Study and the proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments in order to implement the study. 
Council’s discussion consisted of updated development regulations for residential zones; these include new lot coverage schedule, reduced maximum building height for some zones and changing how front yard setback and exterior side yard setback are determined.  

The main themes of the proposed amendment are:  
  • Combining existing “Stable Residential” designation and “Emerging Residential designation” as a single “Residential” designation and updating relevant policies  
  • Establishing Character Areas and policies for each Character Area 
  • Adding more details to the Compatibility policies of the Official Plan to strengthen the section 
After thorough discussion, the matter was referred back to Council for further discussion at a future Council  meeting to ensure the findings from the study and the amendments address development compatibility within existing neighbourhoods.

Learn more by viewing the full report on the
Neighbourhood Compatibility Study 

Council Discuses How To Address Vibration Complaints 
Council continues to explore different options to address the impact of vibrations caused by driveway or parking lot paving projects in residential areas that are currently not addressed in the Planning Act.

There are two types of construction projects that may result in vibration complaints: large scale constructions like residential subdivisions and large developments where provisions can be made through the Planning Act and ones that don’t fall under the Planning Act, which includes projects like driveway repaving and parking lot repaving.  

Council discussed various options to deal with these types of construction projects and decided to direct  staff to come back with an amended version of the noise by-law for council consideration at a later date and for staff to investigate the impact of carrying out a permitting process.
See full report here. 

Council Meeting on October 13, 2020

First Responders, Front Line and Essential Workers named Honorary Citizens

First Responders, Front Line and Essential Workers were presented the Honorary Citizen Award for their commitment to keeping our community safe every day, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A small socially-distanced event was held on October 9 at Fairy Lake Park to present representatives from each respective area with their Honorary Citizen Award.

Learn more


Council continues to balance the economic impact of COVID-19 while ensuring fiscal responsibility in the 2021 Budget  

For 2021, Newmarket Council was presented with a 2.99 per cent tax increase which equates to approximately $64.79 for the average residential property assessed at $700,000.

At this time, it is estimated that any losses resulting from COVID-19 in 2020 will not have a direct impact on the 2021 Budget. This means there will be no deficit to carryover and no additional tax increases due to the pandemic.

The pandemic will have an indirect impact to the 2020 capital projects required to be carried over, uncertainty about when and how hard a second wave will impact the municipality, and what the "new normal" will look like; and a slower economy (growth and inflation) due to the pandemic.

In an effort to continue to be fiscally responsible to the community, the Town was directed to find approximately $508,000 in savings through budget reductions. Staff reached this target and exceeded it by 7%. 

Residents can continue to get involved in the 2021 Budget process by tuning into the Special Committee of the Whole Meeting on October 19 where Council will be discussing Rate-supported Operating Budgets. Learn more at newmarket.ca/2021budget.


Council Meeting on September 21, 2020

Council extends the 30-Minute Parking restrictions on Main Street to assist businesses residents during the COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to continue to assist residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Newmarket Council extended the 30-minute parking restriction along the east and west side of Main Street. Doing so will help balance the need for short-term parking support to allow for curbside pick-up and deliveries.

The emergency order for this parking restriction was first enacted in May 2020 and was set to be terminated on September 21, 2020. With Council's approval, the 30-minute parking restriction will be adopted within Parking By-law 2019-63. A report back to staff will be provided to Council during Q1 of 2021 that will include a review of the parking restriction options, include information gathered from public consultation and feedback from the BIA (Main Street District Business Improvement Area Board of Management). 

Council Meeting on August 31, 2020

Council advanced its strategic priority to increase parking in the Downtown area by endorsing short-term and long-term solutions

Newmarket Council was provided with an update to the Joint Business Improvement Area (BIA) / Town of Newmarket Task Force on opportunities for short-term and long-term solutions to provide increased parking options in the Downtown area. This task force met several times, held feedback sessions, and participated in walkabouts in the area to identify potential solutions.

