City of Calgary update on response to COVID-19 – April 3, 2020

The City of Calgary continues maintaining essential services during this State of Local Emergency with orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please see below for the latest updates.

City event cancellations extended

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the recent provincial public health order to prohibit gatherings with more than 15 people, all City of Calgary led events set to take place through June 30 are cancelled. In addition, we are cancelling permits for third party events that were set to be held on City land through June 30 which means those events cannot proceed.

“Calgary is a vibrant city renowned for our world-class festivals and events and we realize this decision is disappointing for all Calgarians,” says Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson. “However, public safety and therefore physical distancing must be our top priority during this pandemic. Once we’ve flattened the curve and Calgarians can gather once again, we’ll work with event organizers to bring amazing events back to Calgary’s streets, parks and venues.”

The City will continue to reevaluate this decision and the June 30 date could be extended based on the Province’s direction and Canadians’ ability to flatten the curve. If the event cancellation date is to be extended past June 30, The City will notify Calgarians and event organizers by May 5, 2020.

Calgary Fire Department Drive-By Birthdays

To help celebrate Calgarians’ birthdays, while respecting the rules of physical distancing, the Calgary Fire Department is offering Drive-By Birthdays to people between the ages of 4-12 and 75+.

“This idea came from our members and the Calgary Firefighters’ Association, and they have been a driving force in getting this program launched,” says Calgary Fire Department Chief Steve Dongworth. “We are living in a difficult time, and if the Calgary Fire Department can help in a small way by bringing a smile to the face of birthday celebrants – both young and old - then we are happy to do so.”

From now until the end of May 2020, citizens can request a special Drive-By Birthday by calling 311 or filling out a Fire Dept – Operation Birthdays service request online.

Please note, this service is not guaranteed as our crews may be called upon to assist at an emergency.

For more information, please visit

Physical distancingIn order to ensure we continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, The City is reminding all citizens about the importance of maintaining a 2 metre distance between you and those around you.

“I cannot stress enough how critical it is for all of us to do our part and maintain this distance to help contain the spread of this pandemic,” says Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson. “During the 2013 floods, the Emergency Operations Centre had more than 200 people coordinating efforts to respond to that crisis, all working out of the same room. Today, in our current State of Local Emergency, the Emergency Operations Centre sits almost empty, with the majority of staff working at home so that we do not put one another at risk.”

To further enforce physical distancing, the Plus 15 network was fully closed as of 6 p.m. April 2, 2020, until further notice.

City parks

City-operated playgrounds are closed but Calgary’s parks remain open. Calgary has 8,000 hectares of parks spaces, and nearly 1,000 km of pathways for citizens to enjoy.

The City will continue to put measures in place to provide good pedestrian and cyclist spacing to support our COVID-19 response, including weekend closures of selected roads.

Help us keep City parks open and limit the spread of COVID-19, by avoiding crowding parks, off leash areas or hiking trails, as well as by staying within your own community. Ninety-nine per cent of Calgary residences are within a 5 minute walk of a park or green space.

Park users are asked to stay at least two metres, or six feet apart and avoid touching equipment with hard surfaces as they are not disinfected regularly. Do not use parks if you are exhibiting any symptoms.

Please remember that outdoor activity is only allowed when practicing physical distancing.

Waste & Recycling Services – Collection day changes

Starting April 6, some households may see a change in their pickup day for their blue, green or black cart. Please visit to check your collection schedule and sign up for reminders by email, text message, telephone or download the Garbage Day app.

If you are already signed up and your schedule is changing, pickup day reminders will automatically adjust to your new collection schedule. These previously planned schedule changes allow us to accommodate city growth and continue providing reliable service to Calgarians.

Frequency of pickups

  • Green cart collection is remaining at every other week instead of switching to weekly for spring. By keeping green cart collection at every other week, we are better prepared for staffing impacts related to COVID-19 and will be able to continue to provide reliable pickup to Calgarians.
  • Blue carts will continue to be picked up every week.
  • Black carts will continue to be picked up every other week.

Please keep extra garbage, recyclables or yard waste on your property until your next collection day, when you can fit them into the appropriate cart. Alternatively, ask a neighbour if they have space in their carts that you could also use.

Please note we are not collecting extra bags left outside of the cart at this time. This helps keep your driver safe and healthy by reducing their interactions with the public and limiting their contact with various surfaces.

Community supports

A new website has been created that provides dozens of links for community services to help Calgarians find the support they may need during the COVID-19 pandemic. This website can be accessed via the COVID-19 page on, under the “supports for individuals” category.

Information on this site has been organized into categories that address main areas of support that have been requested by Calgarians. This includes funding support that the federal and provincial governments have made available to citizens – access to food, essential contact numbers for seniors and resources for immigrants.

This website is a work in progress, and as more programs and services come online, they will be added to this new website. If any citizen is worried about their income, their food supply, isolation, and personal health, they can access the City’s COVID-19 page for all the information they need to come through this pandemic.

Reminder – Don’t flush wipes

Flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet can clog pipes and create sewer back-ups, which can be costly for both homeowners and The City.

Wipes that claim to be flushable aren’t. After they’re flushed, they don’t break down like toilet paper does. Toilet paper will disintegrate after it’s flushed, but so-called “flushable” wipes retain their shape and strength, causing blockages in pipes.

Facial tissue (Kleenex), serviettes and paper towel cannot be flushed down your toilet. They do not break down as toilet paper does, and lead to clogs and sewer back-ups.

Wipes, paper towel and all other items used as a toilet paper alternatives should be bagged and disposed of in your black cart. They do not belong in your green or blue bins.

There is additional information of what can't go down your sink and toilet.