Ontario advances next stage of reopening to February 17
The Ontario government is easing public health measures sooner, with the next phase of measures being eased on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Measures that will be changed at that time include, but are not limited to:
Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
Increasing organized public event limits to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors
Removing capacity limits in the following indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to:
Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities
Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms
Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres
Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
Indoor areas of settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
Allowing 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity at sports arenas
Allowing 50 percent of the usual seating capacity for concert venues and theatres
Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, restaurants where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs
Increasing capacity limits for indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites, or ceremonies to the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance. Capacity limits are removed if the location opts-in to use proof of vaccination or if the service, rite, or ceremony is occurring outdoors.
Capacity limits in other indoor public settings, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, retail and shopping malls, will be maintained at, or increased to, the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance.
On March 1st, the government will lift the requirement to verify vaccine status, although businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof-of-vaccination, as well as all capacity limits. Mask mandates will remain in effect.
Welland Transit drives forward with cost-effective, customer-focused on-demand service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2022
Welland, ON – Welland Transit is ready to move ahead with its on-demand transit service, ending its previous program with TransCab, a similar service operated through partnerships with local taxi providers. On-demand service with Welland Transit begins May 1.
On June 15, 2021, Council approved the procurement of RideCo – on-demand scheduling software. Since January 2022, Transit has seen a 13 per cent increase in their total trips booked through the RideCo app and an average of a two per cent increase weekly since inception (October 2021). This signifies that customers are adapting to the new process and booking trips themselves instead of using the call-in option.
“We’re seeing the increase in demand and usage,” said Edward Zahra, transit manager. “Welland Transit has carefully selected and trained operators, as well as the fleet, to ensure customer satisfaction and increased capacity limits and making this move to on-demand is nothing but positive.”
Employing the on-demand model through Welland Transit, the overall trip time reduces by approximately 30 minutes on average. Customers are picked up from their selected location (work, home, public spaces) with the on-demand area and travel directly to the downtown terminal or another location within the on-demand service area.
Trips are booked through the RideCo app or by telephone, and customers are provided a guaranteed arrival time. Service is offered at the same level as conventional hours: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays/holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The on-demand service comes to a cost of $5 per trip.
Welland Transit offers conventional service covering approximately 25.3 million sqm of Welland’s 85.5 million sqm footprint. This represents about 70 per cent of Welland’s sqm footprint not served by conventional Transit.
Transit now expands to Welland’s entire geographical range and reduces travel time for existing and new riders. For more information on Welland Transit, or to book a ride, visit Transit (welland.ca)
Vaccination clinic locations and times for February 14-20
Walk-ins and appointments are available for Niagara Region Public Health vaccination clinics taking place across Niagara. Eligible residents can walk-in, or book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination either online through the provincial portal at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by calling the provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900.
Community Trails Strategy vision positions Welland
as a leader in connected and active communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2022
Welland, ON – Focusing on active and connected communities, the City of Welland’s new Community Trails Strategy (CTS) provides a blueprint for expanding cycling, walking, and recreational trail networks over the next 20 years.
The CTS guides the City in improving and enhancing active transportation and trail infrastructure and recommends programming and design approaches to increase community trails. In addition, the City is applying for the Federal Governments Active Transportation Fund and seeks other funding opportunities to offset the costs to implement the strategy.
“This strategy will pay dividends for our community for a very long time,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services. “Establishing a direction for our trail networks by focusing on being an active community, Welland continues to make itself a desirable place to live, work, play, and invest.”
Aligning with existing trail and active transportation supportive policies and plans from various levels of government, the CTS complies with current guidelines, enhancing Welland’s features and existing assets. This year, snow removal on Merritt Island and the Stop 19 Trail made the trails accessible throughout the winter and was received with fanfare by the community.
Some key goals of the CTS are to:
Enhance connectivity between trail networks, sidewalks, and on-road cycling routes to create an integrated, connected system of trails and active transportation infrastructure.
Refine existing plans, particularly the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan, to develop an implementation strategy, project phasing, and cost estimates.
Connect residents and visitors alike to Welland’s Trails and natural heritage to provide more opportunities for recreation, transportation, and access to amenities.
Enhance Welland’s position as the Trails Centre of Niagara Region, bringing new tourism and economic development opportunities to the city.
The CTS is an exciting opportunity for the City and a top priority for the community services department as it continues to support and enhance the community’s health and wellbeing of the community.
Ontario invests $4.9 million in Niagara steel and agriculture
The Ontario government is supporting an investment of $53.2 million by two companies in Southwestern Ontario. Combined, the province is investing more than $4.9 million in the local steel manufacturing and agriculture sectors through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 45 new jobs.
Valbruna ASW Inc. is Canada’s only manufacturer of specialty steel products, including carbon, alloy and stainless steel. The company is investing $50 million in new innovative equipment and facility upgrades.
Quick Plug CA Inc. engineers and manufactures a variety of peat plug products for professional growers, including traditional greenhouses and hydroponic growers. The company is investing $3.2 million to centralize its North American production facility in St. Catharines.
Welland, ON – With Family Day in Welland fast approaching, City staff are busy preparing for this year’s free family activities.
Due to weather, the family free skate at Welland’s highly visited Chippawa Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, February 18, is cancelled.
A free family skate is occurring at the Welland Main Arena. Thanks to the Welland Optimist Club, Admission is free by donating a non-perishable food item. There will be a designated ‘Learn to Skate’ area with skate aids and bumpers and a play area where you can try out Ringette.
“It will be great to see families out and to enjoy our outdoor recreational amenities on Family Day,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services. “Our staff thrive in planning and hosting these events and to welcome families from across the city for a fun, free day of activities; it’s a glimpse of what’s to come.”
The Welland Optimist Club will be handing out a voucher for a free hot dog and a free drink to every child who attends the Family Day skate. Vouchers are redeemable at the Main Arena canteen between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on February 21 only.
And if skating isn’t a chosen activity, families can participate in a Family Day Goosechase, running from February 18 at 3 p.m. to February 21 at 6 p.m. The Goosechase, a popular scavenger-hunt style mobile app, offers a way to get creative for a chance at some great prizes. To join the Goosechase: