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Community Use of Schools (Rentals)

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Outdoor spaces on HWDSB properties remain closed at this time

HWDSB is now accepting permit applications for outdoor uses this spring and summer.

We recognize that it takes time for community users and the Rental department to plan and organize for these uses. Accepting permit applications does NOT guarantee that HWDSB will be able to provide access to our outdoor spaces. Approval to use outdoor spaces will be determined at a later date.


We are committed to student learning, equity, engagement and innovation. Through Community Use of Schools, HWDSB aims to strengthen our collaboration with new and existing community partners to enhance opportunities for students.

Most HWDSB schools are available for community use during the school year from:

  • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday; and
  • 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends

For any after-hours concerns regarding inappropriate access and use of HWDSB properties, please contact security at 905-667-3079. This is not an emergency response number. If your call is about a matter of public safety or illegal activity, please call 911.

Please note the following:

  • Schools are generally unavailable for community use from mid-June through mid-September, Election Polling dates, Winter and March Break, Statutory Holidays, long holiday weekends or P.A. Days.
  • Permits for filming are accepted from December to July.
  • Non-profit adult groups may be eligible for a 50% subsidy of facility rental fees.
  • Non-profit youth groups may be eligible for a 75% subsidy of facility rental fees.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Education provides Community Use of Schools funding. Subsidy eligibility and allocation is determined annually, based on funding availability.

Online Application System

Please make sure to complete the form above to ensure your requested rental is processed.

Rental Fees are calculated as follows:

Permit Fee (+HST) + Facility Rental Fee (+HST) + Insurance Costs (including brokerage fee) (+PST) [if required] + Caretaking Fee (+HST) [if required].

  1. Permit Fee

Please note, all fees listed below are subject to a $30.50 non-refundable permit application fee. Once an application has been approved, requested additions or changes are subject to a $10.75 alteration fee.

  1. Facility Rental Fee

Non-profit adult groups may be eligible for a 50% subsidy and non-profit youth groups may be eligible for a 75% subsidy.

Please refer to the Permit Type Section for a definition of permit types if you are unsure into which category your permitted use falls.

Community hourly rate
(non-profit with no subsidy)
Non-profit adult group with subsidy (50%) Non-Profit youth group with subsidy (75%) Business Enterprise / Commercial (150%)
Gym – Class 4
(less than 2800 sq ft)
$21.91 $10.95 $5.48 $32.86
Gym – Class 3
(2801-4500 sq ft)
$32.21 $16.11 $8.05 $48.32
Gym – Class 2
(4501-7400 sq ft)
$64.42 $32.21 $16.11 $96.63
Gym – Class 1
(7401-9500+ sq ft)
$76.43 $38.21 $19.11 $114.64
Classroom $10.19 $5.10 $2.55 $15.29
Library $32.21 $16.11 $8.05 $48.32
Cafeteria $37.58 $18.79 $9.39 $56.37
Auditorium Class 1** $102.00 $51.00 $25.50 $153.00
Auditorium Class 2*** $71.39 $35.69 $17.85 $107.08
Auditorium Class 3**** $48.32 $24.16 $12.08 $72.48
Auditorium Class 4***** $32.21 $16.11 $8.05 $48.32
No Subsidy Available
Artificial Turf $104.24 $104.24 $104.24 $104.24
Natural Turf $41.70 $41.70 $41.70 $41.70
Unimproved Field $4.43 $4.43 $4.43 $4.43
Parking Lot $4.43 $4.43 $4.43 $4.43
All groups, regardless of the category, are subject to a $30.50 permit fee. HST is applied to the permit fee, space costs and caretaking fees.

 

Gym Class 4
(1,500-2,800 sq ft)

Gym Class 3
(2,801-4,500 sq ft)

Gym Class 2
(4,501-7,400 sq ft)

Gym Class 1
(7,401-9,500+ sq ft)

  • Adelaide Hoodless
  • A.M. Cunningham
  • Bennetto (rm. 101)
  • Buchanan Park
  • Central
  • Earl Kitchener
  • Frank Panabaker North (former Fessenden)
  • George L. Armstrong (rm. 109)
  • Glen Brae (CLOSING June 2021)
  • Glen Echo (CLOSING June 2021)
  • Hess Street
  • Highview
  • Holbrook
  • Huntington Park
  • James MacDonald
  • Lake Avenue (rm. 170)
  • Lisgar
  • Mary Hopkins (rm. 002)
  • Memorial City (rm. 124)
  • Michaelle Jean
  • Millgrove
  • Mount Albion
  • Mountain View
  • Mountview
  • Norwood Park
  • Parkdale
  • Queensdale
  • R.L. Hyslop (Closing June 2021)
  • Richard Beasley
  • Rosedale
  • Rousseau
  • Sir Isaac Brock (Closing June 2021)
  • Strathcona
  • Tapleytown
  • Westview
  • Westwood
  • Yorkview
  • Ancaster High School (room 1049)
  • Ancaster High School (room 1083)
  • Balaclava
  • Bennetto (rm. 125)
  • Billy Green
  • Cecil B. Stirling
  • Cootes Paradise
  • Dr. J. Edgar Davey (rm. 131A)
  • Dr. J. Edgar Davey (rm. 131B)
  • Dundana
  • Elizabeth Bagshaw (rm. 133) Closing June 2021
  • Flamborough Centre
  • George L. Armstrong (rm. 114D)
  • Glendale (rm. 1050)
  • Gordon Price
  • Greensville (Available Fall 2021)
  • Janet Lee
  • Lake Avenue (rm. 137)
  • Lincoln Alexander
  • Mary Hopkins (rm. 110)
  • Mount Hope
  • Nora Frances Henderson Secondary (rm. 1049)
  • Orchard Park Secondary (rm. 1017)
  • Pauline Johnson
  • R. A. Riddell (rm. 146)
  • Rockton (Available Fall 2021)
  • Ryerson
  • Saltfleet District High School (rm. 1061A)
  • Shannen Koostachin
  • Sherwood Secondary (rm. 1023)
  • Sir A. MacNab Secondary (rm. 1072)
  • Viscount Montgomery
  • W.H. Ballard
  • Allan A. Greenleaf
  • Ancaster High School (rm. 1043)
  • Ancaster Meadow
  • Bellmoore
  • Cathy Wever
  • Chedoke
  • Dalewood
  • Dundas Central
  • Dundas Valley Secondary (rm. 2089)
  • Eastdale
  • Elizabeth Bagshaw (rm. 156) Closing June 2021
  • Franklin Road
  • Frank Panabaker South (former Ancaster Senior)
  • Gatestone
  • Green Acres (Closing June 2021)
  • Guy Brown
  • Helen Detwiler
  • Hillcrest
  • Hill Park (rm. 1059)
  • Hill Park (rm. 1061)
  • Lawfield
  • Orchard Park Secondary (rm. 1022)
  • Prince of Wales
  • Queen Mary
  • Queen Victoria
  • R. A. Riddell (rm. 145)
  • Ray Lewis
  • Ridgemount
  • Sir Wilfred Laurier
  • Sir William Osler
  • South Meadow (Available fall 2021)
  • Spring Valley (Available fall 2021)
  • Templemead
  • Tiffany Hills
  • Westdale Secondary (rm. 0004)
  • Westdale Secondary (rm. 2024)
  • Winona
  • Bernie Custis Secondary
  • Dundas Valley Secondary (rm. 0014)
  • Glendale Secondary (rm. 1043)
  • Nora Frances Henderson Secondary (room 1050)
  • Saltfleet Secondary (rm. 1061 B/C)
  • Sherwood Secondary (rm. 1014)
  • Sir Allan MacNab Secondary (rm. 1071)
  • Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
  • Waterdown District High School
  • Waterdown District High School
  • Westmount Secondary

Auditorium Class 1* (Premium seating) – Westdale, Glendale, Sir Allan MacNab
Auditorium Class 2** (Regular seating) – N/A
Auditorium Class 3*** (Bench seating) – Westmount
Auditorium Class 4**** – Dalewood, W.H. Ballard, Viscount Montgomery, Memorial (Hamilton)

  1. Insurance Costs

Applicants must provide proof of $2 million comprehensive general liability insurance naming Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as ‘Additional Insured’. If applicants do not have insurance they must purchase insurance through the online rental application process.

