Looking to host an outdoor event?

The City is accepting Community Event applications that comply with current guidelines and restrictions related to Covid-19.  Details surrounding community event restrictions can be found here.

How to Apply

After reviewing relevant information on this page or reviewing our Community Festival & Events Manual, you may begin your request.

  1. Determine your Event Types and Request Timelines
  2. Choose your Site Location, and be prepared to submit a draft site plan with your application
  3. Review the Event Fees
  4. Review Information on Pickering Permits, Policies and Bylaws based on your event features
  5. Complete our Community Festival & Events Application online

 Events are reviewed by the Community Events Committee to determine availability of resources.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for a response.

 Still have questions? Contact the Coordinator, Community Partnerships at events@pickering.ca or by calling 905.420.4620

Community Festival & Events Application

Please note: a non-refundable application fee will apply in the amount specified for the scale of event.  Your application will not be processed until the City receives payment.  The fee covers the cost of processing event permits including staff time and our review. 

2024 Partner Level Event applications are due August 22, 2023.

How to determine your Event Type
Private Event

Occurs on City property with a private guest list. 

Timeline to Apply:

Recommended 21 days in advance.  Applicant may apply directly to facility or parks bookings at facilitybooking@pickering.ca 

 Community Event

An event that has less than 1,000 guests and is open to the general public.

Timeline to Apply:

Minimum 90 days in advance of event date (new applicants). 

August 1, the year prior to the event for renewing applicants. 

Community Festival

An event that includes any of the following;

  • 1,000-4,999 guests
  • alcohol
  • carnival/fair (inflatables)
  • electrical hookups,
  • road closures,
  • use of Bruce Handscombe Park or Alex Robertson Park 

Timeline to Apply:

Minimum 1 year in advance of event date (new applicants). 

August 1, the year prior to the event for renewing applicants. 

Partner Event

An event that includes any of the following;

  • 5,000+ guests
  • takes place in Esplanade Park
  • includes parade and/or Fireworks

Timeline to Apply:

Minimum 18 months in advance of event date (new applicants). 

August 1, the year prior to the event for renewing applicants.  



Permit Fees are based on the anticipated attendance of your event per day. City staff will assist you and provide your rate during the planning process.

Community Event Permits: range from $51-$918/per day

Festival or Partner Event Permits: range from $1,020-$1,530/per day

A Park Damage/Security Deposit will also be required for community events.  This also is based on anticipated attendance for the event.

Community Event: $51-$510

Festival or Partner Event: $765-$1,020

A complete breakdown of fees can be found starting on page 34 of our in Summary of Fees & Charges

Site Locations

When choosing a location for your outdoor event space, it is important to consider the following;

  • Capacity
  • Hydro
  • Lighting
  • Pathways
  • Public Water Source
  • Washrooms
  • Parking / Transit / Walkability 
  • Shelter or Tenting
  • Accessible features
  • Vehicle access

Below are a list of Pickering's Signature Parks. Community Events can take place in, but are not limit to;

  • Millennium Square 
    • Park capacity is 1,132 persons.  
    • Max expected attendance 100 people per hour.
    • No invited guests, open to general public.
    • Limited parking. Shuttle service is recommended.
    • No inflatables.
    • Permits will not be granted in high traffic dates or times.
    • Limited hydro on site.
  • Alex Robertson Park
    • Park capacity is 37,243 persons. 
    • Max expected attendance 1,000 people per hour.  
    • Must remain open to general public.  
    • Limited parking available. High attendance applications will require use of Kinsmen Parking lots, and approval will be subject to parking requirements and availability. 
    • No hydro on site.
  • Bruce Hanscombe Park
    • Park capacity is 10,212 persons. 

    • Traffic, and event equipment to be considered prior to setting max attendance.

    • No onsite parking available.  Shuttle service must be arranged. Police and By-law enforcement officers must be booked to enforce traffic plan for Community Events, Festivals and Partner Events
    • No hydro on site.
  • Esplanade Park
    • Park capacity is 15,576 persons.

    • Traffic, and event equipment to be considered prior to setting max attendance
    • Parking available on site. Transit/ Parking site plan to be submitted with application
    • Hydro available on site.
    • Requires approval from City of Pickering Council.

View our Parks & Facilities page for a complete listing of locations that could host your event.  Please note, some parks and facilities are available seasonally and on a first-come, first-served basis.


Event Planning

Now that you have a location determined, and you are ready to move forward with your event, the below can give you an idea on what will be expected to prepare.

Community Event - 90 days in advance of Event

Community Festival - 12 months in advance of Event 

Partner Event* - 18 months in advance of Event

*Note: Partner Level events must be approved by Council in advance of moving forward with the below checklist.

