Help Flatten the Curve! - Practice Good Hand Hygiene and Wear a Mask

Gravenhurst Town Office is now open to limited public access (by appointment only), for the issuing of marriage licenses, commissioning of oaths and affidavits. Please call (705) 687-3412 in advance or use the Pre-screening Appointment Booking Form below to book an appointment. Pre-screening  is required prior to entry.  Appointments may also be booked for the Centennial Centre and Fire Department.

                                                 PRE-SCREENING/ONLINE APPOINTMENT BOOKING FORM 

Town Staff are still available to assist you through phone or email. If you are picking up or dropping off materials to any of our Departments, please call in advance  (705) 687-3412 -  Do you have a question?     Subscribe to News and Information Updates from the Town.

Mandatory Masks/Face Covering for Muskoka in Effect (Learn more)


At the April 21, 2020 Council Meeting, a COVID-19 Financial Assistance Fund was established to assist Community Agencies and Service Clubs in Gravenhurst. 

To apply for this emergency assistance fund, please complete this Online Form and submit the appropriate documentation to our Review Panel.

For further information, please contact: Shawna Patterson (705) 687-6774 Ext. 29














Province of Ontario
Town of Gravenhurst

All Town operated boat launches are open. Find more information here

Muskoka Wharf Docks 

  • Public DOCKS B and C are now OPEN.
  • Private DOCKS A, D and E are now OPEN. 


Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
 District of Muskoka

(Visit the District of Muskoka COVID-19 Page for the most current updates) 


  Concerns of violation of the Provincial Order should be directed to the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.


For further information about By-law Enforcement in Gravenhurst please contact: Gravenhurst By-law Division or call

705-687-2230 Ext.241  - You can also submit a Online Complaint Form


No Public Access to the Following Town Facilities until further notice:

    • Gravenhurst Town Office - By appointment only
    • Gravenhurst Fire Department Station #1 - By appointment only
    • Gravenhurst Centennial Centre/Graeme Murray Arena - By appointment only/ Scheduled association activity only
    • Muskoka Bay Tennis Courts
    • Staff Sergeant Larry Bigley K9 Park (Dog Park)
    • Frisbee Golf Course within Gull Lake Rotary Park
    • Gravenhurst Youth Skate Park
    • Public Docks B & C at Muskoka Wharf
    • All municipal playgrounds and Sports fields

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  At their meeting held May 12, 2020 Council adopted a motion to continue to waive penalties that would otherwise be charged for the non-payment of 2020 interim taxes that were due by March 31, 2020. Council’s decision removes any penalties and interest charged on non-payment of 2020 interim taxes until August 31, 2020, effectively deferring the requirement to pay for five months.  Interest charges on arrears outstanding from previous years will continue.

Additionally on March 27, 2020 Council voted to amend the 2020 User Fees and Charges By-law to waive the following fees for the remainder of the year: 1. fees for arrears statements to be mailed April, June, September, and December: 2. NSF fees and 3. Fees related to Extension Agreements.  The Tax Department recommends to those in the community who have further questions or concerns pertaining to their situation to contact them at 705-687-3412 or email