NOTE: There is a $15.25 brokerage fee to purchase insurance through HWDSB’s third-party provider of insurance.  Insurance, once purchased and the permit approved, is a non-refundable cost, even upon cancellation.

  1. Caretaking Fee

Caretaking fees are incurred for groups renting on Saturdays and Sundays at a minimum three-hour rate.  Overtime rates will also apply Monday through Friday if hours are beyond normal caretaking schedules or additional staff is required. Caretaking fees are $42.75 per hour on Saturdays and $57.00 per hour on Sundays.

Permit Types

  • Non-profit permit (no subsidy) – Non-profit groups, organizations or individuals that serve the broader community and charge fees or collect donations for participation in programs and opportunities. Fees are charged to participants that are more than covering the costs of permitting HWDSB facilities and incidental costs.
  • Non-profit adult permit (with subsidy) – Non-profit groups and organizations that serve the needs of adults and that provide programming that is low cost or free for participation. Preference will be given to groups and organizations that provide programs and opportunities focused on supporting student achievement, skill building and that are neighbourhood based.
  • Non-profit youth permit (with subsidy) – Non-profit groups and organizations that serve the needs of youth and that provide programming that is low cost or free for participation. Preference will be given to groups and organizations that provide programs and opportunities focused on supporting student achievement, skill building and that are neighbourhood based.
  • Business Enterprise / Commercial – Use of HWDSB facilities by youth/adult groups and organizations that are commercial or business in nature
  • Authorized Recreation – Programs funded through the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport (MTCS) to run free (low cost) programs immediately after school for students of the school. These programs typically run every day the students are in school.

We are offering the rental of schools through an online reservation process.

Renting a School Facility is a Simple Four-Step Process:

  1. Create an Account – If you are at least 18 years of age, have a valid email account and agree to the rules governing the use of school facilities, then you can create your account.
  1. Apply – To rent a school facility, use the online application system. Log in to your account, select Not-For-Profit – No Subsidy permit type (default) and create a new permit.
  1. Processing – HWDSB staff will review your Permit Application. If use is available and appropriate for the request, your permit will be processed.
  1. Approval – Your approval will occur with proof of insurance and payment. Upon approval, you will receive a notification of the approved permit.

Distribution of School Space:

At times groups are looking to rent the same space at the same time. When this instance happens, the following criteria will be used to determine who gets the space:

  • Schools and school-related activities always have first priority for use of their respective facilities
  • Formalized partnerships with HWDSB
  • Non-Profit Youth Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit Adult Groups with Subsidy
  • Non-Profit No Subsidy
  • Business Enterprise / Commercial Groups

In each user category, preference for use of HWDSB facilities is given to groups and organizations whose activities, events, programs, and opportunities are:

  • Supporting or contributing to student achievement and skill building
  • Neighbourhood or community-based and where users are part of the neighbourhoods in which the facility is located to help develop relationships and support neighbourhood community-building
  • Using Board space to provide low or no cost opportunities to participants
  • Sponsored or funded by the Government of Ontario

Monthly online credit card payment is a requirement for all recurring (weekly/monthly) permit holders.