Once approved:

  • Choose Location and create a site plan   
  • Complete Event Application and pay application fee
  • Create an Event Committee Roles & Responsibilities List
  • Obtain park permit (once approved)
  • Book applicable City items when booking park permit 
    • Waste receptacle
    • Picnic tables
    • Barricades
    • Gazebo sound walls
    • Beer tent fencing (4 feet or higher)
  • *Set planning meeting schedule with City Staff (Partner level only)


120-90 days before Event

  • Book non-City equipment with vendors (if applicable):
    • Tables
    • Chairs
    • Portable toilets
    • Hand washing stations
    • Tents
    • Lighting
    • Fencing (4 feet or higher)
  • Complete Food Vendor Fire Inspection Form
  • Review City of Pickering Weather SOP
  • Create an Emergency / Disaster Plan
  • Determine Security and Police Pay Duty and book accordingly (if applicable)
  • Arrange an Electrician for day of setup
    Note: required if any tie-ins to City hydro will be required


60 days before Event

  • Apply for Lottery License to conduct raffles, bingo and/or Monte Carlo events (if applicable)
  • Apply for liquor license (if applicable)
  • Obtain Tent permit – Applicable for tents larger than 20’ x 30’.
    Note: If tents are staked – utility locates MUST be done 2 weeks before event. A copy of completed locates must be provide to City Staff and on hand when tents arrive for setup.
    If in Kinsmen Park or Alex Robertson Park – you must obtain an OPG Dig Card if staking.


30 days before Event

  • Apply for a Carnival Permit (if applicable)
  • Complete the Community Special Events with Food Vendors application for Durham Health
  • Submit Vendors list to the City for approval
  • Provide final site plan to City staff
  • *Apply for Fireworks permit (if applicable - Partner Level Only)


7 days before Event

  • Develop a contact list of all event volunteers/committee member and provide to a copy to the City
  • Complete the online accessible training and complete the Accessibility Acknowledgement Form noting all staff and volunteers names
  • Complete utility locations for any staking for tents, or grounding for carnival power.


Day of Event

  • Post No Smoking / No Vaping signage under all tents and enclosed areas
  • Event Organizers on site to oversee setup and delivery of all equipment
  • Any vehicles entering City property must be walked-in by a volunteer or staff member


 Questions related to Community Events can be directed to Cultural Services by phone at 905.420.4620 or by email events@pickering.ca

Information on City of Pickering Permits, Policies and Bylaws

There are permits, policies, and bylaws in place to ensure the safety, maintenance and respect of City property, staff, guests, and residents. City facilities are maintained for long-term public use and event organizers are responsible for any damages caused by the festival or event operation.

Event Organizers have a consistent set of rules and regulations that must be adhered to. These are outlined in this manual. Please review any areas relevant to your event to ensure you are knowledgeable of the guidelines, rules and applicable by-laws, permits, and certifications.

 Accessibility & Accessible Customer Training

Section 6 of Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

Festival and Event organizers must provide an accessible environment for visitors, organizers', participants and volunteers to the event. This would include:

  • Well placed and clearly signed accessible parking spaces
  • Entertainment viewing areas
  • Washrooms that are located on paved pathways for ease of access
  • Outdoor Eating Areas constructed must meet the following technical requirements:
    • A minimum of 20 percent of the tables that are provided must be accessible to persons using mobility aids by having knee and tow clearance underneath the table an in no case shall there be fewer than one table in an outdoor public use eating area that meets this requirement.
    • The ground surface leading to and under tables that are accessible to persons using the mobility aids must be level, firm and stable.
    • Tables that are accessible to persons using mobility aids must have clear ground space around them that allows for a forward approach to the tables.
  • Use of directional signage prominently displayed throughout the event venue (to indicate the barrier-free path of travel)
    • Location of the accessible washroom
    • Accessible seating areas and other amenities
    • Good and services at the event
    • Signage should consist of high contrasting colours; use the International Symbol Accessibility where applicable.

As a festival or event organizer you must ensure that everyone associated with the festival or event is in full compliance with Section 6 of Ontario Regulation 429/07 (Accessible Standard for Customer Service) made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 2005.

6. (1) Every provider of good or services shall ensure that the following persons receive training about the provision of its goods or services with disabilities:

  1. Every person who deals with members of the public or other third parties on behalf of the provider, whether the person does so as an employee agent, volunteer or otherwise.
  2. Every person who participates in the developing the provider's policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to members of the public or third parties.

The City of Pickering has made available a link to Serve-Ability Training Program that must be taken by all involved in the event. This would be confirmed by completion of a training acknowledgement form to be completed and signed by the festival and event organizer and then forwarded to the City of Pickering prior to the event.


Any form of soliciting of funds on City of Pickering property including canvassing for donations, parking fees, or charging admission to parks grounds must be identified in the festival and event application in order to be considered for approval.

Alcohol Management

Event applicants planning to serve or sell alcohol must provide a plan in accordance with the Municipal Alcohol Policy.

Applications for Community Events and larger should outline the specific details regarding the location, size, and hours of operation for the proposed licensed area; as well as the location and size of emergency exits. These details are to be included in the proposed site plan and to accompany the Festival and Event Application.


Special Occasion Permits are available at any Liquor Control Board of Ontario outlet. Please allow a minimum of 30 – 60 days depending upon the nature of your event to process the permit application.


In order to obtain your liquor licence you will need to submit a written request to the City’s Clerks Department.


The sale of alcohol during outdoor festivals and events on City property is restricted to between the hours of 11 am and 11 pm on all days of the week except on Sundays, when alcohol sales will end by 9 pm – except when the Monday following is holiday.


