Last updated: November 29, 2021 at 11:45 a.m.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This document provides interim directions for managers and participants (i.e. garden member/gardeners) of community and allotment gardens to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. Any person that uses community or allotment gardens must do so in accordance with these directions. Community gardens exist on both City of Toronto and private property. Allotment gardens are permitted through the City of Toronto and are located on City property.  Review COVID-19 Guidance for Community Agencies for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Reduce the risk of transmission

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Stay at home when you are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Keep at least a two metre distance from those you don’t live with.
  • Where a mask indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

Capacity limits and restrictions

  • Garden capacity must be limited so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
  • Every person in attendance shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.
  • Organized public events and social gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing.
  • A gathering for the purposes of a religious service, rite or ceremony is limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
  • Day camps for children must be operated in a manner consistent with the COVID-19 safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • In-person instructional programs are permitted. See COVID-19 Guidance for In-person Instructional Services for more information.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Prior to entering or exiting the gardens, every person must wash or sanitize their hands.
  • If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred. If soap and water are not available, wipe hands clean before applying hand sanitizer (70 to 90% alcohol concentration).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and clean your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Self-screening

Entrance restrictions

  • Anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions should stay home and not attend the community gardening.
  • Allotment garden permit holders must keep a log of all garden visits (name, contact information, date and time of visit). The log must be made available to TPH upon request to support COVID-19 contact tracing, if necessary.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Equipment and tools

  • Avoid sharing tools and equipment, if possible.
  • If you must share tools and equipment, clean and disinfect after each use.
  • Do not share gardening gloves. Gardening gloves should be laundered after each use.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands before putting on and after taking off gardening gloves.
  • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers. To maximize airflow further, ensure all four sides are open.
    • Limit capacity under the tent to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
    • Arrange tables and chairs to promote physical distancing.
    • Require masks or face coverings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Signage

Communications

  • Community garden managers must:
    • Provide information to garden members to ensure they are familiar with COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Where required to ensure physical distancing, create a schedule to minimize crowding at the garden and to keep attendance records to assist with contact tracing, if someone develops COVID-19.
    • Maintain an up-to-date list of members, including contact information.
    • Communicate with members frequently about these guidelines.

Gardeners who become ill while at the garden

  • People who become ill with COVID-19 symptoms while at the garden should go home immediately and self-isolate. They should also review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19, including getting tested.
  • Toronto Public Health will help individuals with COVID-19 to identify who is a close contact.
    • If the person who tested positive is unsure who they interacted with at the garden, they should notify the garden manager or permit contact of the dates they visited the garden while contagious. Garden managers/permit contacts should communicate potential risk to other garden members, as appropriate. See Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace for more information on contact tracing.
  • Encourage members to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Encourage vaccination

Other resources


Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance document describes the requirements that indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities, such as gyms, health clubs, exercise studios, etc. must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Facilities operated by a sports team in a professional league, and persons training for Olympic/ Paralympic Games are beyond the scope of this document.  See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 364/20 for more information. Information for pools, splash pads, spray pads and wading pools can be found in COVID-19 Guidance for Recreational Water Facilities.

Owners and operators have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their facility and operations, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, patrons). See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 364/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Health screening for staff and participants
    • The person responsible for the facility, permit holder or personal trainer must actively screen all individuals, including staff and patrons, before they enter the facility.
    • People who become ill while at the amenity should go home immediately, and self-isolate. They should review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19.
    • Remind staff and participants to stay at home when they are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene before, during and after using the amenity.
    • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration for staff and patron use, if possible.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects at least once a day and when visibly dirty. See Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings for more information.
    • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment.
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. water bottle, yoga mat, training aids).
    • Any equipment rented or used by members of the public must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain sanitary condition.
      • Establish and post clear policies requiring people to wipe down equipment before and after every use.
      • Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.

Safety Plan

  • Operators, including personal trainers, must prepare and make available a written safety plan.
    • Additionally, prior to permitting any participants in an organized sports league or event to practise or play the sport in the facility, the facility must ensure that the league or event has prepared a safety plan in accordance with the Reg. 364/20.
  • The plan must describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, use of masks and/or personal protective equipment, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • Personal physical fitness trainers, and facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities shall also include information as to how the business, place or event will,
      • prevent gatherings and crowds in the business or place or at the event;
      • ensure that physical distancing and wearing of masks in lines as applicable is complied with in the business or place or at the event; and
      • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games that may be included in the business or place or at the event.
    • The safety plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.
    • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Manage Capacity & Encourage Physical Distancing

While capacity restrictions may be lifted due to proof of vaccination requirements, limiting capacity to reduce crowding and maintaining physical distance as much as possible are still recommended to prevent spread of COVID-19 especially when masks are removed.

