COVID-19: The City of Ottawa Will Permit Certain Landscaping Activities

In our previous blog about lawn maintenance and landscaping services, we advised that such services should be postponed unless the Board is confident that the work is strictly necessary to address a dangerous or urgent condition (to be assessed on a case-by-case basis). Following up on this issue, the City of Ottawa has today released a Notice advising that certain property maintenance and landscaping activities will be deemed essential and will be permitted as of May 1, 2020.

The Notice specifies that only landscaping and lawn care businesses that are providing services strictly for safety, security, and sanitation purposes will be permitted. These services notably include lawn cutting, dethatching, rolling, clearing yard and garden debris, and aeration – in other words, services provided to ensure the safety of the property and to ensure that property standards are met. By contrast, services (including landscaping activities) that are provided purely for an aesthetic purpose (i.e. where the intention is to beautify), or activities that involve interlock, fences, and decks will not be permitted for the time being.

The City also advises that landscaping businesses and individual operations need to continue following the health and safety precautions recommended by Ottawa Public Health in order to ensure the safety of their staff. This is in line with our previous recommendations to condominiums corporations to ensure that all contractors working on the premises need to abide by the condominium’s social distancing protocol. These safety precautions include the following:

  • Practicing physical distancing – staying six feet away from one another
  • Not permitting more than 5 workers to attend the work site
  • Staying home if sick
  • Washing hands with soap and water frequently (for at least 20 seconds)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces frequently
  • Encouraging workers to wear non-medical masks
  • Requiring workers who have travelled outside Canada or who have symptoms to self-isolate in accordance with public health requirements

We hope, the Notice from the City of Ottawa will come as  positive news for both landscaping/lawn maintenance companies and for condominiums, considering that health and sanitation issues related to the growing season may become more prevalent in the coming weeks and months due to warmer weather.