Event Planning Guidelines

Information you may need when planning an event.

Prior to completing and submitting a special event application, event organizers are encouraged to review these A-to-Z  event planning guidelines to ensure that their event complies with the Town of Oakville’s event policies, procedures and regulations.

While planning events, please keep in mind the Town of Oakville’s Accessibility, RZone and Towards Zero Waste policies.

Download the full Special Event User Guide for information on planning a special event in Oakville. 

Please contact the Town of Oakville’s Special Events Service at events@oakville.ca should you have any questions about the information outlined in this section.

Accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life. Incorporating accessibility when planning an event helps make everyone feel welcome, which often leads to an increase in attendance and a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

The Town of Oakville is committed to eliminating barriers and providing accessible programs, services and facilities, which assists in achieving Council’s vision to be the most livable town in Canada. The town requires, where possible, that events in Oakville are compliant with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its standards.

Use our Accessibility Infographic for ideas on how to make your event accessible. For more information, please refer to our Accessibility page or our Accessibility Training Brochure.

Unless otherwise permitted, access to all public areas within an event site (play structures, splash pads, permanent washroom facilities, etc.) shall remain available to the public at all times during an event.

Please refer to "Liquor License".

Town of Oakville Exhibition License

If planning on having any amusement rides at your event, please disclose on the online special event application form.

A Town of Oakville Exhibition License is required as part of your special event permit when amusement rides are used at special events. An Exhibition License can be obtained from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s department as part of the permitting process.

From the rides/inflatable supplier company:

  • A certificate of $5 million Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance coverage naming "The Corporation of the Town of Oakville" as Additional Insured.
  • A detailed list of all rides/inflatables to be featured, including:
    • Methods used to secure the structure(s)
    • Number of safety straps or tie downs per structure
    • Structure size(s)
    • Structure weight(s)
  • Copies of current Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) certification for each ride/inflatable.
  • Proof of the company’s WSIB certification.

Animals for entertainment include but are not limited to: animal/reptile exhibits, animal rides, animal shows, birds, open farms, petting zoos, and ponies/pony rides. If you intend on having animals at your event, please disclose this on the online special event application form.

Town of Oakville Animals for Entertainment License

A Town of Oakville Animals for Entertainment License is required as part of your special event permit when animals are used for entertainment at special events.

Halton Region Public Health

In addition to securing an Animals for Entertainment License, event organizers are required to receive approval for the display of animals from the Halton Region Public Health Department.

The maintenance and care of all animals used for entertainment must observe the regulations set out in the town’s current by-laws and must meet the guidelines set out by the Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

The Town of Oakville reserves all final decision making authority with respect to considering, granting, issuing, or terminating an event permit at any time.

The Town of Oakville reserves the right to cancel any scheduled or active event where public safety is a primary concern.

All events featuring a live auction must ensure the auctioneer is licensed with the Town of Oakville. An Auctioneer License can be obtained from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s department.

The town must be notified of all bleachers being planned for within an event site.

A clear, precise site plan of the layout of your event is required to be submitted to the town for approval. The site plan must indicate the location and size of each bleacher structure.

All bleachers over two feet (24 inches) in height must be equipped with appropriate railings/fall prevention bars.

All bleachers are required to follow the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Temporary Performance/Event Structures Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario standards.

When building permits are required

Bleachers greater than 108 SF in area (i.e. >10x10’) and more than two feet (24 inches) in height will require a building permit, design and evaluation level and must be signed off on by a qualified professional engineer.

A professional engineer or representative is required to be onsite during the erection, use and removal of such bleachers.

Additionally, Town of Oakville staff inspections are required before and after the installation, and prior to the use of such bleachers. A Zoning Officer will also review a site plan with structures indicated. Please contact zoningrequestions@oakville.ca for more information.

All bleachers that are not greater than 108 sq. ft. and not over two feet (24 inches) in height do not require a building permit.

Unsolicited buskers, or street performers, are not allowed on municipal property. Organizers wishing to include buskers, roaming performers, or street performers in their event, are required to request permission for roaming entertainment on their Special Event Application.

Buskers may be required to provide proof of insurance, listing the Town of Oakville, 1225 Trafalgar Road, as an "Additional Insured".

In accordance with the Town of Oakville by-law 2013-013 and its amendment(s), remaining in town parks or on property overnight is not allowed. In special circumstances, camping may be granted on a limited basis.

The provision of all necessary site and personal security during any granted overnight stay is the sole responsibility of the permit holder.

Propane barbecues, personal barbecues and open fires are NOT allowed on municipal property.

Permanent barbecues are available at five designated picnic areas at Coronation Park and two designated picnic areas at Lions Valley Park. A picnic permit is required to obtain exclusive use of these sites. For more information, please refer to "Picnics".

For more information about having food vendors at an event, please refer to "Vendors".

Town Contact

Corporation of the Town of Oakville
1225 Trafalgar Road Oakville, ON
L6H 0H3
905-845-6601

Special Event Service

events@oakville.ca

Oakville Tourism Partnership

1225 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, ON L6H 0H3
905-815-6055
info@visitoakville.com

It is the responsibility of the event organizer to ensure that municipal property is protected from crowd damage, overuse and vandalism during the event. Any damage resulting in maintenance, repair, or replacement costs will be the sole responsibility of the permit holder.

Depending on the nature of the event, a damage deposit may be required. The amount of the deposit shall be determined by the town and will be indicated on the event permit.

If a security deposit is required, payment can be issued in the form of cash, certified cheque, credit card, or money order, made payable to the "Town of Oakville".

If damages occur during or as the result of an event, any repair costs will be assessed and communicated to the permit holder within 72 hours of the event vacating the site, and will be charged against the security deposit.

Demonstrations, rallies or actions that could incite violence of any kind are not allowed on all municipal property including sidewalks and roadways.

Events occurring on municipal property should not promote the hatred or derision of any group and shall not be permitted if likely or intended to cause unreasonable danger to the health and safety of any person.

