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.

What happened at the Council Meeting on February 12:

Newmarket moves ahead with plans to increase downtown parking

In recognition of the success of downtown Newmarket as a Regional tourism destination, Council has approved plans to move forward with the addition of a modular parking structure at the north end of Riverwalk Commons.  

As municipality of the year for special events and with an eclectic mix of locally-owned shops, restaurants, cafes and more, Newmarket has become a top dining, shopping and entertainment destination in York Region. The addition of a modular parking structure with over 200 additional parking spaces will help alleviate current parking demands and accommodate more visitors to the vibrant Main Street area.

The Town is moving quickly to issue requests for proposals for the pre-construction and construction of the parking structure, which will be located at the north end of Riverwalk Commons where the Keith Davis Tennis facility is currently located. It is anticipated that preliminary pre-construction will begin in late spring with the modular parking structure being in place by late 2024/early 2025. Tennis programming will move to a new state-of-the-art tennis facility that is being built as part of the Shining Hill development.

Recognizing the even higher demand for parking going into the bustling summer months and with the opening of the Postmark Hotel, York Region's first boutique hotel, the Town will be looking at various ways to further alleviate parking pressures in the downtown throughout the 2024 construction. A muti-faceted approach for temporary parking solutions will be coming forward to Council in May.

Read the Staff Report to learn more about the Town's plans for increased parking. 

Council approves new pedestrian crossover at Gorham/Muriel

Town Council's ongoing commitment to street safety has led to the addition of a new Pedestrian Crossover Policy to the Town's existing Transportation Management Policy. Additionally, a new pedestrian crossover will be installed at Gorham Street and Muriel Street.

The Town's Transportation Services department received formal requests to review two locations for new pedestrian crossovers. After reviewing the proposed locations, Gorham Street and Muriel Street meets the eligibility criteria (including traffic volume, road width, etc.) to warrant a crossing. The "Type B" pedestrian crossing will include signage, flashing beacons and pavement markings.

A pedestrian crossover is a type of crossing where drivers and cyclists are required to stop for pedestrians intending to cross the street, and the crossing is marked with signage and pavement markings. Drivers and cyclists must allow pedestrians to cross the full width of the street before proceeding.

To learn more, read the Staff Report.  

Southlake Foundation encourages the community to join this year's Run for Southlake

The Southlake Foundation shared information on the Nature's Emporium Run for Southlake. Happening Sunday, April 28, this 5-kilometre run/walk event is fundraising in support of Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Funds raised through participant/team pledges help to support the most urgent needs for patient care and helps put the right tools in the hands of clinical experts. Fundraising also supports new/renovated spaces in the hospital to deliver exceptional care.

Each year, the Community Spirit Award is given to the municipality that has two thirds of council registered and the largest participant base per capita – which was awarded to the Town of Newmarket in 2023 and 2022!

To learn more, see the presentation and to sign up, visit runforsouthlake.ca.

Council encourages the community to share their input on topics and reminds residents that there are four ways to join the discussion (phone, email, in person, virtual). Learn more about how to join the discussion.


2024 Council Highlights
Council Highlights for January 22

Advancing community and economic vibrancy

To advance Council's priority of Community and Economic Vibrancy, which aims to attract and retain amazing people and businesses, Council approved the creation of a Community and Economic Vibrancy reserve fund.

With an initial funding target of one million dollars, the reserve fund will allow Town staff to advance and implement work that aligns with this priority, ensuring Newmarket's long-term viability through sustainable jobs, while creating a strong and unique brand that differentiates Newmarket from other communities. Potential funding sources for the reserve fund will be from annual surpluses and a reallocation of existing reserve balances.

The initial focus of the reserve fund will be the development and implementation of the Community Brand Strategy, which will market Newmarket as the best place to live, work and bring a business. This provides the Town with a once-in-a-decade opportunity to put Newmarket into the hearts and minds of talent and businesses across the GTA and beyond.

The strategy will be rooted in best practices and innovations in economic development, marketing, city branding and place-making. The first phase in this multi-year investment will seek a vendor to provide a well-researched, informed approach to quickly, creatively and inclusively position Newmarket as the go-to destination to live and work.

This is a critical investment into the economic and community well-being of the Town of Newmarket.

To learn more about the advancement of this Council priority, watch the discussion or read the Staff Report

Council adopts updated Notice Policy 

With the announcement from Metroland Media Group in September 2023 that the local newspaper (the Era) is no longer being published, the Town undertook a review of the legislated requirements for public notice to ensure the Town's policies continue to meet the needs of the community. As a result, the Notice Policy and Procedure By-law has been updated to reflect the new ways residents are receiving information and communicating with the Town.

The Municipal Act requires municipalities to adopt and maintain a policy for providing notice to the public for its actions. The Town's Notice Policy has been in place since 2007, and this update addresses some of the changes to how information will be shared.

Certain legislation requires that notice be published in a newspaper, however, without a local newspaper publication, the Town cannot comply with the current legislation. Several municipalities previously supported a resolution sent by the Township of McKellar requesting changes to the Legislation Act, 2006, which Newmarket Council has also endorsed.

A copy of the resolution will be submitted to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO).

Staff are recommending continuing current tactics for communicating with the public, while increasing the visibility of information about statutory public meetings on the website and increasing advertising with Newmarket Today.

To learn more, read the Staff Report

Council reminds residents how to provide public input 

Community engagement is one the reasons why Newmarket continues to be one of the best places to live, work and play. Community members are encouraged to continue to share their input on Town initiatives and programs.

Council values input from the community and encourages participation in issues discussed at Council. There are four ways to join the discussion: 

1.Email 

Email your questions, input and feedback in regards to an item on the agenda, along with contact information to clerks@newmarket.ca by the deadline outlined on the agenda. Your written correspondence (received by the deadline) will appear on the public meeting agenda. Written correspondence received after the deadline for Committee of the Whole will be included on the Council meeting agenda. 

2. Live video conference 

Make a live remote deputation by joining the virtual meeting using Zoom and verbally provide your comments over video. 

3. Phone in live 

Make a live remote deputation by joining the virtual meeting using Zoom and verbally provide your comments over telephone, directly to Council. 

4. Attend in person 

Make a live deputation in person in the Council Chambers at 395 Mulock Drive. 

Whether attending in person, joining the meeting through Zoom, or by calling in, residents are strongly encouraged to pre-register by emailing a request and contact information to clerks@newmarket.ca

Learn more about the requirements



2023 Council Highlights
Council Highlights for December 11

Council approves 2024 Budget

After many months of deliberation and engagement with the community to limit the financial impact to residents as much as possible, Newmarket Council approved a fiscally responsible 3.99 per cent tax increase (Town Portion) for the 2024 Budget. Newmarket property taxes remain 10 per cent lower than the GTA average.

The 2024 Budget finds a balance between keeping municipal taxes low, while maintaining a high level of services, and more recreational opportunities that make Newmarket a top place to live in Canada. The 3.99 per cent equates to a $96 ($8 per month) increase for the average assessed home at $709,000*.

A one per cent increase for recreational capital projects will go towards the continued expansion of recreation in Newmarket, including outdoor skating, tennis and pickleball courts, parks, trails, sports pads and more. Newmarket residents continue to have a strong desire for the continued expansion of recreation opportunities in Newmarket. This is a proactive step towards planning for the future, recognizing that the cost of all capital projects have risen 30 – 40 per cent and that the Town will have less revenues from development charges as a result of Bill 23.

The total approved 2024 Operating Budget is $160.1 million, and the Capital Budget is $70.6 million with a combined total of $230.7 million. The 2024 Budget also includes an annual increase of $48 ($4 per month) on the water and wastewater bill and an increase of $125 ($10 per month) for the stormwater charge for the average assessed home in Newmarket*. The 2024 Budget will continue to be aligned with Newmarket's Fiscal Strategy that ensures the Town's future sustainability as a community.

Learn more about the 2024 budget in the Media Release, or visit newmarket.ca/2024budget.

*The average assessed home by MPAC is valued at $709,000 in Newmarket. Property Assessments are conducted by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation). All properties are valued in the state and condition as of January 1, 2016 and may not reflect the current market value.

Town adopts Temporary Patio Program Policy 

In 2015, Council approved a pilot program allowing temporary patios in public spaces. The pilot program has seen steady participation and since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town has seen an increase in interest from restaurants. With the demand, and to further support local businesses, Council has endorsed a formal policy for the Temporary Patio Program.

The policy outlines different aspects of the program including eligibility, types of temporary patios, applications, evaluation criteria, operating requirements, and fees and charges.

A municipal review and consultation with the community led to the development of the new policy. Some of the key enhancements in the formal policy are the option for multi-year approval and earlier application periods to allow for sufficient preparation and patio installation.

There are three types of approved patios:

  • Small frontage temporary patios, which are situated in open space against a building wall, without umbrellas, fencing, or enclosures.
  • Cubside/walkway patios, which are located adjacent to an eating establishing. These patios follow strict guidelines for safety and accessibility.
  • Parking space patios, which use existing parking spaces and must adhere to safety guidelines. Recognizing the importance of parking in the business improvement area, a maximum of six parking space patios (up to a maximum of 12 parking spaces total) will be allocated.

The application period will open January 1, 2024. To learn more about the policy, read the Staff Report or watch the presentation

Council receives update on the future of pickleball in Newmarket

Newmarket is continuing to support the growth of pickleball, a rapidly growing sport in North America, with the construction of a dedicated pickleball facility.

After a thorough site selection process, Town staff are recommending the construction of a new facility with 14 to 20 courts located at the north end of George Richardson Park (Bayview Parkway), with a bubble for the fall/winter season.

Several criteria are reviewed through this process, including distance from residential housing, parking, potential displacement of other facilities, capacity to grow, as well as the location of existing facilities to ensure distribution of recreation access across the community.

Following that selection process, the location at the north end of George Richardson Park effectively meets the criteria. This will include a clubhouse facility with changerooms/washrooms and between 14 to 20 courts.

In selecting a location, discussions were held with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA), who has provided assurances that a pickleball facility and clubhouse can be constructed. The Newmarket Soccer Club was also consulted about field use, and this is the ideal location from their perspective as the current field is only used for practices.

As with any location option, noise mitigation strategies will be in place to ensure noise remains at a manageable level. Noise mitigation measures can include further development of the existing berm, additional tree plantings, and acoustic fencing; the combination of these can significantly reduce noise.

Finalizing the location of the new pickleball facility will occur in the new year when a future report comes back to Council.

To learn more about the future of pickleball in Newmarket, read the Staff Report or watch the discussion from the Council Meeting.


Council Highlights for November 20

What happened at the Council Meeting on November 20:

2024 budget discussions continue

The 2024 budget process continued with a presentation on the tax-supported operating budget. With a proposed target tax increase of 2.99% for 2024, the budget aims to maintain service levels, and ensure that we're meeting the needs of the community now and in the future.

The tax-supported operating budget supports the day-to-day operations, which include Central York Fire Services, Newmarket Public Library, and the Downtown Business Improvement Area.

Based on an average residential home assessed at $709,000, the annual increase for the Town's portion is $72. Property taxes are calculated based on how much your home is worth according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in the state and conditions as of the January 1, 2016 market value.

Council will continue budget discussions at the December 4 Committee of the Whole meeting, including the intention to increase Fees and Charges for 2024. The Town intends to change the Fees and Charges to catch up with inflation (increases were waived in 2020 and 2021).

The draft budget will be presented to Council on December 4 at the Committee of the Whole Meeting with targeted approval on December 11.

Watch the presentation to hear more about the Town's Tax-Supported Operating Budget or learn more at newmarket.ca/2024budget. You can also follow the Town's social feeds for the "Budget Bits & Bites" series to learn more and for a chance to win a Choose Local card.  

Animal Services celebrates one-year milestone

Council received an update on the first year of Newmarket's in-house Animal Services program, as well as future considerations for the continued success of the program. Launched in July 2022, the Animal Services team ensures that Newmarket's pets and wildlife are well cared for.

In its first year, Animal Services responded to 2,175 calls for service. Most of the calls received were for services that required Officer attendance to provide care for either domestic or wild animals. These can include sick or injured wildlife, stray animals or providing police assistance with animals.

Some highlights from Animal Services' first year include:

  • A robust in-house training program for new Animal Services staff, including lectures and discussions, as well as practical training for aggressive dog handling and wildlife handling.
  • Launching 24/7 on-call response to animal emergencies. Recognizing that animal emergencies can happen at any time, the Town has established a 24/7 on-call service for response to animal emergencies (e.g., confined stray dogs, public safety risks, etc.).
  • A partnership with VCA Canada 404 Emergency Veterinarian Hospital.
  • Creating the Transparent Wildlife Care Initiative. In our commitment to animal welfare, the Town will track the journey of wildlife that comes into our care and will share it with residents upon request, providing peace of mind that animals are well cared for.
  • Expanding the Town's rehabilitation network to work with licensed organizations who specialize in wildlife animal rescues and rehabilitation. Many municipal Animal Service departments rely on licensed organizations to offer specialized wildlife care and rehabilitation.

With the successful implementation of the in-house Animal Services team, staff are eager to continue exploring future improvements throughout the term of Council, including reviewing the Animal Control By-law, and exploring additional paid services.

Read more about Animal Services review and project plan in the Staff Report or learn more at newmarket.ca/animalservices

Mayor Taylor presents Certificate of Achievement to Caleb Ko

Mayor Taylor presented Newmarket's Caleb Ko with a Certificate of Achievement for his accomplishments in archery at the Ontario Summer Games. Caleb earned three medals during the games in 2022, including one gold and two silver medals, and competes as part of the York County Bowman Archery Club.

Caleb was joined by friends, family, and coaches as he accepted his plaque. He is expected to compete in the upcoming 2024 Ontario Winter Games in Thunder Bay. 

Council Highlights for October 30

2024 budget discussions continued

 2024 budget discussions continued with a focus on budget for capital projects and rate-supported operating budgets for water, wastewater, stormwater and building services.

The Capital Budget funds the purchase and construction for infrastructure, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and other assets. In considering the budget for Capital Projects finance considers the staffing capacity to deliver the projects and funding to support programs.

The rate-supported operating budgets are developed based on Council's decision on the 2023 Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Ten-Year Financial Plans.

Council will continue budget discussions at the November 13 Committee of the Whole meeting.  

