Just in time for a sunshine-filled weekend, the City of Toronto is reopening 850 of its closed park amenities.
The reopening comes two months after officials shut down all amenities in March based on public health advice and ahead of the provincial order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the city. This comes after the City already reopened more than 70 off-leash dog parks across Toronto on Tuesday and five BMX facilities, 14 skateboard parks, and four-disc golf locations on Wednesday.
In the coming days, picnic shelters, more than 300 soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, over 300 baseball diamonds, and 150 basketball courts will also reopen to the public.
Staff are also preparing more than 600 tennis courts at 185 locations, to begin to open this weekend. The reopening of parks amenities will continue into next week, as staff work with Toronto Public Health to open lawn bowling facilities and outdoor bocce.
While visiting a park, the City says people must continue to practise physical distancing and signage is being installed at open park amenity areas to remind users of the importance of physical distancing.
People must always stay two metres (six feet) apart while visiting the City’s parks and if a resident arrives at an amenity that is crowded they are advised to wait until there is enough space to physically distance or return at another time.
"Based on the advice of our public health officials, we are moving quickly and carefully to open more than 850 park amenities this week across the city," said Mayor John Tory in a statement. "This is great news for all Toronto residents who enjoy our parks. I'm confident the vast majority of residents will continue to respect physical distancing rules while using these amenities to help us stop the spread of COVID-19."
Permits for soccer, multi-use fields, and baseball diamonds continue to be cancelled until June 29. Individuals may use outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields for non-team sports, such as walking, running, biking, skateboarding, frisbee, kicking a ball, and low contact racquet sports like tennis, badminton, pickleball, and ping pong.
Individuals are not permitted to play team sports, such as soccer or baseball, even on fields intended for this purpose unless they are members of the same household.
Park amenities that continue to be closed include playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, swimming pools, and splash pads. Greenhouses, nurseries and conservatories, High Park Zoo, and Riverdale Farm also remain closed.
Additionally, waterfront parking lots will remain closed for the time being, and High Park will continue to be closed to traffic on the weekends.