The desecration of flags or other national symbols is not allowed.

Events appearing on municipal property shall be consistent with the principle of respect for the dignity and worth of all persons.

Please refer to "Rzone"

The inclusion of a drone(s) at your event must be approved by the Town of Oakville. Any drones approved for event use must comply with all Transport Canada drone regulations and protocols.

To learn more, visit the Transport Canada website.

The Ontario Electrical Safety Code (Rules 2-004 – Inspection & 44-100 – Travelling Shows) requires a wiring notification (permit) be obtained when any temporary wiring distribution system is set up. All productions and events shall file an application for inspection with the Electrical Safety Authority within 48 hours prior to commencement of any electrical activity.

Permits may be obtained by visiting the ESA Customer Service Centre or by calling 1-877-ESA SAFE or (877) 372-7233. The applicant must have all event information such as location details, call sheets, and contact personnel, etc. available at the time of the call.

Upon receipt of the notification or permit number, the event organizer is required to:

  1. Provide a copy of the notification or permit number to the Town of Oakville for approval,
  2. Display the notification or permit number in an area accessible to production staff, the Electrical Inspector and town inspectors, in the vicinity of the central power distribution point. The permit shall be reasonably protected from environmental destruction.

Generators

Events requiring the use of generators may employ whisper-quiet generators only. The location of generators shall be positioned so as not to create a hazard, disturb or cause nuisance as the result of noise emissions and exhaust fumes. The use of generators at an event site is subject to inspection by the Town of Oakville and the Electrical Safety Authority.

Access to all driveways, parking lots, parks, thoroughfares and walkways are to be maintained at all times during event operations.

Access points

Every event site shall designate primary, secondary and emergency access points. A minimum width of six metres shall be observed at all access points at all times. All access points are to be clearly marked on all event site maps and layout diagrams.

Access routes

As part of the event’s Emergency Action Plan, event organizers should pre-determine a designated emergency access route to be used in case an emergency vehicle requires access to the site. This route should avoid any temporary or permanent gated access points, have easy access from a main street and be set away from the main flow of event attendees (pedestrians or vehicles).

Events expecting more than 5,000 may be required to submit their Emergency Action Plan to the town for review and approval. 

Events on Roads

Any event on a road must receive a road closure permit and approval from the town. Please disclose on the online special event application form.

All events taking place on a road must ensure one lane (six metres in width) remains free and clear of any temporary or permanent installments (i.e., tents, vendors, stage, rides, games, etc.) at all times used in case an emergency vehicle requires access through the site.

The event organizer is responsible for adequately considering, planning for and mitigating against event emergencies (i.e. lost child, site evacuation, fire, etc.) and for ensuring the event has a current Emergency Action Plan in place. For more information, browse the Emergency Management Plan Guidebook. Please also refer to "Extreme Weather Response" and the Emergency Management Infographic.

Use the Emergency Management Plan template to ensure your event is ready for any emergency and submit along with your event application, so that the town knows your event is prepared.

Events expecting more than 5,000 may be required to submit their Emergency Action Plan to the town for review and approval.

Maximum capacity

The event organizer shall, at all times, know the number of persons using the permitted facility space, and understand the layout of the facility, including the location of emergency exits.

Insurance

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to ensure all vendors, food merchants and the overall event is insured. Please refer to "Insurance" for more information.

Event organizers are responsible for tracking and communicating extreme weather conditions to event participants and attendees before and during the event. Hot temperatures, high winds, heavy rain, snow and sleet can all pose safety risks for special events. Ensure your event has an Extreme Weather Response Plan in place for tracking and responding to extreme weather and its effects.

Please use the following checkboxes to ensure your event plans reflect the Town of Oakville’s Extreme Weather Response guidelines:

  • Ensure all tents and temporary structures are appropriately weighted down at all times, regardless of the forecast. Please see "Tents and temporary structures" on page 38 for more information. Note: staking or spiking into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement is not allowed.
  • Ensure your event has an Extreme Weather Response Plan and all event staff and volunteers are familiar with its protocols.
  • Ensure your committee has a method of communicating between all event staff and volunteers. (i.e. 2-way radios, extra batteries; do not rely on cellular service in emergencies).
  • Ensure your event site features pre-assigned Safe Areas for attendees to access shade, cool air and water during events in summer months, and heat/warmth during events in winter months.

Approval of all event fencing must be obtained prior to installation.

At no time is event fencing permitted to block access to residents’ property, driveways, parking lots, walkways or thoroughfares, and it must be kept clear of all temporary or permanent emergency access points and routes.

Event organizers wishing to install temporary non-ground-penetrating fencing are requested to indicate the positioning of all fence lines on their site plan/map.

Note: staking or spiking into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement is not allowed at any time.

Fencing is required to be installed around the perimeter of a licensed area. Please refer to "Liquor License".

The town makes available to event organizers a limited supply of temporary fencing installed by town staff to demark specific areas of, or features within, an event site.

Declare on the online special event application form if you require fencing to rent or if a rental company will be providing fencing at the event.

Upon detection of any fire, immediately call 911 for the Oakville Fire department.

The permit holder is responsible for the safe evacuation of its employees, volunteers, attendees, staff and participants, and for ensuring compliance with these procedures immediately upon detection of smoke or fire, or if the fire alarm is heard or seen.

For more information visit the Oakville Fire Department page. 

Please also refer to "Emergency management" and "Cooking".

The Town of Oakville maintains by-law 2009-056 and its amendments to regulate the discharge of fireworks. The by-law prescribes the restrictions and regulations surrounding both low-hazard (family fireworks) and Display and Theatrical Fireworks (event fireworks).

Individuals and event organizers are expected to be aware of the restrictions and regulations concerning the use of fireworks in the municipality.

Events seeking the discharge of Display and/or Theatrical Fireworks must obtain a Permit for the Discharge of Display Fireworks and Theatrical Fireworks from the Town of Oakville Fire department.

Flying lanterns, sky lanterns, or wish lanterns are not permitted to be discharged on municipal property.

More information concerning obtaining a Fireworks Permit can be obtained by contacting the Fire Prevention Division of the Oakville Fire Department.

All events are required to have a fully-stocked first aid kit easily accessible to both staff and event attendees at the event site at all times.

Events expecting more than 500 attendees are required to:

  • Engage the services of a certified professional first aid service;
  • Make available one automated external defibrillator (A.E.D.) device; and,
  • Provide the minimum of one 10'x10’ first aid area (tent, room, etc.) at the event site.

All first aid stations should be clearly marked with appropriate signage.

For more information, visit the St. John's Ambulance website.

Process for Courtesy Flag Pole Displaying and or Raising of Flags

  1. Requests to use the courtesy flag pole at Town Hall must be submitted in writing (by email) to the Mayor's office;
  2. The Mayor's office will review all requests in accordance with Town procedure in consultation with the Town Clerk, when required;
  3. Requests will be processed and confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis;
  4. Flags will be raised and displayed for a maximum of one month depending on when the flag pole is available and provided no conflicting requests have been received, at the discretion of the Mayor's office;
  5. The Mayor's office will notify the Facilities and Construction Management department (FCM) and Service Oakville of the flags to be raised and displayed as appropriate;
  6. The FCM staff will be responsible for the raising and displaying of flags, as required.

More information about the town’s courtesy flag pole and related policies can be found by reviewing our Flag Protocol.

Food Vendors

Please refer to "Food Vendors" for more information. Vendors must be approved prior to arriving at your event.

Concessions

The sale of food on municipal property at which there are existing food/beverage concessions is not allowed.

Food concessions are available from May to September at Coronation Park. Food for sale and catered food service is not allowed in this location without written permission from the Town of Oakville, and approved food service providers must obtain the necessary licensing from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s department.

Distribution of food

Event organizers must advise the town of any food to be available for public consumption at the event, including: food vendors, food sampling, giveaways, food for volunteers, etc.

Events offering any type of food must notify and receive approval from the Halton Region Public Health Department.

Events that will be offering food services are required to contact Halton Region Waste Management to arrange for the provision of compost receptacles at the event. This will also require additional servicing to stay on top of waste management, and additional charges may apply. To request the provision of compost receptacles by Halton Region Waste Management Services, complete and return the request form.

Dishware and cutlery

Looking to help your event go green? The greenest option is always reusable dishware and cutlery. Consider having a dishwashing station at your next event.

If reusable dishware and cutlery are not an option, then ensuring that all food vendors use only compostable dishware and cutlery is the way to go. Examples of compostable dishware and cutlery include non-coated paper or pressed-fiber cups, plates and napkins, and wood cutlery.

The Halton Region Waste Management Services Special Events Resource Guide offers more information about where and what items to purchase.

Styrofoam is not recyclable in Halton.

Local food

Featuring local food is another way to green your event. Defined as originating a maximum of 1 hour or 100 kilometres from an event site, local food is a great way of supporting the local economy and providing fresh, healthy, in-season fruits, vegetables juices and water at your event.

Work with your food vendors to curate menus that feature local, in-season food items.

If there is food left over from the event, encourage guests to take it home in reusable containers or arrange for a food donation to the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank.

A Town of Oakville Refreshment Vehicle License or a food shop/special event food shop license is required for every food vendor vending at an event. A license can be obtained for each food vendor from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s department using the Refreshment Vehicle License Application Form.

Every food vendor must also receive approval from the Halton Region Public Health department.

For inspection purposes, the Town of Oakville will notify the Halton Region Health department and the Oakville Fire department of all dates and locations of events providing food service.

Guidelines

Please use the following checkboxes to ensure all event plans reflect the Town of Oakville’s guidelines concerning the service of food and beverage at events.

  • Event organizers shall refer to and abide by Halton Region Waste Diversion Services’ Community Events Resource Guide outlining the use of acceptable food packaging at events.
  • Ensure the use of proper three-stream waste receptacles (garbage, recycling and compost).
  • A ratio of 1:100 washrooms to patrons must be observed. For more information concerning renting portable washrooms please refer to "Washrooms".
  • Proper cooking vessel guidelines as set out by the Oakville Fire department are to be observed. Please refer to "Cooking" for more information.
  • The availability of municipal water and the use of refillable water bottles are to be promoted. For more information about the Town of Oakville’s water bar lending program, please refer to "Water Bar / Water Refill Station".

To apply online, visit Halton Region Health Department to advise of any food coming on site to your event.

Events offering food services are required to contact Halton Region Waste Management to arrange for the provision of compost receptacles at the event. This will also require additional servicing to stay on top of waste management, and additional charges may apply. To request the provision of compost receptacles by Halton Region Waste Management Services, complete and return the request form.

To contact:

Halton Region Health Department
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville, ON L6M 3L1
905-825-6000
Fax: 905-825-8797

Please also refer to "Lottery/raffles/games-of-chance".

Events conducting fundraising activity/activities on municipal property as part of the event’s programming are required to obtain permission from the town. The provision of all necessary site and personal security during any granted fundraising activity/activities is the sole responsibility of the permit holder.

Please declare on the online special event application form and a member of the Special Event Service will follow up for more detail.

Please refer to "Waste Management".

There are a number of ways you can further reduce the environmental impact of your event without sacrificing budget or entertainment. The following recommendations help event organizers minimize environmental effects on their event locations.

Energy Use and Conservation

Event organizers are encouraged to make efforts to conserve energy at the event. Items that are plugged in are using power even if powered off. Unplug any equipment or appliances that are not in use.

Green Power

Consider offsetting your event’s energy usage by purchasing green power. Offsetting the event’s energy usage can provide a positive message to event stakeholders and offers measurable indicators of the event’s environmental sustainability that can be used in the event’s communication materials.