From now through November, residents can get involved in the process and provide feedback to Council in several ways:

Residents and business owners are encouraged to check out the Town's social media channels for Budget Bits & Bites to learn more, get engaged and even have a chance to win a Choose Local Newmarket gift card. The draft budget which will be presented to Council on December 4 at the Committee of the Whole Meeting for targeted approval on December 11.

Watch the presentation or read the Staff Report to learn more about the Town's preliminary draft budget.

Learn more at newmarket.ca/2024budget


Council sets ambitious housing pledge

Council set an ambitious housing pledge for Newmarket to support 6,400 new housing units in the community by 2031, including 1,250 rental units and 400 non-profit/subsidized units. This goal is set with a strong commitment to housing while also considering the Town's water and wastewater constraints and other factors that can affect the development of housing.

Newmarket is one of a few municipalities to specifically set a target for rental and subsidized housing, recognizing a need to focus on both building supply and housing affordability.

The Town's Housing Pledge will be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as a response to the province-directed original housing target of 12,000 new homes in the same time.

Municipalities have a role in planning for growth, but the construction of housing units after planning approval is beyond municipal responsibility or control. Many factors which impact the ability to deliver housing units, such as:

  • Sanitary sewage capacity to accommodate the homes and its occupants
  • High interest rates
  • High cost of building materials
  • Insufficient labour force to keep up with demand

Note: The Town's historical 10-year average housing growth rate has been approximately 375 units built per year based on building permits taken out for construction, including Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). A target of 6,400 housing units by 2031 is 147% more homes built than the historical average in Newmarket. The Town continues to take initiative to streamline housing development in Newmarket.

Watch the discussion or read the Staff Report to learn more about the Town's Housing Pledge.


Council welcomes Kevin Mills home

Council welcomes hometown hero and national athlete, Kevin Mills back to Newmarket after he peddled 8,400 kilometers across Canada from coast to coast to promote activity-based therapy, accessibility and inclusivity for persons with disabilities.

Kevin demonstrated that a trip of this magnitude is possible for all levels of ability, illustrating that accessible recreation and activity are possible for all.

Before he departed on his four-month journey, Kevin presented his trip and organization, Peddling Possibilities, to Council in a deputation in the spring. On July 19, Mills made a stop in Newmarket on his journey and was cheered on by the community and members of Council and received a "Key to the City" in recognition of his commitment to raising awareness for accessibility. On November 2, the community celebrated his accomplishment and welcomed him back home at an event at Old Town Hall.

Learn more about Kevin's journey at https://www.pedalingpossibilities.ca/


Council Highlights for October 10

Council received preliminary budget estimates for 2024

Preliminary 2024 budget discussions have begun with a target tax increase of 2.99%. With inflation for 2024 forecasted to be higher than the normalized 2%, 2024 will be another year of tight budgeting as the Town continues to face various financial pressures. The Town's budget is made up of the following categories: Operating Budgets: Support day-to-day operations and include net costs to maintain infrastructure. Capital Budget: Funds the purchase and construction for infrastructure, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and other assets. Reserve and Reserve Fund Budget: Derived from the operating and capital budgets, includes planned contributions, and allocation of surpluses or deficits. Budget deliberations and public engagement will continue, with budget approval expected in December. Staff will continue to review all options with the goal of achieving the target tax levy of 2.99% with no service level changes. From now through November, residents can get involved in the process and provide feedback to Council in several ways: Attend or watch an upcoming meeting. Visit newmarket.ca/meetings for details. Join the discussion at an upcoming meeting through a deputation. Share your comments and feedback by emailing finance@newmarket.ca Share your comments with your local ward Councillor. Town of Newmarket Staff will be at the Newmarket Farmers' Market on Saturday, October 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by to learn about the 2024 budget, ask questions and share your feedback. Watch the presentation or read the Staff Report to learn more about the Town's preliminary draft budget. Learn more at newmarket.ca/2024budget

Council provides response to Province's Housing Affordability Task Force recommendations

Newmarket Council has provided their response to the Province of Ontario's Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF) recommendations. In a letter sent to municipalities in September of this year, the Province asked municipalities to provide their position on the recommendations by October 16 to be eligible for the $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund. Council's position on the recommendations will be forwarded to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The 74 recommendations have been assessed by Town Staff and an indication of support or opposition has been identified. In some instances, additional information has been included to provide rationale for the decision. The Staff assessment has taken into consideration Council and Staff's priorities, vision and expectations for the community. Newmarket Council believes in the importance of affordable housing and supports a number of the recommendations made by the Province. However, given the deadline for a response, Council also expressed concern about the Province's timeline and decision-making process. To learn more, read the Staff Report.

Central Newmarket Community Action Table (CNCAT) provides community update

The Central Newmarket Community Action Table (CNCAT) provided an update to Council on new initiatives in Newmarket, recent accomplishments, and how Council can help. CNCAT is a collaborative planning table, created to address unique local issues and identify solutions for targeted geographic locations within Newmarket. As part of their work in Central Newmarket and Newmarket Heights, CNCAT's initiatives include supporting monthly community dinners, hosting tax and legal aid clinics, and offering quick action grants. The purpose of the quick action grants is to provide residents and agencies with resources to implement their ideas that address two critical issues: mental well-being and housing stability in the community. CNCAT shared with Council different ways they can consider getting involved, including: promoting activities with constituents, providing space for events, attend the Community Action Table Second Annual celebration on October 14, and more. To learn more, see the presentation from CNCAT and check out its website at linkingnewmarket.ca. Council encourages the community to share their input on topics and reminds residents that there are four ways to join the discussion (phone, email, in person, virtual). Learn more about how to join the discussion.
Council Highlights for September 18

Speed cameras coming to community safety zones in Newmarket

Council approved locations for 14 speed cameras in community safety zones across Newmarket to help reduce speeds, collisions, injuries and fatalities. The cameras will be installed as part of a new automated speed enforcement (ASE) program that is expected to launch in early 2024.

ASE is a new tool for municipalities to improve road safety. This system is proven to reduce speeds in community safety zones (including schools), which is the focus of ASE programs due to the vulnerability of users (children) and persistent complaints about unsafe driver behaviour.     

Camera locations are based on traffic data, as well as legislative and camera system requirements. Council approved cameras in the following locations:

  • Ward 1: Stonehaven Avenue, Kingsmere Avenue
  • Ward 2: Gorham Street, Srigley Street (East)
  • Ward 3: Patterson Street, Wayne Drive
  • Ward 4: Longford Drive, Bristol Road (East)
  • Ward 5: Queen Street, William Roe Boulevard
  • Ward 6: Savage Road, Clearmeadow Boulevard
  • Ward 7: Woodspring Avenue (West), Woodspring Avenue (East)

The program will include ample education leading up to its launch, including a required 90 days posted notice in the locations before cameras start operating.

Read the Staff Report to learn more about the program or visit newmarket.ca/speedcameras.

Housing target for Newmarket

To ensure an ambitious yet achievable housing target is set for Newmarket, Council directed staff to recommend a housing target based on information related to planning applications, building permits, sewage allocation and housing market trends.

The recommendation will provide an overall housing target, as well as a rental housing target and a subsidized/not for profit housing target.

Once approved by Council, the recommended housing target will be provided to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Newmarket Council continues Official Plan Review

At the two Council Workshops, Council was presented with a summary of engagement results to date and discussed preliminary policy directions on 10 areas of concentration.

Once completed, Newmarket's updated Official Plan will serve as a blueprint for how the Town intends to grow over the next 30 years and is the Town's primary land use planning policy document.

Throughout the engagement process, participants have provided feedback through visioning workshops, meetings, surveys, community pop-ups and more. Here's what we've heard:

  • Use existing infrastructure for placemaking opportunities such as using the school property after school hours for community activities.
  • Encourage a range of housing in Town, including affordable and age-friendly housing.
  • Support business opportunities, such as encouraging growth from different sectors including food services, healthcare and social assistance, arts, entertainment, and recreation.
  • Create transit-oriented, bike-friendly, walkable, accessible, and connected development, supporting overall connectivity throughout the Town.
  • Prioritize safety during transportation improvements, such as having dedicated bike lanes.
  • Encourage an inclusive and accessible public spaces throughout the Town (e.g., universal design, age-friendly design).
  • Continue to support amenities throughout the Town that are meeting spots for residents and visitors, as well as help develop Town identity and character.
  • South of Davis Area (SODA) is to be a community space that will not only cater to the needs of the residents but also make a noteworthy destination.
  • Continue to preserve and enhance existing natural heritage assets.
  • Encourage development that fosters a sense of community

Learn more from the September 11, 2023 presentation and the September 18, 2023 presentation.

There are many opportunities for residents and community members to stay involved in the Official Plan Review. Visit heynewmarket.ca/newmarketop for project news and to sign up to receive updates. You can also submit questions to the Town at newmarketop@newmarket.ca.

Council amends Town's Idling Control By-law

As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Council approved an amendment to the Town's Idling Control By-law to remove the temperature exemption. The temperature exemption has been replaced with a new section that allows idling when required for the purposes of health and safety.

A resident provided a deputation on the Idling Control By-law at a Council meeting in April 2023, and as a result, Council directed Town staff to review the matter.

The previous temperature exemption permitted vehicle operators to idle their vehicles for longer than two minutes if their vehicle's ambient temperature was more than 27 degrees Celsius or less than five degrees Celsius; this was challenging to enforce.

Now, in line with other municipalities, drivers cannot idle for more than two minutes, except when required for the safety or welfare of the operator, passengers or animals.

The Town will continue an education-first approach. However, when compliance can't be met, officers now have the ability to ticket drivers using our administrative monetary penalty system, as opposed to the provincial court system. This is a more streamlined approach.

Since 2005 Newmarket has been committed to being idle-free. Idling has a negative impact on the environment through emissions, people's health by contributing to air pollution and now more than ever, to your wallet. What many don't realize is idling can also damage your vehicle's engine and exhaust.  To learn more about the amendment, read the Staff Report.

Council values input from residents and encourages participation in topics discussed at Council. There are four ways to join the discussion: email, live video conference, phone in live, and attend in person. Learn more about how to get involved


Council Highlights for June 26

Automated speed enforcement coming to Newmarket

Council approved an automated speed enforcement (ASE) program that will introduce 14 speed cameras in community safety zones across Town to help reduce speeds, collisions, injuries and fatalities. 

ASE is a new tool for municipalities to use to improve road safety. This system is proven to reduce speeds in community safety zones (including schools), which is the focus of ASE programs due to the vulnerability of users (children) and persistent complaints about unsafe driver behavior.     

Council determined that the program would start with two cameras per ward (14 total) with an opportunity to scale up in the future. Locations will be based on traffic data, legislative and camera system requirements, all of which will be discussed at an upcoming meeting. The program will include ample education leading up to its launch, including a required 90 days posted notice in the locations before cameras start operating.

The Town is in the process of Ministry approvals and will report back to Council on the timing to launch the program in Newmarket. 

Read the Staff Report to learn more about the program. Visit the provincial ASE website to learn more about the system and how it works.   

Recruitment for Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee to begin

Earlier this year, Town staff finalized a work plan to implement the Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism (DABR). As part of the work plan, a DABR Advisory Committee will be established. This will be an external body composed of members who will provide input, guidance and support the Town on addressing anti-Black racism.

Membership to the DABR Advisory Committee will be determined by an external Selection Committee and Town of Newmarket staff will support the recruitment process for the Selection Committee and will work with them to ensure the greatest number of applicants.

The committee will be composed of 7 to 11 community members and those members will serve two-year terms. One position will be held by the Chair of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association.

In recognition of the contributions to Council and the Newmarket community that members of the DABR Advisory Committee and Accessibility Advisory Committee provide by sharing their lived experiences, members will be provided an honorarium of $100 per meeting.  

Read the Staff Report or Terms of Reference to learn more.

Council hosts Annual General Meeting for municipally owned Newmarket-Tay Power

As its primary shareholder, Newmarket Council hosted the Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc. 2022 Annual General Meeting during the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 19. 

Council and residents received a presentation from the CEO of Newmarket-Tay Power (NT Power), who provided a 2022 year in review as well as a look ahead to providing an enhanced customer experience.

Highlights from NT Power

  • In 2022, NT Power successfully transitioned to a new billing system provider, in conjunction with the Town's water billing.
  • Customer portal upgrades were completed for customers to view their bills and consumption. They also became one of the first utilities to be 'Green Button' certified, which ensures that there is a standard data format across utilities in the province.
  • Looking ahead, NT Power is working towards providing an enhanced customer experience by improving reliability, communications and online services.

As the Town is the sole shareholder of Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc., Council provided approval of the financial statements, auditors and directors as part of the Annual General Meeting.

See the full presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Town of Newmarket receives Community Spirit Award

For the second year in a row, the Town of Newmarket was presented with the Nature's Emporium Run for Southlake Community Spirit Award! This award recognizes the municipality that brings out the largest volume of people in their community and demonstrates the importance of bringing the community together.

Over the past 10 years, this event has raised more than $2.3 million supporting Southlake.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk/run.

Watch the full presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Council Highlights for June 5

Town seeks proposals for new dining establishment at 500 Water Street

The Town of Newmarket is seeking proposals for a new and unique dining establishment at 500 Water Street to enhance the existing cultural and economic vibrancy of the Main Street historic district. The Town is offering a long-term lease for the landmark property, which features a picturesque patio overlooking Fairy Lake and a prime view of award-winning Main Street.

The building is a keystone property, located in the Heritage Conservation District at the intersection of Water and Main Streets. The town-owned property has operated as a restaurant for the past two decades, offering significant patio space overlooking Fairy Lake and is in a prime location for continued use as a dining establishment.

To learn more, read the media release or the Staff Report.

Proposal documents can be viewed, downloaded and submitted at the Town's Bid Opportunities portal at newmarket.bidsandtenders.ca.

2024 Budget Process and Targets

Newmarket Council and staff are already working on the 2024 budget, which is set to be approved this December. The objective for the 2024 budget is to continue aligning the Town's commitment to service excellence while maintaining fiscal stewardship.

The budget process will include regular public engagement opportunities, and other key dates include:

  • October 2: The preliminary draft budgets will be presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
  • October 23: The capital and rate-supported operating budgets will be presented at the Special Committee of the Whole meeting.  
  • November 13: The tax-supported operating budget will be presented at the Special Committee of the Whole meeting.
  • December 4: The draft budgets and fees and charges will be presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
  • December 11: This is the target date for approval of the 2024 budget.

 Watch the presentation or read the Staff Report to learn more.