 How are municipal property taxes calculated?
 Municipal property taxes are calculated as follows:
  • Tax Rate for the property x Property Assessment = Taxes Payable.
  • The Tax Rate is determined by the Town of Gravenhurst, District of Muskoka and the Province (for education purposes) based on the financial needs of these three entities for municipal services.
  • The Tax Rates are calculated based on budgets approved each year by Town Council, District of Muskoka Council and the Province (for educations purposes).
  • The Property Assessment is determined by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) based on a market-value assessment done every 4 years.
  • Property assessments may go up or down based on market trends.
  • When they go down, an adjustment is made by MPAC immediately to reduce assessment and therefore taxes payable.
  • When they go up, an adjustment is made by MPAC over 4 years to bring the assessed value up to where it should be. This mitigates the impact of the increase and spreads it over 4 years.
 How do municipal budgets work?
  • Municipalities are created by the Province and operate under the Municipal Act
  • As per the Municipal Act, municipal Councils are required to approve budgets and establish tax rates for municipal property taxes annually.
  • Each year Town Council determines and approves a budget for municipal services.
  • The money required for the Town budget comes largely from property taxes.
  • About 30% of the financial requirements for the year come from user fees, reserves and financial support from the Provincial government. Property taxes are collected to pay for about 70% of the cost of these services.
  • Under the Municipal Act, the Town is not permitted to run an operating deficit like the Federal and Provincial governments, so diligence is required to ensure that each year spending is within budget.
  • Therefore, the Town budget has to be managed carefully and departments are expected to manage within the overall budget approved by Council.
 Where does my municipal property tax dollar go?
  • The Town of Gravenhurst has a Tax department that collects municipal property taxes on behalf of the District of Muskoka and the Boards of Education.
  • All queries re. property taxes are usually handled by the Tax department.
  • Where people have concerns about their assessment, queries are redirected to MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation).
  • Of every dollar paid in municipal property taxes on a rural tax bill, 48 cents are kept by the Town. The balance is remitted to the District of Muskoka and the Province (for education purposes).
  • Of every dollar paid in municipal property taxes on an urban tax bill, 37 cents are kept by the Town. The balance is remitted to the District of Muskoka and the Province (for education purposes).
  • Municipal services in Gravenhurst are provided by both the District of Muskoka and the Town of Gravenhurst – each providing different - but complementary services.
  • The District of Muskoka funds policing, ambulance services, water and wastewater services, garbage collection, long-term care facilities, income support services, social housing, youth services, senior’s services and other related community services.
  • Examples of Town services are fire protection, road maintenance, recreation programming, local parks, library services, municipal property tax collection, by-law enforcement, the operation of the Gravenhurst Opera House and economic development. A listing of services may be found on the Town website:
  • The Province uses the education funding to pay for all schools up to grade 12 in our community.
 What is the Town doing to reduce/manage costs in light of COVID-19?
  • The most recent information on COVID-19 and impacts on Town services may be found here:
  • To date, as a result of COVID-19, several services have been shut down as a result of Provincial Orders or due diligence by the Town to minimize any risks associated with COVID-19 to our community.
  • These closures include, but are not limited to, the Opera House, Centennial Centre including the aquatic centre and gym, library, Town Hall front counters, parks and park equipment.
  • These closures protect the community and fulfil requirements to minimize spread of COVID19. However, they also mean many services, e.g. shows at the Opera House, programs at the YMCA, swim lessons or summer programming, are not available to residents for the duration of this crisis.
  • In April the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) reported to Council that the Town would lose approximately $1.2 million in revenues from user fees as a result of these closures. This report may be found here:
  • The CAO also reported that, as a result of specific actions taken by Administration, operating costs at year-end are projected to be lower by $1.7 million.
  • These projections can change quite drastically based on the evolving situation or Council decisions over the next few months. 
  • Currently staff is largely working remotely and several services continue to be offered to the community. The Town switchboard is active, Town mail is being processed, the Tax department deals daily with requests/queries from the community, fire protection services continue to be available 24/7, road maintenance, reconstruction, and related public works activities are on-going. As well, some services, e.g. the library have reverted to significant on-line programming, adjusting to the new reality.
  • In summary, like everyone else, the Town has had to make significant changes to services, service delivery and business processes as a result of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This is being done in a measured manner with regard for cost and innovation in service delivery.
There is a real crisis in the community. Will the Town be extending the due dates for municipal property taxes payable to provide some relief?
  •  The Town will not be changing the due dates for 2020 municipal property taxes.
  • The Town however, as directed by Council, will waive penalties on unpaid 2020 interim property taxes for an additional 60 days effective June 1. This will extend the grace period to pay outstanding 2020 property taxes to 120 days since April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
  • In cases where taxpayers are on a pre-authorized payment plan and are concerned about the availability of funds to make their monthly payments, they may request to be taken off the plan by contacting the Tax department at The financial institution requires 21 days to stop the next payment. They will be removed from the program and reinstated at some future date upon instructions from the property owner.
  • This has the effect of deferring payment beyond the due date without any penalty as long as Council determines it will be of benefit to the community.
  • It should be noted that for every month of grace period provided to the community the Town loses approximately $20,000 in revenues.
 Is it advisable to delay payment of my 2020 property taxes as long as penalty is waived?