Solar Power

Harness the power of the sun by using solar panels to power your event.

Paperless Invitations

Instead of paper invitations, consider sending electronic invites via email or social media. Sending electronic invitations saves paper and time, and makes sending updates and tracking responses very easy.

To learn more, visit the Toward Zero Waste website.

For other event ideas, open our Sustainability Infographic.

Event organizers are encouraged to undertake efforts to make their event a positive and inclusive environment for all attendees. Inclusive efforts recommended for community events include:

  • Accommodating alternative languages
    • "I speak ________" pins for volunteers
    • Multi-language signs ( Washrooms | Toilettes | 洗手間)
    • Multi-lingual Info Booth volunteers
  • Baby changing/feeding facilities
  • Distraction-free or quiet spaces/zones
  • Family and/or gender-neutral change rooms and washrooms
  • Water bowls at pet-friendly events; for service animals

If planning to have inflatables at your event, please disclose this on the online special event application form.

When planning to have inflatables at an event, the following is required from the supplier company as part of the permitting process:

  • A certificate of $5 million Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance coverage naming "The Corporation of the Town of Oakville" as Additional Insured.
  • Copies of current Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) certification for each inflatable.
  • Proof of the company’s WSIB certification.

Guidelines

In order to ensure the safety of the inflatable(s), its user(s) and operator(s), please ensure the following provisions in your event plan:

  • All inflatables shall be anchored securely using weights, and are subject to the approval of the Town of Oakville Parks and Open Space staff prior to installation. Note: staking or spiking into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement is not allowed.
  • All inflatables shall be appropriately weighted down and staffed at all times.
  • All inflatables shall be deflated and removed from the event site daily.
  • All inflatables shall meet all safety requirements as outlined in the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) guidelines.
  • Tie-down straps and electrical cords shall be positioned so as not to cause trip hazards.

For more information, please refer to our Inflatables Infographic.

Insurance covers event organizers and volunteers for liability claims made by another person related to injury and/or damage sustained as a result of an event. Property owned by event volunteers or personal injury to a volunteer is not typically covered by insurance. Volunteers are encouraged to ensure that they have adequate personal property insurance as well as insurance for disabilities, either through employment or other means, prior to volunteering for an event. Event organizations that report to a Board of Directors are encouraged to ensure that their insurance policy covers all Board members and event-decision makers.

Requirements

All events using Town of Oakville facilities or held on town property must provide the town with a certificate of Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance in the value of $5 million.

The certificate is required to name "The Corporation of the Town of Oakville, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville Ontario, L6H 0H3" as an Additional Insured. All certificates of insurance are required to be originals.

All certificates of insurance are also required to indicate:

  • Description of coverage detailing Commercial General Liability.
  • Details of the insurance company writing the policy: name, address and telephone number
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Policy effective date and expiry date
  • Policy limits (if any)
  • "The Corporation of the Town of Oakville, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville Ontario, L6H 0H3" named as an Additional Insured.
  • The location and activity of the Named Insured for which this certificate is issued
  • Town of Oakville Special Event User Guide 2017 25
  • The name, address and telephone number of the Named Insured

Insurance for third-party sponsors, suppliers and vendors

All third-party sponsors, suppliers and vendors invited by the event organizer to participate in the event must be approved by the Town of Oakville and must provide a certificate of Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance in the value of $5 million. This includes, but is not limited to, clowns, food operators, photographers, vendors, etc.

Each certificate is required to name "The Corporation of the Town of Oakville, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville Ontario, L6H 0H3" as an Additional Insured. All certificates of insurance are required to be originals.

If the third party operates a small business from their home (i.e. artisan), the town will accept the following alternative forms of insurance:

  • Business in the Home – extension of home insurance policy.
  • Exhibitor / Vendor Booth Liability through a recognized Canadian third party provider.

The aforementioned coverages and checklist still apply to these types of insurance certificates. All insurance certificates must name the Corporation of the Town of Oakville as an Additional Insured.

Certificates of insurance can be provided to the Town of Oakville Special Events Service throughout the application process.

If your event requires a Letter of Municipal Significance per the Alcohol and Gaming Commission’s guidelines in order to obtain a Special Occasion Permit, a letter can be requested from the Town of Oakville, Clerk’s department.

Please also refer to "Liquor License".

Featuring alcohol service at an event comes with significant responsibility.

The following information is offered to ensure event organizers wishing to provide alcohol service at their event abide by the Town of Oakville’s Municipal Alcohol Policy and the related provincial rules and regulations. It is not permitted at any event unless proof of a valid liquor license is provided by the permit holder to the Town of Oakville and posted at the event at all times.

Special Occasion Permit (SOP)

To serve alcohol at an event anywhere in the province, the event organizer is required to obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), facilitated by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Adherence to the Liquor License Act of Ontario, Municipal Alcohol Policy MS-PER-003 and Procedure MS-PER-003-001 is required at all times.

SOP application forms are available at most LCBO stores, and by visiting the ACGO website.

As part of the SOP application process, events serving alcohol at a town facility or on park or open space property must issue letters notifying  the following Oakville contacts of the alcohol service at least four months prior to the event date:

The alcohol notification letters shall include:

  • A site plan of the event location including all alcohol service locations.
  • The date(s).
  • The event start and end times.
  • The expected numbers of guests.