At the meeting, Newmarket Council endorsed new measures that will be investigated further to see if they are viable in the Downtown area. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Leaving the 30- minute maximum parking regulation on the north and south side of Main Street in place. This regulation will be revisited with feedback from the BIA in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Amending the by-law to allow for parking on D'Arcy and Church Street. Doing so will allow an additional 14 parking spaces on the north side of the street.
  • Potentially adding four new parking spaces along Main Street north after further analysis can be done.
  • Having discussions with St. Paul's Church to allow use of their parking lot when not in use by the Church.

Learn more about the other options discussed at the Council meeting by viewing the full report and the proposed regulations.

Council continues to pursue a GO Train Station on Mulock Drive

An update to the Mulock Station Area Secondary Plan was provided to Newmarket Council. A draft of the Mulock Station Area Secondary Plan has been completed. The next step is to provide this draft plan as background information to York Region for input to their new Regional Official Plan that is being prepared. The submission of this draft to the Region is not the final submission for approval as that will occur at a later date. Elements such as land uses, street network, densities and phasing are still draft and will be brought to the public in future engagement sessions. In addition, Council members and the public will be able to provide their comments at a future statutory public meeting.

The purpose of the draft Mulock Station Area Secondary Plan is to guide development surrounding the future Mulock GO Station. If approved, the area will allow for a range of land uses and densities and a future road network to assist with transit-oriented development in the area.

For more information or to provide your feedback on the project, please visit newmarket.ca/mulockgostationarea

Financial Update during the COVID-19 pandemic

Newmarket Council was provided with an update to the Town's current financial situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Town will receive approximately $1.8 million through the joint Provincial-Federal Safe Restart Agreement. However, the Town may have a tax-supported deficit due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for a second wave.

The rate-supported budgets have not been significantly impacted and are on target at this time.

There will be a second phase of financial assistance provided by the Provincial and Federal Governments. If the Town decides to apply for additional funding assistance and the application is successful, payments will be received in early 2021.

The Town will continue to monitor its financial status with focus on COVID-19 related costs. An update will be provided to Council at the next Committee of Whole on October 5.

To learn more about the Town's current financial status, please view the full staff report.

 Council endorses the definition on Antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)

Newmarket Council adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism:

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities"

This endorsement is part of the Town's commitment towards its strategic priority of diversity and inclusivity and a key component of the Town's role in the York Region Inclusion Charter. Newmarket believes that we all have a shared responsibility to stop antisemitism in all of its forms through education and public consciousness.

For more information on what happens at the August 31, 2020 Council Meeting, please view the archived video or view the agenda

Council Meeting on July 27, 2020

Anti-Black Racism Task Force Established in Newmarket

Newmarket Council approved a motion to establish an Anti-Black Racism Task Force that will be committed to building a more inclusive community by promoting equity, accessibility and inclusion through the Town's actions and support of our growing community. The Town will engage in meaningful action to address anti-Black racism through the existing partnerships and avenues available at the Town and working with community groups such as NACCA (Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association).

The Task Force will include up to 10 citizen members, up to three Council members that will be delegated by the Mayor and have the opportunity to work and/or combine with other municipal task forces and communities.

Interim Control By-law Exemption Process Expiration Date

Newmarket Council has established a cut-off date for those looking to apply for an Interim Control By-law Exemption. The cut-off date is August 24, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

The Interim Control By-law was established in January 2019 to pause new residential construction in certain areas while staff were conducting a neighbourhood compatibility study and updating the policies in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law. The Interim Control By-law has been extended until January 21, 2021, unless repealed by Council at an earlier date.

An exemption process was established in May 2019 to allow certain developments that meet specific physical and streetscape characteristics of the neighbourhood to proceed. This exemption process is set to expire on August 24, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.  

2020 Reserves and Reserve Funds Budget

Newmarket Council approved the 2020 Reserves and Reserve Funds which are budgeted to be $82.4 million by the end of the year.

The majority of the Reserves and Reserve Funds budget had been established through the previous adoption of the 2020 Operating Capital Budgets and have undergone extensive review by the public and Council.