  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of people entering the amenity. If the maximum number of people is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
  • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible, to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas.
  • All individuals should maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they don’t live with, when possible.
  • Monitor and manage lines within and outside the facility.
    • Operators must ensure patrons maintain two metres physical distancing from other groups of persons while waiting in line indoors and outdoors.
    • Masks are required indoors, and recommended outdoors while waiting in line.

Record Keeping, Registrations and Reservations

  • The person responsible for the facility, permit holder or personal trainer must,
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who enters the facility,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • provide this information to Toronto Public Health upon request.
  • Appointments/reservations are recommended, where possible. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their reserved time slot and leave the facility immediately after the activity.
  • Encourage participants to arrive at the facility fully dressed/prepared for the activity.
  • Install physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass shield) at point of sale, registration and help desks where physical distancing between staff and participants is difficult.
  • Use a contactless process to log attendance (e.g. scanner), if necessary.

Modify the space

Modify and arrange site/floor plan to encourage physical distancing and reduce contact, where possible.

  • Identify areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common, such as lobbies, washrooms, and use staff or barriers to redirect people who may gather in these areas.
  • Remove furniture/ equipment for ease of movement.
  • Design traffic flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Assign spaces for organized activities (e.g. by marking circles or squares on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).

Modify programming

  • Consider alternative methods of service (e.g. virtual classes).
  • Where possible, hold classes and activities outdoors instead of indoors.
    • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.
  • Allow sufficient time between classes/activities to allow safe and distanced exit and entry, and sufficient environmental cleaning in between.
  • Consider closing or restricting access to non-essential common areas (e.g. communal lounges).
  • Music played in the facility should not exceed the decibel level at which normal conversation is possible.
  • Review the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Settings and Food Premises, as applicable.

Wear a Mask

  • Toronto by-law 541-2020 and Ontario regulation requires the use of masks in all public indoor settings, with limited exceptions.
  • Masks are required for spectators outdoors unless seated with household members only and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every other person outside their household.
  • Masks may be temporarily removed to engage in an athletic or fitness activity, to consume food or drink, or to receive services that require the removal of the mask.
  • Operators with indoor spaces that are open to the public are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment that covers the eyes, nose and mouth must be worn if, while providing service in an indoor area, the person
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • Staff should be trained on the mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • More information on the bylaw is available here.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Increase outdoor air-exchange by:
    • Maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or
    • Opening windows and doors, if it is safe to do so
  • Use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system, if provided.
  • Keep seating and activities away from air vents and areas with high airflow.
  • Do not obstruct HVAC inlets and outlets.
  • When using ceiling fans, use an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, position fan with an upward movement to avoid blowing of air across people and surfaces.
  • There is no evidence the use of portable air purifiers will prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Exceptions

See O. Reg. 364/20 Schedule 2, section 16 for exceptions that apply to any part of the facility that is being used,

  • for a day camp or overnight camp for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 for day camps produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
  • by a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014; or
  • for the purpose of the provision of social services.

Communications

  • Inform staff and patrons about facility operations and new measures taken to keep everyone safe.
  • Print posters for entrances and other locations, including mandatory mask bylaw.
  • Encourage customers and staff to download the COVID Alert app. They may be notified if they have been in close contact with someone who test positive for COVID-19.

More Information

Visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Indoor recreational amenities, including indoor playgrounds, may open if they comply with the conditions set out in section 16 of O. Reg. 364/20  – Facilities used for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities.

Opt-in to Require Proof of Vaccination

  • The person responsible for the place of business or facility may elect to require patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • During the period when this election is in effect, the person responsible for the indoor recreational amenity:
    • Is not required to limit the number of members of the public, as described below.
    • Shall post signs at all entrances to the premises, in a conspicuous location visible to the public, that inform patrons that proof of vaccination is required in order to enter.
  • See Proof of vaccination information for businesses and organizations for more information.

Limit Capacity if Proof of Vaccination is Not Required

If proof of vaccination if not required, the indoor recreational amenity may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • The total number of members of the public who are permitted to be in the amenity at any one time must be limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the amenity.
    • This can be calculated by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • The person responsible for the recreational amenity, or, where there is no such responsible person, the person holding a permit for the use of the recreational amenity, must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the recreational amenity is permitted to operate.

Owners and operators of outdoor playground and fitness equipment need to implement infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission for users. See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 364/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and clients safe.

Masks/Face Coverings for Staff and Participants

The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces under a City of Toronto bylaw and O. Reg. 364/20.

  • Organizations with indoor spaces that are open to the public must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Operators must ensure that any person in the indoor area of the facility (e.g., washroom), or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization, wears a mask in a manner that covers their nose, mouth and chin.
  • Masks are strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Not all patrons are able to tolerate a mask and may be exempted. For example, masks should not be used by children under age two, and anyone who has trouble breathing.
  • Train staff on these new requirements, including who is exempt and the proper use of a cloth mask or face covering.

Outdoor Playground and Fitness Equipment

  • Outdoor playgrounds, including those with fitness equipment, are permitted to open.
  • Prior to opening, inspect all fixtures and equipment to verify its safety.
  • Outdoor fixtures and equipment do not need to be sanitized.
  • Adopt strategies to encourage participants to maintain at least two metre physical distancing as much as possible.
    • Where possible, move benches, toys and equipment to ensure they are at least two metres apart.

Signage

Post signs in visible locations to remind everyone to practice public health measures. Signs can include:

  • Posters to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, and to go home if they have symptoms.
  • Notice that the playground and fitness equipment are not sanitized.
  • Current gathering restrictions and reminder to avoid close contact with people you don’t live with.
  • Physical distancing posters, ground markers, or other cues to stay two metres apart at all times, and three metres apart while exercising.
  • Hand hygiene posters to encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Signs are available in multiple languages.

Drinking Fountains

  • Water fountains may remain open. Clean and disinfect at least twice daily, if possible.
  • Ensure all water systems are safe to use, if there was prolonged shutdown.
  • Where possible, switch drinking water fountains to touchless or foot pedal operated.
  • Encourage individuals to use a cup or reusable bottle, rather than drinking directly from the spout.

Garbage Bins

  • Install hands-free garbage bins near the playground.
  • Garbage bins have removable linings, and are changed frequently to prevent overflow.

Washrooms

  • Clean and disinfect washrooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
  • High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, railings, door handles, bathroom surfaces should be cleaned more often.
  • Ensure supplies of liquid soap and paper towels are routinely stocked.
  • Where possible, open windows to allow for air flow and ventilation.

Playgrounds used by Child Care Centres

  • General routine cleaning is acceptable.
  • Most outdoor playgrounds do not need to be sanitized. However, child care centres that have private playgrounds may consider routine cleaning of outdoor play structures and equipment. Follow the specific guidance for child care centres.

Protective Measures for Participants Using Playgrounds

  • Monitor yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19. Stay home if you or your child is sick.
  • If the playground is busy, find another park or go back later.
  • Teach children how to properly wash their hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to cover their cough.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), disinfecting wipes, bottled water, sun screen and personal items.
  • Consider bringing your own toys or sports equipment to play with. These personal items should be washed with hot soapy water when you return home.
  • Keep at least two metres from people you don’t live with, when possible.
  • Social gatherings must be limited to 100 people or less outdoors.
  • Wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, and when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing outdoors. Do not apply a mask on children under the age of two.
  • Wash hands before and after using the playground.
  • Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified directly if you or your family have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Download this information as a PDF.

This guidance document describes the requirements that outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, driving ranges, tennis courts, sports fields etc. must comply with under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Owners and operators have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their facility and operations, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, patrons). See Provincial Orders O. Reg. 364/20 for more information.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

See COVID-19- Guidance for Sports & Recreational Fitness Facilities for information about outdoor fitness classes, team sports and personal training.

Information for the public can be found in the COVID-19 Checklist for Using Outdoor Recreational Amenities.

Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination

  • It is strongly recommended that all employers implement a workplace vaccination policy. Find more information at COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Employers.
  • A person responsible for the outdoor recreational amenity, in respect of indoor clubhouses, may elect to require patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If this option is elected, the operator:
    • Is not required to limit the number of members of the public so that they are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
    • Must require each patron who enters to provide, at the point of entry, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • Must post signs at all entrances to the premises of the business or facility, in a conspicuous location visible to the public, that inform patrons that proof of vaccination is required in order to enter the premises.

See Proof of vaccination information for businesses and organizations for more information.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Health screening for staff and participants
    • Actively screen all staff before they enter the workplace or begin their shift.
    • Patrons must self-screen prior to attending the amenity.
    • People who become ill while at the amenity should go home immediately, and self-isolate. They should review the City of Toronto website for more information about COVID-19.
    • Remind staff and participants to stay at home when they are ill, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene before, during and after using the amenity.
    • Provide hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration for staff and patron use, if possible.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects at least once a day and when visibly dirty. See Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings for more information.
    • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment (e.g. golf cart).
    • Encourage participants to bring their own gear for personal use, when practical and possible (e.g. helmet, water bottle, balls, rackets, training aids).
    • Any equipment rented or used by members of the public must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
    • Maintain premise HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.

Safety Plan

  • Operators must prepare and make available a written safety plan.
  • The plan must describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, use of masks and/or personal protective equipment, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • Personal physical fitness trainers, and facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities shall also include information as to how the business, place or event will,
      • prevent gatherings and crowds in the business or place or at the event;
      • ensure that physical distancing and wearing of masks in lines as applicable is complied with in the business or place or at the event; and
      • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games that may be included in the business or place or at the event.
    • The safety plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.
    • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Limit Capacity

  • Subject to any other requirements set out in Reg. 364/20 with respect to capacity limits, the person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public and that is operating in an indoor setting shall limit the number of members of the public in the place of business or facility so that the members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility.
  • For businesses that choose not to require proof of vaccination of patrons, the total number of members of the public permitted to be in any indoor clubhouse at the outdoor recreational amenity at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the indoor clubhouse and in any event may not exceed 50 per cent of the capacity of the clubhouse.
    • This can be calculated by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
    • The person responsible for the outdoor amenity must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the indoor clubhouse is permitted to operate.
    • If the person responsible for an indoor clubhouse at the outdoor recreational amenity rents its space, the conditions for meeting and event spaces apply. See COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings for more information.
  • Organized public events cannot exceed 25 people indoors. Social gatherings cannot exceed 25 people indoors or 100 people outdoors. See COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings for more information.
  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to control the number of people entering the amenity. If the maximum number of people is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
  • Stagger arrivals and departures, where possible, to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas.

Registrations and Reservations

  • Appointments/reservations with set time slots are recommended, where possible. Encourage online or telephone sales and registration processes.
  • Increase time intervals between groups.
  • Ask participants to arrive no more than 10-20 minutes before their reserved time slot and leave the amenity immediately after the activity. This will help operators manage capacity and physical distancing. It will also allow others the opportunity to utilize the amenity.
  • Encourage participants to arrive at the amenity fully dressed/prepared for the activity.
  • Install physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass shield) at point of sale, registration and help desks where physical distancing between staff and participants is difficult.
  • Use a contactless process to log attendance (e.g. scanner), if necessary.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • All individuals must maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they don’t live with indoors.
    • Exceptions include indoor clubhouses when operators elect to require proof of vaccination, as per section 2.2 of Schedule 1 of Reg. 364/20.

While capacity restrictions may be lifted due to proof of vaccination requirements, reducing crowding and maintaining physical distance as much as possible are still recommended to prevent spread of COVID-19.

  • Offer programming/services outdoors whenever possible.
    • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.
    • Limit capacity under the tent/canopy to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
    • Arrange tables and chairs to promote physical distancing.
    • Require masks or face coverings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service desks or where appropriate.
  • Remove furniture/ equipment for ease of movement while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Use signs, pylons or other markers to encourage one-way traffic flow and physical distancing.
  • Use barriers or install plexiglass by the registration/cash area, and other locations that may involve close contact between customer and staff.
  • Install barriers/partitions or block off alternate amenities such as driving ranges/tee decks, benches, etc., as required and where possible, to allow for two metres distancing.
    • Power carts should not be shared unless riders belong to the same household or dividers are installed between riders. Have one dedicated driver and keep with the same seating arrangements for the duration of the game.
  • Discourage the congregation of participants before and after use of the amenity.