Once a SOP has been obtained by the event organizer, the following town requirements* shall be observed:

  • 30-35% of the service offering must feature low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including water and non-alcoholic beverages must be provided for designated drivers free of charge.
  • A maximum of two alcoholic beverages can be purchased at one time, and alcohol shall not be left available for self service.
  • Beer or liquor must be dispensed in non-glass and environmentally friendly containers.
  • Beer or liquor tickets should be clearly identified as such, be unique for each event, and redemption of unused tickets for cash must be allowed at any time during the event.
  • Fencing must comply with municipal alcohol policy.
  • There will be no "Last Call". Hours of operation of the bar must be posted and the bar must close no later than 1 a.m.
  • Permit holder or their designate must attend the event.
  • Physical barriers must be set in place whereby the applicant can readily monitor patrons within the assigned area.
  • Prices established for alcoholic beverages must be in line with current market value.
  • All evidence of sale must be removed within 45 minutes of the bar closing. Any later requests for a later closing must be filed and preapproved by the Town of Oakville.
  • The event must provide a minimum of two mature, knowledgeable and "Smart Serve" certified bartenders with a ratio of 1:100 bartenders to guests.
  • The licensed area must conform to all codes of the Building, Fire and Health departments.
  • The occupant load must be clearly posted if the event exceeds 60 persons.
  • The permit holder must confirm all event security measures being taken with a Staff Sergeant of the Halton Regional Police Service, 20 Division, Oakville.
  • The service of tap water must be free.
  • The SOP and the signed municipal alcohol policy must be posted in a visible location at the event as well as a list of bartender(s) serving at the event who have completed "Smart Serve" training along with a photocopy of certificates.
  • Times of service must be clearly posted.
  • Licensed events are required to provide to the town Commercial General Liability Insurance in the value of $5 million, naming the "Town of Oakville" as additional insured.

Security

Licensed security services and/or paid duty police officers may be required at the event and are determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Halton Regional Police Services. The permit holder is responsible for any expenses incurred for security requirements.

A Special Occasion Permit must be obtained and a copy provided to the Town of Oakville prior to the final execution of all town permits and licenses.

Please also refer to "Letter of Municipal Significance".

All occurrences of gambling, gaming or games of chance (including 50/50 draws, Bingo games, lotteries, raffles, etc.) in the province of Ontario are subject to the licensing and regulations of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Any event* wishing to feature gambling, gaming or games of chance (including 50/50 draws, Bingo games, raffles, etc.) must obtain a lottery license from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s department.

*Even if the purpose of the lottery/raffle/game-of-chance is for fundraising purposes.

Please refer to "Vendors".

Please also refer to:

"Noise exemption permit", "Re:sound", and/or "SOCAN".

The presence of amplified sound for the purpose of special events (including weddings) is restricted under the Town of Oakville’s noise by-law, to between:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Sunday

During these times all amplified sound shall remain at an acceptable level giving consideration to the type and location of the event.

During these times the use of sirens, air horns or buzzers on carnival games or amusement rides are permitted at outdoor events.

Events requiring the presence of amplified sound outside of the hours prescribed in the by-law require the granting of a Noise Exemption Permit. A Noise Exemption Permit can be obtained from the Town of Oakville Licensing Services in the Clerk’s Department.

For events requiring the services of paid-duty police officers (events serving alcohol, film shoots, events affecting traffic, etc.), event organizers can arrange the booking of officers with Halton Regional Police Service.

Halton Regional Police Service
1151 Bronte Road
Oakville, ON L6M 3L1
905-825-4777

For information on Parking in Oakville, visit our Parking page.

When parking is required event organizers are responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient parking for event attendees. Parking is often at a premium during events in Oakville.

Fire lane access must be preserved and enforced at all times.

When hosting an event, please use the following checklist to ensure your event follows the Town of Oakville’s event parking guidelines.

  • Additional off-site parking is arranged if sufficient on-site parking is not available.
  • All event attendees should be made aware of parking arrangements and enforcement policies for the event.
  • Attendees parking in municipal parking lots shall ensure their vehicle is parked in a designated parking space.
  • Provide a sufficient number of accessible parking spaces.
  • Shuttle service(s) should be arranged if off-site parking is required.

Parking on the grass, pathways, in driving lanes, fire routes, outside of designated parking spaces (i.e. at the end of an aisle of marked parking), and in designated accessible parking paces without a valid permit on display, is not allowed at any time.

Street Parking

On-street parking in Oakville, unless otherwise authorized, is limited to three (3) consecutive hours. Individuals parked for longer than three hours or without the proper pay-and-display permit may be subject to parking fines.

Unless otherwise arranged, all other on-street parking regulations are observed at all times.

Paid Parking – Loss of revenue

Event organizers will be responsible for all costs associated with the use and/or loss of use of municipal parking lots, metered parking spaces and/or paid parking spaces, including lost revenue.

Parking control and enforcement

Event organizers with concerns about illegal parking or requiring parking control and enforcement services during the hours of their event are asked to call the Town of Oakville Parking Operations, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at: 905-338-4394.

Parking during road closures

Any events granted road closure permits require all vehicles to be removed from the permitted street(s) before the event begins.

Failure to remove vehicles prior to the road closure taking effect may result in vehicles being ticketed and towed from the road at the vehicle owner’s expense.

Vehicles in parks

When hosting an event in a park, please use the following checklist to ensure your event follows the Town of Oakville’s vehicles in parks guidelines.

  • Access and entry for emergency vehicles shall be permitted at any time.
  • All requests for vehicle access on park grounds must be for the purpose of event set up and take down only. Such requests must be submitted in writing with the Special Event Application Form.
  • All reversing vehicles must have a minimum of one flag-person outside and to the rear of the vehicle to assist the driver with spotting and safety during the reverse manoeuver.
  • Designated service vehicles such as golf carts may be approved for use during event hours for purposes including the transportation of supplies or garbage.
  • Event organizers shall ensure that any granted vehicle access into the park is controlled and supervised at all times, and access occurs only at designated access points.
  • Event organizer(s) shall ensure that the operation of motorized vehicles in the park will not occur less than 30 minutes prior to the event starting and will not occur less than 30 minutes following the event, in order to allow pedestrian traffic to clear.
  • Unauthorized vehicles will not be allowed on municipal property except in designated parking areas.

Carpooling

Some municipal event sites offer very limited onsite parking. In your pre-event communications, promote carpooling among event attendees. Consider designating specific parking spots at your event site as "For Carpoolers".

