City of Orillia sends an urgent call-out for new crossing guards

14 intersections need coverage, only 11 crossing guards have signed up

courtesy of the City of Orillia

The Orillia Police Services Board is urgently seeking qualified candidates who are interested in serving their community as a School Crossing Guard in the City of Orillia.

There are currently 14 locations in the city where adult school crossing guards are positioned; however, there are only 11 crossing guards that are confirmed to start on the first day of school which is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2021.

“Like numerous other communities and sectors, Orillia is experiencing significant staffing shortage issues. Recruitment efforts continue in earnest, but there is a growing concern that there will be an insufficient number of crossing guards available to cover all the existing crosswalks in the city,” said Mayor Steve Clarke, who also serves as the Orillia Police Services Board Chair. “Crossing guards play a vital role ensuring that safety is followed at school crosswalks, so the Orillia Police Services Board is strongly encouraging any community-minded individuals to apply for this very rewarding position.”

If the City does not receive enough qualified applicants to hire more crossing guards, the City will need to prioritize locations based on pedestrian traffic and deploy the complement of crossing guards to the busiest crosswalk locations.  Consequently, the following crosswalks may not have a crossing guard present on the first day of school:

  • Brant Street and Laclie Street (a mid-block crossing that is very seldom used by student pedestrians).
  • Forest Avenue South and Highway 12 Bypass (controlled by traffic lights with pedestrian crossing signal that has a history of low pedestrian volume).
  • West Street North at Orchard Park Public School (a mid-block crossing that is very seldom used by student pedestrians).
  • George Street and Westmount Drive (crossing is controlled with four-way stop signs and is used much less frequently than in the past due to changes in access and egress from Harriett Todd Public School).

Signage will be posted at the affected crosswalks without coverage to advise pedestrians that a crossing guard is not on duty.  The Orillia Police Services Board will notify the impacted elementary schools in advance and request that this information be shared with the school community.

The Orillia Police Services Board is committed to recruit as many crossing guards as possible before the start of the school year.

For anyone interested in applying to become a School Crossing Guard, the following are a few facts about this rewarding position:

  • Duties include being a responsible safety escort for pedestrians across roadways at designated school crossings while adhering to traffic safety.
  • Crossing guards are responsible to perform these duties during all types of weather 
  • Crossing guards work two hours per day – from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Successful candidates are provided with signs and protective outerwear, and receive six hours of paid training.
  • Crossing guards work each school day from September through June and have the summer off.
  • This position does not work on weekends, school holidays or statutory holidays.

A video informing the community of the role of the crossing guard is available at:  https://youtu.be/FdWiJ5JV2Fo.

To apply to become a School Crossing Guard, please contact the City of Orillia’s Health and Safety Officer or apply online at careers.orillia.ca.