  1. Billing to the credit card, for organizations with permits having multiple rental dates, is on the last day of the month before the permitted event.
  2. Any adjustments to permits that modify costs after billing has occurred for the month will be made on the next billing cycle (ie. the following month).
  3. Please note that organizations with a credit card on file will automatically have the credit card billed for approved upcoming monthly uses and any one-time administrative costs that have occurred in that period. A monthly email statement will be sent, which is also available by logging into your eBase account.
  4. Refunds will be issued at the end of the year for monthly billed customers.
  5. Permit Holders whose overall account activity does not require an online credit card for monthly billing will be required to pay their permit costs in full prior to the permit being approved. Alternate acceptable payment methods are cheque, bank draft or money order.  Payment must be received 5 business days prior to the event date. Permits we have not received payment for will be cancelled. Cheques are made payable to Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and can be dropped off at:

20 Education Court, Hamilton – off Upper Wentworth, across from Lime Ridge Mall

Or mailed to:

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Attn – Rentals, PO Box 2558, Hamilton, ON L8N 3L1

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-527-5092, extensions 2522 or 2524.

The following Rules and Regulations govern use of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board facilities (hereafter referred to as HWDSB). Failure to comply may result in immediate permit cancellation and may impact on future requests for use of HWDSB facilities, at no cost or liability to HWDSB.

In addition to the rules and regulations, an individual permit may include permit conditions to provide greater clarity or address unique conditions for a specific use. These conditions must be treated as part of the rules and regulations for use of HWDSB facilities.

Responsibilities of the Permit Holder

The person named as the permit holder is responsible for all rules and regulations and additional permit conditions that are provided directly on the permit. Rental groups/organizations are also required to conform to all Regulations of the Province of Ontario and By-Laws of the City of Hamilton. An approved permit for use of space is issued to the named permit holder and is non-transferable.

Top 10 Things to Remember About Community Use of Schools (Permit Holders)

Supervision

  • If the permit holder listed is not also the event supervisor, then we require the name(s) and cell phone numbers of those persons who will be in attendance in the role of event supervisor.  Event Supervisors provide critical contact information for Rentals and identify to duty staff the appropriate person to connect with regarding any concerns or information before, during or after a use.
    • Adequate adult supervision (hereafter referred to as event supervisor) is required by all rental groups for the entire duration of the rental.
    • An adult is a responsible person who is 18 year of age or older.
    • The event supervisor must be provided and carry with them a copy of the permit (updated as required owing to revisions)
    • When renting multiple spaces in a facility, there must be an event supervisor in charge of each area (i.e. when multiple classrooms are used, there must be a supervisor for each classroom).
    • In addition to having reviewed and understood the Permit Rules and Regulations and Permit Conditions, it is the responsibility of the event supervisor to ensure that their participants:
      • Leave the school on, or before, the ending time of the rental permit.
      • The event supervisor must be the first person to enter the facility and the last to leave.

    If adequate event supervision is not demonstrated at all times by the permit holder, the permit for use of space will be cancelled and future requests for use will be declined.

Facilities

General

Smoking or vaping (including holding a lit cigarette – tobacco or cannabis – or activated e-cigarette) is prohibited on all school property (buildings and all outdoor spaces).  Additional information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 can be found at www.Ontario.ca.

The room capacity must not exceed the Fire Prevention Division Maximum Occupant Load indicated on the capacity card posted.

Set ups, such as tables and chairs, or holding event related activities (such as designating a hallway/foyer as a holding area for participants) is strictly prohibited in foyers and ways of egress (hallways).  Additional, appropriate spaces to serve those functions must be rented, as available.

No pets. Service Animals are permitted as outlined through HWDSB Student Use of Guide Dogs and Service Animals Procedure

Spaces are rented “as is”, and permitted based on the appropriateness of the requested use. They are to be left in their original condition.

Cafeterias are the only spaces where food and drink are permitted

Additional staff may be required depending on the type and scale of use. This may include additional caretaking coverage and security guards.

Cafeteria

Rental groups must rent the cafeteria for the consumption of food and/or beverages.

Rental groups must leave the cafeteria clean and as they found it previous to use.

Cooking is an excluded activity in any space.

Parking Lots

Parking must be confined to a facility’s parking lot or street parking.

No parking is allowed on fields or paved playgrounds.

Permit holders are solely responsible and liable for all vehicles and the contents inside vehicles that enter or park on Board property.

HWDSB does not guarantee the availability of parking spaces for rentals at any of our facilities.