  • The Town has limited tools to assist individuals and communities in distress as a result of COVID-19. The intent of Council in providing this relief is to demonstrate solidarity with the Federal and Provincial governments in supporting those in financial need in our community.
  • A majority of taxpayers continue to pay their taxes in a timely manner and this is encouraged for the following reasons:
    • Timely payment of property taxes ensures there is no large payment due when the grace periods approved by Council end.  At that time penalty will be added to the account and, in some cases that could result in severe financial pressure.
    • It allows the Town to maintain cash-flow to continue to fund services that are being delivered in the community such as fire protection, by-law enforcement, road maintenance etc.
    • It allows Council to consider future extensions of the penalty waiver program to benefit those who are in genuine financial need.
 Why does the Town not simply reduce taxes for 2020?
  • Unlike regular businesses that can shut down, the Town is required to continue to deliver services to Town residents also acting as a conduit for information and decisions by other levels of government, mainly the Province of Ontario.
  • As discussed above, where costs can be cut, action has been taken. Administration will continue to monitor both the work-load of staff and community expectations in order to balance cost with community needs.
  • At this time, no municipality in Ontario is contemplating reducing property taxes without some Federal funding to make up for any revenue lost as a result.
  • There are a couple of reasons for this:
    • a one-time reduction to 2020 tax rates would have a snowball effect on future years eroding the tax base for municipal services and requiring tax increases to address the business-as-usual needs.
    • the financial impact of COVID-19, while manageable today, could change drastically before year-end and any tax reduction will limit the ability of the Town to respond to and address emerging issues.
 What about businesses in distress? Surely the Town can provide some type of financial relief/discount for businesses in 2020 based on extenuating circumstances?
 The Municipal Act, which governs how municipalities may operate, is very clear about this:
  • Section 106 (2)(d) of the Municipal Act, “the Municipality shall not grant assistance by giving a total or partial exemption from any levy, charge or fee” for any manufacturing business, commercial or industrial enterprise.
  • Section 307 (1) “Taxes to be levied equally” - the provision of the Act provides that the Town must levy taxes on the assessment as a whole and cannot differentiate between different classes of property
  • If the Town provided a rebate or refund of taxes for commercial property taxes this would have to be applicable to all businesses in Gravenhurst irrespective of whether they have been impacted by COVID-19 or not.
  • If there is a rebate of taxes for commercial properties, the residential assessment class would be required to fund this shortfall, or the shortfall would have to be added to subsequent year’s taxes raising taxes in future years.
  • The tax rate for commercial/industrial assessment in Muskoka is presently among the lowest in all of Ontario.
  • The Town continues to provide business support for both landlords and tenants through its Economic Development division which includes finding access to relevant programs that will provide relief and or discounts from ongoing expenses.
 How can individuals obtain tax relief if they cannot pay their municipal property taxes?
  • The District of Muskoka provides social assistance programs to the Muskoka residents and has programs in place to assist residents who are experiencing financial hardships. 
  • The Town of Gravenhurst is not able to provide tax deferrals for financial hardship.
  • Some large municipalities in Ontario use Sections 357 and 365 of the Municipal Act which allows for applications to the Town to can cancel, reduce or refund taxes if unable to pay because of sickness or extreme poverty or where the taxes are unduly burdensome. No such programs exist in Muskoka. It would require a program to determine “poverty or extreme illness” or “unduly burdensome” which can be very subjective. The Town does not have the infrastructure and resources to support income support programs.
  • A few large municipalities use Section 357 by designating the Assessment Review Board (ARB) to adjudicate these applications, requiring full disclosure of financial information such as income tax returns and to attend a hearing of the ARB. Although this shifts the burden of the administration away from the Town, it is not recommended as it is not responsive to the property owner seeking relief. Considerable time may elapse before a hearing of the ARB could take place.
  • The District of Muskoka is the Municipal Service manager and delivers social assistance programs to Muskoka residents. It could use Section 319 of the Municipal Act for a reduction of taxes for individuals, however this is only for low income seniors and low income people with disabilities.
 Why can’t the Town act as a banker, providing loans to small businesses to help them survive?
  • The Town is not permitted to provide loans of any type to small businesses as this would constitute “bonusing” and is specifically disallowed by the Municipal Act S.106
  • Currently there is work being completed in partnership between Muskoka Futures and the District of Muskoka to create a loan fund for businesses who are not able to access other types of support, this is expected to be discussed at the Finance and Corporate Services Committee on May 13,
 Is there Financial Support from the Provincial or Federal Government as a result of COVID-19?
  • While the Town of Gravenhurst has limited capacity and authority to provide financial support, the Federal and Provincial governments have announced a number of measures to support individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • These measures continue to change everyday, the major business relief funds at this time include:
    • Canadian Emergency Bank Account (CEBA) – access to an interest free $40,000 loan, businesses must show a payroll between $20,000 and $150,00
    • Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – businesses who experience a reduction in revenue of 15% are eligible for up to 75% of their wages as a grant.
    • Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA) – businesses are eligible for a 50% of total grant operating on the conditions that landlords reduce rent by 25% and tenants pay 25%.
    • Appropriate links and many of the additional programs are provided on the Town website here:


  • Gravenhurst Opera House - Summer Theatre Season Cancelled
  • All Committee and Sub-Committee Meetings until further notice
  • Mayors Open Door
  • Coffee with a Firefighter
  • Mayor's Tea
  • Memorials & Dedications Program (i.e. bench and tree donations)
  • Recreation Registration for spring/summer programs on hold
THE MASKETEERS - Masks for Our Community!