The City requires the following standards are met with regard to the service of alcohol.

  • The Festival/Event Partner shall ensure that all rules of the ACGO are strictly adhered to and that alcoholic beverage services are organized, led and served only by persons with Smart Serve Certification.
  • No roaming server(s) shall card or provide wristbands to patrons at any time during the Event. Roaming servers may only serve patrons until dusk.
  • Festival/Event partner will assign Festival/Event staff or Licenced Security Guards with Smart Serve Certification to operate a designated ID carding and stamping/wristband area.
  • Durham Regional Police Service requires Pay-Duty police to be present at Community Events serving alcohol.

Barbeques & Outdoor Cooking

Propane Barbecues are permitted in city parks with an authorized permit.


Fire Services is required to inspect and approve the operation of cooking equipment used for commercial purposes during an event.


A fire inspection by the Fire Services Department will need to occur prior to the start of the event. The cost of the inspection is responsibility of the Event Organizer.

The Event Organizer will provide the Food Vendor Inspection Checklist (Prepared by the Fire Services Department) to vendors prior to the event day inspection.

The City does not allow any barbecues or open fire/bonfires unless authorized by permit. Wood fired, charcoal and propane cooking is permitted with the approval of Fire Services for large scale events.


Propane-fired equipment used for cooking, including propane tanks/cylinders are required to be inspected and approved by the Technical Standards & Safety Authority.


Food vendors cooking on City property require a portable U.L.C. approved fire extinguisher with a minimum 2A10BC rating that has been certified within one year.  Food vendors are also required to complete Fire Inspection Form before the event.


Cooking appliances used for deep frying require an additional fire extinguisher with a minimum 40BC or K class.

All fire extinguishers are to be made readily available and within close proximity to the cooking equipment.

Bylaw Services

Bylaw Services are required when an event exceeds 10,000 guests per day, with a road closure and fencing. Bylaw staff may be paired up with Pay Duty officers that also assist the event.

These cost associated are the responsibility of the Event Organizer.

Carnival Permit

The City of Pickering requires that carnival operators within the City apply for and receive a permit no later than 2 weeks prior to the operation of the event. Permits will not be issued without required insurance, proof of locates and payment in full.

Permit Application

Carnivals operating at City events must be located in a parking lot or paved area.

It is the responsibility of the Event Organizer, to ensure and confirm with the carnival operator, that an Electrical Standard Authority (ESA) permit or inspection will take place before the carnival is in operation.  Visit the ESA website for full details. 

Bylaw 5621/00

Electrical Standard Authority (ESA)


City Event Support and Outreach

Depending upon the content & scale of the event (number of expected guests, road closures, alcohol, vendors, carnivals, tents, animals) City staff may be assigned to the event for on-site supervision and/or tourism promotions during any portion of set-up, operation or take-down.

City staff requirements will be determined during the approval process and will be noted in the letter of approval.

Tourism outreach will be at the expense of the City. Organizers will provide booth space for City outreach upon request.

City staff supervision will be at the expense of the event organizers. Staff supervision may include but is not limited to:

  • Road Closure operation
  • By-law & Parking staff support
  • Fire Services staff inspection
  • Set-up and Operations oversight

Charges will be levied at the hourly wage of City staff.


The organizer is responsible for any damages to the park, facilities, streets, sidewalks and/or extra staff clean-up required occurring in the bounds of the event. No pavement or directional markings are to be applied to any streets or sidewalks without prior approval by City staff.  Damage caused during events will be repaired by the City at the full expense of the Festival/Event partner. Refundable damage deposit fees apply, as per the current General Municipal Fees By Law.


The City of Pickering offers a Community Grant Application for event organizers. Applications are due September of each year for the following year.  Visit pickering.ca/grants for more information.

Electrical Services

The use of hydro service may be permitted in parks that have access, with written consent from the City.

Electrical services being brought in for an event must be specified during application. Electrical services will be assessed on case by case basis, however, it is mandatory for all electrical hook-ups to be overseen by electrician. It is prohibited for event operators to overload or alter City electrical systems.

If generators are being used, that exceed 12kW/240V, an Electrical Standard Authority (ESA) permit and inspection must be obtained. Visit ESA for more information on Special Events.

Emergency Response, First Aid Services and Police

Event Organizers must create and provide a contact list and emergency response plan to the City for approval 2 weeks prior to the event. The plan must include: emergency response, evacuation, threats, weather, security and alcohol management.

If required as part of a permit organizers must confirm that emergency services have been contacted and will be on-site throughout the event operations (i.e. Pay Duty Police, Fire, and Ambulance Services).

Events that include traffic redirection, road closures, alcohol, or large crowds will require professional support to manage the event.

If police/security is needed as part of a permit or agreement the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) is to be contacted. Durham Regional Police Services will determine the required level of police supervision. The cost of pay-duty police required for an event will be the responsibility of the event organizer. Policing requirements and conditions relating to the event must be met in order for the City to grant an event permit.

It is the responsibility of Event Organizers to ensure they have an active emergency response plan in place. The plan must include an operational hub/contact for the event and cover all operation from the time of set-up through the end of tear-down. The plan must be communicated to all participants, vendors, partners, volunteers; who should be prepared to enact plans during and event.