Overnight parking is strictly prohibited.

Auditorium

Rental charges do not include the use of school audio-visual equipment or sound system and stage lighting for auditoriums.  Permit applicants will be advised of the availability of equipment for a requested auditorium space and be provided the necessary contact information for making the arrangement directly with the school.

Secondary School Auditorium rentals require the employment of a minimum of two student assistants as stage crew to work the sound and lighting system.  Rates and charges are determined by the school and payable directly to the school.

Additional rented spaces may be required, such as change rooms or private spaces for performers/speakers, depending on your event needs.

Auditorium schools may have theatre arts programmes that limit availability and therefore may not be listed as available for community use.

Not all auditoriums have stage crews, or may have limited availability. If no stage crew can be scheduled, the application will be re-directed, as available.

Gymnasium

Non-marking, rubber-soled shoes must be worn at all times for all sports activities in gymnasium spaces.

Appropriate indoor equipment must be used. For example, indoor soccer balls, whiffle balls for baseball, plastic or composite floor hockey equipment.

No high physical contact sports will be permitted such as rugby, football, and lacrosse game play, however skill development programming can be allowed.

Outdoor Spaces

All permitted activity conducted on exterior spaces of Board property is subject to the same Rules and Regulations governing interior activity and requires a permit.

No access to buildings.

Parking is only approved in designated parking areas and is subject to any applicable by-laws – there is never any parking on fields.

No metal cleats or blades.

Smoking or vaping (including holding a lit cigarette – tobacco or cannabis – or activated e-cigarette) is prohibited on all school property

No glass.

No chewing gum.

Dates and hours or use is dependent upon outdoor space type, season and weather and is determined seasonally.

Field Closures/Rain-Out Policy

See under cancellation.

Unimproved Fields

Unimproved Fields: Season determined bi-annually (May and September), dependent upon weather and condition of the field.

Unimproved Fields used “as is” and size and dimensions vary from facility to facility. Permit applicants are encouraged to visit the requested site and determine suitability for the intended use.

Any dates requested prior to the start date of the season and following the end of the season will be cancelled/removed.

Natural Turf Fields

Available July 1 to August 23 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – maximum 25 hours per week (all uses combined).

Artificial Turf Fields

Hours of use – April 1 to June 30 and August 23 to November 30:

Monday to Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday 6 p.m. -11 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Hours of Use – July 1 to August 23:

Monday to Sunday  8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Equipment

  • Rental groups/organizations are not allowed to store furniture, equipment or materials in any HWDSB facilities. HWDSB holds no responsibility, nor does insurance cover, for any items left by permit holders.Permits include the use of volleyball standards and basketball nets. Sporting equipment such as volleyball nets, ball, floor mats, scoreboards, etc. are not included as part of the rental agreement.Permit holders may use the tables and chairs belonging to a facility if they are available and requested on the permit.

Security

  • In the event of an emergency, contact the After Hours Security Desk at 905-667-3079.During a rental, Caretakers will open a designated door 15 minutes prior to the rental start time and will lock the door 15 minutes after the rental begins.If a permit holder has people coming and going, it is their responsibility to arrange to have a door monitor in place. Doors are NOT to be propped open.The permit holder shall notify the Caretaker on duty if a stranger to them enters the facility.For large, full day events and competitions, HWDSB may require security guards to be employed for the entire duration of permitted use of space. The cost of security guards will be the responsibility of the permit holder.  The role of security guards is limited to ensuring the safety and security of the facility and permitted areas on behalf of HWDSB and not to provide event supervision support on behalf of, or as requested by, the permit holder.

Safety & Excluded Activities

Injury

The permit holder is required to immediately report a critical injury and/or accident to the Caretaker on duty at the facility so that they can secure the space in which the injury and/or accident occurred.