Update on one year of Town's Private Tree Protection By-law

Newmarket's urban canopy is made up of both public and private trees and is a valuable infrastructure asset that helps improve air quality, increase property values, reduce residential energy costs and more. In recognition of the importance that the community places on trees, the Private Tree Protection By-law was enacted on February 10, 2022.

The by-law requires residents to obtain a permit for removing trees on their property that have a diameter greater than 20 centimeters (8 inches) measured at 1.4m (4.5 ft) above ground.

Now that the by-law has been in place for one year, and following a comprehensive internal review, staff identified opportunities to improve residents' experience through simplifying the administrative process. These improvements included:

  • Clarifying the information on the website.
  • Creating a comprehensive guide to educate the reader on the importance of tree protection, how to measure the diameter of a tree and proper pruning technique.
  • Redesigning the application form to eliminate delays.
  • Creating a process for fast-tracking trees that are damaged during a weather event or are imminently hazardous.

Council also approved amendments to the by-law to specifically address circumstances involving significant weather events that may impact the Town, such as wind or ice damage to trees.

To learn more, read the Staff Report or visit the Private Tree Removal webpage. 


Council Highlights for May 15

Council approves updated Street Naming Policy to promote names that represent Black, Indigenous and people of colour

As part of the Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism, Council has approved an updated Street Naming Policy to promote names that represent Black peoples, Indigenous peoples and people of colour.

Earlier this year, Town staff finalized a work plan to implement the Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism (DABR) spanning the next two years. The plan outlines deliverables for the Town to take to dismantle anti-Black racism and remove barriers Black individuals face in Newmarket. One of the action items identified through in the Action Plan was to review and revise the street naming policy to specifically encourage and promote names that represent Black peoples, Indigenous peoples, and people of colour, and/or their achievements.

Updating the Street Naming Policy is just one of the ways that the Town of Newmarket is ensuring full participation and representation of Black constituents in Newmarket.

The plan recommended that: "the Street Naming Policy should be reviewed with an aim at addressing the current imbalances as it relates to Black and other visible minorities. Newmarket maintains a strong historic landscape & heritage which attracts and maintains a diverse meeting of peoples and commercial activities. As the story of Newmarket continues to be written, it is important to recognize all those who have contributed to the Town from the standpoint of equity."

In addition to updating the policy, Town staff have consulted with the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) to add names to the Street Name Reserve List that reflect the updated policy. Staff will continue to explore opportunities to engage with community groups to obtain new street name suggestions.

To learn more, read the Staff Report.

Official Plan Review envisions Newmarket's future

The Town of Newmarket formally launched the Official Plan Review to envision the Town's future. Newmarket's Official Plan serves as a blueprint for how the Town intends to grow over the next 30 years and is the Town's primary land use planning policy document.

The updated Official Plan will describe where housing, office, manufacturing facilities, and shops, and parks can be located; what infrastructure, road network, and energy resources are required/encouraged as the Town grows; which areas of Town should be protected and/or enhanced and more. It must also be consistent with the Provincial statement and conform to Provincial plans, and the York Region Official Plan.

There are many ways for the community to get involved and provide feedback.

  • Participate in the Virtual Visioning Workshop for the Official Plan
  • Participate in the South of Davis Drive Area (SODA) Study Pop-Up Event
    • Tell us what you'd like to see in the future for this area. Participate in a survey and get a coupon for one free drop-in swim, gymnasium or public skate at the Magna Centre, Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, or Peter Gorman Pool  
      • When: Tuesday, June 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
      • Where: In front of the Elman W. Campbell Museum, 134 Main St S.

You can also watch the presentation from the Council Meeting or read the background summary.

Council receives update on Newmarket's Energy Efficiency Retrofit Business Plan

Council received an update on Newmarket's Energy Efficiency Retrofit (NEER) Business Plan. The NEER initiative focuses on providing reliable and efficient energy solutions through smart technology and sustainable retrofitting practices, which work towards achieving the environmental goals in Newmarket's Community Energy Plan.

In developing the business plan, community feedback has been gathered through phone and online surveys. Highlights include:

  • 83% of respondents would value the Town of Newmarket pre-qualifying contractors for quality workmanship, safety, and competitiveness.
  • 65% of respondents would appreciate some advisory type service.

Watch the presentation or visit newmarket.ca/neer to learn more. 

Council Highlights for April 24

Council sets the stage for an extraordinary future with 2022-2026 Council Priorities

Council adopted the 2022-2026 Council Priorities, setting the stage for an extraordinary future in Newmarket. The priorities act as the roadmap for continued community success through the current Council term and aim to ensure Newmarket continues to be one of the best places to live in the country.

The five Council Priorities that will guide the 2022 to 2026 term are:

  • Community and economic vibrancy: Attracting and retaining amazing people and businesses to ensure Newmarket's long-term viability through sustainable jobs, while creating a strong and unique brand that differentiates Newmarket from other communities.
  • Customer-first way of life (enhanced by technology): Ensuring the community has timely access to services that enhance their quality of life.
  • Extraordinary places and spaces: Creating exceptional experiences for the community in shared and accessible public spaces.
  • Environmental sustainability: Preserving our environmental assets and addressing climate change for future generations.  
  • Diverse, welcoming and inclusive community: Building a strong, healthy and equitable community where everyone feels an unwavering sense of belonging.

In setting the priorities, Council will continue to tie in performance measurement goals, ensure public engagement is at the forefront and that appropriate resources and capacity is available to complete projects.

The Council Priorities report paints the picture of Newmarket's future vision as a place for creative entrepreneurs, innovators and artists. The Town will continue to be a green community and make significant progress (working with other levels of government) towards creating housing options for everyone. Big steps will be taken on a path to being an inclusive community, ensuring everyone sees Newmarket as a welcoming place to call home.

Read more about how Council is Setting the Stage for an Extraordinary Future or watch the presentation

Council approves new film by-law   

Following increased interest in Newmarket as a film destination, Council adopted a new film by-law that limits disruption and impact while leveraging support for local businesses and the Business Improvement Area (BIA).

Film permits were previously regulated through the Town's Film Permit Policy. After increased interest by production companies, the Town sought to formalize its approach. A municipal review and consultation with the community led to the development of the new by-law. Some the key updates include:  

  • Special Film Zone - Filming in the Main Street BIA: The downtown BIA is disproportionately affected by film permits and has therefore been identified as a 'Special Film Zone' where filming is subject to additional conditions.  
  • Size of production: The Town has seen productions of varying sizes and the level of disruption and work required for larger scale productions requires special attention. As a result, productions with 100 or more crew will be subject to additional requirements and fees.  
  • Local film companies: To support local business first and streamline the process for local film companies who often utilize the Town for filming, the Town has established a Local Film License. The Local Film License will charge a yearly license fee, rather than requiring an Administration Fee or Film Permit Application Fee for each film event.
  • Notice of intent: The film by-law will require that an applicant for a film permit submit a Notice of Intent 10 to 21 days prior to the proposed film date, which will allow the Town to prepare for any proposed filming, and provide public notice at least 72 hours prior to filming. The Town also encourages the use of local businesses during filming, and applicants can highlight the positive impact that filming might have on the local business community as part of their Notice of Intent. More information can be found in the Film Handbook.

As part of the by-law, the Town has the authority to approve or deny applications based on the information gathered and will also consider any conflicts with previously scheduled activities, or whether there is excessive disruption to any Town work, traffic, residents and businesses.

Read the Staff Report to learn more.

Newmarket Public Library launches vibrant, new brand identity  

Council received a presentation from the Newmarket Library on its vibrant, newly launched brand identity. The Library's rebrand is an early step in modernizing Library services as part of its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

Its new tagline, 'Anything and Everywhere' reflects the Library's evolving role in the community to connect people, support lifelong learning and foster literacy in all forms through a wide range of services both at the branch, online and in the community.

Book lending is only one of the ways the Library can help its community learn, connect and grow their skillsets. The Library is a community hub offering exceptional programs, services, spaces and technology, including a Lendery (offering access to tools, appliances, games, sports equipment, etc.), Maker Hub (access to a 3D printer, Cricut Machine and button maker) and so much more.

To learn more about the Library's new look and its services, read the Media Release or watch the presentation to Council. 

Council Highlights for April 3

Newmarket Council approves 2023 Budget

Newmarket Council approved the 2023 Budget after many months of deliberation and work to ensure Newmarket's high level of services are maintained through very challenging financial times caused by inflation and significant cost increases.

After revising and decreasing the tax increase many times, Council approved a fiscally responsible 5.5 per cent tax increase for the Town's portion of property taxes. Property tax bills include funding for the Town (39.7 per cent), York Region (41.4 per cent) and School Boards (18.9 per cent).

This equates to a $125 increase ($10.41 per month) for the average resident (based on the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation's Current Value Assessment at $706,000).

Throughout the 2023 Budget process, Council and staff worked together to find savings wherever possible. As a result of Council direction, the increase was significantly reduced from the originally proposed 13 per cent to the approved 5.5 per cent.

The total approved 2023 Operating Budget is $147.3 million, and the Capital Budget is $63.1 million, for a combined total of $210.4 million. The 2023 Budget will maintain all levels of service to residents, continue to invest in the Asset Replacement Fund, while staying aligned with Newmarket's Fiscal Strategy.

To learn more about the 2023 Budget, read the Media Release, or the Staff Report. You can also learn more about municipal budgets and the 2023 Budget process at newmarket.ca/2023budget

Community volunteers appointed to Boards and Committees for 2022-2026 Term of Council

Community volunteers have been appointed to Town Committees and Boards for the 2022-2026 Term of Council. The Town establishes Committees and Boards to make recommendations to Council regarding various matters from Newmarket's heritage to facilitating accessibility for all persons with disabilities in the Town.

From December 2022 to February 2023 the Town conducted a recruitment campaign and has now appointed members for the following Committees and Boards. Those who have been selected to serve on a Committee or Board will receive notification within the next few weeks.     

The Town thanks all Committee and Board members past and present for dedicating their time and insight to help shape the community.

All Committee and Board meetings are open to the public. To get involved, see meeting dates, agendas and minutes, visit newmarket.ca/meetings

Town-operated winter tennis club coming to Newmarket 

Newmarket will provide winter tennis (or indoor tennis) at the future tennis centre at Shining Hill. As part of the Municipal Capital Facilities Agreement between the Town and Shining Hill Developments, a new tennis facility is being constructed that will be an outdoor, lit, 10-court facility, with eight courts being bubbled in the winter months. This represents an expanded offering from the current six courts in the summer and three in the winter.

The Newmarket Tennis Club, a not-for-profit club, will continue to operate their summer club at the new facility, with Council endorsing a Town-operated model during the winter season. The Town-operated model will be introduced as a pilot program and staff will report to Council in the spring of 2025 for public input and consideration on the pilot project.

Public engagement has been a key part of the process and feedback has been gathered through emails, surveys, postcards and a public meeting with the tennis community.

Council also passed a motion to name the new facility the Keith Davis Tennis Centre in honour of a former community leader in the sport. Keith Davis is credited with starting the tennis club in Newmarket in 1946 and was an integral part of the tennis community.

To learn more about the new Keith Davis Tennis Centre, read the Staff Report

Supporting the growth of pickleball in Town

Council is supporting the growth of pickleball, one of North America's fastest growing sports, by developing a long-term strategy to increase court space. Council approved the use of funding from the Shining Hill Municipal Capital Facilities Agreement to construct a dedicated pickleball facility, utilizing the Lions Park Tennis Courts.

The Lions Park location has been recommended due to amenity features that are already available, including lighting, parking, and the Gorman Pool facility which includes washrooms, changerooms and a meeting room.

Operation of a new summer outdoor pickleball facility will be in partnership with the not-for-profit Newmarket Pickleball Club, who will work to foster growth and participation in the sport. The Town will work collaboratively with the club, following a similar model of the Newmarket Tennis Club (summer club).

Council has committed that the community rink that currently operates out of Lions Park will continue for the upcoming 2023/2024 winter season. Before any changes, staff will conduct further public and Council engagement and will work with the rink volunteers to further develop opportunities in Lions Park for a rink to continue operations in the future.

Community feedback has been collected through emails, surveys and a public meeting, with a common piece of feedback being that Newmarket has not kept pace with the growth of the sport and more facilities are needed; this new Council direction will help address the community interest in the sport.

Read the Staff Report to learn more about the growth of pickleball in Newmarket. 

Council Highlights for March 20

Implementation of Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism begins

Town staff finalized a work plan to implement the Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism (DABR) spanning the next two years. The plan outlines deliverables for the Town to take to dismantle anti-Black racism and remove barriers Black individuals face in Newmarket.

In January, EMPOWER Strategy Group presented a multi-year action plan to dismantle Anti-Black Racism in the community. The action plan stems from a report by the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Task Force (Task Force) that was delivered to Council in December 2021.  

As part of the implementation plan, a DABR Advisory Committee will be established, which will be an external body composed of members who will provide input and support the Town in delivering items from the Action Plan.

The Town recognizes and thanks the members of the volunteer Task Force for dedicating countless hours to research, critical conversations, and significant community engagement.

Read the Staff Report to learn more about the implementation plan


Council calls o
n Provincial Government to end homelessness

Council passed a motion calling on the Province of Ontario to urgently acknowledge that homelessness in Ontario is a social, economic and health crisis, and commit to ending homelessness. The Town also calls on the Provincial Government to work with Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and various community, health, Indigenous and economic partners to develop, resource, and implement an action plan to achieve this goal.

The homelessness crisis is a result of underinvestment and policy choices from successive provincial governments and requires a range of housing, social service and health solutions.

Homelessness is felt most at the level of local government, and while the Town and York Region are doing their part to address the issue, they do not have the resources, capacity or tools to address this complex challenge. Urgent, integrated and collaborative action is needed from the provincial government.

The resolution will be sent to the Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services; and the Minister of Health. A copy will also be sent to AMO and the Ontario Small Urban Municipalities Caucus.   

View the agenda and live stream to read the complete motion or to watch the discussion. 

Council Highlights for February 13

Council received preliminary budget estimates for 2023 

Preliminary 2023 budget discussions have begun as Council continues to balance the needs of the community while ensuring fiscal responsibility.

This will be one of the most challenging years for Council due to high inflation.

At this time a 7.67% tax increase has been proposed for 2023. Prior to arriving at this number, staff were able to refine the budget and reduced the budget impact by $3.7 million (5.33%) to take the original tax rate increase from 13% to the proposed 7.67%. The proposed rate equates to an increase of $14.5 per month ($19 per month including water, wastewater and stormwater increases) for the average home assessed by MPAC at $706,000 for the Town's portion of property taxes.