Event Organizers must provide certified first-aid service on site during operating hours of the event through a qualified agency.

City of Pickering reserves the right to cancel, delay and/or postpone any event due to severe weather conditions.

Entertainment Services

Event entertainment associated with a community festival or event, will be of a positive nature, selected for the enjoyment of both adults and children.
Performances that include any of the following will not be tolerated, and may result in the immediate closure of your event.

  • rude or foul language, or any form of profanity in verbal form or gesture;
  • nudity or pornography;
  • the support or use of weapons and other life-threatening products;
  • negative religious messages that might be deemed prejudicial to a religion, race, or culture;
  • the sale or promotion of cigarettes, cigars or any tobacco product or material;
  • the sale or promotion of any cannabis product or material;
  • the sale or promotion of an e-substance, electronic cigarette or vapour product or material;
  • demeaning or derogatory portrayals of individuals or groups;
  • content likely to cause deep or widespread offence.

SoCan and Resound Fees are the responsibility of the organizer.

Volume, and hours of operation are subject to the City's Noise Bylaw.

Facility Rentals

Facility rentals arranged by directly contacting the facility you are interested in renting. This includes meeting rooms, banquet halls, pools and ice pads.


The City does not allow any barbecues or open fire/bonfires unless authorized by permit.  Wood fired, charcoal and propane cooking at events is permitted with the approval of Fire Services. 


If a fireworks display is proposed, the event organizer must provide the following with their Community Festival and Events applications:

  • Completed application for the Display of Fireworks with the following;
    • $100 permit fee per location
    • Approval letter from the owner of the property where the fireworks will be displayed
    • Location sketch of the proposed location for the fireworks display
    • Description of fireworks to be discharged, the discharge techniques to be used, and the manner and means of restraining unauthorized persons from being too near the discharge location
    • Written confirmation from the Durham Regional Police Service that appropriate arrangements have been made by the applicant for traffic and crowd control during the display
    • Copy of Fireworks Supervisor's licence (issued by the Explosives Division, Natural Resources, Canada) pursuant to the Act.

Note: The Fire Chief prior to any festival or event application being granted approval, must first approve a fireworks/pyrotechnics permit.

Fireworks By-law 6783/07

Flag Raisings

Flag Raising Ceremony or Flag Displays at the Civic Complex designating a given period of time (special day, week or month) to recognize the efforts and commitments of an individual, event or organization that enhances our community.

Requests for flag raisings / displays may be approved for:

  • non-profit or charitable organizations
  • recognition of a state/country recognized by our federal government visiting the Mayor and Members of Council
  • public awareness campaigns

Flag size must be 3 ft x 6 ft or .90 x 1.80 metres. Applications are available through the Office of the Mayor and must be completed at least 30 days prior to flag raising/display.

Half-Masting flags are to commemorate significant dates such as Remembrance Day, or to observe a solemn event such as the death of a City employee.

Flag Raising Application

Additional information can be sought by contact City of Pickering, Council Office at 905.420.4605 or by email at council@pickering.ca 

Free-Standing Fencing

Where Event Organizers are using fencing, the City standard is free-standing fences for events held in City parks. The rental and cost to set-up the fencing falls directly to the permit holder. A limited amount of free-standing fencing is available for rent when arranging your park permit.

Food Vendors

Where food or beverage privileges are requested through the Festival and Event Application process, notification must be made to the Region of Durham Health Services.

The Community Festival Event/Organizers package must be completed and returned to the Region of Durham Health Services two months prior to the event. 

Organizers must also ensure that the Food Vendor Application is completed and returned to the Region of Durham Health Services four weeks prior to the event by each individual food vendor.

Hot Air Balloons

Event Organizers must provide proof of insurance from the provider of the hot air balloon for at least $5 million dollars in liability insurance naming the City of Pickering as an additional insured.

Parks Bylaw


The Event Organizer must ensure that adequate electrical supply capacity is available to run their event and what the electrical requirements will be for their event.

Inflatable / Air Supported Structure

Events utilizing inflatable amusement devices such as bouncers, bouncy castles and related amusements taking place in City parks should be aware of the required permits and licensing when renting or operating an inflatable amusement. The TSSA web site will outline which inflatable devices are deemed to be an amusement device and by law, require a permit to operate.

Event Organizers and any designated contractors will be required to adhere to the TSSA procedures relating to inflatable amusements and devices. Devices need to be properly secured and powered. If inflatable device is being secured by staking, then utility locates must be completed prior to the setup.

In the case of an event utilizing inflatable amusement devices, the level of general liability insurance required by the Permit Holder shall be written on an occurrence basis with coverage for any one occurrence of not less than five million ($5,000,000), be endorsed to include the City of Pickering as an additional insured.

For installation of utilizing stakes in City parks utility locates must be done prior to any installation. Cost associated to have locates done, is the responsibility of the Event Organizer.

Supervision of inflatable/amusement devices is needed to ensure that the procedures for safe operation of the device are followed and that all users are participating in a safe manner. The procedures that are put in place should address items including, but not limited to emergency situations, injuries or device deflation.