Event organizers are encouraged to promote alternate methods of transportation to their events including walking, cycling, shuttles, and carpooling. Please see "Transportation" for more information.

In order to provide a safe and clean environment for all to enjoy, dogs are not allowed to be off-leash on any municipal property, with the exception of designated off-leash areas.

Stoop-and-scoop practices shall be followed at all times.

Guide dogs and service animals are welcome in all town premises that are open to the public unless otherwise prohibited by law.

Dogs and all other animals are not allowed inside any municipal facilities.  

Depending on the nature of the event, consider using your pre-event communication channels to advise whether pets are welcome to attend your event (where facilities permit) or if they should be left at home.

For more information on Guide dogs and service animals in town premises, please refer to the town’s Accessible Customer Service Procedure.

Please refer to the Picnics page for more information.

Please refer to "Washrooms".

The Town of Oakville is committed to fostering an environment where there is Respect for yourself; Respect for others; and Responsibility for your actions. This environment is referred to as the Rzone. As such, the town expects the same environment of mutual respect and responsibility to be observed by event organizers holding events in town facilities and on town property.

Find out more information about the Town of Oakville’s Rzone policy.

Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights. Re:Sound licenses recorded music for public performance, broadcast and new media. The Town of Oakville maintains a Re:Sound license. As part of the terms of this license, the Town of Oakville requires that all events using town property and featuring live or recorded music pay a Re:Sound fee. This fee will appear on and be payable under your event permit. For more information, visit the Re:Sound website.

Please also refer to “SOCAN”.

Please refer to "Emergency Management".

The following process must be observed for any event that is granted a road closure permit.

  • Parking meters (if any) will be covered and roads will be signed "No Parking" in advance of the road closure.
  • Road barricades will be positioned at all access points along the permitted road in accordance with the road closure permit.
  • Parking Control Officers will enforce ticketing and towing on the closed road.
  • Parking Control Officers will make every reasonable attempt to contact the registered owner of the vehicles before proceeding to tow the vehicle.
  • Event organizers will be responsible for all costs associated with the use and/or loss of use of municipal parking lots, metered parking spaces and/or paid parking spaces, including lost revenue.
  • Security and/or paid-duty police officers may be required to assist with traffic control, at the permit holder’s expense.
  • When determined by the town to be necessary, paid-duty police officers and/or town staff may be required to assist with traffic control and permit compliance. Any costs associated with these required services shall be the responsibility of the permit holder.
  • The road closure may also require the detouring of public transit buses, so lead time is required or the approval process for the road request could be impacted.

If a road closure is required, please indicate on the online special event application form and a member of the Special Event Service will follow up for more details.

For events with more than 500 attendees, the town recommends a ratio of 1:100 security officer(s) to attendees.

The Town of Oakville reserves the right to require the event organizer to provide appropriate and sufficient security personnel (private security and/or paid-duty police officers) at any event at the expense of the event organizer, if deemed necessary.

Where alcohol is licensed to be served, the event organizer is responsible for observing the necessary security staffing levels dictated by the liquor license and the town’s Municipal Alcohol Policy.

A variety of permits are required to erect temporary signage in Oakville. Plastic signs (bag signs) are not allowed on municipal property. Before you have signs made, or put signs up, please refer to the information below.

Banners

Banners can be installed across a road way in three locations:

  1. Trafalgar Road south at Lawson Street
  2. Lakeshore Road East at First Street
  3. Lakeshore Road West at West Street

All banners shall comply with town’s Procedure MS-SPR-001-004 Banner Services for Community Events policy. Banners may be displayed for a maximum two-week period.

Event organizers are responsible for providing and delivering the banner to the town and any costs associated with installation.

Mobile sign(s)

Mobile signage is only permitted in designated areas throughout the municipality. For more information about approved mobile signage locations and conditions, please refer to the Sign Permit page.

Submitting an event site map is a mandatory requirement of receiving a special event permit in Oakville.

Designing an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand site plan or site map of an event site is important to the success of any event.

Please also refer to our Bleachers & Stages section for appropriate information should the event have a platform of any kind.

Use our Design a Site Plan Tool for step-by-step instructions on how to design an event site plan using Oakville’s maps and basic desktop software. You can also contact the Zoning Department.

SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) is a not-for-profit organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of millions of Canadian and international music creators and publishers. Through licenses, SOCAN gives businesses that use music the freedom to use any music they want, legally and ethically.

The Town of Oakville retains a SOCAN license. As part of the terms of this license, the Town of Oakville requires that all events using town property and featuring live or recorded music pay a SOCAN tariff. SOCAN tariffs are based on the number of attendees (paid or free) anticipated at an event.

The Town of Oakville will calculate the necessary SOCAN tariff for your event and this fee will appear on and be payable under your event permit. More information about SOCAN and its tariffs is available online.

Please also refer to "Re:Sound".

Please refer to "Liquor License".

The town must be notified of all stages being planned for within an event site.

A clear, precise site plan of the layout of your event is required and should indicate the location and size of each stage.

All stages above 24 inches from the ground must be equipped with appropriate railings/fall prevention bars.

All performance stages are required to follow the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Temporary Performance/Event Structures Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario policy.

When building permits are or are not required

Stages with a deck greater than 108 SF in area (i.e. >10x10’) and more than two feet (24 inches) in height will require a building permit, a design and evaluation level and must be be signed off on by a qualified professional engineer.

A professional engineer or representative is required to be onsite during the erection, use and removal of such stages. Additionally, Town of Oakville staff inspections are required prior to and after the installation, and prior to the use of such stages. A Zoning Officer will also review a site plan with structures indicated. Please email the Zoning Office for more information.

All stages that are not over two feet (24 inches) in height do not require a building permit.

Trailer stages (on wheels) which are incorporated into a truck/trailer system and have a valid license plate do not require a building permit.

