Newsletter Signup

UPDATED: City of Burlington provides information about drive by parades and processions

COVID19_Drive by parade guidelines_UPDATED

*NOTE: This post was updated with new information on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

**Please see a media release below issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — April 30, 2020 —Communities all over the world are finding new and unique ways amid the social distancing requirements of COVID19 to celebrate significant milestones, including birthdays, retirements, weddings, health progress and more.

One of these ways is “drive-by” processions. Family and friends drive by the location of their loved ones to wave and offer some cheer from a safe, social distance.

These drive-by celebrations have a small but powerful, positive influence on the participants, the recipients as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods and we need to find a way to support them in a controlled and legal manner.

Some of these have grown significantly in size, duration and frequency.


The province has provided clarification of their emergency orders that a 5-car limit doesn’t apply to drive by parades where people remain in their vehicle and don’t stop and get out. We have updated our guidelines with this new information.

Our interest first and foremost is ensuring the health and safety of our residents, and respecting  provincial emergency orders and public health advice.

We appeal to citizens to use good judgement and be reasonable in limiting the size of these events, especially where they occur on local roads connecting many neighbourhoods in our City that are not designed for large processions.

We ask residents to continue to follow the recommended guidelines for these events from public health as follows:

Region of Halton Public Health

Region of Halton Public Health has offered the following guidelines for parades.

These drive-by parades are becoming more common and can be a way to celebrate an event. However, it is important that public health measures continue to be followed during these types of events.

All Halton residents continue to be encouraged to:

  • Stay at home as much as possible;
  • Only go out for essential reasons;
  • Maintain physical distancing; and
  • Practice good hand hygiene.

Additional recommendations for parade organizers and participants include:

  • Remain in their vehicle during the entire event;
  • Do not interact or gather with individuals outside of the vehicles;
  • Ensure only household members are in the vehicles;
  • Reduce the need for in-person coordination by providing written or telephone directions in advance;
  • Limit the distance they are driving;
  • Consider limiting the number of vehicles permitted;
  • Continue to follow the rules of the road; and
  • Follow relevant local regulations with respect to events/parades.

Overall, Halton Region Public Health does not encourage these types of large events right now as they may increase opportunities for transmission of disease and make it difficult for individuals to appropriately follow physical distancing measures. Virtual celebrations via video-conferencing could be encouraged instead.

City of Burlington

The city of Burlington offers the following additional guidelines for parades:

  • Alert your neighbours in advance of the planned procession and timing, to the degree possible while maintaining social distancing (for example, providing notice via email, or a neighbourhood Facebook Group);
  • Ensure any decorations on a vehicle (ribbons, balloons, stuffed toys) are properly secured;
  • Instead of gathering at a centralized location to form a queue, provide a window of time for participants to make their way individually to the location and drive by
  • Acknowledging these drive-bys have the potential to draw groups of people outside of their homes, we ask observers to please stay on your own property and two metres away from any neighbour.

Police, Fire, Paramedic

Police, fire and paramedics do not typically participate in community-led parades, in order to focus resources on response to COVID19 emergency matters, though some may support a small number of these events if they can be accommodated without impacting operations.

Police, fire and paramedics do participate in the city’s monthly first responder hospital salutes, the first Friday of each month during the emergency, supervised by police escort.


We encourage our community to continue to find alternative ways to celebrate and come together while staying apart, in adherence with provincial emergency orders and public health advice, such as Zoom parties, or charitable donations in the individual’s name.

In-Home Activities

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home. The City of Burlington and its partners are offering activities people of any age can do while staying home at list includes:

  • Virtual fitness;
  • Free music;
  • Ebooks, emagazines and online resources from Burlington Public Library at; and
  • Videos for recreation programming such as games, activities and crafts.


The drive-by parades have given a lot of joy to people in a creative way, amid the physical distancing restrictions of COVID-19 and at a time when we’ve been unable to socially connect like we used to. I was honoured to participate in one recently.

These parades have been an awesome idea when they’ve been kept to a certain scale — unfortunately, the larger they get, the harder it is to maintain physical distancing and keep health and safety protocols in place. We need to follow the provincial emergency orders and public health advice and keep the size and frequency of these events to a reasonable scale.

Our focus is keeping everyone safe and healthy, and I’m very proud of our residents who are thinking of creative ways to socially connect while doing so.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages (and subscribe) and, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to


*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.

Receive new post notifications by email

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
905-335-7600, ext. 7689