All events will require insurance, the amount will be determined based on activities at the event, and however the Commercial General Liability will be no less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) with the City of Pickering named as additionally insured. Insurance must be provided prior to permit being issued.

The Permit Holder, during the term of the permit, at their expense must take out and keep in full force and effect, general liability insurance including; bodily injury and property damage, tenant's legal liability, and contractual liability covering the activities and occupancy for which the permit was issued.

The policy shall be written on an occurrence basis with coverage for any one occurrence of not less than two million ($2,000,000), be endorsed to include the City of Pickering as an additional insured, contain a severability and cross liability clause.

Insurance covers festival and event organizers and volunteers for liability claims made by another  person  related  to  injury  to  that  person  and/or  damage to their  property. Property owned by the volunteer or personal injury to a volunteer is not covered. Volunteers  should ensure  that  they  have  adequate  property  insurance  as  well  as insurance for disabilities either through their employment or otherwise if self-employed.

The policy of insurance shall:

(a) be written with an insurer licensed to do business in Ontario;

(b) be non-contributing with and will apply only as primary and not access any other insurance or self-insurance  available to the City of Pickering; and  

(c) any deductible amounts shall be borne by the Permit Holder.

No less than thirty (30) days prior to the commencement of the festival or event, the Permit Holder shall provide proof of insurance. Proof of insurance shall be on a form of Certificate of Insurance, signed by an authorized representative of the insurer. The Permit Holder will make available complete certified copies of all applicable insurance policies for examination, if required by the City of Pickering.

Volunteer drivers must be insured by an insurance company of their choice and must carry a minimum of one million dollars in Third Party Liability Insurance in order to transport passengers and/or equipment.

The Event Organizer will be asked to collect and provide to the City insurance for all vendors and service providers participating in their event and ensure that insurance coverage meets City requirements.

The City of Pickering reserves the right to require the Permit Holder to purchase additional insurance, higher limits of insurance or otherwise alter the types of insurance coverage requirements as The City may reasonably require from time to time.

Noise Restrictions

The use of amplified sound systems for the presentation of festivals and events is restricted to between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm. In addition, sound levels during these times must remain at an acceptable level given consideration to the type and location of the event.

The site plan for the festival or event will be reviewed respective of any high impact activities such as entertainment stages and carnivals, which will need approval

City Events and City Partner events are exempt from this Bylaw. 

Overnight Stays in Parks

Remaining overnight in City Parks or Property is not allowed. In special circumstances approval by the City of Pickering may be granted on a limited basis and overnight arrangements must be indicated on the related City permit.

By-law 5495/99

Parking Lots

Permits must be issued for exclusive use of public parking lots.

Pedestrian Crossing / Route Marshalls

City of Pickering staff may designate intersections that need Police Supervision to assist participants and motorists in the event area. Payment for Police Supervision must be arranged through the Durham Regional Police Services and costs are the responsibility of the Event Organizer.

In some cases, Auxiliary Police may be used to assist in event operations. This must be organized up to 4 months in advance of event. City staff will work with the Event Organizer to ensure proper meetings are arranged prior to event, if the assistance is approved by Durham Regional Police.

No volunteer or staff member shall “man” any roadways or direct traffic without Road Safety (Book 7) Training. Proof of training must be provided in advance to event organizers.

Anyone assisting with roadways must wear reflective safety vests at all times.

Pets and Service Animals

Festival and Event Organizers have the right to prohibit pets in a fenced section of a public park for the duration of their permit. Festival and Event Organizers must prohibit pets when the festival or event focus is primarily related to the sale and consumption of food. This is in order to provide a safe and clean environment for humans, and to avoid distress and confusion for pets.

Pet access rules must be promoted, signs must be erected at the event entrances, and organizers are responsible to enforce the ban.

Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their service animal and keep that animal with them in areas/premises; which are open to the public, when accessing goods and services provided by the City of Pickering, unless suspended by other legislation.

Animals must be identified by the owner as a service animal prior to being admitted. Event organizers may request documentation that certifies the requirement for a service animal, but may not require the documentation to be presented prior to admittance.

Petting Zoo / Animals in Parks

Animal Services must review and approve all animal related activities at events. City's Animal Control staff will have details available in regard to the types of animals that are prohibited in the City of Pickering parks & facilities. A licence from the City of Pickering is required to operate a petting zoo or host exotic animals at events.


Proclamations are a ceremonial document designating a given period of time (special day, week or month) to recognize the efforts and commitments of an individual, event or organization that enhances our community.

Proclamations can be issued for:

  • arts celebrations
  • cultural or religious celebrations in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Diversity
  • charitable fundraising campaigns
  • civic promotions
  • public awareness campaigns
  • to honour individuals, institutions or organizations for special achievement(s)

Submit your request for proclamation at least 3 weeks prior to the desired proclamation period.

Application Link

Public Access to Parks

Public access to park walkways and thoroughfares as well as parking lots must be maintained at all times during the festival or event operations; unless otherwise arranged with the City of Pickering. This includes all play structures for children.