As budget deliberations continue, staff and Council will continue to look for ways to limit the impact to residents during this difficult time.

The Town's budget is made up of the following categories:

  • Operating Budgets: Support day-to-day operations and include net costs to maintain infrastructure.
  • Capital Budget: Funds the purchase and construction for infrastructure, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and other assets.
  • Reserve and Reserve Fund Budget: Derived from the operating and capital budgets resulted from surpluses or deficits.

Budget deliberations and public engagement will continue through March, with budget approval expected in April 2023.

Residents can get involved in the budget process in several ways:

Learn more about the Town's preliminary draft budget by watching the presentation or reading the Staff Report. In addition, watch the presentation regarding the draft Capital and Rate-Supported Operating budget at the Special Committee of the Whole here

Town to introduce automated speed enforcement program

Council approved an automated speed enforcement (ASE) program to address speeding concerns and keep streets safe. As part of the Town's ongoing commitment to street safety, the program will introduce automated camera-based technology to detect speeding vehicles and issue tickets. 

The Province of Ontario recently amended a regulation to allow ASE programs to operate under Administrative Penalties rather than the provincial court system, and any municipality seeking to adopt an ASE program may request to do so through the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Attorney General, and Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

ASE programs benefit communities by increasing safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The purpose of adopting an ASE program is to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities resulting from speeding, as ASE is proven to reduce speeding, improve traffic flow, and decrease the frequency and severity of accidents.

Did you know?

  • Speed is a contributing factor in 33% of fatal collisions
  • ASE programs have demonstrated an average 30% speed reduction

Town staff will move forward by submitting an application with the Ministry of Transportation and report back to Council by May 2023 with program details and an update on the application status.  

To learn more, watch the presentation or read the Staff Report

Council Highlights for January 23

EMPOWER Strategy Group presents multi-year action plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism

Stemming from a report by the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Task Force (Task Force), the Town partnered with EMPOWER Strategy Group to develop a multi-year action plan to dismantle Anti-Black Racism in the community.

After extensive consultation with Town department leaders, members of the Black community, and external stakeholders including police and school boards, EMPOWER presented the multi-year action plan to Council.

The action plan includes timelines and key performance indicators, with the work being divided into the following sections:
  1. Capacity building and training
  2. Inclusive economic development
  3. Ensuring full participation and representation of Black constituents in Newmarket
  4. Ongoing leadership and accountability
Town staff will spend the next six weeks finalizing a workplan to implement deliverables spanning the next two years, which will be presented to Council in a future report. 

The Town recognizes and thanks the members of the volunteer Task Force for dedicating countless hours to research, critical conversations, and significant community engagement.

See EMPOWER’s full presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting and read the Action Plan to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism.

Town to begin Residential Parking Study

As a result of recent Provincial legislation reducing residential parking requirements, Council directed staff to hire a consultant to conduct a Residential Parking Study to review current requirements and recommend new or revised parking policies and zoning provisions. 

Working with a consultant, staff will provide recommendations on residential parking standards associated with low and medium density dwelling units such as single-detached, semi-detached, and townhouses within different contexts (such as proximity to transit and the presence of bike lanes). 
 
The study will also provide recommendations on residential driveway standards, design standards for private condominium roads, and what effect(s) demographic trends and remote work patterns may have on parking in residential areas. 

The study will begin this year, with a final report targeted for Council’s consideration in 2024.

Read the Staff Report to learn more.


Blue Door Support Services requests a minister’s zoning order 

Council endorsed Blue Door Support Services’ (Blue Door) request for a minister’s zoning order (MZO), which will facilitate the development of its new Gorham Street emergency and temporary housing facility and help ensure the organization can meet the requirements to receive a funding commitment. 

Blue Door is an emergency and temporary housing provider in York Region that delivers services and housing for those experiencing homelessness. They are the largest emergency housing provider in the region and have been serving the community for 40 years.

The option to use an MZO was proposed because Blue Door will be applying for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) project funding to facilitate the project, and the appropriate land use approvals are required to be in place to receive CMHC’s commitment to funding. 

Council approved requesting an MZO from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. If granted, this will help Blue Door meet the funding requirements and move forward with building a new three-storey stacked townhouse development at 835 Gorham Street.  

The endorsement from Council means that the Town supports the request and will work with Blue Door on the request. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will then consider issuing an MZO if it believes it is in the public interest to do so. The Town, Ministry, and Blue Door will work together to develop a site-specific zoning by-law that is appropriate for the proposed development. A subsequent Site Plan application will be required to implement the development. 

Watch Blue Door’s full presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting. 

Learn more about planning and development at newmarket.ca/planning.   

2022 Council Highlights
Council Highlights for December 12

Town of Newmarket formally expresses opposition to Bill 23

Council formally expressed its opposition to Bill 23, More Homes Built Fast Act. In its current form, Bill 23 will have a significant negative impact on heritage, housing, green standards, environmental protection of wetlands, conservation, social housing and more.

Municipalities have not had adequate opportunity to provide input on alternative ways to increase the supply of housing and to improve housing affordability in Ontario while ensuring long-term financial, economic and environmental sustainability.

A preliminary analysis of Bill 23 by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) indicates the bill will result in a transfer of up to $1 billion a year in costs from private sector developers to property taxpayers without any likelihood of improved housing affordability while also undermining environmental protection.

The Town of Newmarket has been specifically identified with a target of introducing 12,000 new homes by 2031, despite a lack of water and sewage capacity. For context, the Town will require at least nine times the amount of servicing capacity that we currently have to facilitate the construction of 12,000 new apartments. Any other forms of housing (e.g., singles, semis, townhouses, etc.) would require even more servicing capacity.

The resolution will be forwarded to the Premier, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Newmarket-Aurora. A copy will also be sent to AMO and all Ontario municipalities.

View the agenda and live stream to read the complete motion or to watch the discussion.

Council extends parking limit on Main Street

Newmarket is extending the 30-minute parking limit on Main Street to two hours during weekday evenings and weekends to offer flexibility for shoppers and diners.
 
The 30-minute parking option along Main Street (from Water Street to Millard Avenue) will be maintained from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to promote quick turnaround times during core business hours.
 
Parking restrictions were implemented at the onset of the pandemic to support local businesses by offering quick turnaround times. To gauge the current needs of the business community, feedback was collected through consultation with Economic Development and the Main Street District Business Improvement Area Board of Management and members.

Introducing a two-hour parking limit on weekday evenings and weekends will promote dining and shopping experiences, which are generally more time consuming and more frequent during these timeframes.

Time limits do not apply to accessible parking spots.

The extended parking option will come into effect this January, beginning with an education and awareness campaign. For more information, read the Staff Report.


Councillors appointed to Committees for 2022-2026 term


Members of Council were appointed to Town Committees for the 2022-2026 term. The Town establishes Committees and Boards to be responsible for and make recommendations to Council regarding various matters.

In addition to Council representation on the various committees, the Town promotes and encourages citizen engagement. Members of Council work alongside members of the community on a range of topics from preserving our heritage to facilitating accessibility for all persons with disabilities in the Town of Newmarket.

Joining a Committee plays an important role in helping shape our community. Applications are now being accepted for the following Town-established Committees:
To learn more about the various Town Committees and to apply, visit the Committees and Boards page. For more information on Councillor appointments, read the Staff Report.
Council Highlights for August 29

Inn From the Cold requests a minister's zoning order


As part of its commitment to supporting long-standing community partners, Council endorsed Inn From the Cold's request for a minister's zoning order (MZO) which will expedite the development of its new Yonge Street emergency shelter and transitional housing facility and help ensure the organization can continue its valuable work in the community without disruption to services.

Inn From the Cold (IFTC), a charity that provides shelter services in Newmarket during the winter months, called for Council's backing to request an MZO from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. If granted, this will help speed up the process of building the new three-storey emergency shelter and transitional housing building at 17046 Yonge Street (directly north of the Quaker Meeting House, between Eagle St. W and Clearmeadow Blvd).

The option to use an MZO was proposed because the lease at IFTC's current facility (510 Penrose Street) expires in October 2024. To ensure that IFTC can continue its operations without a gap in service, it must move into a new facility before the lease expires.

The endorsement from Council means that the Town supports the request and will work with IFTC on the request. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing will then consider issuing an MZO if it believes it is in the public interest to do so. The Town, Ministry, and IFTC will work together to develop a site-specific zoning by-law that is appropriate for the proposed development. If the MZO is approved, IFTC will then apply for Site Plan Approval and permits.

Council also noted the importance of involving the community, which can include general meetings as well as a working group with area residents to engage the public and receive feedback.

Did you know?
  • Inn from the Cold was founded in the winter of 2004 when the former Mayor and Town staff opened a warming centre in Newmarket's Old Town Hall. 
  • IFTC has grown to its current seasonal 25-bed shelter, providing services during the winter months and day programming. 
  • The goal of IFTC is to help transition the Town's chronically homeless to stable housing, reduce the reliance on emergency shelters, and save the community, housing, and healthcare systems money.

See Inn From the Cold's full presentation from the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Council re-enacted the Parkland Dedication By-law

In October 2017, Council passed a by-law that allows the Town to require parkland dedication or cash-in-lieu of land to be provided at specified rates. These rates are implemented in a phased approach. The first three years from the enactment of the by-law would see the alternative rate for land (or cash-in-lieu equivalent) was capped at 25% of the developable area of the site for lands within urban centres. After the three-year period, the cap increases to 50%.

The 2017 Parkland Dedication By-law will expire on September 18, 2022 in accordance with the Planning Act. As such, Council has to re-approve the Parkland Dedication By-law to continue to obtain parkland from developers for future parks or collect cash-in-lieu for land at the previously set alternative rates to fund other recreational purposes, enabling the creation of extraordinary places and spaces. 

For more information, read the Staff Report

Council reminds residents how to provide public input 

Council reminds residents how to get involved and encourages participation in issues discussed at Council. There are four ways to join the discussion: 

1.Email 

Email your questions, input and feedback in regards to an item on the agenda, along with contact information to clerks@newmarket.ca by the deadline outlined on the agenda. Your written correspondence (received by the deadline) will appear on the public meeting agenda. Written correspondence received after the deadline for Committee of the Whole will be included on the Council meeting agenda. 

2. Live video conference 

Make a live remote deputation by joining the virtual meeting using Zoom and verbally provide your comments over video. 

3. Phone in live 

Make a live remote deputation by joining the virtual meeting using Zoom and verbally provide your comments over telephone, directly to Council. 

4. Attend in person 

Make a live deputation in person in the Council Chambers at 395 Mulock Drive. 

Whether attending in person, joining the meeting through Zoom, or by calling in, residents are strongly encouraged to pre-register by emailing a request and contact information to clerks@newmarket.ca

Learn more about the requirements

Council Highlights for June 27

Council celebrates National Indigenous People’s Day 

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, Council took pause from the day-to-day report review and approvals to receive a presentation from ancestral knowledge keeper and Grandmother Kim Wheatley.  

Kim is an Anishinaabe Ojibway Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation Reserve who carries the Spirit name Head or Leader of the Fireflower and is Turtle Clan. 

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrated on June 21 each year, Kim shared the history behind the day, highlighted the outstanding contributions of Indigenous Peoples and shared spiritual learnings.  

Here are a few teachings from her session:
 

  • National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated on June 21 each year, which coincides with Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and a Sacred Day for the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples. 
  • The term Indigenous Peoples in Canada encompasses First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. There is much diversity, depth and complexity within each group.   
  • Together, Indigenous Peoples speak over 60 languages.  
  • When speaking the Anishinaabe Ojibway language, emphasis is always on the second syllable. For example, the emphasis is on the “wan” in Sha-wan-aga First Nations. Shawanaga means the river that runs south.  
  • June is also Ode’imin Giizis or strawberry or heart berry moon. It is the sixth moon of creation and marks the beginning of summer and the harvest of strawberries, which, when cut open, resemble the shape of the heart. The strawberry also represents the sweetness and kindest of emotions that bring people together to love one another and feast in the spirit of forgiveness and peace.  
  • This is the 26th year of National Indigenous Peoples Day  

Kim highlighted some Indigenous Peoples who have made outstanding contributions to Canada and encouraged us all to do our own research to learn more about their work: 

  • Francis Pegahmagabow the most highly decorated soldier in Canadian military history of World War 1 
  • Olivia Poole invented the Jolly Jumper to free her hands to do the dishes 
  • Wab Kinew, a political activist, change maker and former rapper too 
  • Autumn Peltier a teenage “Water Warrior” who is fighting for water protection 
  • Ashley Callingbull, the first Canadian and Indigenous Miss Universe 

Council thanks Kim for extending a hand of friendship to the Town and for openly sharing her experience and truth. Click here to watch Kim’s presentation. 

Newmarket Council expresses their concern over the Province’s More Homes for Everyone Act. Votes to dissolve the Site Plan Review Committee   

At the most recent Council meeting, Newmarket Council expressed their continued concern over the Province’s More Homes for Everyone Act (Bill 109) that will require municipalities to approve site plan applications within 60 days or less. If the Town cannot meet these timelines, the Town will be required to refund planning fees associated with the application. The purpose of the More Homes for Everyone Act is to incentivize municipalities to make timely decisions on site plan applications in an effort to make it faster to build the homes.  However, the tighter timelines for approvals will affect the ability for staff to adequately review development applications, as well as for residents to be informed about the development. 

As required by this legislation, Newmarket Council voted to dissolve the Site Plan Review Committee as Bill 109 requires that Site Plan approval be delegated to staff as of July 1, 2022. This means that the Site Plan Review Committee will no longer have approval authority on site plan applications.  

Instead, staff will have dedicated meetings with Mayor and Members of Council for any site plan applications to ensure they can provide comments within the 60-day statutory approval period.  

For more information, please view the staff report. 

 
Council hosts Annual General Meeting for municipally owned Newmarket Hydro 

As its primary shareholder, Newmarket Council hosted the Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc. 2021 Annual General Meeting during the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 20.  

Town Council and residents received a presentation from the President and CEO at Newmarket-Tay Power (NT Power) and President at Envi Networks on the past year and future-focus which includes more customer-centric initiatives and fibre network expansion. 

