Current situation

For the most recent information regarding cases in Ontario, please visit the Ontario government's COVID-19 website.

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a global pandemic, so it is very important that individuals and organizations be prepared for a potential outbreak in our community. 

The Town of Saugeen Shores has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this declaration and the provincial government’s decision to close non-essential businesses, the Town of Saugeen Shores will also see several changes. See "Impact on Town services," below.

In effect as of March 28, 2020, the province has banned gatherings of more than five people. Local authorities stress that this new restriction, along with other provincial and federal orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, is enforceable by law. Read on for more details.

Public health and support

In Saugeen Shores, the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) is the municipality’s lead agency in terms of managing a local infectious disease outbreak.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has issued the following notice for seasonal residents and visitors.

The Town will provide regular updates to the community via our website and social media platforms regarding Town services and programming.

If you need assistance during the pandemic, the United Way encourages you to submit a request to TheDo.ca. As well, you can call 211 to find resources and local services in our area. 

During a pandemic it is not uncommon to struggle with mental health.There is support available through Grey Bruce Public Health and The Canadian Mental Health Association.

What you can do to prevent the spread of illness

  • Know the facts. Follow direction from the Grey Bruce Health Unit to know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Call Telehealth Ontario toll-free at: 1-866-797-0000 or visit the GBHU website for information on how to care for the ill, infection prevention and control, self-treatment and when and where to seek medical attention.
  • Follow Public Health’s direction to use infection control practices such as hand washing, covering your cough and sneeze, staying home when you’re sick to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Organizations and businesses should be preparing their own plans and policies to ensure business continuity in the event an infectious disease outbreak is declared locally.

Impact on Town services

Declaring a state of emergency means that the municipality can access additional resources and expertise throughout this period. Essential services will focus on the following: policing, fire and emergency response; water supply and waste water treatment; emergency infrastructure repair; winter control; and supporting other essential services as identified by the province. 

Saugeen Shores staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation in Ontario. Staff will continue to reassess the situation and will keep the public informed. Please follow @SaugeenShoresON on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates and contact us for any questions or concerns.

View our helpful guide to the changes in how we deliver municipal services during this time.

Facilities and amenities (including campgrounds, harbour, splash pads, etc.)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in consultation with public health officials, all Town of Saugeen Shores recreational and leisure facilities continue to remain closed until they are provincially sanctioned to open.

Municipal facilities and amenities closed to the public:

  • Municipal Office (600 Tomlinson Dr., Port Elgin)
  • Public Works facilities (339 Concession 6, Port Elgin and 429 Peel St., Southampton)
  • Saugeen Shores Fire Department (612 Emma St., Port Elgin and 50 Victoria St. S, Southampton)
  • Saugeen Shores Police Service (1240 MacKenzie Rd., Port Elgin)
  • The Plex and Rotary Hall
  • Centennial Pool
  • Splash pads
  • Southampton Coliseum
  • Southampton Town Hall auditorium
  • Southampton Curling Club
  • All playground structures and the BMX Park
  • All municipal public washrooms
  • Southampton and Port Elgin Municipal Campgrounds (see "Municipal Campgrounds and Harbour update", below)
  • Southampton Harbour
  • Port Elgin Harbour (including the children’s fishing dock)

Signage will be posted at most recreational facilities and major beach access points; however, the public is reminded that not every location can be signed but the same closures are in effect.

Municipal Campgrounds and Harbour update:

The Port Elgin and Southampton Tourist Camps reopened to seasonal permit holders as of Monday, June 1, 2020 at 9:00 am.

Due to COVID-19, the operation of the Camps will be significantly different than in normal years. Campers will be required to follow a code of conduct, which is being sent to all seasonal permit holders.

Access for visitors and transient overnight campers remains closed.

Boat owners and their authorized representatives to access their boats located in the dry dock storage area. However, no boats are to be launched until an official announcement is made by the Municipality. Electricity and water are now available in dry dock area. At this time, harbour washroom facilities will remain closed.

Recreation programs

All aquatic and spring programming up to and including June 26, 2020 has been cancelled. A decision on the ball hockey season will be made by June 22; at this time, the start of the program is delayed until further notice. If the program is cancelled, full refunds will be issued. 

Refund credits are being applied to all accounts, but the public can request refunds by cheque if needed by emailing recreation@saugeenshores.ca

Garbage and recycling

Landfill resumes regular operations

Beginning Saturday, May 16, any residents are welcome to bring their household garbage during normal operating hours Saturdays from 9:00 am to 3:45 pm and Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm.

Physical distancing measures will remain in place and only debit tap payment will be accepted.

As well, all amounts of brush will be no charge on Saturday, May 16. Up to 250 lbs remains no charge after Saturday as normal. For more information on the Landfill, visit SaugeenShores.ca/Waste.

Council meetings

Staff and Council are limiting in-person meetings. Stay up to date by regularly checking SaugeenShores.ca/Meetings.

Paying your bills

We've received questions from the public about how they can pay their bills at this time. You can stay up to date with your water and sewer bill and property taxes with the Town of Saugeen Shores through a number of ways without needing to visit the Municipal Office. Read more on Paying your Taxes and Paying your Utility Bill

Property taxes: Penalties on 2020 property taxes have been suspended for 90 days from the original due date of May 21. Saugeen Shores will match the County of Bruce’s policy for the August 20 property tax due date. This means that if the County of Bruce extends their due date for payments for the third installment, Saugeen Shores will do so as well.

Utilities: Penalties on water and sewer billing have been suspended for 90 days past the original due date for the billing cycles due April 30 and June 30. All Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charges will be waived until September 30, 2020.

Rethinking garage/yard sales

Although many love yard sale treasure hunting in the spring, during the COVID-19 pandemic is not the time. The provincial orders restricting gatherings of more than five people suggest that this community tradition should be postponed right now. Protect yourself and your neighbours and help to flatten the curve.

Information for businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has put stress on our local business community. To find business supports during this difficult time, please visit our Business Support page

Saugeen Shores’ small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of our Town. To help support businesses during these challenging times, we’ve assembled a Saugeen Shores Strong page with information on how the community can help including a list of business updates created in partnership with the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. 

Council has approved the advancement of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery. The task force will participate in the development of a Saugeen Shores-focused Economic Recovery Plan. The Mayor will chair the group and members will include representatives from each industry in the community, elected officials, regional and provincial government representatives, and employment/labour market specialists.

Essential business hotline

For any businesses in Saugeen Shores unsure of whether they are deemed essential by the Province of Ontario, the Stop the Spread hotline is available to answer these questions. Anyone with questions or concerns can call the province’s Stop the Spread hotline at 1-888-444-3659 or Saugeen Shores Police Services at 519-832-2500.

Public Notices