We refer to our sewing group as The Masketeers.  We have been sewing masks since early April, and have donated and distributed to all the senior’s homes, long term care, senior’s apartments, takeout servers, Canadian Mental Health workers, Ryde community, Fire, OPP and Medics, Real Estate companies, doctors’ offices, postal workers, G.A.P, delivery people, and many many individuals to wear when they come into town for grocery shopping, etc.

To date we have distributed well over 3,000 masks.  We are constantly offered payment for these however always ask them to Pay It Forward.  It is our intention to supply these masks on a complimentary basis.

Our plan is to provide our entire Town of Gravenhurst with as many masks as possible to ensure we do our very best to stay safe.  

The Masketeers, complimentary masks, handsewn by Gravenhurst sewers.  Please simply Pay It Forward in lieu of any payment for these masks.....Please wear them!

Contact: Barb McCabe

*Most of our masks are picked up in PineRidge; however, we have a good group of volunteers who will deliver should those requesting masks not have means to be picked up.  

 Gravenhurst Caretagion 2020
A group has been formed, called Gravenhurst Caretagion 2020, by community volunteers to help other residents of Gravenhurst run errands while in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our goal is to help other community members who do not have a local support network to help them run errands such as picking up groceries, prescriptions, and so on. 

Due to the nature of COVID-19, we will need to make our interactions contact-free and maintain social distancing at all times. Therefore, our plan is to act as runners for people who have already placed orders and provided payment to merchants. If this is impossible, contact us and we will work to find solutions. 

We have a central number that community members can call, and we will assign a volunteer to their task. We are asking that calls take place between 8 am and noon so that we can aim to have volunteers complete tasks the same day. However, calls and voice mails will be returned and tasks completed as quickly as possible if they're received after noon.

The contact number for Gravenhurst Caretagion 2020 is 705-710-4542 or email This service will be active as of Friday, March 20.

Salvation Army - 620 Muskoka Rd N, Gravenhurst Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 1:00 - 4:30 pm. Food bank remains open, however there is no waiting room area so clients need to call and book appointments so that we see one client at a time. Grocery delivery available (via CAA) for over 60 years or underlying condition. Phone: (705) 687-2131.


Gravenhurst Against Poverty continues to take precautions and is open on a take out basis.

Located at 290 Muskoka Road North - Trinity United Church parking lot. 

  • Our Tuesday lunch is offered from 12-1 pm take out only.
  • Our Thursday Supper Club and Fresh food giveaway will also be open.
  • Both are open 4-6 pm, the dinner will be a take dinner. 
Contractors, Suppliers, Couriers and Deliveries, please contact 705-687-3412 ext 200 or ext 227 or your designated staff member to arrange for entry. 

Prior to entry you will be required to complete a self health declaration.


COVID-19 Declaration Form

Please download PDF FORM, Print/Scan and email to in advance of your service date. Thank You. 

Asymptomatic Testing Only Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario (Shoppers Drug Mart, 511 Muskoka RD. S)
(Service for residents who do not have any symptoms, and no reason to believe they may have COVID-19.)
  • (Mon-Sun)
  • By Appointment Only Please
  • Call (705) 705-687-2838 for pre-screening
There are (two) COVID-19 Assessment Centre's in Muskoka:
Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, Bracebridge 75 Ann Street)
COVID-19 testing by appointment only Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the
1-888-383-7009.  Detailed information is posted on the MAHC website at, including driving directions and parking instructions for the assessment centre.


The District’s Muskoka Paramedic Services, Huntsville physicians and the Town of Huntsville have united together to offer a Huntsville COVID-19 Assessment Centre location for the public:

  • The Huntsville COVID-19 Assessment Centre, is by appointment only testing. The assessment centre operates three days a week with the following hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am until 4:00pm.  
  • Location: Active Living Centre at 20 Park Drive (Follow signs towards Huntsville Active Living Centre located at 20 Park Drive; attached to Canada Summit Centre)
  • Bring: face mask, health card, and name of your doctor or nurse practitioner
  • Notes: there are no inside washroom facilities for public use. Depending on weather, the centre may be offered in a drive-through format

Ontario Pharmacies Providing COVID-19 Testing


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-assessment


The Economic Development team is available to help in one of the following ways:

  1. Tell us how COVID-19 is impacting your business: COVID-19 Business Impact Assessment: 
  2. Need help navigating the programs and resources available? Connect with our Business Support Concierge Service. Let us try and help you. If we don’t have an answer, we’ll try to get one. Call 705-644-2207 or email
  3. Looking for self-serve information? Take a look at the information below:
When and How? - Preparing for Re-opening Safely

When can I re-open?