Raffles / Bazaars

Any intent to operate a lottery (raffle or bazaar) within a City Facility including parks, must first comply with all Provincial, Regional and Municipal regulations in order to be considered for approval. In Pickering permits are issued through the City Clerk's office. Information on who can apply, and application processes are available online.


Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

Phone: 416.326.8700

Toll free in Ontario

Risk Management

Each rental permit outlines terms and conditions for the following areas of risk management. These areas must be further developed by each festival and event organizing committee:

  • Emergency plans specific to the festival and event activities, including written plans for communication and responsibilities, coordination with authorities, weather conditions, lightning, personal and property damage as well as evacuation must be developed.
  • Contractors that complete work on City of Pickering property are expected to provide a valid certificate of insurance and confirmation of Worker's Compensation coverage.
  • Structural safety standards and/or inspections related to buildings, vehicles, inflatable amusements, carnival rides and tents.
  • Fire safety/protection for all tents and commercial cooking functions, safe handling of propane including site inspection by Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
  • Guidelines for the use of elevation trucks.
  • Safety requirements specific to events that take place on waterways.
  • Bleacher inspections and certificate of insurance from the installer. Bleachers must have designated spaces for people who use mobility aids, such as wheelchair, scooters, etc.
  • A Festival Walk Through, looking out for tent stakes and ropes, electrical connections and water risk, compressed gas cylinders like helium, cables and hoses across walkways, absence of barriers to restricted areas. The intention is to see the grounds through the eyes of an excited youngster, a person with a disability or a senior.
  • Groups are encouraged to develop their own volunteer management.
  • Practices, in accordance with the City's policies on volunteerism.
  • Volunteer monitoring is an ongoing responsibility. It is the obligation of both the Event Organizer and Event Volunteers to ensure that the necessary work is being completed. Planning and monitoring must take into consideration the vulnerability of the participant, the amount of supervision provided, the setting, the nature of the volunteer position and the activities associated with it. Volunteer roles vary in the amount of risk involved.


Organizations wishing to operate parades on City roads must apply through the festival and events application form, and include a detailed route map. Following approval, organizers will also need to complete a parade application form.

Parade requests operating on City or Regional Roads that require a road closure (partial, full or rolling), must be submitted no later than 12 months prior to event date.

The Corporate Events Committee will review the request. Prior to approval, requests will require the support of DRPS and DRPS Auxiliary. City staff will determine if Pay Duty Police will need to assist in the parade.

The Event Organizer and Parade Marshall will be responsible for attending all preliminary meetings to ensure road closure safety with City staff and Pay Duty Police.

Organizers must pay all applicable staffing and permit fees.

Parades By-law 3825/70

Road and Sidewalk Closures

The City will review requests to close roads and sidewalks to support the operation of Community Festivals and Events including parades, walks, and runs.

Any new request to close Pickering roads for an event, must be submitted no later than 3 months prior to event date. Parade requests may require up to 12 months to complete approval process.

A detailed map showing road closures or parade/walk/run/ride route plan must be provided with the Festival and Events Application form to determine exact roads that would be impacted.

Depending upon the roads involved, approval from the Region of Durham, and DRPS may also be required.

In most cases, a parade and/or road occupancy permit will be required. The Event Organizer is responsible for all permits fees, and any associated staffing or pay-duty police costs.

For walks, runs, rides and parades, City staff will determine if Pay Duty Police will need to assist in the road closure or parade. The Event Organizer will be responsible for attending all preliminary meetings to ensure road closure safety with City staff and Pay Duty Police.

For approved events, notification to residents will be handled by the City, including any road signs that may need to be erected to provide detours or no parking notification.

For road closures the Event Organizer is responsible to maintain and occupy access points for emergency services, vendors, and the public during all hours of operation. Marshals and volunteers are not permitted to direct traffic.

Sanitary Facilities / Washrooms

Event Organizers will be responsible for providing sufficient portable washrooms, wheelchair accessible portable washrooms and hand sinks, if the location for the event does not have sufficient facilities to accommodate the anticipated crowds. Durham Health Protection Services will supply guidelines are located online at www.durham.ca

Note: Every effort must be made to locate portable washrooms in an area that does not adversely affect local residences or businesses.


Promotional event signage must follow the City and Regional Sign bylaw and be submitted for approval to the City and Region of Durham as required. Approval must be received prior to installation. Permits and licensing are available through By-law Services.

Event Organizers are permitted use of the City of Pickering logo so long, as the City approves any application or use of the City of Pickering Logo prior to production or distribution.

When available the City will allocate City Sign resources to support partner events.

Event Organizers are required to display no smoking signage at outdoor events, and pet-free event signage when the primary focus of the event is the sale or consumption of food.

Signs By-law 699/09


As a festival and event organizer you must ensure that your event is in fully compliant with Regional Smoke Free By-law Number 28-2019.

Event Organizers are required to post no-smoking and no-vaping signs, in a conspicuous manner at each entrance to the Event to indicate that smoking and vaping are prohibited at events on city-owned property. Failure to do so, may result in a fine.