Staking, spiking or digging into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement on municipal property is not allowed at any time.

Underground utilities (including hydro, gas, or irrigation lines) may be buried below the surface of municipal property and are at risk when staking or digging. Any penalties or charges resulting from damage to any underground utilities as the outcome of unapproved staking, spiking or digging are the responsibility of the event organizer.

If an event requires items that must be weighted down (i.e., tents, inflatables, etc.) it is the event organizer’s responsibility to coordinate for the use of appropriate weighting devices that do not require staking, spiking or digging. Weighting devices may include concrete blocks, industry-certified rubber tent weights, and water barrels. The use of these weighted materials to secure items at an event site must be done in consultation with installation experts to ensure the safety and security of the public, the event site, the items and the weights.

Copies of current Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) certification for each approved ride/inflatable must be submitted to the town prior to the event.

The town must be notified of all tents and temporary structures planned for within an event site. A clear, precise site plan of the layout of your event is required to be submitted to the town for approval. The site plan should indicate the location and size of each tent and temporary structure.

Fire rating

All tents and temporary structures at an event site must be able to provide documentation demonstrating the fabric (material) complies with CAN/ULC S-109M or NFPA 701, verifying compliance with O.B.C. subsections 3.13.1.6.

These requirements refer to the performance of the tent’s materials in flame-exposure tests of flame-resistant fabrics of natural, synthetic, or combinations of natural and synthetic fibres, or plastic films intended for such use as tents, awnings, draperies, or decorations.

All tents and temporary structures must demonstrate acceptable flame resistance of the fabric or film. This flame resistance may be inherent in the material or may be the result of chemical treatment to retard ignition and spread of flame.

Weighting down tents

All tents and temporary structures erected at an event site must be appropriately weighted down. The following guidelines are offered to ensure the proper weighting of each tent.

For tents 10'x10’ or smaller:

  • Ensure a minimum of 40 pounds of weight is attached to each tent leg.
  • Suitable weights can include: concrete blocks, rubber tent weights, sandbags, water barrels.
  • NOTE: Staking, spiking or digging into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement on municipal property is not allowed at any time

For tents larger than 10'x10’:

  • Ensure 50 pounds of weight or more is attached to each tent leg.
  • Suitable weights can include: concrete blocks, rubber tent weights, water barrels.
  • NOTE: Staking, spiking or digging into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement on municipal property is not allowed at any time.

All tents at events are subject to inspection at any time during event set-up, operation and removal. If tents are found to be without proper weights, the event organizer will receive a warning and be asked to obtain proper weighting prior to continuing to operate at the event. In some circumstances the removal of un-weighted or improperly-weighted tents may be requested by the town.

The use of these weighted materials to secure tents at an event site must be done in consultation with installation experts to ensure the safety and security of the public, the event site, the items and the weights.

Tents larger than 646 square feet (25’x25’)

If your event will feature a tent or temporary structure larger than 646 square feet (~25’x25’), or any size tent/temporary structure attached to a building, or constructed within 3m of other structures, you will require a building permit - O.B.C. Div. B. Article 3.14.1.6.

For more information concerning requesting a building permit, contact:

Town of Oakville
Building Services Representatives 1225 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, ON L6H 0H3
905-845-6601, ext. 7376

The Town of Oakville has adopted a Towards Zero Waste procedure in its day-to-day operations as well as its own event planning and execution requirements. As such, the town expects the same level of environmental consideration to be observed by event organizers holding events in town facilities and on town property.

Feel free to also browse through our Towards Zero Waste User Guide.

When holding your event in town facilities or on town property, please use the following checkboxes to ensure that your event will observe the town’s Toward Zero Waste requirements:

  • Event staff must ensure that all waste (garbage, recycling and organics) is collected at the end of the event.
  • Events serving food are encouraged to request recycling and organics collection from Halton Region Waste Management Services a minimum of four to six weeks prior to the event.
    • Halton Region will ensure that garbage, recycling and compost bins have proper signage.
    • And that at larger events waste separation volunteers accompany each waste station to ensure proper placement of waste
  • If reusable dishware and cutlery are not an option, then all food vendors shall refer to Halton Region’s Resource Guide for the most sustainable single-use options (non-coated paper or pressed-fibre cups, plates and napkins, and wood cutlery).
  • Event staff should look for re-use opportunities (i.e. if a surplus of food or drink arises from an event, donating to a local charity should be explored).
  • Secure one of the town’s Water Bars to provide free accessible water at your event. See "Water Bar" for more information. Remember to remind event attendees to bring their own reusable bottles to fill on-site.

Resources

The Town of Oakville attempts to make available any resources that it has in stock for the purpose of supporting special events.

The use of resources will incur charges or fees associated with their delivery, set-up, installation, operation, or removal. Any fees associated with the event’s use of town resources will be charged to the event organizer and appear on the event permit.

A minimum of two (2) weeks’ notice is required for all resource requests. All resources are made available on a first-come, first-served basis and in accordance with their availability and suitability for individual events. Changes (additions) to resource requests cannot be guaranteed after five days prior to the event.

The use of town resources is requested upon submission of a special event application.

The following resources may be available for your event:

  • Access to municipal water / hose faucet (where available)
  • Additional sanitation services
  • Bunting/flags
  • Garbage bins
  • Hydro (where available)
  • Marquee tent - 20’ x 20’, no sides
  • Mobile stage
  • Modular six-foot fencing
  • Modular four-foot fencing
  • Bike rack fencing
  • Picnic tables
  • Snow fencing
  • Waste removal services
  • Water refill station(s)

Bike-sharing and bike valet

Look for opportunities to work with community cycling partners and organizations to promote bike sharing and bicycle access to your event.

To accommodate cyclists arriving at your event, consider offering a bike valet station using existing and/or rented bike racks.