  • The Province of Ontario has developed a three-phase approach to re-opening the economy.  Different businesses and sectors will be announced by the Province when they have determined it is safe to do so.

What re-opening planning tools are available?

What Safety measures and protocals should I follow?

 What Support Funding is Available to My Business?

Avoiding Layoffs and Access to Wage Assistance

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • Provides a flat benefit of $2,000 for up to 4 months for workers or self-employed business owners who are not eligible for EI benefits and have been out of work for 14 consecutive days in any four-week period for reasons relating to COVID-19. 

Canada Small Business Wage Subsidy

  • A subsidy that will provide businesses with up to 75 per cent of an employee's salary on the first $58,700 which could mean payments of up to $847 a week, for up to 3 months.  This wage subsidies will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Canada Work-Sharing Program

  • Provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.

Access to Credit

Assisting with Commercial Rent

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

  • The program will help small businesses and landlords cover 50% of their rents for April, May, and June. The program will provide loans, including some forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who are then to either lower or forgo the rent for small businesses. 

Canada Special Emergency Business Account

  • Will see banks offer $40,000 government-guaranteed, interest-free loans for the first year to cover operating costs for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. If certain conditions are met, the first $10,000 will be forgiven.

Canada Business Credit Availability Program

  • Through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) businesses can access direct lending and other types of financial assistance.

Farm Credit Canada Loans

  • Loans for producers, agribusinesses and food processors.

Muskoka Futures

  • Provide loans, business planning and mentorship to Muskoka businesses.

Business Improvement Grants

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

  • Provides grants of up to $5,000 to assist business owners cover the costs of PPE, make physical modifications and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities.

Digital Main Street Funding

  • Assistance, Information and Grant funding to implement digital technology for your business.  Tips for how to market your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network (PMCN)

  • Business Technology Improvement Grant (BTIF) and is a grant of 50% up to $25,000 for the costs of adopting digital technology.
 What Will Assist with Reducing My Operating Expenses?
 Time-of-use Hydro pricing
  • Starting March 24, Hydro customers will pay the off-peak rate (10.1¢/kWh) no matter what time of day for at least 45 days. This pricing will be applied automatically.

Payment Deferrals and Interest

Big Bank Loan & Credit payment deferrals

  • The Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank will assist small business customers, on a case-by-case basis, to help them manage through financial challenges.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

  • The program will help small businesses and landlords cover 50% of their rents for April, May, and June. The program will provide loans, including some forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who are then to either lower or forgo the rent for small businesses.

Canada Business Tax Deferral Program

  • HST and GST payments are being deferred until June.
  • Businesses can differ income tax that becomes owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020, until after August 31, 2020.

Provincial Tax and Fee Deferrals

  • 5 months interest and penalty-free period of provincially administered taxes.
  • Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days to allow municipalities to provide property tax deferrals.
  • Up to 6 months of deferred Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments.

Gravenhurst Tax Deferrals

 How Can I Support My Employees?

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • provides a flat benefit of $2,000 for workers or self-employed business owners who are not eligible for EI benefits and have been out of work for 14 consecutive days in any four-week period for reasons relating to COVID-19.   

Canada Work-Sharing Program

  • provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.

Canada Small Business Wage Subsidy

  • A subsidy that will provide businesses with up to 75 per cent of an employee's salary on the first $58,700 which could mean payments of up to $847 a week, for up to 3 months. This wage subsidies will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Is My Business Considered Essential?

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Province has restricted what businesses can remain open to a specific list of essential businesses.  On May 1st, the province released an update to that list.

Still not sure you can contact the Ontario Business Information Line 1-888-444-3659

Are you a seasonal accommodator looking for clarification about your operation or residents find out more from in a statement from Minister Clark.

Are you a short term rental provider looking for information, see page 8 section 3 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

What Other Information and Resources Are Available?
 District of Muskoka Support
 Financial Support Resources - District of Muskoka Food Support and Resources - District of Muskoka
 Stop the Spread



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