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Welcome to Essa Township

Township of Essa Administration Centre

5786 County Road 21 | Utopia, ON L0M 1T0

Phone: 705-424-9917 Fax: 705-424-2367

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Skip Navigation LinksTownship of Essa > covid19 enforcement FAQs

​​​​​​​COVID-19 Enforcement FAQs 


Can residents have garage or yard sales during the Pandemic?

Yes garage/yard sales are now permitted, however there is a limit on the number of people allowed to gather.  Public gatherings are currently limited to 10 people in accordance with Public Health Ontario.  

If you are organizing a yard sale at your home, limit the gather in the driveway/yard to 10 people.  Post signs to indicate the 10 person limit, and have hand sanitizer available.  

For more information, visit the link to Public Health Ontario​. ​

Can I gather with my friends or neighbours at my home?

You may have social gatherings of up to 50 people inside your home or up to 100 people outside your home, however you must maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from other people who are not part of your household or social circle. 

If you are having a social gathering in excess of 50 pe​o​ple for an indoor gathering or 100 people for an outdoor gathering, then you are not complying with Provincial Orders. You run the risk of being fined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (minimum $750.00 fine).

If you are not practicing social distancing, you run the risk of being charged in accordance with the fines set out in 2020-33 COVID-19 Emergency Measures-Social Distancing.

Can Guests attend Wedding and Funerals?

Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place indoors are limited to 30% of the venue capacity, outdoor weddings or funerals will be limited to 100 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.

Will I get a fine if I have a outdoor social gathering of more than 100 people?

Yes you may.  Charges may be laid by either the OPP or the By-law Enforcement Officer for those who choose to violate Provincial Orders including having an outdoor social gatherings of more than 100 people or an indoor gathering of more than 50 people​.  People found to be violating Provincial Orders may receive a ticket with a set fine of $750.00 to $1,000.00 per charge.  Officers may also lay a charge by way of a summons in which case the penalties are more severe and can range from $100,000 for individuals, $500,000 for Directors or Officers of a Corporation and up to $10,000,000 for a corporation.  Also offenders may be subject to up to one year imprisonment.

Additionally, for persons not practicing social distancing may be fined $500.00 per occurrence under the Township's Social Distancing By-law 2020-33.

I want to have a recreational camp fire with my family, are we allowed to have a camp fire?

Yes, the Township of Essa has lifted the fire ban as of May 1, 2020.  However, you must have a Burn Permit. Burn Permits are available online ONLY during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  To purchase a Burn Permit please click here.

I want to purcha​se a Burn Permit.  Where can I do that?

Burn permits are available online ONLY​, to purchase a Burn Permit please click here.

Can we still walk through the Township parks, or can I fish at the Fishing Park?

All parks (including play structures)​, Recreation fields and greenspaces that are maintained by the municipality are open to the public.  The Don Ross Fishing Park and the Nottawasaga Fishing Park are both now open, an Access Pass is required to fish in Essa Township fishing parks.  The Thornton-Cookstown Trail and the Angus Rippon-Pine River Trail have re-opened. Please remember to continue to social distance and help us to fight Covid-19.​​

​At this time, County of Simcoe Forests re​​main open to the public​.  Please visit the County of Simcoe Website for more information about trails under their jurisdiction.

​Who can I contact if an essential business is not complying with social distancing?  

Complaints with respect to social distancing in essential businesses can be directed to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at (705) 721-7520​.  

Who do I call if someone is not self-isolating after travel?

You can contact the Federal government directly at 1-866-225-0709 or the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at (705) 721-7520.

How do I know what businesses are permitted to be open?

The Ontario Government has issued a list of essential workplaces that are permitted to be open during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The list of essential workplaces can be found here.​

The Province has provided the public with a breakdown of FAQs in regards to essential businesses​.  Click the link provided to access these FAQs.

I am a business owner - I have questions about the Provincial Orders for​ Essential Businesses​

Businesses with questions about the or​​der are encouraged to call the Province's toll-free Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.​​

Who can I contact if a non-essential business is still operating when they're not supposed to be, per the Provincial Orders issued?

You can contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Who do I contact if a business is price gouging?

If you are aware that a business is price gouging you can contact the Consumer Protection Ontario Call Centre at 1-800-889-9768.​