Mark Clairmont |

MUSKOKA — As Ontario declares a state of emergency today, local municipal governments are also ramping up their responses to COVID-19.

Tuesday, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst closed town halls to the public.

Essential services will continue to be delivered to the community including Fire and Emergency and road operations. Additionally, staff will be onsite at Town Office to provide regular business tasks that can be undertaken by phone and/or computer.


All Town facilities will be closed to public access effective at 4:30 p.m. (March 17 to April 5). This timeline will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of the community and our staff. These closures now include:

  • Gravenhurst Town Office, 3-5 Pinerdige Gate
  • Gravenhurst Centennial Centre 101 Centennial Drive
  • Gravenhurst Public Library, 180 Sharpe Street
  • Gravenhurst Opera House, 295 Muskoka Road South
  • All Gravenhurst Public Works Buildings
  • Gravenhurst Cemetery Office, 124 Lofty Pine Dr.
  • Gravenhurst Seniors Centre, 480 First St.N

They encourage members of the public to access town services by calling (705-687-3412), emailing ( or visiting our website ( This is all in the ongoing effort to promote social distancing and to protect the health and well being of our citizens and Town staff.

This approach is consistent with the responses to COVID-19 by our neighbouring municipalities in the District and the District itself.

“We will provide as many services as we can during this challenging time and will look to our senior management team to explore creative ways to ensure staff remain as accessible to the community as possible,” said Mayor Paul Kelly.  “I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and I encourage you and your family to remain calm and stay safe.”


Effective noon March 17 town hall will be closed to walk-in customers.

They say staff are available to provide assistance via telephone and email during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mayor Graydon Smith said “I’m confident that we will be able to continue to provide the vast majority of our services to those who need them.”

The following facilities are closed to the public until further notice:

  • Bracebridge Municipal Office (1000 Taylor Court)
  • Bracebridge Sportsplex (110 Clearbrook Trail) • Bracebridge Memorial Arena (169 James Street)
  • Bracebridge Public Library (94 Manitoba Street)
  • Muskoka Small Business Centre (158 Manitoba Street)
  • Oakley Village Square (1198 Vankoughnet Road)
  • Visitor Information Centre (3 Ecclestone Drive, Unit 1)


The town say residents are reminded that the interim property tax due date is March 31.

And although the town office be closed there are several alternatives to making your payment inperson.

Property owners may pay property taxes through financial institutions – telephone, online, ATM, counter

  • By regular mail • Signing up for one of the Town’s pre-authorized payment plans
  • 3rd party credit card processing companies
  • Physical drop box (located near the front entrance of the Municipal Office)

If you are registered for one of the town’s pre-authorized payment plans, there is nothing further that you need to do – your payments will be processed as scheduled.

For more information on paying property taxes and the payment alternatives that are available, please visit


The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce is working to understand what businesses owners are facing after the province’s announcement, which includes closing restaurants to dining in.

They have created a survey asking member to fill out a survey “as we navigate this uncertain time,” said manager Brenda Rhodes.

The survey will be distributed weekly and will help gather information to arm them, the economic development department of the town and other levels of government with data to understand how best to assist businesses and advocate on their behalf.
See their website for business updates at


  • EarlyON Programming – Suspended for 3 weeks
    (expected to resume the week of April 5, 2020)
    More information: 705-645-2412 ext. 4420
  • TGIF Community Meals – Suspended for 3 weeks
    (expected to resume the week of April 5, 2020)
    Gravenhurst Community Service Hub, 141 Main Street, Gravenhurst.
    More information: 705-645-2412 ext. 4654


According to the Ontario Court of Justice, all Provincial Offences matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through to and including Friday, April 3, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, you do not need to attend court.

A notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. For more information, please view full notice.
For more information, please contact the Provincial Offences Act office: Full details of the order: Ontario Court of Justice.

Community Volunteer Tax Clinics – Suspended for 3 weeks
(expected to resume the week of April 5, 2020)
If you have an appointment scheduled with one of our clinics a staff member will call you to make alternate arrangements for fililing or to schedule a new date).

Email Mark Clairmont at


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