Highlights from NT Power 

  • Despite the pandemic, the organization had a successful year and was able to find efficiencies to expand its team and improve quality infrastructure while maintaining operating costs.  
  • To better support new customers, NT Power will no longer collect security deposits and is in the process of refunding deposits already paid, back to customers. 
  • Monthly bills and its online portal will see improvements in the future as NT power aims to help customers better understand their power usage and how it impacts cost.  

As the Town is the sole shareholder of Newmarket Hydro Holdings Inc., Council provided approval of the financial statements, selected auditors and directors as part of the Annual General Meeting.  

See the full presentation during the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Council Highlights for June 6

Making streets safer with in-road bollards

In-road flexible bollards have been installed on many streets across town as one of many traffic calming measures within the town's annual spring to fall speed management program. The bollards create a visual narrowing of the road for drivers, causing people to reduce their speed.

The flexible bollard program was first piloted in 2016 on two residential collector roads. With Safe Transportation as one of Council's Strategic Priorities the program continued to expand each year with implementation in nearly 30 locations this season.

Residents are encouraged to be mindful of their speed and to reach out to their Ward Councillor or York Regional Police (YRP) if there are trouble spots in their neighbourhood.

Click here for more information on the program and a list of streets included.

Staff set to review 30-minute parking restrictions on Main Street

Council directed staff to review the timed parking restrictions and current parking needs on Main Street, in consultation with the BIA (Business Improvement Area) and downtown businesses.

The current 30-minute parking restriction on Main Street came into effect during provincially mandated business closures throughout the pandemic. At that time, the purpose and intention was to facilitate curbside pick-up by increasing parking turnover.

Staff will review the current need and bring a recommendation back to Council. 

Council Highlights for May 9

2023 budget process update

Council authorized the direction for the 2023 budget process timeline which is later into the year due to the election. In a typical year, budgets are approved in December. The 2023 budget deliberation process will take place between December 2022 and February 2023 with the goal of budget approval by end of March 2023. 

In order to continue operations for the first few months of the year, prior to the budget approval, the Town has delegated authority to make standard expenditures, within approved limitations. 

With this direction, Council provided delegated authority to staff to increase water, wastewater and stormwater rates effective January 1 , based on approved multi-year plans.

Community engagement will continue to be an important part of the budget planning process and will launch in December.

For more information, read the full Staff Report: 2023 Budget Process


Public Hearing: Development Charges by-law and Community Benefits Charge

At Council, residents had the opportunity to make a representation on the proposed 2022 Development Charges by-law and Community Benefits Charge Strategy.

The project which began in 2021 is nearing completion. The amended Development Charge by-law is focused on library, parks and recreation, development related studies and waste diversion. The by-law changes are being made to reflect other legislative changes and to be in line with York Region.

The Community Benefits Charges (CBCs) is a flexible new tool under the Planning Act that helps municipalities tackle the costs of higher density in communities with new developments.

Do you have a question or feedback? Submit your written feedback to Frank Wu, Business Development Specialist at fwu@Newmarket.ca. The project will come back to Committee of the Whole on May 30 for final review with the anticipated passage at the June 6 Council meeting.

Watch the presentation for more information.

 

Get involved in public hearings

Council and staff encourage residents to get involved in the planning process to have a say in future developments and changes in the town.

Residents and stakeholders can go to the Town's homepage and click on the Development Applications icon or go directly to newmarket.ca/planningapplications. This page is home to information on all applications currently underway with the Planning Department.

At the last Council Meeting, residents came in person to Council Chambers, or provided written correspondence in advance to ask questions and provide input on:

  • 2022 Development Charges Study & Community Benefit Charges Strategy
  • Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment - 415 Pickering Crescent
  • Zoning By-law Amendment and Draft Plan of Subdivision - 1038 & 1040 Jacarandah Drive

To learn more about making a deputation to Council visit newmarket.ca/meetings.

Council Highlights for April 19

Council expresses concern over the More Homes for Everyone Act's application fee refund

Newmarket Council has requested an extension from the Province to review the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 to fully review and analyze the implications on the Town of Newmarket. Council also expressed a concern with the proposed fee rebates associated with development applications where a decision is not made within the legislated time-frame.  Council is also asking the Province to review and implement sunset clauses on Official Plan Amendments and Zoning By-law Amendments to accelerate housing in Ontario and deter developers from allowing approved developments to sit idle. 

The purpose of the More Homes for Everyone Act is to speed up the development application process and will require the municipality to refund development fees if the application is not approved within a specific timeframe. 

Newmarket is a growing community and not all planning applications are the same. The size, type of development, location and complexity of the application are all factors that come into play when approving a development application.

Community consultation is also a very important aspect when approving development applications. Shortening the timeframe for approval will limit opportunities to hear residents' feedback on the application.

Timeframes on approvals are also out of the Municipality's control as the process requires an application review from external review partners. Refunding application fees due to external factors that are beyond the municipality's control is not fair and would have financial impact to the municipality.

Therefore, with these concerns noted above, Council requested an extension from the Province to review the More Homes for Everyone Act in order to do a more comprehensive review of all changes proposed under Bill 109.

For more information, please review the staff report.

Smart Commute Central York 2021 Year in Review

Smart Commute Central York (SCCY) presented their 2021 Year in Review which focused on various initiatives held in partnership with the Town to raise awareness on the different modes of transportation, and enhancing safety in school zones.

One notable program to highlight is their Active School Program that focused on changing behaviors around schools in the community. This program was hosted in partnership with the Town of Newmarket, York Region and the York District and Catholic District school board. 

This program included:

  • School Zone Pavement Markings
  • Painting the curbs red near stop signs to alert drivers to stop
  • School Safety Sign Installations
  • Estimated Commute time installations
  • Data collection to enhance safety in schools
  • Walks with Mayor John Taylor

Residents can expect to see more from SCCY in 2022 including a new app that will help residents find commuters in their neighbourhood. Stay tuned and visit the Smart Commute website for more information. 

Newmarket Council grants Campbell's Amusements Carnival License Application

Newmarket Council is excited to welcome back the Joe Persechini Charity Midway to Town. Council has granted Campbell's Amusements Carnival License Application to this event from May 9 to 15 at the Magna Centre.

The applicant has had a history of hosting and operating Carnivals in Newmarket in 2018 and 2019 and no noise complaints were received at that time. Proper COVID-19 and safety protocols were also provided to the Town for review and will be adjusted should Public Health measures change.

This event is sponsored by Easter Seals Society with all proceeds going to Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Residents in the area will be notified ahead of time to ensure minimal disruption.

For more information, please view the Carnival Licence Application for Campbell Amusements Staff Report to Council staff report.

Council Highlights for March 28

Mulock Project phase two gets the green light

Council reviewed a Mulock Property Implementation Budget Update and have provided consent (Capital Spending Authority) to use $3.5 million in available funding to advance the historic house and off-site supplementary parking as part of phase two of the project.

Earlier in the process, Council separated budget for these two project elements from the Park design and development process. Funding was previously reserved for the 'state of good repair' work. In addition to these reserves, funding for the adaptive re-use and off-site parking will come from Federal Gas Tax and Development Charges and will have no impact to tax payers.

This year, contractors will bring the house up to "state of good repair" which includes roof, verandah and foundation improvements to preserve the structure. This work will keep the building safe and prevent further damage from the elements. The Town will also be engaging architectural and heritage consultants to begin design for the 'adaptive re-use' renovation of the Mulock House, with the goal to have the house ready when the park opens to the public.

Lastly, the Town will begin engineering design to further advance discussions with Hydro One and start planning off-site parking in the Hydro Corridor. This off-site parking is essential to preserve greenspace within the park, and will also provide a needed link in the multi-use pathway system between Mulock Park and the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

To learn more about the phase two projects read the complete Staff Report here.

Town Traffic Calming program launches this spring

In an effort to ensure safe transportation in Newmarket, Council approved a Traffic Calming program that is set to launch this spring/summer.  The program incorporates feedback provided by Members of Council during the Traffic Calming Workshop held in November of 2021. 

Here are some highlights of the program:

  • 'Urban Shoulders' is a new calming measure consisting of a line painted 1 to 2 metres away from a curb which narrows the road and encourages drivers to slow down.

  • Solar Radar Board program is back and with more signs! Each ward will have two Solar Radar Boards that will be moved monthly. Residents can make location requests by contacting your Councillor or Customer Service.

  • 'Safety Sally' is a cut-out of a child that will be placed at the side of a busy street with a message to "Slow down for my safety!" Two cut-outs will be piloted this year at the side of busy streets to see if they can encourage motorists to slow down. One cut-out is reserved for the Lorne Avenue Traffic Calming Demonstration Project.

Read the full Staff Report to learn more about the proposed Traffic Calming program. Locations for traffic calming measures are outlined in the Appendices on the Agenda.

Do you have feedback or requests about traffic safety? You can:

Learn more about the Town's traffic calming measures at newmarket.ca/safetydriven

Council supports federal funding for a Lake Simcoe Restoration Fund

Following a motion put forward at Committee of the Whole on March 21, the Town of Newmarket is requesting the federal government to renew its support to fund a Lake Simcoe Restoration Fund that represents a significant percentage of the overall Freshwater Action Plan Fund.

Lake Simcoe is one of Ontario's largest watersheds and a significant source of drinking water for the growing communities surrounding it. It's also integral to local recreation, tourism, agriculture and other key economic drivers.

Through this motion, Newmarket joins the Town of Georgina, Bradford West Gwillimbury, East Gwillimbury, Innisfil, Oro-Medonte, Orillia and City of Barrie in asking for federal funding to undertake numerous initiatives to protect and improve the watershed.

The Town will be sending a copy of this resolution, along with a letter from the Mayor to the Federal Minister of Finance, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, the President of the Treasury Board, the many local Members of Parliament and to all Lake Simcoe-region municipalities and the LSRCA with a request for their endorsement.

You can watch the discussion when the motion was brought to Council at the March 21 Committee of the Whole meeting here (1:35)

Council Highlights for March 7

Newmarket Council calls on province to dissolve the Ontario Land Tribunal

Town Council approved a motion calling on the province to dissolve the Ontario Land Tribunal or create an adjudication process to only hear cases that challenge a municipality on the basis that it is not adhering to the local Official Plan.

The current Ontario Land Tribunal process is a significant source of red tape which has delayed the development of more housing options, including affordable housing which is in high demand.

Municipalities across the province collectively spend millions of taxpayer dollars and municipal resources developing Official Plans to meet Provincial planning policy. Local residents are engaged in the process and the Province has the opportunity to review and approve each local Official Plan. However, in the current structure, these decisions can be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal, an unelected body that is not accountable to local residents. Municipalities are then in a position of having to spend money and resources to defend their approved Official Plans, acting as a barrier to development of much needed housing projects.

The Town of Newmarket is looking for a resolution that will cut red tape, minimize redundant spending and ultimately, put decisions back in the hands of local municipalities.

Council's motion will be sent to the attention of the Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Leader of the Opposition, the Leaders of the Liberal and Green Party and all MPPs in the Province of Ontario.

The motion will also be sent to fellow Ontario municipalities for consideration to join the movement.

Read the complete motion on the Council Agenda (see 9.2.14) or watch the discussion during the Committee of the Whole on February 28.

New Election Sign By-Law lowers candidates' cost for entry

In preparation for the upcoming municipal and provincial elections, Council approved an updated Election Sign By-Law which dramatically reduces the cost for candidates, helping lower barriers to engage in the democratic process.

The approved by-law includes a new fee and fine structure to directly associate fees or fines with confirmed violations, rather than a non-refundable deposit for all candidates or parties.

Ultimately, candidates will no longer be required to pay a $500 non-refundable fee for enforcement purposes. This is replaced with a $50 application processing fee and a $250 deposit that will be refunded if all signs are removed by the candidate in the required timeframe.

For more details, read the Information Report and Election Sign By-Law.

Town's Development Charge Study and Community Benefit Charges Strategy is nearing completion

Council received a presentation by representatives of Hemson Consulting who provided an update on the Development Charge Study and Community Benefit Charges Strategy. The external consulting firm launched the project in early 2021 and is nearing completion.

Development Charges are fees the municipality collects from developers and builders at the time a building permit is issued. These fees pay for growth-related capital projects for services, such as library, fire, parks and recreation, waste diversion and more. In 2019 the Town conducted its standard five-year review of the rates builders pay the municipality to support infrastructure to meet the demands of growth.

The purpose of this study is to re-evaluate the development charges, based on a change in legislation which includes a new Community Benefits Charge.    

Following extensive review of the Town's historical service levels, funding envelopes and development charge rates, Hemson is expected to release the study and strategy in early April and share with the community for feedback at a consultation on May 9.

The current proposal is to amend the Development Charge by-law to reflect legislative changes, including conforming to a new York Region by-law, in addition to implementing a Community Benefit Charge strategy.

With input from the public, Council will review the strategy at the May 30 Committee of the Whole with anticipated passage of the new Development Charges (DC) and Community Benefit Charges (CBC) in June.

Watch the presentation to Council during the Committee of the Whole on February 28.

More informa

Council Highlights for February 7

Council creates new Private Tree Protection By-law

Council passed a new Private Tree Protection By-law that will help protect Newmarket's tree canopy and support the Urban Forestry Management Plan that aims to grow and preserve the Town's tree canopy. Newmarket's tree canopy currently covers 28% of the Town and the Town is working towards the York Region target of 35% coverage by 2051.

Trees are a capital asset and provide many environmental benefits such as removing air pollution, providing shelter and food for animals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing erosion and more. It is estimated that trees:

  • Help avoid more than 200,000 cubic meters of water runoff each year 
  • Reduce residential energy costs by more than $3,000,000 per year
  • Remove 40 tonnes of air pollution per year and store 35,345 tonnes of carbon

With the by-law in place, residents will be required to obtain a permit to remove trees over 20 centimeters in diameter, when measured at 1.4m /140cm from the ground. Property owners will be subject to a fine if trees are removed, destroyed or injured without a permit.

Once a tree is approved for removal, the resident will need to either replace the tree, or pay compensation in-lieu of the tree. The compensation amounts will be used to plant new trees and invest in programs related to expanding the Town's tree canopy.

All permit fees are waived until July 1, 2022.

The by-law has been many years in the making and is an important step towards creating lasting change as part of Council's strategic priority on environmental stewardship.

Ongoing community engagement helped to shape the by-law, including a final discussion with Council at the Special Committee of the Whole on January 24 and again during the Council meeting, which helped to fine tune the parameters of the pay structure and permit process to ensure the by-law struck the right balance in being reasonable for residents looking to shape and maintain their property, while encouraging property owners to find new and innovative solutions for preserving trees.