For more information, please review the information report.

Special Council Meeting: June 29, 2020

Top 5 Need-to-Knows from the Council Meeting on June 29:

  1. The Town now requires short-term rentals to have a business license, which includes strict regulations to help ensure they can operate cohesively within the community.

  2. Council approved an updated Animal Control By-law for stronger regulations on the care and control of all animals, including rules around tethering. The Town is establishing its first pet store licensing regime with a key regulation being that cats and dogs can only be sourced for adoption from shelters, humane societies, or recognized animal rescue groups.

  3. In place of summer camps, Newmarket will be providing alternative programming such as small group short programs, camper activity kits and more. 

  4. An Energy and Operational Savings report was presented to Council. This report found that since 2007, the Town of Newmarket was able to achieve a savings of $7,235,995 through the Honeywell Energy Efficiency Projects. This amount is $2,444,651 higher than what was originally estimated.

  5. Newmarket will begin construction on three new bike lanes. New parking by-law amendments were made to support this work.


Here's what happened at the virtual Council Meeting on June 29, 2020:

Regulating Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals (STRs) are a growing industry that allows for temporary accommodation of a dwelling unit, in whole or in part, for up to 28 consecutive days. The growth of this industry has raised concerns regarding negative impacts to neighbourhoods within our community.

To address concerns short-term rentals can pose, the Town will be implementing regulations on short-term rental operators and platforms through the Business License By-law.

New regulations on short-term rentals:

  • Every short-term rental requires a business licence and a sign on property to identify they are operating a rental.
  • Only one short-term rental is permitted on a lot or within a home.
  • One off-street parking space must be available for every bedroom for rent with another for the short-term rental operator.
  • Rentals are limited to six guests and up to three bedrooms.
  • Rentals must be operated by a permanent resident (someone who lives onsite) who is also required to respond to complaints within two hours.
  • During this first phase, only room-rental short-term rentals are permitted to operate. Entire home rentals will be considered when zoning amendments are proposed at the end of 2020.

    A demerit point system will be in place, which requires STR operators to comply with all Town by-laws. Licenses can be suspended or revoked if operators do not comply with the by-law. This measure will help ensure short-term rentals can cohesively operate within the community.

    For the full list of regulations, please read the Business Licence By-law, licensing fees and short-term rentals staff report.

    Town updates Animal Control By-law and establishes rules for pet stores

    At the start of 2019, the province changed the role of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA). Newmarket, and fellow municipalities, identified a gap in authority to address community concerns related to animal health and welfare.

    Following public, industry and Council consultation, the Town has updated its existing 2016 Animal Control By-law based on evolving community expectations. In addition, the Town is establishing its first pet store licensing regime within the overall Business Licence By-law.

    Top 3 Changes
  • Stronger regulations around tethering to ensure animals can have more movement and access to food, water, shelter and shade. Animals cannot be tethered for more than three hours in a day (consecutive or not) and the chain must be 3 metres or longer.
  • Domestic animals (excluding cats or dogs) are permitted to be sold in pet stores but are required to comply with very specific regulations, which include access to food, water, and appropriate caging restrictions
  • A cat or dog is only permitted to be sold within a pet store through a facilitated adoption sourced from a municipal or registered animal shelter, a registered humane society, or a recognized animal rescue group.

    The Town is exploring options to allow breeders and kennels to operate locally in the future, with strict regulations to ensure the care and safety of animals.

    In addition, the Town is moving forward with a "Permitted Animals List" to mirror that of our partnering municipality, Aurora. If any residents currently have pets that are not included in this list, they can reach out to fscott@newmarket.ca to notify the Town and have their pet grandfathered in. Over the next six months, staff will conduct public consultation on which animals should also be included on this list and amend the by-law based on feedback. The list can found on page 14 of the by-law.

    Read the full report here.

    Summer Camps 2020 Update

    The Town of Newmarket will be implementing alternative programming in place of full-day summer camps for the 2020 season. Alternative programming includes family programs, small group short programs, camper activity kits and more.

