STC Framework for Recovery: Our Path Forward

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Our community will be forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact on our residents, businesses and City operations will be felt for years to come. Even as we continue to grapple with the continued presence of the virus in our community, we are charting a course forward, a shared path to recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and its impacts on our community will continue for months. The STC Framework for Recovery charts the course the City will take to ensure we keep our residents and employees safe, while returning to a full level of services, programs and operations. We are working to reintroduce services, reopen facilities and support both residents and businesses as they adapt to a new post-COVID-19 context. Advancing through the framework will depend on numerous factors, including the local risk of COVID-19 transmission, the advice of Niagara Region Public Health, direction from the Province of Ontario and continued public cooperation in efforts to slow the local spread of the virus.

A Broad Foundation

The STC Framework for Recovery is built on three pillars: Health and Wellness, Organizational and Economic. Each focuses on several core principals / questions to guide the recovery process both internally and externally. These pillars set the foundation of our framework.

Health and WellnessPillar 1: Health and Wellness


OrganizationalPillar 2: Organizational


EconomicPillar 3: Economic

Focused on the physical and mental well-being of citizens and staff.
How do we support and protect the health of our community and staff?

Focused on the operations necessary to provide services to citizens.
How do we open facilities and deliver services in a way that is safe for both residents and staff?
How do we keep our residents, and staff, informed?

Focused on the financial well-being of the City and its citizens.
How do we mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the City, businesses and residents, and support them during recovery?

A Balanced Approach

Under the STC Framework for Recovery the City is using a risk-based approach to guide decisions for resumption of services and reopening of facilities. Each City service has been assessed based on the criteria of safety, feasibility and community impact.

  • Safety: Can the service be delivered safely? Can the service be modified to achieve safety in delivery?
  • Feasibility: What is the cost associated with safely delivering the service? Is it fiscally responsible to expend those financial resources?
  • Community Impact: How does this service and related cost fit in the larger context of recovery for the community? Will it serve a broad section of the community? Is the service available through other partners?

Based on these criteria some facilities will not reopen to the public and some services may not resume until the risk of COVID-19 has been completely eliminated. Safety concerns, such as the necessity to use shared surfaces and limitations on the ability to provide for physical distancing, pose challenges for reopening facilities during the pandemic. Others may be delayed due to the costs associated with reopening, and how those costs compare with the community impact delivered by the facility.

Stages of Recovery

Aligning with the Province of Ontario, and guided by the recommendations of Niagara Region Public Health, recovery efforts will roll out across three initial stages while the risk of COVID-19 remains in our community. The fourth, and final stage, represents a time when a vaccine has been administered or COVID-19 is deemed to no longer pose a risk.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of Recovery Plan


Stage 1 focuses on continued delivery of the most important City services, and reintroduces some ─ like marriage licencing ─ in an altered format. A small number of facilities, such as the Farmers Market, reopen to the public.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of Recovery Plan


Stage 2 is focused on safely expanding the municipal services available to residents, while returning more staff to work. Some recreational facilities like splash pads and beaches, reopen.

Stage 3

Stage 3 of Recovery Plan


Stage 3 is focused on continuing to deliver municipal services in a safe and responsible manner while the risk of COVID-19 remains in our community. More facilities, including City Hall, Older Adult Centres and the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre, open to the public under a phased approach.

Stage 4

Stage 4 of Recovery Plan


The final stage will initiate once vaccination has been completed or the risk of COVID-19 is deemed to no longer exist. During Stage 4 all programs and services can be resumed. Buildings that posed the greatest challenges for reopening safely and feasibly, like the Lakeside Park Carousel, reopen.

Resurgence Planning

At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic the City began planning for possible resurgences of the virus, examining multiple scenarios, including a large second wave. The St. Catharines Advanced Planning COVID-19 Resurgence Plan aims to mitigate future waves of the virus, while protecting the health and economy of the City and its community.

Our community will be forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact on our residents, businesses and City operations will be felt for years to come. Even as we continue to grapple with the continued presence of the virus in our community, we are charting a course forward, a shared path to recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and its impacts on our community will continue for months. The STC Framework for Recovery charts the course the City will take to ensure we keep our residents and employees safe, while returning to a full level of services, programs and operations. We are working to reintroduce services, reopen facilities and support both residents and businesses as they adapt to a new post-COVID-19 context. Advancing through the framework will depend on numerous factors, including the local risk of COVID-19 transmission, the advice of Niagara Region Public Health, direction from the Province of Ontario and continued public cooperation in efforts to slow the local spread of the virus.

A Broad Foundation

The STC Framework for Recovery is built on three pillars: Health and Wellness, Organizational and Economic. Each focuses on several core principals / questions to guide the recovery process both internally and externally. These pillars set the foundation of our framework.

Health and WellnessPillar 1: Health and Wellness


OrganizationalPillar 2: Organizational


EconomicPillar 3: Economic

Focused on the physical and mental well-being of citizens and staff.
How do we support and protect the health of our community and staff?

Focused on the operations necessary to provide services to citizens.
How do we open facilities and deliver services in a way that is safe for both residents and staff?
How do we keep our residents, and staff, informed?

Focused on the financial well-being of the City and its citizens.
How do we mitigate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the City, businesses and residents, and support them during recovery?

A Balanced Approach

Under the STC Framework for Recovery the City is using a risk-based approach to guide decisions for resumption of services and reopening of facilities. Each City service has been assessed based on the criteria of safety, feasibility and community impact.

  • Safety: Can the service be delivered safely? Can the service be modified to achieve safety in delivery?
  • Feasibility: What is the cost associated with safely delivering the service? Is it fiscally responsible to expend those financial resources?
  • Community Impact: How does this service and related cost fit in the larger context of recovery for the community? Will it serve a broad section of the community? Is the service available through other partners?

Based on these criteria some facilities will not reopen to the public and some services may not resume until the risk of COVID-19 has been completely eliminated. Safety concerns, such as the necessity to use shared surfaces and limitations on the ability to provide for physical distancing, pose challenges for reopening facilities during the pandemic. Others may be delayed due to the costs associated with reopening, and how those costs compare with the community impact delivered by the facility.

Stages of Recovery

Aligning with the Province of Ontario, and guided by the recommendations of Niagara Region Public Health, recovery efforts will roll out across three initial stages while the risk of COVID-19 remains in our community. The fourth, and final stage, represents a time when a vaccine has been administered or COVID-19 is deemed to no longer pose a risk.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of Recovery Plan


Stage 1 focuses on continued delivery of the most important City services, and reintroduces some ─ like marriage licencing ─ in an altered format. A small number of facilities, such as the Farmers Market, reopen to the public.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of Recovery Plan


Stage 2 is focused on safely expanding the municipal services available to residents, while returning more staff to work. Some recreational facilities like splash pads and beaches, reopen.

Stage 3

Stage 3 of Recovery Plan


Stage 3 is focused on continuing to deliver municipal services in a safe and responsible manner while the risk of COVID-19 remains in our community. More facilities, including City Hall, Older Adult Centres and the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre, open to the public under a phased approach.

Stage 4

Stage 4 of Recovery Plan


The final stage will initiate once vaccination has been completed or the risk of COVID-19 is deemed to no longer exist. During Stage 4 all programs and services can be resumed. Buildings that posed the greatest challenges for reopening safely and feasibly, like the Lakeside Park Carousel, reopen.

Resurgence Planning

At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic the City began planning for possible resurgences of the virus, examining multiple scenarios, including a large second wave. The St. Catharines Advanced Planning COVID-19 Resurgence Plan aims to mitigate future waves of the virus, while protecting the health and economy of the City and its community.