It is the responsibility of all permit holders to report critical injuries and/or accidents that occur while on HWDSB property to:

Sandra Clement – Manager, Purchasing Services
purchasing@hwdsb.on.ca

Critically injured means an injury of a serious nature that:

  • Places life in jeopardy
  • Produces unconsciousness
  • Results in substantial loss of blood
  • Involves the fracture of a leg or arm, but not a finger or toe
  • Involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot, but not a finger or toe
  • Consist of burns to a major portion of the body
  • Causes the loss of sight in an eye

Fire

The HWDSB’s Approved Fire Safety Plan is applicable at all times when the building is occupied.

Any person detecting smoke or fire must immediately sound the fire alarm by activating the nearest fire alarm pull station and call 911. All fires must be reported to the Fire Department by calling 911.

On hearing the fire alarm signal, all activities are to be stopped and everyone must evacuate the building using the nearest safe exit or alternate exit. Only when it is determined to be safe by the attending Fire Department personnel, will permit holders be allowed to re-enter the facility.

Excluded Activities

HWDSB reserves the right to exclude any requested activity in their sole discretion.  Some examples (but not limited to) of excluded activities include:

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted in buildings, or on the grounds, of HWDSB.

Inflatables such as jumpers, slides, houses, castles, etc. and dunk tanks are not permitted.

Live animal shows or demonstrations (domestic or exotic) are not permitted.

Pyrotechnics are prohibited in all buildings and properties.

Games of chance, lotteries, bingo games and all other forms of gambling are forbidden on HWDSB property.

Damages/Post-Use Assessments

HWDSB retains the right to review and assess damages or any additional costs incurred during a permitted use. A revised permit will be provided detailing these costs and financial responsibility is borne by the permit holder in its entirety.

A Facilities Inspection Report is used to review spaces, and details of their use, prior to and after use. Event supervisors are expected to review space(s) rented prior to each and every use, and report deficiencies to caretaking at the outset of a use. Damages and concerns should be identified, as they occur, to ensure that normal wear and tear and communication issues are differentiated from misuse of a space.

Top 10 Things to Remember About Community Use of Schools Permits (For Caretakers)

Cancellations

Cancellations, changes to date(s) and time(s) and additions to approved permits for use of space can be requested through our online system for scheduling community use of schools.

At least five business days notice is required for any change to an existing permit for use of space. Changes and additions to permits less than five business days from the start of the permit use will not be considered. Cancellations less than five business days from the start of the permit, will result in no refund to the permit holder for their cancellation.

When a permit holder does not show for their scheduled use, they will receive one warning from the Rental Administrator. On the second occurrence, the remainder of the permitted uses will be cancelled. In addition, a permit holder who received a space cost subsidy for their permit will be charged the full space cost fees for the ‘No Show’ occurrence.

Use of HWDSB facilities will be automatically cancelled when schools are closed due to inclement weather, strikes, or any other causes beyond the control of HWDSB. When a cancellation occurs, permit holders and Board staff will be notified by email. Closure on a Friday means that schools will not open again until Monday. Therefore, permits for Friday evening, Saturday, and/or Sunday will be cancelled.

Approved permits for use of space may be cancelled, or dates of permits may be changed if the permitted facilities are required by the Board for school activities, or by the government for polling stations. If a rental group is displaced by a school activity or an election, the Rental Administrator will contact the group to revise the existing permit.

Permits may be revoked or cancelled by HWDSB in its sole, absolute and unfettered discretion at any time, with or without cause, and without penalty or any further liability of HWDSB; and the permit holder shall have no claim or right to any reimbursement or costs whatsoever as a result of any losses, damages or expenses incurred by the permit holder in connection with such revocation or cancellation.

Field closure/Rain-out policy

HWDSB mirrors the City of Hamilton’s Sports Field Rain-Out Policy.

It is the permit holder’s responsibility to check the status/condition of a field prior to use.

Fields are considered unplayable and use cancelled if the following conditions exist:

Visual ponding of water on the surface.

Water sponging up when the area is walked upon.

If the use of the field is continued under the above listed unplayable/cancelled conditions, Permit Holders will be accountable for:

Full liability and responsibility for any accidents or injuries.

Payment for all damages to the field resulting from that use.