    More information about alternative Recreation programming will be released as soon as possible. Bookmark newmarket.ca/recreation and check back soon for more information.

    Newmarket achieves higher than estimated energy savings as reported through the 2019 Energy and Operational Savings Report

    Newmarket Council was provided with an update on the cumulative savings for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Honeywell Energy Efficiency Projects. Since 2007, through a partnership with Honeywell Canada Energy and Environmental Services (EES), the Town's energy and operational savings have amounted to $7,235,995. This amount is $2,444,651 higher than what was originally estimated and proposed by Honeywell.

    These savings were achieved through energy retrofits at various Town buildings and facilities, and other upgrades around Town such as LED street lighting, general lighting system upgrades, control system and upgrades, HVAC upgrades and more. Learn more by viewing the full information report.

Three new bike lanes will be added this summer / fall

Newmarket Council was provided with a Bicycle Lane 2020 Update. In this update, three new bicycle lanes will be constructed in Newmarket. These include:

  1. London Road from Yonge Street to Main Street North
  2. Alexander Road from Srigley Street to Davis Drive
  3. Bonshaw Avenue from Woodspring Avenue to Gilpin Drive

The bicycle lanes are scheduled to be installed this summer / fall 2020. However the timelines may change due to the impacts of COVID-19.

With the construction of these bike lanes approved, parking by-law amendments were required to be made. For more information on the parking by-law amendments, please view the information report

Special Council Meeting: June 8, 2020

Here's what happened at the June 8 Special Council Meeting:  

Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution and Envi Network update

Ysni Semsedini, President and CEO, Newmarke- Tay Power Distribution Ltd. (NT Power) and Gianni Creta, President, Envi Network provided an update to Newmarket Council. NT Power continues to adapt to COVID-19, while health and safety and continuing to deliver essential power services to their customers remain their top priority. They are working with customers to help manage the financial impacts of COVID-19. This includes mitigating interest, applying deposits to help manage payments, seeking out funding programs and making payment arrangements to help customers get through these unprecedented times.

The Province of Ontario has a number of temporary relief measure in place to support Ontarians impacted by COVID-19, including

  • Electricity disconnection ban extended - The ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment has been extended to July 31 for residents and small businesses.
  • Time of use pricing, new fixed price available June 1 -To support families, small businesses and farms while Ontario plans for the safe and gradual reopening of the province, the Government of Ontario has introduced a new fixed electricity price of 12.8 ¢/kWh for customers that are on time-of-use prices. Starting June 1, 2020, that price applies to electricity used at all hours of the day, 7 days a week. 
  • Bill assistance programs – there are a number of programs available to help low-income consumers and those that are in arrears on their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. Find out more at oeb.ca/billhelp.

Newmarket Council also approved the financial statements, auditors and Board of Directors for NT Power.

For further information, please contact Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution at 905-895-2309

Envi Network

In 2018, The Town worked with Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc. to launch Envi, a community-owned ultra-high speed broadband network delivering service to municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals and the business sector in Newmarket. Envi is enhancing the Town's broadband infrastructure and improving connectivity and service for the local business community. More reliable, affordable and faster access to the internet is bringing social and economic benefits to businesses in the Newmarket, while also playing an integral role in the Town's economic development strategy.

Highlights:

  • 2019 was Envi's first full year in business and they now have over 100 customers in the Newmarket business community
  • They have installed 18 km of fibre to date
  • Envi has now added voice services and continues 
  • Envi is continuing to deliver services through COVID-19 and is working directly with their clients to support them through this time
  • Envi will continue to pivot and adapt to the COVID-19 landscape to continue to expand their services

Main Street Pedestrian zones and Town-wide patios expansion

Recognizing the significant challenges local merchants and restaurants are facing, the Town of Newmarket is continuing to look for ways to support the local business community during and after COVID-19. Newmarket is committed to moving forward with a modified outdoor patio program when York Region is permitted to move into phase two under provincial guidelines. The Town will work closely with the BIA, the Chamber of Commerce and local restaurants and retailers to create plans that could be put into place quickly when the province announces it is safe to do so. This approach will align with all COVID-19 provincial regulations under the emergency orders and will be guided first and foremost by ensuring the health and safety of patrons, staff and the community. 