Public transit

In your pre-event communications encourage attendees to make use of Oakville Transit bus routes when arriving to and departing from your event. Include the relevant bus route and stop information in your event communication. Visit the Oakville Transit website for more information about bus routes and schedules.

Shuttle buses

Events looking to accommodate the arrival or departure of large groups of attendees or participants are encouraged to make use of a shuttle bus service. Oakville Transit buses are available for shuttle rentals, pending availability and event details.

Shuttle bus services from private bus companies such as school bus or coach bus companies may also offer an effective and efficient mode of environmentally friendly transportation for your event.

For large-scale events, shuttle bus services may be deemed necessary by town officials, and arrangements, including costs, to provide shuttle services would be the responsibility of the event organizer per the conditions of the event permit.

Walking and pedestrian traffic

Many of the primary event spaces in Oakville, such as community facilities, parks and open spaces, are easily accessible using local pedestrian walking routes. In your pre-event communications, encourage attendees who live close to the event site to leave their cars at home and walk.

Determine how ‘walkable’ your event is by entering the address of your event site on Walk Score.

 

Underground utilities (including hydro, gas, or irrigation lines) may be buried below the surface of municipal property.

Staking, spiking or digging into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement on municipal property is not allowed at any time. Any penalties or charges resulting from damage to any underground utilities as the outcome of unapproved staking, spiking or digging are the responsibility of the event organizer.

If an event requires the installation of any object that penetrates the ground, approval from the town must be granted.

In cases where permission for ground penetration is granted by the town, utility locates (the marking of underground utilities) are required. Costs associated with conducting utility locates will be the responsibility of the event organizer.

Permission to vend

Event vendors may require a licence.

Events planning to feature vending or vendors of any nature (retail, food, artisan, farmers' market, etc.) on municipal property as part of the event’s programming must disclose these details during the event permitting process.

Vending is not allowed unless outlined on the event permit.

The provision of all necessary site, vendor and personal security during any granted vending activity/activities is the sole responsibility of the permit holder.

Food vendors will be required to obtain a refreshment vehicle licence unless they are a licensed food shop/restaurant in Oakville.

Review any business license requirements and provide information to food vendors hoping to come to your event.

The Town of Oakville’s event planning guidelines require that one washroom (stall) be available at a ratio of 1:100 washrooms to event guests. Many indoor and outdoor facilities are equipped to provide a suitable number of washrooms to event attendees. Should you require these facilities, please contact Chantler’s Washrooms at 519-855-6096.

If the event is booked in a location with washroom facilities on-site, additional services will be required to clean and stock washrooms throughout the event, and additional charges may apply.

Many Town of Oakville parks have access to permanent washrooms open seasonally. Event organizers are encouraged to do a site visit of the park prior to their event.

The Town of Oakville has adopted a Towards Zero Waste procedure that applies to all event planning and execution within the municipality. In addition to adhering to the mandatory Toward Zero Waste requirements, this guide outlines a number of other ways your event can further reduce its environmental impact without sacrificing budget or entertainment.

In accordance with the Town of Oakville’s Litter by-law 2011-045, its amendments, and the town’s Toward Zero Waste program, providing three-stream garbage, recycling and compost receptacles and services at events is encouraged. Failing to provide adequate waste management receptacles at events on town property is in contravention of the by-law and subject to municipal fines.

The provision of garbage and recycling receptacles, maintenance and pick-up by town staff can be arranged through the Recreation and Culture department. For more information about arranging town waste management services, please contact the Events Service.

Events organizers offering food services at their event are required to contact Halton Region Waste Management to arrange for the provision of compost receptacles. This will also require additional servicing to stay on top of waste management and additional charges may apply. To request the provision of compost receptacles by Halton Region Waste Management Services, complete and return the request form.

For more information on ways to divert waste from and manage waste at your event, please review the Halton Region Waste Management Services Waste Management Guidelines.

Please refer to "Toward Zero Waste" on how to ensure your event complies with the Toward Zero Waste policy.

Contact:
Halton Region Waste Management Services
1151 Bronte Road, Oakville
Ontario, Canada, L6M 3L1
905-825-6000

Blue W Program

For events taking place in BIA locations such as Lakeshore, Bronte and Kerr Village, and other retail areas, the Blue W Program can provide valuable information about opportunities for water bottle refilling in these areas.

Visit www.bluew.org to locate local establishments that provide complimentary water bottle refilling in the area of your event.

Bottled Water

The Town of Oakville discourages the distribution and sale of commercially packaged bottled water at all events on municipal property.

Please refer to "Water Bar / Water Refill Stations" for more information.

Water pitchers and cups

For smaller events, consider securing donations of large five gallon water jugs and providing compostable paper cups.

The town also offers table-top stands to hold the five gallon water jugs. To reserve a table-top stand, please contact Trisha Henderson at environment@oakville.ca or 905-845-6601, ext. 3948.

The town has a selection of portable water bars that allow event attendees to refill their reusable water bottles at community events. These water bars provide a great alternative to bottled water and help improve the sustainability of events in Oakville.

Water bars are free to borrow from the town, require access to electrical and require either access to an approved municipal drinking water connection, or refilling using large, refillable water jugs provided by the event organizer.

Please fill out a special event application form and indicate on the form the use of a water refill bar. A member of the special event service will be in contact for further details.

Offering many beautiful landscapes, parks, and facilities, Oakville is a beautiful town in which to have your wedding photos, ceremony and/or reception. For more information about having your wedding ceremony/reception or engagement photos on municipal property, please visit the our Weddings page.

Oakville’s parks and open spaces are home to a wide variety of wildlife. For the health and safety of the animals and event attendees, please do not interact with or feed the wild life.

The Town of Oakville makes every effort to keep all outdoor municipal spaces clean per established seasonal maintenance schedules. Canada Geese are found in many Oakville parks. In these environments, there is the inevitability of some goose droppings.

Please review Oakville’s Wildlife Strategy to ensure your event limits its impact on wildlife in Oakville.