*Severe Weather/thunderstorms – Permit holder is expected to determine their own cancellations owing to severe weather/thunderstorms .  These cancellations must be reported on the discussion board of the permit within 48 hours for cancellation and refund.  Please refer to Environment Canada “Lightning Safety and Preparedness Facts Sheet” if you require guidance.

How are rental rates set?

The rental rates represent the cost recovery of use to the board to make the space available on an hourly basis.  They are listed as the community hourly rate.

How do I know what my user group category is?

Please review our permit type guide found under the Rental Fees tab of the main community use webpage. Unless the application qualifies as an Authorized Recreation program, there are only two choices Not For Profit – No Subsidy and Enterprise/Commercial.

All applications are reviewed to ensure that applicants have understood the options and provided the opportunity to apply for the correct streaming.

What is the subsidy program?

The Ministry of Education provides grants to school boards to reduce rental fees for some community users. Allocations are determined on an annual basis, dependent upon the Ministry of Education grant and the requests for support. Subsidy is limited, and once the grant has been spent, further allocations are not possible. For more information on the Ontario Ministry of Education Community Use of Schools initiative, please visit https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/community/

I am a registered not for profit. Do I automatically qualify for subsidy?

Recognition as a not-for-profit or charitable organization is not required for subsidy eligibility, nor is that recognition a guarantee that any particular permit request will be assigned not-for-profit status.  Assessment is made on the permit activity and not the applicant. Not-for-profit designations are reserved for those activities which are low cost or no cost for the participant. If you apply and receive the nfp – no subsidy designation, you will receive the benefit of our cost recovery rates. A second assessment then occurs that streams your application for consideration of subsidized rates. Due to the volume of requests for subsidy and limits to the funding, not all not-for-profit permits will receive subsidy.

Preference is given to programming that is offered to youth participants that is free or low cost, inclusive and is promoted widely to the local community.

When does HWDSB determine subsidy distribution?

Permits follow a school year calendar and run from September to June. We accept permit applications for the upcoming school year during the summer and throughout the school year. Each June/July, all active accounts receive an email to their eBase account email address. This email includes important information about rates, subsidy and critical dates for permit submissions. If you receive this email, assume that it contains timely and relevant information intended for you.

Subsidy allocation is assessed as we begin processing the permits in the summer and is distributed to qualifying applications until depleted. Due to high demand, this happens very quickly. To support the equitable and full distribution of available subsidy, we strongly encourage all applicants to submit their permit requests within the time frame noted.  Subsidy is not held back, in anticipation of potential applications later in the year.

HWDSB bears no responsibility for missed deadlines or submission requirements, including, but not limited to our communications being blocked or incorrectly streamed by recipient email servers.

How can I keep up-to-date with permit application deadlines?

If you do not have an active account on our permit application system (eBase), we encourage you to set one up. Copies of mass emails sent to users are also made available on the main eBase login page under “files”. Note these emails are only sent a few times a year to make users aware of changes to the system or key input dates.

How do I know my permit application has been successfully registered in the system?

Successful permit applications happen when you complete the final screen of the request and select “save and submit”. A successful permit application will be assigned a unique permit number reference and appear under your eBase account under permits.

If you experience any challenges in the submission process or requirements, please do not hesitate to connect with the Rentals department.

How do I know whether I have received subsidy on a permit?

Once a permit is reviewed and processed, it will be assigned a permit type. The permit type can be found on the first page of your application. When processing is complete, it will include the addition of any charges for staffing or administration (which are not eligible for subsidy). The costs tab of a permit will outline charges and subsidy, where applicable.

Prior to approval, you will receive a discussion board post (message) indicating the designation the application has received and that the permit is ready for your review and confirmation you wish the permit approved.

Allocation of subsidy to one permit does not indicate allocation to all permits within that year or to future allocations regardless of similarity between uses; nor does denial of one mean denial thereafter.

What if I receive an approved permit with a subsidy designation but have to cancel or change the use due to scheduling changes or low enrolment?