Here are a few steps the town is taking to help restaurants respond and adapt to challenges created by COVID-19:

  • Patio licensing fees will be waived for 2020
  • The Town's current patio program guidelines and regulations will be updated to include more flexibility around hours of operation, encroachment on town lands and any other considerations necessary to accommodate temporary outdoor patios
  • Infrastructure, set up and tear down of pedestrian zones that directly involve the use of Town property be funded by the Town for the 2020 season

The Town will continue to work very closely with the local business community to help find solutions to manage the impact of COVID-19. All local business owners are encouraged to contact the Town of Newmarket's Business Assistance Concierge where the team can provide one-on-one support navigating these unchartered waters, including connecting businesses with experienced mentors as part of the Town's Mentorship Access Program.

30-minute parking on Main Street extended until September

In early May, the Town of Newmarket temporarily amended the parking restrictions on Main Street by imposing a 30-minute maximum parking limit to accommodate curbside pickup and delivery. The Town has extended the 30-minute parking on Main Street until September 21  to continue to allow for convenient curbside pickup until first Council meeting in September 21. However, as the COVID-19 landscape continues to change, this amendment may be brought back to Council earlier for discussion. 

This applies to the east and west side of Main Street from Water Street to Davis Drive. Residents who are not using curbside pickup/delivery are asked to use other downtown parking spaces, such as the lot around Market Square (P5-6) and east of Main Street around the Lion's Club (P3) and Riverwalk Commons (P1 & P7) shown in the parking guide.

For more information on other items discussed at the Special Council Meeting on April 27, 2020, please view the
Minutes for the Town of Newmarket Council Meetings, outlining Council decisions, under 
Agendas, Minutes and Meetings on the Town of Newmarket website. To view live streamed or archived video meetings, visit newmarket.ca/meetings

Special Council Meeting: May 25, 2020

Here's what happened at the Special Council Meeting on May 25, 2020: 

Addressing our current state

The last few weeks and months Council and Town staff have been dedicated to overcoming challenges with COVID-19. While our community's health and safety remain our top priority, it is refreshing and important to continue to progress on projects that will move our community forward and focus on our community's wellbeing too.

Progress on the Mulock Property project is a continuation of planning and visioning work that was well underway and committed to by Council. At this time, we are not making any financial decisions and will be reviewing our capital plan in light of Covid-19.

Reporting on public consultation

During the public feedback phase, we set out to engage a diversity of people, educate the community about the project, collect feedback, communicate design decisions and build excitement for the future. We spoke with over 3,000 residents!

Here's what we heard:

  • Make it a destination that's unique but also accessible for everyday use.
  • Look forward and consider how the property will be used in 50 years.
  • More than half of survey respondents (62%) want to see programmed activities (markets, festivals, community events) on site
  • One third (36%) of respondents specifically indicated they would like to see public art on the site
  • There's a desire to enjoy recreation within nature. Most respondents (89%) want to see walking and running trails
  • Incorporate educational opportunities and recognize diverse history in creative ways
  • Maintain natural features (minimize hardscaping)
  • Onsite parking is necessary but we need to explore and encourage alternative ways people can get to the site to limit the impact to the natural landscape
  • While most survey respondents (95%) say they drive to local destinations, many were keen to look at other travel options for Mulock to limit parking on-site.
  • Everyone agrees – there must be food available on site!

These are just a few highlights. You can read the full Engagement Report here (under Documents). As a special thank you to our residents, we created this video showcasing the wide range of ideas and inspiration from our community.

Further consultation with neighbours

During the meeting, the Mayor read six comments (deputations) from residents, including many who live near the Mulock Property.

Council agreed that the Town will conduct further consultation with neighbouring residents so they can provide their input on the future property and solutions to address potential impacts.