Staff will report back to Council on the project in 2024.

To learn more, watch the final discussion at Council on February 7 and stay tuned for the application roll out coming soon.

Town sets new standard in sustainable community building

Newmarket Council officially approved an agreement with Shining Hill Estates Collection Inc. that will build a sustainable community on lands municipally located at 16250, 16356 and 16450 Yonge Street.

The agreement will set a new standard in sustainable community living in Newmarket that will require the developer to transfer a minimum of 80 acres of environmentally sensitive land to the Town, as well as build a community with green and affordable housing options, including low impact development, new trails, dog park(s), a clubhouse with courts, the planting of 5000+ trees and more.

In addition, the agreement will provide financial support for a variety of Town initiatives, including:

  • $1,000,000 contribution to the Town for seed funding to establish a Town Green Environmental Fund for initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • A total contribution of $12,500 per residential unit built by the developer that will be used for the green environmental fund, the Mulock House Heritage fund, the Town's Public Art Fund and for multi-use paths and active transportation in Newmarket, with an initial focus on Mulock Drive

Council also approved an Official Plan Amendment submitted by the developer to provide a long-term vision for these lands located in the southwest area of the municipally known as 16250, 16356 and 16450 Yonge Street. The amendment will allow portions of the lands to be developed for urban uses such as a mix of residential, institutional, commercial, office, parks and open spaces uses.

Click to view a copy of the full agreement.

Newmarket Council calls on York Region to increase intensification rate in Draft Regional Official Plan

Newmarket Council received a presentation on the Draft York Region Official Plan (ROP). The ROP provides strategic direction for growth, development and intensification in the region through to 2051.

For Newmarket, the draft OP includes:

  • Target population of 115,900 and employment of 58,500
  • Intensification target of 11,100 units between 2016 and 2051
  • 12 Major Transit Station Area

The designation of Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) is new to the Region's OP and represents the area around existing and planned transit stations or major bus stops, outlining an approximate 10-minute walk radius. Density targets are set for these areas, ranging from 150 to 250 people and jobs per hectare. Members of Council expressed a need for more details on this element of the plan and called on interested community stakeholders and residents to reach out to their Ward Councillor, or Regional Councillor to share input.

As part of the public consultation on the draft ROP, the municipal Councils within York Region are asked to provide feedback. Newmarket Council responded to the draft ROP, requesting York Region to target a minimum 55-60% intensification rate when it revises its Official Plan this year. The current York Region plan proposed a phased 50 – 55% intensification rate (50% until 2041, 55% from 2041 to 2051). Currently, Newmarket has an 85% intensification rate.

Residents can get involved now on York Region's website or in May when a Statutory Public Meeting is expected.

Regional staff are targeting to bring the final Regional Official Plan to Regional Council for adoption in June before proceeding through provincial approvals in July.

The Town of Newmarket's Official Plan review will follow the Regional OP approval to ensure conformity.

Council Highlights for January 17

Newmarket Food Pantry pilot project brings fresh food to the community

Adrian Bain, Executive Director of the Newmarket Food Pantry introduced a pilot Community Fridge initiative to Council and received overwhelming support for the innovative concept that is growing by grass roots organizations and municipalities across North America.

A community fridge is a designated public repository of fresh, donated foods that anyone can take from for free, at any time. The pilot Community Fridge is managed by Newmarket Food Pantry, in partnership with the Newmarket Public Library which will be the location for the first fridge.

Food will be donated daily by businesses, organizations and individuals across the community and will be a place Newmarket residents can turn when they are in need. It's an opportunity for our community to help our community.

The project is set to launch this winter. For more information about the concept and discussion at the Committee of the Whole meeting, watch here.

Track Council's Strategic Priorities on interactive dashboard

An interactive dashboard was created to showcase some of the key projects the Town has progressed in support of Council's Strategic Priorities which were set in 2018.

The Council Strategic Priorities Digital Portal is a roadmap that drives back to Council decision-making and Town Planning and will be updated twice a year.

Recent completed action items include:

  • Digital Transformation Study was a major output under long term financial stability as part of the REV It Up action plan
  • Urban Design Guidelines were developed to provide clear direction to developers, to reduce processing timelines and increase quality and functionality of development. This was part of the Corridor Development initiative to create vibrancy on Yonge, Davis & Mulock.

Navigate through the interactive dashboard to see more examples of how initiatives in progress towards Council's Strategic Priorities.

The future of York Region's Transportation

Representatives from York Region's Transportation Services Department presented an update on the Region's Transportation Master Plan to members of Council. The master plan will support planned growth within the region over the next 30 years.

The future for our region's transportation prioritizes connections that are safe, reliable, convenient and environmentally sustainable. Extensive public and stakeholder engagement has led to five proposed focus areas:

  1. Safety for all travellers
  2. Transportation equity – providing transportation options that fit all lifestyles and abilities
  3. Reduce car travel – especially during rush hours
  4. Financial and environmental sustainability
  5. Review the role and function of Regional corridors

The draft Master Plan will be presented to Regional Council in March, followed by a public open house in the spring. The final Transportation Master Plan will go to Council for endorsement in June.

Watch the presentation from Brian Titherington, Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Planning, and Lauren Crawford, Manager, Transportation Long-Term Planning from York Region's Transportation Services Department.

2021 Council Highlights
Council Highlights for December 13

Newmarket Council takes a financially responsible approach to the approval of the 2022 Budget

Newmarket Council approved the 2022 Budget at the most recent Council Meeting on December 13 that will result in a 1.99 per cent tax increase (Town Portion). As a result of Council direction, this increase is one percent lower than the originally proposed 2.99 per cent increase. The 2022 Budget balances fiscal responsibility with planning for the future, while at the same time recognizing the financial impacts the community is facing during the pandemic. One percent of the increase is dedicated to the Asset Replacement Reserve in keeping with the Town's Financial Strategy, leaving an operational increase of only 0.99 per cent.

The total approved 2022 Operating Budget is $141.6 million and the Capital Budget is $32.8 million, with a combined total of $174.4 million.

With the 2022 Budget, the Town of Newmarket continues to maintain its high level of services, while keeping tax rates in Newmarket lower than the rest of the GTA. Staff were able to find approximately $667,000 in savings through efficiencies and reductions to continue to keep tax rates low. For the average home assessed at approximately $702,400, residents can expect to see a property tax increase of $44.09 ($3.67 per month), a $53.47 ($4.45 per month) increase on the water and wastewater bill and an increase of $5.91 ($0.49 per month) for the stormwater charge. 

 Highlights of the 2022 Budget include:

  • Increasing funding for parks, trails and green spaces to support Council's Strategic Priority to create extraordinary places and spaces.
  • Finalizing all detailed engineering work related to the Mulock Park.
  •  Advancing the Newmarket Outdoor Arena to be located at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.
  • Completing the final design on the Mulock Multi-Use Path which will run from Bathurst Street to Harry Walker Parkway (approx. 6km) along Mulock Drive. 
  •  Completing Newmarket's first Outdoor Skate Park at the Magna Centre designed with and for youth.
  • Modernizing the Town's service delivery through technology and process improvements (Digital Transformation Strategy).
  • Maintaining all levels of service as noted by residents as the number one priority through the 2022 Budget Survey.

Visit newmarket.ca/2022budget for more information.

The Newmarket Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Task Force presented its final report to Council, who directed staff to develop a plan to implement the recommendation in the report and asked the Task Force to extend its mandate to provide input and comments on the plan.

The final report includes 12 focus areas, three immediate actions and 117 recommendations. These recommendations were based on the task force's extensive research, consultation with community members, literature and policy reviews and best practices in other jurisdictions.

Some of the focus areas of the report include but are not limited to, support for black-owned businesses, black leadership, representation and recognition, cultural change, support for black youth, income inequality and disparity and more.

Staff will be report back to Council no later than Q2 of 2022 with a proposed action plan and an implementation approach for the recommendations highlighted in the report.

For more information, please view the presentation.

Newmarket Council adopts the recommendations outlined in the Town's Assets Management Plan Executive Summary

Newmarket Council received a presentation on the Asset Management Plan (AMP) Executive Summary that provides a summary of the overall current condition of the Town's core assets (roads, bridges, water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure) and 15 recommendations to improve Asset Management maturity within the organization in the near future.

The individual Asset Management Plans will be presented to Council in early 2022 and additional recommendations for each of the five core Asset Management Plans will be addressed as part of a Council Workshop in early 2022. 

For more information, please view the Asset Management Executive Summary.

Council Highlights for November 22

Newmarket prepares for the Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) management in 2022

Following a successful 2021 Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) public outreach and educational campaign, Newmarket Council continues to support mitigation measures to help limit the effects of LDD in our community with the approval of a 2022 LDD Management Program.

Newmarket along with many parts of York Region experienced a severe infestation of Lymantria Dispar Dispar (LDD).

During a population outbreak, large numbers of caterpillars feed on the leaves of trees. With more than 50% of the Newmarket's tree canopy being private, the Town engaged residents to provide them helpful information related to LDD. This includes but is not limited to, information on the website, helpful hints, an interactive map to track the LDD population in Newmarket, best practices for controlling the caterpillars during each lifecycle, educational videos and educational workshops at the Farmers' Market. Newmarket also provided over 2,100 free banding kits in June of 2021 to residents which was very well-received.

As Newmarket prepares for the upcoming 2022 season, the Town hopes to continue its educational and public outreach efforts. Learn more about LDD in Newmarket by visiting newmarket.ca/lddmoth

Newmarket Council adopts an Official Plan Amendment for the Upper Canada Mall Master Plan

Newmarket Council continues to support growth in the Town's Urban Growth Centres through the adoption of an Official Plan Amendment for a long-term revitalization of Upper Canada Mall.

The master plan for the area is expected to take place in phases over the next 30-40 years and will include a mixed-use and vibrant community that features park spaces, commercial opportunities, approximately 5,000 residential units, 9,700m2 of non-residential space, a new road system and approximately 4,500 parking spaces. At full build-out the redeveloped space will include approximately 1.8ha in three new public parks; including a new almost 1ha Iconic Park at the corner of Yonge and Davis. At this time, while the Official Plan Amendment has been adopted by Newmarket, it will be considered by York Region for approval. Learn more by viewing the report.

Newmarket Council re-instates the Off-Street Parking Program

Newmarket Council re-instates the Off-Street Parking program to assist residents who require overnight parking while winter parking restrictions are in effect between the hours of 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. This program was first introduced in 2020 during the pandemic to assist residents who had additional vehicles at their residence. In 2021, due to increased parking demands, and the lingering effects of COVID-19, Council decided to re-instate the program to assists residents further. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit: newmarket.ca/parkingexemptions  

Council Highlights for November 1

2022 Budget: Planning for a future-ready Newmarket 

Newmarket Council continues to plan for a future-ready Newmarket while being fiscally responsible in 2022 Budget planning process. Council reviewed the 2022 Capital Budget that proposes $30.3 million in expenditures in 2022. Over $7 million of that will go to road rehabilitation, maintenance and replacement. Other projects include an outdoor rink at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, Fire Station 4-5 construction, work on the Mulock Park and more. To learn more, please view the full report.

Newmarket is also currently asking residents to participate in an upcoming 2022 Budget Facebook Live event on November 16 at 7 p.m. to learn more about the budget. Residents can also have their say by participating in the online survey. All participants will be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a local Newmarket business. Learn more at newmarket.ca/2022budget 

62 Bayview Parkway: Future home to affordable rental housing 

Newmarket Council is proud to continue to offer affordable housing options for everyone by partnering with York Region by exploring the redevelopment of 62 Bayview Parkway. At the Council meeting, York Region updated Council on the building that is expected to generate between 115 and 250 affordable and market rental housing that services the entire community including families, and singles.

The new development will take approximately four years to complete and is subject to municipal planning approvals and federal and/or provincial funding assistance. This timeline allows for comprehensive planning, design and tendering processes, and an anticipated two-year construction phase. The final design will be determined through the planning process with input from the public through an engagement process.
The full presentation can be found here. More information on the project can be viewed on York Region’s webpage. 

Newmarket Council continues to further the Town’s Digital Transformation Study in order to provide a more digital and accessible Newmarket for the community. 

At the most recent Council Meeting, Council received an update from the Town’s consultant Strategy Corp. The presentation shared the vision, guiding principles, barriers and risks that staff may experience with the project. The next steps will be for Strategy Corp to refine core findings based on Council’s feedback, further define the operational plans and complete the strategy. The final strategy is expected to be presented to Council at the November 15 Committee of the Whole meeting. Learn more by viewing the presentation. 
Council Highlights for August 30

What happened at the Special Council Meeting on August 30, 2021 

At Monday’s Council meeting it was decided that the Town of Newmarket will move forward with a required vaccination policy for all staff, in line with various other public and private sector organizations. With COVID-19 cases rising throughout York Region and the province and the Delta variant continuing to cause significant concerns, this is an important step forward to continue to protect the health and safety of the Newmarket community and Town staff.

Council has directed staff to prepare a draft policy that will come back to the Committee of the Whole meeting on September 13. The policy will require all Town of Newmarket staff to receive two doses of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the best protection possible against COVID-19. Staff will be required to provide proof of first vaccination by October 1, 2021, and proof of the second dose by November 1, 2021 in line with York Region's policy. Staff members with valid medical or other human rights-based exemptions will be considered for appropriate accommodation within the policy. Council also has asked staff to report back on examining vaccine requirements for the public entering municipal buildings.

The draft policy for required staff vaccinations is anticipated to be on the agenda for the September 13 Committee of the Whole meeting. In addition to municipal staff, Council has directed staff to review potential vaccination requirements for public attendance at Town facilities, which will also come forward on September 13, streamed live at newmarket.ca/meetings. Additional details will be provided when the policy is finalized.

The Town of Newmarket has finalized its Urban Design Guidelines (UDG) that will help shape future development.  Newmarket’s Urban Design Guidelines will come into effect immediately and provide a standardized approach to design that will apply to all new development and additions to existing buildings in Newmarket. The UDG was established based on eight objectives that make a development great. This includes:

1. Fit harmoniously into the established context

2. Mitigate impacts on adjacent properties

3. Create attractive, human-scaled buildings

4. Support walkability and active transportation

5. Minimize vehicle presence in the public realm

6. Promote vibrant streets

7. Provide amenity space for all residents

8. Ensure safety and accessibility for all

The finalized Urban Design Guidelines are a result of an extensive public consultation process while working with Fotenn Planning + Design. This process included two virtual public information centres, a Council Workshop, and a visual demonstration site survey. The draft guidelines were also sent to Newmarket stakeholders and the development industry for feedback.

