Our Recovery Plan - Kitchener Reopens


This framework for reopening is one component of 
the City of Kitchener’s overall COVID-19 Recovery Plan. It outlines a gradual, phased reopening of municipal
facilities, and the resumption of programs, services and events, based on the latest direction of the 
Province of Ontario and local public health officials as of June 1, 2020. As the situation in Ontario continues
to evolve, those directions will change and the City will be required to adjust its reopening plan. Final decisions about when specific facilities will be reopened are subject to future provincial
 guidance and the easing of public health 
restrictions. In making final decisions about reopening, the City’s primary goal will be 
to protect the health and wellbeing of its 
employees, as well as the residents it serves.

Download a printable version of Our Recovery Plan.

Recovery planning sections:

City of Kitchener’s Emergency Response

In March 2020, the City of Kitchener activated its Emergency Response Plan and mobilized its Emergency 
Operations Centre in response to the spread of COVID-19. On March 25, 2020, the City of Kitchener declared a State of Emergency in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Immediate Emergency Response

Under the direction of the Province of Ontario and local public health officials, in March 2020 the City of Kitchener closed all municipal facilities, cancelled programs and events, and significantly reduced services being provided to the community, only focusing on the most critical services. Shortly afterwards, the City also closed all outdoor amenities. As a result of these closures and cancellations, the City made the difficult decision to put over 900 employees on emergency leave. While these closures and cancellations have been difficult on many people in our community, they were necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and wellbeing of our City employees and residents.

Safe and Sustainable Service Delivery

Once through the immediate response to the emergency, the City began to focus on bringing a 
number of valued municipal services back online while also providing new supports to businesses and residents to meet needs that emerged from the pandemic. Significant work was completed to put new safety measures and protocols in place to allow some employees to safely come back into the workplace. During this time the City of Kitchener worked closely with the Region and all area municipalities to support one another and collaborate on how to provide these additional critical services in a way that is safe for employees and residents. 


In May 2020, the City began to ramp up planning for the recovery phase of its emergency response 
by redeploying staff to focus on the creation of a comprehensive municipal recovery plan and
reopening framework. At the same time, based on guidance from the Province and Public Health,
the City began to relax some of its restrictions on community gardens, parks, trails and open spaces.
 Under the direction of the Province (A Framework for Reopening our Province), the City also
re-opened some of its outdoor amenities including basketball courts, skateboard parks, picnic
tables and benches.

Municipal Services Currently Provided

The following are examples of the critical services the City of Kitchener has been providing throughout most of
its response to the pandemic. As a result of public health restrictions and reduced staffing levels, some of these
services are being provided at a lower level than the City’s usual standard.

Stormwater / Wastewater

  • Storm/wastewater network maintenance & repair
  • Pumping station monitoring 
& maintenance
  • Critical infrastructure planning, programs & design
  • Residential blockades &/or flooding response

Gas & Water Utility

  • Drinking water quality testing
  • Water & gas distribution 
system & gas regulator 
station maintenance
  • Water & gas meter - service investigation/maintenance
  • Water & gas infrastructure engineering & construction
  • Gas safety responses – 
investigation & repair
  • Gas & water locates
  • Gas supply & direct purchases
  • Rental water heater 

Human Resources

  • Employee & labour relations
  • Payroll & benefits
  • Health, safety & wellness

Roads & Traffic

  • Street sweeping & garbage collection
  • Road & sidewalk 
maintenance and repairs
  • Road closures & work zone 
set up
  • Road patrol & regulatory 
sign maintenance

Parks & Cemeteries

  • Parks & sport fields 
maintenance & operations
  • Turf maintenance
  • Trail operations/maintenance/inspections
  • Tree maintenance
  • Full burials & cremation 
  • Plot sales/services (by
 appointment only)
  • Cemetery grounds maintenance

Risk & Compliance

  • Compliance monitoring & 
corrective action management
  • Risk assessment & mitigation

Legal Services

  • Solicitor support
  • Contract negotiations & support

Fleet Maintenance

  • Acquisition & disposal
  • Fleet maintenance & 
  • Fleet training & compliance

Facilities Maintenance

  • Facilities operations & 
  • Custodial services
  • Security operations
  • Project management & 


  • Golf course maintenance 
& operations
  • Sport group liaison & 
  • Legislative arena monitoring
  • Customer service & refunds
  • Building & sport field 

Office of the Mayor & City Council

  • Constituent support & service
  • Support to mayor & council

Kitchener Fire Department

  • Fire response
  • Fire communications 
  • Fire prevention
  • Fire alarm monitoring

Neighbourhood Programs & Services

  • Volunteer support
  • Older adult reassurance 
phone calls
  • Active@Home (online 
recreation programs) 

Emergency Management

  • Emergency response
  • Business continuity


  • Pre-submission consultation/development review, plans
of subdivision, site plan & committee of adjustment up 
to major consultation points
  • Sign permits & zoning 

Corporate Communications

  • Internal & external 
  • Media relations
  • Design & digital media 
platform management

Transportation Planning

  • Streetlight maintenance
  • Transportation management – 
traffic operations
  • Detour permits
  • Parking enterprise

Legislative Services

  • Burial permits
  • Marriage certificates
  • Business license enforcement
  • Lottery licensing audit/review

Bylaw Enforcement

  • Life, safety and occupational health & safety concerns
  • Property standards
  • Waste complaints
  • Parking enforcement
  • Animal control

 CorporateCustomer Service

  • Corporate contact centre

Asset Management

  • Inspection programs – 
sidewalks & roads
  • Work order management 
system support


  • Design & approvals
  • Development engineering
  • Project management & 
  • Corridor management & 
sewer locates

Building Services

  • Building code inspections
  • Processing building permits
  • AMANDA & municipal 

Technology & Innovation Services

  • IT service desk support
  • Infrastructure, security & 
networking support
  • GIS
  • Digital transformation support

Economic Development

  • Small business centre


  • Tax & utility billing
  • Accounts payable
  • Payroll
  • Financial planning & reporting
  • Accounting services
  • Procurement & stores

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