Moving into Phase Two – Design

Throughout the consultation process, five priorities emerged and will act as guiding principles for the project going forward:

  1. Make it a destination
  2. Root it in history while looking forward
  3. Connect it to town
  4. Keep it natural
  5. Make it inclusive and accessible

The main purpose of the meeting was to understand the community's feedback against technical challenges and opportunities and gather further feedback from Council. 

Council discussed various elements for the property, such as:

  • Creating an Art or Culture Hub or integrating creative art elements
  • Inclusion of a water feature, that is interactive for all ages, not a splash pad
  • Use of a skate path and its length
  • Consideration to phase-in some elements a few years down the road
  • How to enhance the natural landscape, particularly with gardens
  • Connection to Jim Bond Park
  • Parking options and alternative, forward thinking ways to access the property
  • A structured community hub
  • Bringing the house up to assembly use (e.g. adding an elevator, a functioning kitchen)

Council's feedback and direction will help to narrow in on elements for the consultants to consider as they move into designing three concepts for the property.  

What's next?

The project moves into Phase Two and the consultant team will soon begin developing three Master Plan design concepts that will eventually be refined to one Master Plan.

Design concepts will integrate elements from the five design principles, each based on an emotive theme, such as:

  • Peaceful
  • Expressive
  • Energized

Council agreed that these plans will:

  • Not include a full-sized outdoor ice rink
  • Include a skating path in two of three concepts (which may be considered as a phased approach)
  • Assume the house will be updated for adaptive re-use that offers flexibility for a range of options. The house discussion is now complete.
  • Include Jim Bond Park, subject to further consultation with the property's immediate neighbours

Phase one is now complete and another significant step forward has been taken on the journey to create an iconic and celebrated community hub.

As the process evolves, we'll continue to seek feedback from the community. Visit HeyNewmarket.ca to read the Engagement Report, provide comments and stay in-the-know.

For more information, please view the staff report to Council available at newmarket.ca/meetings

For more information on other items discussed at the Special Council Meeting on May 25, 2020, please view the Minutes for the Town of Newmarket Council Meetings, outlining Council decisions, under Agendas, Minutes and Meetings on the Town of Newmarket website. To view live streamed or archived video meetings, visit newmarket.ca/meetings

Special Council Meeting: May 19, 2020

Here's what happened at the Special Council Meeting on May 19, 2020: 

Revised Workplan for 2020 and Q1 2020 Update

Newmarket Council approved a revised Workplan for 2020 projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town has focused its efforts on providing essential services for the community. As a result, a number of projects have been reprioritized.

The revised Workplan for 2020 includes new dates for reports and projects like, Financial Plans and updates, 2021 Fees and Charges, Newmarket's Cultural Master Plan and more.

For a full list of the revised workplan, please view the staff report to Council located at newmarket.ca/meetings

COVID-19 Financial Update

Newmarket Council was provided with an update to the Town's financial situation due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could create a deficit of up to $8.5 million for the Town's tax-supported operating budget (services, programs and initiatives supported by property taxes). This deficit can be linked to a number of programs and initiatives such as the Financial Relief Program for residents and businesses, the Town's Emergency Response to COVID-19, loss of user fee revenues (facility closures deferral of construction projects etc.), and other operating losses.

The Town is looking for ways to reduce the projected deficit by implementing cost-saving measures such as expense reduction, staffing redeployment, service level reductions and other financial strategies.

Impacts to the rate-supported (services funded by fees and charges) and capital budgets are expected to be much smaller and more manageable.

For more information, please view the staff report to council located at newmarket.ca/meetings

2021 Budget Process and Target

Newmarket Council approved the 2021 Budget process and target dates. It is important to note that the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of emergency may impact 2021 budget decisions.

Please see the proposed 2021 Budget schedule below:

  • October 5 – Preliminary draft budgets will be presented to Committee of the Whole. This will be the first look at the operating and capital budgets.
  • October 2020 – Special Committee of the Whole meeting dedicated to review the capital and rate-supported operating budget.
  • November 2020 – Special Committee of the Whole meetings dedicated to review the tax-supported operating budget.
  • December 14 – Target date to approve the 2021 Budget.