For more information on the Urban Design Guideline Process, please view the staff report. For more information on Newmarket’s Urban Design Guidelines, please view a copy of the document.

Newmarket Council approved a draft policy to permit electronic participation through hybrid meetings. Newmarket Council has been meeting remotely through electronic meetings since April 27, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Council meetings were held in a fully electronic fashion, due to the public health restrictions prohibiting gatherings. While meetings were held electronically out of necessity, Council was able to continue to conduct its meetings effectively and the advantages of allowing electronic participation during Council meetings became clear. Despite the significant barriers posed by the public health measures, Council meetings continued on a regular schedule with high levels of attendance from Councillors and also high levels of public participation. As the Town continues to transition out of its COVID-19 pandemic measures, staff recommend the inclusion of electronic participation for meetings going forward, in addition to traditional in-person participation. This ‘hybrid’ approach will allow for the opportunities presented by electronic participation to be added to the in-person meeting format. 

Council Highlights for July 19

Newmarket Mayor and Members of Council announced the appointment of Ian McDougall to the position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Mr. McDougall has been with the Town since 2003, progressing through various roles, including Director, Recreation & Culture and most recently holding the position of Commissioner, Community Services for the past nine years. The CAO reports directly to Council and leads, manages and administers all organizational and operational services for the Town. 

Mr. McDougall replaces CAO Jag Sharma, who left the position to join the Toronto Community Housing Corporation as CEO. 

A few highlights of Mr. McDougall’s recent accomplishments while leading the Community Services Commission include

The CAO reports directly to Council and leads, manages and administers all organizational and operational services for the Town. The CAO is responsible for delivering on Council’s and the Town’s strategic planspriorities and overall development goals while managing the effectiveness of the Town’s administration to ensure innovative, efficient and cost-effective delivery of municipal services. The CAO is also responsible for implementing approved policies, budgets and appropriations and oversees intergovernmental relations, corporate strategic planning, fostering community relations and coordinating interdepartmental initiatives.

“For the past 17 years, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with extraordinary Council members, senior management and our incredible staff to bring innovative and creative strategies to life that have made Newmarket a community like no other,” says Ian McDougall. “One of my first priorities is to support Council’s goal in helping Newmarket get back to business as we work towards economic recovery, while ensuring we continue to foster an inclusive and equitable environment. I look forward to the future and I am excited and honoured to be able to continue to lead Newmarket with staff and Council.”
 
Mr. McDougall holds a masters certificate in Municipal Management through Schulich School of Business, a diploma in Public Administration from Western University and a Bachelor of Recreation Studies from the University of Manitoba. At the Town, Ian has been the Commissioner, Community Services for the past 9 years and previously held the positions of Director, Recreation & Culture, Assistant Director, Recreation & Culture and Manager of Marketing, Special Events and Culture. Prior to that, Mr. McDougall worked over 11 years in senior roles focused on community development with Special Olympics Ontario, Ontario Sport Alliance, a regional sport development association and a successful Pan American Games Bid Committee. 
 
With Mr. McDougall taking on the role of CAO, recruitment for the Commissioner, Community Services will take place shortly


Council Highlights for June 21, 2021

Personal Wellness Establishments
At the June 21 Council Meeting the Town of Newmarket council approved repealing the Body Rub Parlour bylaw and introducing a new Personal Wellness Establishment (PWE) licence classification. PWE's are any business that offers massage services by a person who is not a regulated health care professional (i.e. RMT).

Recognizing the challenges that our community faces regarding Body Rub Parlours and the licensing of massage services, the Town of Newmarket conducted a review of its Body Rub Parlour By-law and has adopted a new Personal Wellness Establishment By-law. This new by-law requires any person offering alternative massage services to have some form of training.

The update also seeks to establish clear regulations that will strengthen enforcement initiatives against unlawful businesses that are known to exist within Newmarket and that may be operating contrary to any law associated with human trafficking.

The engagement process was extensive and far-reaching and included an interactive virtual Public Information CenterCouncil Workshop, two surveys, consultation with a variety of business owners, community groups and residents, and a Webinar designed to engage stakeholders on proposed regulations.

After lengthy consultation, the Legislative Services Department presented proposed regulations at a Special Committee of the Whole which include applications requirements to be classified as a PWE which includes ensuring businesses provide floor plans of the business, business owner to ensure all attendants have the required certifications needed to perform services where possible and be able to vet application through York Regional Police (YRP)  to ensure businesses are operating legally. 

Town staff will work with businesses to ensure that those who may be impacted have support and all the required documents to obtain the PWE licence. This by-law is a step forward in creating safer work environments and assists in the overall safety of the community. 

These regulations will not take effect right away; Council must first review its Zoning By-laws to determine where the Personal Wellness Establishments may be located in Town. Council is expected to review its Zoning By-laws in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. The licensing regulations will be in place at the same time the Zoning By-laws come into effect.


Stormwater Ponds Restrictions
The Town of Newmarket is continuing to educate residents on the dangers of using stormwater management ponds (SWMP)s for recreational purposes and ensure that safe alternatives are available for year-round use. Staff will develop a strategy to ensure that the SWMPs are properly maintained and inspected, prohibited materials are removed, and that appropriate signage is at all locations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was an influx of residents finding ways to enjoy the outdoors and stay active during the Provincial State of Emergency and Stay at Home Orders, particularly in the winter months. This had resulted in an increased number of individuals using SWMPs for recreational purposes

Unlike natural ponds, SWMPs are designed to collect and release runoff from rainfall and snowmelt to help prevent flooding in the community. As a result, water levels change rapidly due to the constant water flow. In the winter months, the pond water may also contain road salt and other contaminants, which contribute to poor ice quality. These factors combine to create dangerous and unpredictable conditions

The Town of Newmarket offers a variety of safe outdoor activity options for residents including maintained ice rinks, splash pads, tennis courts, and parks. The Town currently works with community groups to provide three ice surfaces for residents' use during the winter months, with Riverwalk Commons being maintained by staff, and both Ken Sturgeon Park and the Newmarket Lions Park being maintained by residents. Future outdoor rink amenities will also be available through the Outdoor Ice Rink at the Ray Twinney Recreational Complex, as well as the skating trail at Mulock Park. These options are available to ensure that residents have an opportunity to spend time outside and be physically active.


Celebration Bench Coming to Main Street

In collaboration with York Region Pride, Newmarket's Main St. is getting a rainbow Celebration Bench. The rainbow has become an international symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited (LGBTQ2S) pride and LGBTQ2S social movements. The colours reflect the identity and diversity of the LGBTQ2S community and serve as an outward symbol of support. This bench is being installed in commemoration of a long-time serving Board Member of York Pride member who passed away in 2020.

The York Region Pride organization, in its 20th year of operation, serves to organize festivals, events, entertainment, and other initiatives, which, in the context of sexuality and gender identity, illuminate and celebrate human diversity, captivate the general public, inspire inclusivity, and foster harmony and acceptance. Since 2017, the Town of Newmarket has been home to the flagship event – the Pride Parade and Festival. The Town has supported this through the provision of event support, and in-kind contributions.

Council Highlights for May 31, 2021

Newmarket's Anti-Black Racism Task Force Interim Report

Jerisha Grant-Hall Chair of Newmarket's Anti-Black Racism Task Force (NABRTF) presented the interim report to the Committee of the Whole on May 25th. The Anti-Black Racism Task Force was established on July 27, 2020, to support the Town's work and encourages positive race relations within the Town of Newmarket by providing advice to Council/ the Strategic Leadership Team and being mindful of its focus on anti-Black racism and racial equity within Newmarket.

In February 2021, the Task Force launched a survey to gain insight into community members' lived experiences in relation to anti-Black racism in Newmarket. The survey results will allow the Task Force to make recommendations to Council that focus on racial equity opportunities in Newmarket, and on issues or activities that impact the Black community.

To meet its mandate to review and assess Town policies and procedures, the NABRTF undertook several steps to determine the best way forward. These steps include:

  • Undertake Literature Review
  • Engage in an Environmental Scan
  • Review of Towns Demographic Information
  • Review of Town of Newmarket Policies
  • Identification of Best Practices

For more information on the NABRTF click here.


Council is one step closer to fulfilling their strategic priority to ensure safe streets in Newmarket

The Town of Newmarket and York Region is planning to build a new multi-use path (MUP) that would run along Mulock Drive from Bathurst Street to Harry Walker Parkway. This east-west path will be designed to allow for a wide range of recreational uses such as cycling, walking, jogging, and wheelchair access. The goal for the Mulock Drive MUP is to allow the community to connect to key destinations in Town such as the future Mulock GO Station, existing trails, schools, and the future Mulock Property.

We want to hear your thoughts on this project. Join us for a virtual Public Information Center on June 10 from 7-8 p.m. via Zoom. At this meeting, our consultant WSP will be presenting the preliminary findings of the feasibility study for this project,   feedback from the community, and answer your questions.

Visit newmarket.ca/mup for more details on the Public Information Centre


The Municipal Streetscape Partnership Program (MSPP) 

The Municipal Streetscape Partnership Program (MSPP) is a funding program that assists York Region's nine local municipalities in cost-sharing on streetscape design projects on Regional roads. Local municipalities are responsible for the operation, maintenance, and long-term rehabilitation of enhanced streetscape features. The Town of Newmarket has submitted an application to participate in the MSPP. The applications include a 50/50 cost-sharing of the construction costs for streetscape improvements on Yonge Street from Davis Drive to the northern Town boundary with all funds to be paid through Development Charges.

Being at the centre of the growth corridor, the streetscape enhancement design focuses on creating a safer and more vibrant pedestrian and cycling experience, while maintaining alignment and compatibility with the recently completed VivaNext works

Click here to see the full report

Council Highlights for May 10, 2021

Body Rub Parlour Review Results

After an extensive public consultation process including two surveys, use of the Town's online engagement platform, a public information centre, consultation with stakeholders, and multiple deputations regarding the Town's Body Rub Parlour Review, Newmarket Council directed staff to start drafting regulations for a modified licensing framework that will take stronger enforcement action against unlawful body rub parlours in Town.

This licensing framework will replace the "Body Rub Parlour" classification within the bylaw with a new classification of "Personal Wellness Establishment". Details of the licensing structure are still being drafted, however, key elements may include a strongly vetted application process through certification requirements, pre-interview audits to ensure the practices of the business align with this new classification, inspection of a business prior to the licence being issued, and processes to ensure the health and safety of all residents and workers. 

Newmarket Council is committed to working with businesses to ensure the licensing framework will continue to allow reputable businesses to operate and conduct business safely and responsibly. 

To learn more, please review the Body Rub Parlour presentation and staff report


Newmarket Council targets a 1.99 per cent increase for the 2022 Budget 

Newmarket Council directed staff to decreased the originally proposed 2.99 per cent tax increase to 1.99 percent in an effort to balance the needs of the community while continuing to invest in the Town's future financial sustainability as a result of the pandemic. It is estimated that a 1.99 per cent increase would equate to approximately $44 per household for the Newmarket tax portion. 

Council will continue to monitor the Town and the community's needs throughout the 2022 Budgeting process and adjust as required before the 2022 Budget is finalized in December 2021. 

Residents are encouraged to participate in the 2022 Budget process by tuning into the Committee of the Whole and Council Meetings within the meeting schedule. Residents will also have an opportunity to get involved in the near future as the Town is currently working on a budget engagement process. 
 

Learn more about the 2022 Budget Target and Process by viewing the staff report to Council.

Council Highlights for April 19, 2021

Smart Commute Central York 2020 update

Since 2007, Smart Commute Central York (SCCY)  has been working with local municipalities and employers to support and encourage sustainable and active travel in northern York Region. While 2020 was a challenging year SCCY continued to adapt to the changing circumstances of the pandemic while promoting active and health communities. With the emergence of COVID-19, Smart Commute focused on digital communications through newsletters, zoom meetings, webinars and more. In light of the pandemic, SCCY focused on providing active strategies for those working from home and worked with worked closely with York Region Public Health to create safe commuting tips. SCCY continued to deliver many of these successful programs in new and different ways including the annual Bike to Work initiative. Plans are under way for a virtual Bike to Work Day in 2021. When things stabilize with the pandemic, SCCY will be working harder than ever to help restore confidence in public transit and carpooling continue to strongly encourage walking, biking and other modes of active transportation. For more information visit the Smart Commute Central York website.

York Small Business Enterprise Centre overview

The York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC) is a strong partner with Newmarket's Economic Development team and is helping to create, innovate and grow small businesses in the Northern municipalities of York Region. YSBEC works closely with the Economic Development area and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce to support small businesses with less than 10 employees. The YSBEC team offers one-at-one consultations, support for business plan development, seminars and webinars, market research guidance and more. Many new programs and additional resources have been implemented to help local small businesses adapt to the changing environment created by pandemic, including the York Region COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Program and the Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program. For more information, please visit yorksmallbusiness.ca

Newmarket's 2021-2024 Economic Development Strategy highlights

Over the past year Newmarket's Economic Development team has been focused on supporting the business community through the unpredictability of COVID-19 in various ways. The Town's Economic Development Resiliency Action Plan includes the creation of the Business Assistance Concierge, Mentorship Access Program and the Choose Local campaign, expanded temporary patio program and much more. The Town continues to be committed to providing assistance to the local business community as they continue to be faced with many challenges related to the pandemic.

Looking towards the future of Economic Development in the community, the Town has worked with many partners, including the Newmarket Economic Development Advisory Committee and the local business community to create the new 2021 – 2024 Economic Development Strategy. Building on the previous success of the 2016 – 2020 Economic Development Strategy, which is now over 90 per cent complete, this will act as the roadmap for Economic Development in the coming years. The update Strategy will focus on Attraction and Marketing (Where work meets play), Building an Entrepreneurial Eco-system (Where innovation meets open minds) and Community Vibe-rancy (Where culture meets community). Check out the 2021-2024 Economic Development Strategy for more details or visit newmarket.ca/business to find out more about doing business in Newmarket.

Council Highlights for March 29, 2021

Voting Methods in the 2022 Municipal Election

Council approved online voting for use in the 2022 Municipal Election. Council also approved the use of paper ballot options, and eliminated telephone voting.


