Peterborough Public Health Helps Community Gardens to Open During COVID-19 Emergency Orders

Written by Communications, May 1, 2020

Community Gardens Declared an Essential Service by the Province

On April 25, 2020, Ontario announced that community gardens are considered essential services during the COVID-19 emergency orders. Community gardens are a source of fresh local food for many local residents.

“We are happy to announce that community gardens are now permitted to open, provided that they follow public health requirements to keep everyone safe,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “We look forward to supporting local community garden coordinators as they prepare for the growing season.”

Peterborough Public Health released a document this week outlining these requirements, along with an action plan template that gardens can use to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. “These requirements include cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces. Physical distancing will also be required,” said Dr. Salvaterra. She explained that to allow for this, a maximum of five gardeners are permitted at any given time, and gardeners will need to stay two metres apart from those who don’t live in their same household.

Gardens will also be required to post signs to remind gardeners to stay home if they are sick, wash and sanitize their hands properly, and practice physical distancing. All gardeners are also required to review the Recommendations and Instructions for Safe Community Gardening and COVID-19 Prevention before returning to garden. All resources are available on

Dr. Salvaterra noted that some gardens may take more time to open than others, and that all garden members and coordinators will need to continue to work together to help keep community gardens safe.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391