As always, community engagement will be very important in helping to shape the 2021 budget. Community engagement and consultation will begin over the summer months with the Town seeking out new and creative ways to engage and interact with the community virtually.

For more information, please view the staff report to Council available at newmarket.ca/meetings

For more information on other items discussed at the Special Council Meeting on April 27, 2020, please view the
Minutes for the Town of Newmarket Council Meetings, outlining Council decisions, under 
Agendas, Minutes and Meetings on the Town of Newmarket website. To view live streamed or archived video meetings, visit newmarket.ca/meetings

Special Council Meeting: April 27, 2020

Here's what happened at the Special Council Meeting on April 27, 2020: 

Financial Relief Plan for Residents and Businesses during COVID-19

Newmarket Council approved a Financial Relief Program to assist residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Financial Relief Program provides those most affected by the global pandemic by expanding tax and water bill relief to include:

  • No penalty and interest charges on property tax payments until January 1, 2021
  • Reminder: The Town will continue to withdraw Pre-Authorized Payments (PAP) as scheduled. Those on any PAP Plan are required to notify the Town in writing (email taxes@newmarket.ca) in order to stop all payment withdrawals from their PAP plan. Doing so will remove your participation from the PAP. Those who wish to return to a PAP in the future will need to re-apply and the balance owning on their account must be $0. 
  • No penalty and interest charges for late payment of water/wastewater bills until January 1, 2021
  • Reducing water and wastewater rates by 4.69 per cent beginning May 1, 2020
  • Waiving all Non-Sufficient Fund (NSF) penalties until the end of June 2020
  • Deferring the stormwater charges to November 2020
  • No penalty and interest charges for all Town accounts receivable including development agreements, leases and sponsorships

Information: newmarket.ca/propertytaxes

Emergency Measures By-law to enforce orders under the Emergency Management Civil Protection Act

Newmarket Council approved a new Emergency Measures By-law. This bylaw was created to support the Town in protecting the health and safety of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Measures By-law will allow the Town to:

  • Enforce physical social distancing recommendations by the Province of Ontario (i.e. asking individuals, who are not from the same household, to stay at least 6ft. away from each other when in public areas.)
  • Allow the Town to place conditions or requirements for essential businesses to follow in order to operate safely (i.e. limit the number of people in the store at a time to ensure safe physical distancing)  
  • Enforce fines established under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act through the Town's Administrative Monetary Penalties System (AMPS). An amendment to the AMPS By-law will allow the Town to process ticket disputes while the Provincial Courts remain closed and create a more efficient process for the Town and residents.

COVID-19 has created unprecedented circumstances that are not addressed within the existing Newmarket By-laws. Having an Emergency Measures By-law will give the town more tools to focus on its number on priority – slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19. This bylaw will only be in effect until the state of emergency for the Town is lifted.

The Town will always take an education-first approach. Its goal is to ensure everyone understands and follows the existing and new bylaws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fines are only issued when there is a need to protect the public's health and safety.  

Amendment to the Administrative Monetary Penalties System (AMPS) By-law

Newmarket Council amended the Administrative Monetary Penalties System (AMPS) By-law to include the following bylaws:

  • Accessory Dwelling Units By-law 2013-13;
  • Animal Control By-law 2016-53;
  • By-law 2002-151:
    • Schedule 1 (Adult Entertainment Parlours);
    • Schedule 2 (Adult Video Stores);
    • Schedule 7 (Body Rub Parlours);
    • Schedule 15 (Newspaper Boxes);
  • Clean Yards By-law 2017-63;
  • Clothing Donation Bins By-law 2016-33;
  • Fireworks By-law 2015-18
  •  Property Standards By-law 2017-62;
  • Second Hand Goods Shops By-law 2008-79;
  • Sign By-law 2017-73; and
  •  Waste Collection By-law 2017-19.