Subsidy is allocated to a specific permit based on information provided at time of processing. If the use changes in any area that is significant to the determination of how and where the limited subsidy budget is to be distributed, the permit must be reviewed again based on the updated information. Areas that are of significant consideration include but are not limited to different participant fees, different frequency or duration of uses, and youth versus adult designations.

Revisions to location, or day of week based on scheduling are expected adjustments and do not impact a permit designation.  If you are unsure of whether your permit has changed in a substantive way, please communicate these changes to rentals.  Our goal is to support as many community opportunities as possible and rentals staff is prepared to work with applicants in this effort.

How long does it take for permit approval?

Permit applications are accepted throughout the year. Processing times will vary depending on request volume, with September representing our highest volume time. During processing, your permit request is modified (including but not limited to removal of dates, adjustments to start and end times, addition of staffing costs). Rentals staff may add questions or requests onto the Discussion board that will require the applicant’s response.

A permit is approved once it is fully processed, you have been notified that your review is required and you have confirmation that you wish to proceed.  You will receive an eBase notification that your permit has been approved.

How is it decided who gets the rental?

At times groups are looking to rent the same space at the same time. When this instance happens, the following order of permit designations will be used to determine who gets the rental space:

Schools and school-related activities always have first priority for use of their respective facilities

Partnerships and agreements with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Non-Profit Youth Groups with Subsidy

Non-Profit Adult Groups with Subsidy

Non-Profit No Subsidy

Business Enterprise / Commercial Groups

In each user category, preference for use of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board facilities is given to groups and organizations whose activities, events, programs, and opportunities are:

Supporting or contributing to student achievement and skill building

Neighbourhood or community-based and where users are part of the neighbourhoods in which the facility is located to help develop relationships and support neighbourhood community-building

Using Board space to provide low or no cost opportunities to participants

Sponsored or funded by the Government of Ontario

What happens if I don't get the space I requested?

You may not receive the space you requested, depending on demand and the distribution of space. However, staff will continue to work with you to find an alternate location. We endeavour to accommodate all user groups when they are requesting space within our schools.

Am I required to have insurance for my rental?

Yes. All permits must have insurance or the permit will not be issued. Your Certificate of Insurance must have a minimum $2 million general liability naming Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board as the additional insured. If you are unable to provide a Certificate of Insurance, you must purchase insurance through HWDSB.

Are we allowed to use school equipment?

Permit holders are only allowed the use of the tables and chairs, as available.  Requests for tables and chairs is made at the time of permit submission under “equipment”.

Permits include the use of volleyball standards and basketball nets. Sporting equipment such as volleyball nets, ball, floor mats, scoreboards, etc. are not included as part of the rental agreement.

Auditoriums are specialized spaces and are only rentable with the inclusion of school equipment.  Therefore, auditoriums are only permitted with School stage crew or Board stage technician present.  Fees apply for these services and are a direct arrangement between the permit applicant and the school.

Storage is not available.

Why do I need to list an event supervisor?

If the permit holder listed is not also the event supervisor, then we require the name(s) and cell phone numbers of those persons who will be in attendance in the role of event supervisor.  Event Supervisors provide critical contact information for Rentals and identify to duty staff the appropriate person to connect with regarding any concerns or information before, during or after a use.

Please review the Rules and Regulations regarding event supervision to ensure that an appropriate person is identified.  By listing an event supervisor, you are confirming that the named person(s) meets the requirements, will be provided with a copy of the permit (updated as required owing to revisions), and has reviewed and understood the Permit Conditions and Rules and Regulations regarding use.

Permit submissions are reviewed and processed based on a set of criteria including, but not limited to, Board Policies, Rules and Regulations and Permit Conditions. If you have a concern about a modification that has been made to your permit request, your first step is to work with the Rentals department. If, after review with Rentals, you believe that the modification is a misapplication of the criteria, please use the following form to submit a request for further review.  Review times will vary depending on the complexity of the situation.

Community Use of Schools Appeal Form

An appeal application for Community Use of School space

Updated on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
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