Festival organizers will not solicit or accept sponsors or advertising from companies whose reputation could prove detrimental to the City's public image and/or whose main business is derived from:

  • the sale of cigarettes, cigars or any tobacco product or material;
  • the sale of any cannabis product or material;
  • the sale of an e-substance, electronic cigarette or vapour product or material;
  • pornography 
  • the support of, or involvement in the production, distribution, and sale of weapons and other life-threatening products. 

The City has the right to pre-approve all sponsors/partners, advertising coming onto City Lands and will not allow those who either directly or through third party arrangements, that:

  • violate any City policy or agreement.
  • convey a negative religious message that might be deemed prejudicial to religious groups.
  • promote alcohol and other addictive substances, at venues geared primarily to children.
  • present demeaning or derogatory portrayals of individuals or groups or contain anything, which in light of generally prevailing community standards, is likely to cause deep or widespread offence.
  • directly compete with City programs or services (this includes but is not limited to fitness, camps, ice rentals, banquet hall rentals, museums, municipalities).

Organizers may provide partnership/sponsorship opportunities and naming rights for components of their event, or the event title, but may not rename City parks, facilities, roads, or rooms.

Sponsors attending the event to provide activities or outreach must provide all certifications and insurances to the organizers, and be aware of all emergency operation plans.

Sponsorship list approval is available through the Community Events Committee.


Event organizers must include with their event application a staff plan that lists how they will staff all areas of event operation, set-up, and take-down. The staff plan should include a list of sub-committee chairs, areas of responsibility, and required number of support staff and/or volunteers.
Your committee leads can best support event operations if they are provided copies of this guide, and conditions of the permit.

The Event organizer will provide and pay for all personnel and supplies required for its purposes; including but not limited to Pay Duty officers as deemed necessary by the Durham Regional Police Service and City Bylaw Officers.

Staff and volunteers must be adequately trained and certified for the roles they are undertaking, event operations, health & safety, and accessibility standards. See also the alcohol management section for information on staffing liquor licensed events.
Staff and Volunteers must be trained and prepared to enact all emergency and disaster plans. All committee members must be present for the duration of event (set-up, operation and take-down).

Staking, Digging and Underground Utility Locates

In many City parks there are underground utilities buried below the surface of the park. Any tent with pegs/stakes larger than 6-8 inches long will require that utility locates are done prior to the event. The cost and arranging fall solely on the organizer. This also includes carnivals operators looking to ground electrical rides. A copy of the utility locates must be provided to Parks Booking and approved by the Supervisor, Parks Operations, at least 5 business days prior to event.

Any damage incurred to the utilities or irrigation systems due to the driving of stakes will be charged to the event organizer.

Kinsmen Park and Alex Robertson Park are located on Ontario Power Generation lands. Staking cannot be completed until utility locates have been completed. An OPG Dig Card (apply 60 days in advance) is required.

Ontario One Call: 1-800-400-2255

OPG Dig Card: 905.839.1151 x4238

Tents and Temporary Structures

If you plan to set-up a tent, as per the Ontario Building Code Act 1992, a tent or group of tents is exempt from the requirement to obtain a permit under Section 8 of the Act and is exempt from compliance with the Code provided that the tent or group of tents are:

  • not more than 60 m² in aggregate ground area,
  • not attached to a building, and
  • constructed more than 3m from other structures.

The City of Pickering, Building Services Department will request details regarding the tent size, location of exits, and certificate of verification that the tent and all tarpaulins used have been flame proofed in conformance with U.L.C. standard (CAN/ULC-S-109-M), Standards for Flame Tests of Flame Resistant Fabrics and Films.

All tents and temporary structures must be fully accessible to all participants/visitors including individuals with disabilities.

Contact a Building Clerk for further information at: 905.420.4631

Traffic & Parking Management Plan

Organizers whose event operations will impact park, facility or on-street parking must work with the City to prepare a Traffic & Parking Management Plan.
The plan will be developed during the approval process, and will consider:

  • a review and identification of Emergency Service and Fire Access Routes
  • availability of parking in surrounding streets and lots;
  • accessible parking spaces
  • entrances and service access
  • traffic flow
  • transit
  • staffing, communication, and signage

Vehicles in Parks

In order to protect the general public as well as the parks for future use, the access of vehicles in park grounds is for the purposes of event set-up and take-down only and will be restricted to designated areas as approved by the City of Pickering.

The Event Organizer is responsible to ensure vehicle access into the park is controlled and monitored throughout the event at all access points. Event Organizers may allow entry to emergency vehicles only during event operating hours. All vehicles moving throughout the event grounds must be accompanied by an event representative wearing a safety vest. Vehicle should have emergency flashers on.

Organizers must include any vehicles to be left in the park area during an event, on the site plan.

Designated service vehicles such as golf carts for transporting supplies or removing garbage may be approved for use during event hours upon application to City staff. These vehicles need to be operated in a safe and responsible manner and if their operation is unsafe to the public or the park, the City staff on-site can ban their use for the festival or event in future.

The cost to repair any damages to the park will be the responsibility of the festival or event organizer. Repair costs will be communicated to the festival or event organizer by the City as soon as possible after the festival or event is completed.

A damage deposit for Community Festivals and Partner Events will be required.


Event Organizers are permitted to bring in vendors or carnival operators, to sell products or merchandise at the location listed on the permit.