The AMPS By-law was established in September 2019 to deal with parking-related offences. This By-law was introduced to assist over-burdened courts by streamlining ticket disputes and providing the Town a more efficient way to enforce these offences. 

With new emergency orders issued by the Province of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town is facing some challenges in enforcement because most of the By-laws are administratively handled by the Provincial Offences Act through the court system. 

By including the above stated Newmarket By-laws into the AMPS By-law, the Town will now be able to resolve matters within 30-60 days. This is a shorter timeframe in comparison to the lengthy process of provincial courts (which are currently closed due to COVID-19) and can normally take up to a year to resolve.

For more information, please view the staff report available at newmarket.ca/meetings

Newmarket's response to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Newmarket staff members have been extremely responsive to the changing COVID-19 landscape in order to assist the community. Newmarket's response includes, but is not limited to:

  • Activation of the Town's Emergency Operations Centre to ensure that essential services are being maintained for the safety of the community and adjusted to meet the needs and health and safety of staff. 
  • Increased daily communications to residents through the Town's communication channels, including a COVID-19 web portal.
  • Monitoring Provincial and Federal updates and developing programs that will benefit residents and the municipality
  • Establishing a Community Positivity Program - #StandApartTogether to help shine a light on the bright side of Newmarket during these challenging times. 
  • Establishing a virtual online hub for residents to enjoy recreation and culture activities at home – Home Sweet Home.

To review the Town's full response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please view the information report.

For more information on other items discussed at the Special Council Meeting on April 27, 2020, please view the
Minutes for the Town of Newmarket Council Meetings, outlining Council decisions, under 
Agendas, Minutes and Meetings on the Town of Newmarket website. To view live streamed or archived video meetings, visit newmarket.ca/meetings

Emergency Council Meeting: March 18, 2020

Here's what happened at the Emergency Council Meeting on March 18, 2020: 

Town of Newmarket declares a State of Emergency

Mayor John Taylor declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 in the Town of Newmarket. 

“This is an unprecedented time that most of us have never experienced in our lifetime. Declaring a state of an emergency is not to incite panic, but to incite action and allow the Town to dedicate more resources and be in a better position to respond to COVID-19.” says Mayor John Taylor. “It is time for us as a community to do our part to help flatten the curve and stabilize the spread of COVID-19. We need to listen to our Public Health Officials and seriously practice social distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 to save lives.”

Following the Declaration of a state of emergency, the Town will also be activating its Emergency Operations Centre on Thursday, March 19, 2020 in response to COVID-19.

Learn more about what declaring a State of Emergency means for the Town of Newmarket. 

Property Taxes penalty fees and interest waived

The Town is looking for ways to help provide financial relief from property taxes to residents. For the time being, the Town of Newmarket is going to waive all late payment fees and interests on all property tax accounts. Late payments for the March 26 and April 28 property due dates will not be subject to any late payment fees or interests. The Town will come back in 30-60 days with more options and details on a property tax deferral plan.

Support for Community Groups

Newmarket Council approved up to $25,000 in support of community meal programs, enhanced community food bank operations or to be used for other community needs. Newmarket is also working with these community groups on contingency planning to ensure they are able to meet the needs of the community during COVID-19.

Cancellation of all Town of Newmarket Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings

All upcoming Council Meetings, including Committee of the Whole and Public Planning Meetings are cancelled until further notice.

Noise By-law exemption to allow for 24-hour service delivery

Newmarket Council reviewed its Noise By-law and it currently meets the requirement to allow all service or delivery trucks, who are providing essential services to continue with their business outside of current daytime hours. This will ensure all essential services and stores will be stocked for our community. 

For more information, please watch the archive video of the March 18, 2020 Emergency Council Meeting

For more information on other items discussed at the Special Council Meeting on April 27, 2020, please view the
Minutes for the Town of Newmarket Council Meetings, outlining Council decisions, under 
Agendas, Minutes and Meetings on the Town of Newmarket website. To view live streamed or archived video meetings, visit newmarket.ca/meetings