In 2018 the Town ran a successful municipal election using online and telephone voting. In a survey following the 2018 municipal election, the majority of respondents cited 'convenience' as the rationale for having used online voting however the Town also received complaints regarding the telephone system, absence of paper ballots and other concerns including security and privacy. In order to provide voting options while still providing convenience and accessibility, Council decided to approve the continued use of online voting while also providing a paper option. Town staff will develop an election model using online and paper voting that is accessible, secure and convenient. The Town is committed to improving the voting experience for all voters.


Single-use plastics

In efforts to support federal and provincial commitments to develop policies and action plans to curb the use of single-use plastics (SUPs) in Canada and to make Newmarket an environmentally-conscious municipality Council has approved th elimination of plastic cutlery, plastic straws, stir sticks, black plastic, and single-serve milk and cream containers available for event/staff use within Town facilities by July 1, 2021 as well as implementing public education on reducing/eliminating SUP for the public.

Single-use plastics (SUPs) such as bags and straws are difficult for recycling facilities to manage and can contaminate other recycling streams. With end-markets in countries like China prohibiting the import of 24 categories of recyclable material, including eight categories of plastic from Canada due to high levels of contamination, managing these materials has become a burden on many waste management systems. Furthermore, growing public concerns around how plastic waste is polluting the environment, harming wildlife, and entering the food web has prompted action among all levels of government for change.

Staff is also reviewing and looking for new ways to implement policies to further reduce or eliminate the use of non-essential SUP products sold or distributed to the public by the Town and third-party vendors at Town events with exceptions for accessibility.


Newmarket Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program (NEER)

In June 2016 Council approved the Community Energy Plan (CEP) which included a recommendation to create a program that would increase the energy efficiency of 80% of the existing housing stock in Newmarket, called the Newmarket Energy Efficiency Retrofit program (NEER).

The Town has been approved for up to $133,000 in funding to complete the NEER Business/Implementation Plan. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recommends that staff apply for capital funding once the Business/Implementation Plan has been completed and the NEER program is in a position to be financed. 

Council Highlights for March 1, 2021

Service Changes to limit the Financial Impact of COVID-19 

Council continues to make fiscally responsible decisions to limit the financial impacts of COVID-19 for the community. Council approved some service changes in an effort to provide more much-needed recreational services to the community. Doing so will help save approximately $500,000 to $600,000. 

In an effort to limit the financial impacts of COVID-19, the Town will be moving forward with the following service updates. With the updated services noted below, it is expected that the Town will save approximately $500,000 to $600,000 this year. Service updates include:

  • Reverting back to the three-bag garbage limit as of April 6, 2021.
    • At the beginning of the pandemic a temporary five garbage bag limit was put in place to assist residents who were staying at home. This was put in place as a temporary measure and in an effort to reduce costs, as of April 6, the Town will be reverting back to the bi-weekly three bag garbage limit. Garbage bag tags are available for purchase if additional bags/items are required. For more information visit newmarket.ca/garbagecollection
  • Reducing tree plantings this year by 50%
    • Last year, the Town of Newmarket planted 500+ trees to help expand Newmarket's tree canopy and is well within the goals set out in the Urban Forestry Management Plan. As such, the Town will reduce tree planting efforts this year by 50% to assist with the financial impact of COVID-19. The reduction in tree planting will not affect tree plantings for trees that were previously removed and need to be replanted.
  • Reducing the grass cutting frequency and catch basin cleaning
    • Grass cutting will take place once every 10 working days and open spaces and sport fields will take place once every 5 working days.
    • Catch basin cleaning by the Town will be reduced by 50%. Residents will not be affected by this service change as the Town's catch basins are in excellent condition.
  • Postponing playground equipment replacement and rehabilitation has been deferred for 2021. As a result, no playgrounds will be closed for construction this year.
    • The Town's playground equipment continues to be inspected frequently to ensure it is safe for use and will not be significantly impacted by this postponement as the equipment is in good shape.

These service changes, coupled with the Town's ability to draw from the COVID-19 contingency fund, and our continued efforts to seek funding from other levels of government will help offset the financial impacts of the pandemic. 

#RunForSouthlake - Join the Virtual Event 

Newmarket Council is once again supporting Nature Emporium's Run for Southlake Virtual Challenge for 2021. Council is encouraging all residents to join the four-week challenge from April 12 to May 9 that will motivate you to eat well, introduce new habits, build your endurance and go the distance with Southlake. Register today! 

Council continues to create extraordinary spaces in Newmarket by authorizing a Request for Proposal for an outdoor (NHL-sized rink) on the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex property

Council reinforces their commitment to creating extraordinary places and spaces in Newmarket by authorizing the Town to conduct a Request for Proposal (RFP) for architectural services specific to the construction of an outdoor (full sized) ice rink on the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex property as noted in the Town's Recreation Playbook (Master Plan). 

The scope of the work within the RFP will be separated into two parts. Part A will consist of schematic design, design development, costing and consultation. Part B, which will be awarded after completion of Part A to the Town's satisfaction, will consist of tender development and support and contract administration. 

The Town is estimating that design and consultation will take place in 2021 with construction to begin in 2022. (Tentative dates, subject to tender and budget considerations). 

Council Highlights for February 8, 2021

Traffic Safety Updates 

Council continues to deliver on its strategic priority to ensure safe streets in Newmarket by implementing the Traffic Mitigation Strategy to support a variety of safe street initiatives. Council explored speed reduction options for a number of streets in Newmarket including William Roe Boulevard, Dixon Boulevard, Flagstone Avenue and Simcoe Street. 

William Roe Blvd. and Dixon Blvd.

The Town will continue to evaluate needs for speed mitigation in the area of William Roe Boulevard and Dixon Boulevard. Solar speed display signs and lawn signs are some of the steps that will be taken to continue to help manage speeding in this neighbourhood. Residents are encouraged to contact York Regional Police for increased enforcement if they witness speeding. The Town will continue to monitor this area and keep local residents informed of any opportunities for engagement and any actions being taken.

Flagstone Avenue

Solar speed display signs, boulevard signage and painted centre lines will be implemented to help manage speeding on Flagstone Avenue. Additional traffic counts and monitoring will continue in 2021.

Simcoe Street

The Town will install a solar speed display sign on Simcoe Street to inform motorists of their speed. The solar speed display signs have proven to be an effective way to reduce speeds.

To learn more about Newmarket's traffic management efforts visit newmarket.ca/safetydriven

Planning UpdatesSite plan review meeting update for 693-713 Davis Drive (Briarwood)

Site plan review meeting update for 693-713 Davis Drive (Briarwood)

On February 1, Newmarket  Site Plan Review Committee reviewed a site plan for 693-713 Davis Drive. The applicant, Briarwood (NWMKT) Inc. is looking to redevelop the site with two 15 storey towers ranging from one to three bedrooms with 25 per cent of the development proposed as affordable units. Council and staff are continuing to provide their comments to the applicant to be addressed in the next submission.  

Update on Public Planning Meeting for 16250, 16353, 13450 Yonge Street (Shining Hill Estates)

In response to an Official Plan Amendment application, a process has commenced to consider the long-term vision for these lands, located in the southwest area of the Town. The amendment seeks to allow portions of the lands of 16250, 16356 and 16450 Yonge Street to be developed for urban uses such as a mix of residential, institutional, commercial, office, parks and open spaces uses.

Being an Official Plan Amendment application, one of the early steps in this process was the holding of the statutory Public Meeting, as required under the Planning Act.  This was held on January 18, where Council and staff heard from many residents. 

This is the beginning of a detailed process to consider the long-term vision for these lands. The Town will continue to keep the community updated on opportunities for public input and engagement as this process unfolds. If you would like to provide comments, please send written comments to planning@newmarket.ca.  Learn more

Did you know?

The Town can expect a growing amount of development applications on Yonge Street and Davis Drive?  Policies are in place to encourage a wide range of development along these streets, including mid and high-rise development, which will re-urbanize these areas.  These areas are transitioning into walkable, mixed-use places with increased vitality and public transit use.



Council Highlights: January 18, 2021

Top 2 Need-to-Knows from the Council Meeting on January 18:

    Council declared Eddie, the mandarin duck an honorary duck of Newmarket. Eddie, the mandarin duck had escaped from his rescue home and made his way into Fairy Lake. His presence in Newmarket caught the attention of the National press and has brought many smiles and feelings of joy to all residents especially during a time when it is needed the most. He is now safely at home but Eddie, the mandarin duck will forever be an honorary duck of Newmarket.

  1. Council continues to support residents, elderly residents and small local businesses by introducing a 2021 Financial Relief Program. This program will provide a more targeted approach to residents and businesses who are experiencing financial challenges during the pandemic. Details include:

    • Waiving penalty and interests on unpaid property taxes for eligible residents who demonstrate a financial need
    • Increasing the existing property tax rebates for eligible elderly residents by 40 per cent
    • Increasing the existing water and wastewater rebate for eligible residents by 19 per cent
    • Introducing a new water rebate for eligible small local businesses and local business tenants on their water account. This rebate will amount to $1,000 for the year.

    Final details of about the 2021 Financial Relief Plan will be released in the upcoming weeks.

2022 Draft Budget

2022 Draft Budget 

At the Council meeting, Newmarket Council received a report regarding the 2022 Capital and Operating Budget. In May 2021, staff tabled a report (2022 Budget Target and Process) which proposed a 2.99% tax rate increase. However, in an effort to keep Newmarket's taxes approximately 10 per cent below the GTA average while ensuring the Town continues to deliver exceptional services, Council directed staff to find efficiencies and reductions to bring the proposed tax increase down to a 1.99% increase for the tax-supported operating budget.

Rate-supported operating budgets are prepared in alignment with the Water and Wastewater six-year financial plans and the Stormwater six-year financial plan.

In preparing the 2022 budget, the following guiding principles were considered:  

  • Align to Council priorities with the vision of long-term financial sustainability  
  • Implement various recommendations from Fiscal Strategy
  • Maintain existing service levels  
  • Deliver a fiscally prudent budget 

The capital budget will be subject to the availability of funding and operational capacity. Decision packages will be finalized and distributed prior to the next Special Committee of the Whole meeting on October 18, 2021. For more information on the 2022 budget, please visit newmarket.ca/2022budget

Vaccination Requirements

With COVID-19 cases rising throughout York Region and the province and the Delta variant continuing to cause significant concerns, the Town continues to take steps to protect the health and safety of the Newmarket community and Town staff. 

Vaccination Policy for staff, Council and volunteers

The Town of Newmarket has finalized its vaccination policy for staff, volunteers and members of Council that will require full vaccination* by November 1, 2021. Newmarket Council had previously directed staff to draft a policy that was ratified at the Monday, September 20 Council meeting. Staff will be required to provide proof of first vaccination by October 1, 2021, and proof of second dose by November 1, 2021. Staff members with valid medical or other human rights-based exemptions will be considered for appropriate accommodation within the policy.

Vaccination policy for patrons entering facilities

As of October 1, the Town, in accordance with Public Health, will require all individuals 12+ to provide proof of full vaccination* or a valid medical exemption for entry into a Town facility or recreation program, including access to the Customer Service Kiosks at the Magna Centre and the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.

With many organized sports programs already underway, the Town will take an education-first approach until November 1 to ensure participants have time to comply.

Entering a Town facility or program? Those 12+ will be screened and asked to show the following:

  1. Proof of completion of the Town of Newmarket's public screening survey
  2. Hard or digital copy of your proof of vaccination (two doses of a Heath Canada Approved Vaccine or one dose of the Jansen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine dated at least 14 days prior to entry into a Town facility.
  3. You can obtain a copy of this medical record through the Province of Ontario's webpage.
  4. Those with a medical exemption are required to provide a letter from a doctor or nurse practitioner.  

The Town is currently exploring ways to ensure those who are unvaccinated will still be able to access in-person services by appointment. As always, the Town continues to offer its services digitally to all residents.

Masks are mandatory when entering, exiting and travelling throughout the facility, and while watching and/or waiting for participants in programs.

The Newmarket Public Library is exempt from the current regulation requiring vaccination (as per the Provincial regulations). The Library Board will be discussing vaccination requirements for use of the Library at an upcoming meeting.

For more information on the vaccination requirements for the public entering a Town facility or participating in a Town recreation program/event please visit newmarket.ca/covid19  

*Fully vaccinated means all individuals must have proof of two doses of a Health Canada Approved Vaccine or one dose of the Jansen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine plus a two-week waiting period from their last dose. 



2020 Council Highlights

  1. Council Highlights on December 14, 2020

    Top 3 Need-to-Knows from the Council Meeting on December 14:

    1. At the December 14 Council Meeting, Newmarket Council approved the 2021 budget that will result in a 1.98 percent tax increase (Town portion). This is 1.01 percent lower than the originally proposed 2.99 percent increase, recognizing the added financial pressure the community faces as a result of COVID-19. The total approved 2021 Operating Budget is $137.0 million and the Capital Budget is $37.9 million, with a combined total of $174.9 million.

      The Town of Newmarket continues to strive to keep the tax rate approximately 10 percent below the GTA average. Based on an average single-detached home with an assessed value of $700,000, a 465 square meter lot, using 200 cubic meters of water per year, residents will see an increase of $42.86 ($3.57 per month) on their tax bill for 2021. This year, the base budget will increase by only 0.18% with an additional 0.80% for a COVID-19 Contingency Fund and 1% for the Asset Replacement Fund.  Learn more: newmarket.ca/2021budget

    2. 2021 Capital Budget highlights includes the construction of Newmarket's first outdoor skate park, a new Central York Fire Services fire station, a new fleet of fire trucks, completion of the Mulock Property Master Plan, trail and field lighting enhancements and fleet replacement, municipal infrastructure and road resurfacing, improvements for bridges and culvert, traffic safety initiatives, new park developments among other projects.

    3. Council has approved to implement Off-Street Parking Program as an alternative option for residents to park off-street in municipal parking lots throughout the Town's seasonal winter parking restrictions with a permit from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. All residents will be eligible to participate in the proposed off-street parking program. Residents will be required to apply for and obtain a temporary parking exemption permit through the Town's online parking portal. Learn more: newmarket.ca/parkingexemptions


    Council Highlights on November 23, 2020

    Town extends the Financial Relief Program 

    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

    Q3 Operations - Tax Supported, Water and Wastewater, Stormwater, Capital Program and Investments 

    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

    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-lawlicensing 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