Skip to content

Notice to Operators of Recreational Camps – March 2018

As of July 1, 2018 the Recreational Camp Regulation, Ontario Regulation 568/90 will be replaced with a modernized regulation, Ontario Regulation 503/17.

This modernized regulation has substantial changes that will directly affect the public health requirements governing the operation of your camp. Please find below an outline of the most significant of these changes commencing July 1, 2018.

We recommend that you review the new regulation to ensure that you understand your legal obligations as an operator of a Recreational Camp. The Recreational Camp Regulation is available at

Changes to the Recreational Camp Regulation:

  • The definition of a recreational camp has been changed to:
    “A camp for recreational activities on a site in which sleeping and eating facilities are provided for temporary occupancy, with or without charge, for five or more persons who are under eighteen years of age or persons who have special needs.”
  • Notification of Commencement:
    “Every person who intends to commence operation of a recreational camp shall notify the medical officer of health or a public health inspector of the name of the operator, the operator’s contact information and the location of the camp at least 14 days before commencing operation.”
  • Notification of Disease:
    “Every operator shall immediately notify the medical officer of health or public health inspector of an outbreak or suspected outbreak of any communicable disease in the recreational camp.”
  • Results of inspections to be posted:
    “Every operator shall ensure that the results of any inspections conducted by a public health inspector are posted in accordance with the inspector’s request.”
  • Supervision:
    If the recreational camp has campers who are less than 13 years of age or campers with special needs, the operator must ensure that the campers are under continuous supervision of a staff camp member who has experience in the leadership and supervision of children.
  • Camp Safety Plan:
    Every year before opening or operating a recreational camp, the operators of the camp shall develop and submit a camp safety plan, in writing to the medical office of health or a public health inspector. Please refer to the attached document “Recreational Camp Safety Plan Requirements”. This document outlines the minimum requirements that must be included in the annual Recreational Camp Safety Plan.
  • Food Safety:
    The previous Recreational Camp Regulation contained sections regarding the kitchen and food safety requirements. Those have been removed and recreational camps now must comply with Parts III, IV VI of the Food Premises Regulation, Ont. Reg. 493/17. There is also a requirement to have a certified food handler or supervisor on each shift while the camp kitchen is in operation.
    Please refer to our website for further information on certified food handler training courses.
  • Requirements for Waterfront Areas:
    • All waterfront areas in the recreational camp are maintained in a sanitary condition and free from hazards including but not limited to broken glass, hidden underwater dangers.
    • Other water hazards such as drop offs, rocky bottoms or shallow areas (less than 1.35m) shall be clearly identified.
    • The portion of any waterfront area that is intended for use by campers is clearly designated by signs and/or buoy lines and is clearly visible and recognizable from the water by users of personal watercraft and other boaters
    • A telephone or other communication device is readily accessible from every waterfront swimming area and has a list of names and telephone numbers of emergency services
    • Swim tests are administered in shallow swimming areas (less than 1.35m in depth)
  • Waterfront Supervision:
    The requirement to employ a waterfront director from the previous regulation has been removed and replaced by the following:
    “Every operator shall ensure that every waterfront area in the recreational camp that is used for aquatic activities is under the supervision of a lifeguard who holds a lifeguard certificate obtained within the previous two years.”
    *The number of lifeguards required per number of campers in the water has not changed.
  • The requirements for the contents of  first aid kits has been changed to:
    • current copy of a standard first aid manual
    • safety pins
    • sterile gauze pads each 75 mm square
    • 100 mm gauze bandages
    • individually wrapped sterile surgical pads suitable for pressure dressings
    • triangular bandages
    • rolls of splint padding
    • scissors
    • non-permeable gloves
    • a resuscitation pocket mask
    • tweezers
    • Instant ice packs
    • antiseptic solution
    • incident report forms
    • water-resistant sterile bandages
    • waterproof adhesive tape

The above are the most significant changes to the Recreational Camp Regulation. For a full review of the changes please refer to the Recreational Camp Regulation Ontario Regulation 503/17.

If you have any questions regarding your camp or the new regulation please contact your Public Health Inspector for further information.

Your Partner in Public Health,

Community Health Protection Department