Event Organizers must ensure that vendors possess the required insurances, technical certifications and licenses to operate. Event Organizers must collect AODA certification form from each vendor, and ensure they are knowledgeable of your emergency operation plans.

Event Organizers shall not be required to obtain a Hawker and Peddler license from the City when an event permit has been obtained.

All vendors are subject to pre-approval by the City prior to being allowed on the Lands. The Event Organizer shall supply to the City a complete list of all vendors and the products that they are selling 2 weeks in advance of the event.

The City has the right to approve the placement of vendors throughout the park.  A draft site plan is due with the application and will indicate the number of vendor spaces to be provided.

A final site plan, including all vendors, must be provided for approval to the City no later than 30 days prior to the event to ensure layout includes clear site lines, walking paths, and patron safety. Maximum event capacity will be determined based on the contents of the final approved site plan. Organizers are responsible to ensure visitor attendance does not exceed site capacity.

Event Organizers will not solicit or accept vendors or advertising from companies whose reputation could prove detrimental to the City’s public image and/or whose main business is derived from:

  • the sale of cigarettes, cigars or any tobacco product or material;
  • the sale of any cannabis product or material;
  • the sale of an e-substance, electronic cigarette or vapour product or material;
  • pornography
  • the support of, or involvement in the production, distribution, and sale of weapons and other life-threatening products.

The City has the right to pre-approve all vendors coming onto City Lands and will not allow vendors or advertising, either directly or through third party arrangements, that:

  • Violate any City policy;
  • Convey a negative religious message that might be deemed prejudicial to
  • religious groups;
  • Promote alcohol and other addictive substances, at venues geared primarily to children;
  • Present demeaning or derogatory portrayals of individuals or groups or contain anything, which in light of generally prevailing community standards, is likely to cause deep or widespread offence; or
  • Is in direct competition with City of Pickering services, programs or initiatives.

Walk-a-thons / Bike-a-thons (excludes races)

In considering this type of event, it can simplify the approval process and decrease traffic control costs, if existing traffic regulations are to be observed during the event, such as obeying traffic signals, using public sidewalks, speed limits, etc.

Please include your planned route with your Community Festival and Events Application.

Waste Management

Any permit holder selling or giving away food and/or beverages must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Produce a waste diversion plan to reduce waste, increase diversion and reduce contamination. The plan must outline the number of waste disposal bins (designated by waste diversion types i.e. garbage, organics, mix containers, paper) for participants and vendors, location of bins as well as when waste is scheduled to be picked up throughout the event. Staff will review the waste diversion plan with the permit holder as part of the site plan submission.
  • Provide easy access to bins for organics (food waste), mix containers (beverage cans and bottles), paper (flyers) and garbage. To increase effectiveness, it’s suggested that the bins are colour-coded to align with typical collection i.e. organics (green), mix containers (blue), paper (blue or grey) garbage (black).
  • If bins are lined with bags, the bag must be appropriate for the items being collected – organics (compostable bag), mix containers and paper (clear), garbage (black). This is necessary to ensure that when the bins are emptied the materials are brought to the correct space.
  • Ensure waste division/disposal area(s) are easy to identify in busy areas and within close walking distance from where waste is being produced (e.g. near food vendors, picnic tables).
  • Place organics, recycling and garbage collection containers side-by-side in easy-to-access areas. All the options must be adjacent to each other.
  • All bins must be labelled to communicate what guests can dispose of in them, examples and pictures help a lot to reduce confusion and contamination.
  • Permit holder is responsible for ensuring all vendors and participants are properly disposing their waste in the correct containers and/or bins.
  • Permit holder must make arrangements for the use of any grease and recycling, green bin containers to be picked up within the municipal standards. Durham Region staff can assist in providing resources in this regard. Region of Durham, Works Department, Waste Management 905.697.5300
  • Multiple day events will be required to organize the rental of an appropriate size dumpster(s) or another means to collect and remove the collected materials accumulated during the event.
  • Permit holder is responsible for the clean-up and removal of all debris within the permitted area following the event.

Permit holders are encouraged to consider the following guidelines:

  • When possible, use large containers instead of single-use for items such as condiments, beverages, etc.
  • Serve food in containers that are reusable, recyclable or compostable. Avoid the use of Styrofoam.
  • Reduce the amount of single-use plastic whenever possible, for example, only handout straws to those that ask, purchase paper straws instead of plastic, encourage reusable cups and bags.
  • Only distribute reusable or recyclable promotional items.
  • Avoid single-use, overly packaged, perceived ‘junkie’ plastic’ giveaways and handouts.
  • When handing out flyers or catalogues only give it to those that request a copy.
  • Consider arranging for disposal area(s) to be staffed with a volunteer that can guide efforts and address any guests’ questions.


Community Event Planning Documents

Community Festival and Events Policy

Community Festival & Event Application

COVID-19 Special Events Guidance (Region of Durham)

Emergency Weather Plan - Events SOP

Event Organizer Marketing Tool Kit

Fire Inspection Form

Insurance Certification Form

Parade Permit Application

Emergency Response Plan Template

Municipal Alcohol Policy

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