Wear a Mask

  • Toronto by-law 541-2020 and Ontario regulation requires the use of mask in all public indoor settings.
  • Masks must also be worn by all individuals, unless exempted, while:
    • driving or riding on an open air vehicle within the amenity (e.g. golf cart), unless those within the vehicle are members of the same household; and
    • outdoors if physical distancing is difficult.
  • Operators with indoor spaces that are open to the public are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Checklist on Mask By-law and Sample Policy.
  • Staff should be trained on the mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • More information on the bylaw is available here.

Food & Drink

  • Indoor and outdoor dining is permitted with restrictions. See Guidance for Food Premises for more information.
  • Water fountains can reopen with routine cleaning.
    • Encourage individuals to use a cup or reusable bottle, rather than drinking directly from the spout.

Day Camps

  • Day camps for children are permitted if the comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Communications

  • Inform staff and patrons about amenity operations and new measures taken to keep everyone safe. Information should be updated on your website, by automated booking systems, telephone messages and/or e-mail subscriptions.
  • Print posters for entrances and other locations, including mandatory mask bylaw.
  • Encourage customers and staff to download the COVID Alert app. They may be notified if they have been in close contact with someone who test positive for COVID-19.

More Information

Visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.

Other Resources

This document does not replace the need for applicable permits. COVID-19 mitigation and safety measures do not replace pre-existing permit requirements, health and safety practices, or conditions.


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The following checklist will help you understand the current rules and regulations for using indoor and outdoor sport, fitness and recreational amenities (e.g. gyms, fitness studios, parks, tennis courts, golf courses, sports fields) and what steps should be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Some of the locations where these activities take place are not managed by an organization or operator. Members of the public are responsible for following provincial and local regulations and recommendations.

Preparing for the activity

  • Get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if you were born in 2016 or earlier.
  • If required, be prepared to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination (i.e. vaccine receipt) and identification.
  • Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified directly if you have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Book a reservation in advance, if required.
  • Complete a self-screening assessment before leaving home. If you answer YES to any of the questions, do not participate in the activity. Stay home, self-isolate and call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider or an Assessment Centreto get tested.
  • Dress/put on equipment at home as much as possible to limit time spent in indoor facilities.
  • Bring your own equipment. Pack only essentials (e.g. water bottle, towel, equipment) and limit personal items as much as possible.
  • Wear your mask or face covering to the activity.

During the activity

  • Do not use any portion of the facility or area that is required to be closed.
  • If the facility / area looks crowded or has reached its capacity limit, come back another time.
  • Know and adhere to all facility policies and procedures.
  • Provide your name and contact information if asked by facility staff to be used for public health contact tracing purposes, if required.
  • Respect current provincial gathering limits.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times when indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
    • Follow directions from the facility if masks are required during the activity.
  • Follow directions from the facility for where to keep personal items. Place items at least two metres away from others.
  • Limit or modify team sports or games that may result in personal contact.
  • Maintain two metres physical distancing from those you don’t live with as much as possible.
  • Avoid sharing equipment. If you must, clean and disinfect items between each use.
  • Do not share personal items (e.g. water bottle, clothes, equipment).
  • Food service premises on site are open with restrictions.

While capacity restrictions may be lifted due to proof of vaccination requirements, reducing crowding and maintaining physical distance as much as possible are still recommended to prevent spread of COVID-19.

After the activity

  • If your mask or face covering was removed, put it on as soon as possible after the activity.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment that was used (e.g. racket, club, ball).
  • Launder clothes including towels and masks in the warmest possible setting and dry completely.

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The Government of Ontario recently announced changes to O. Reg 364/20 that will come into effect at 12:01 October 25, 2021. This guidance will soon be updated accordingly.

The following guidance should be used by owners and operators of recreational water facilities, including pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools and water slides, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their recreational water facility is in compliance with all orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, in addition to O. Reg. 565/90 – Public Pools. As every recreational water facility is different, it is the responsibility of owners and operators to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist businesses and organizations with information related to legal requirements pursuant to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health’s (TPH’s) guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While efforts are made to ensure these documents provide accurate and timely guidance, for the most up-to-date requirements, owners and operators are encouraged to consult the applicable provincial regulations made under the Reopening Ontario Act. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional. The owner of a business or organization is required to be aware of and comply with all applicable legal requirements. Zoning by-laws and other City by-laws may also provide other applicable restrictions that must also be complied with.

Section 1: General Rules (Roadmap to Reopen: Step 3)

O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 1 sets out General Rules for businesses and organizations that are permitted to open. These requirements have been summarized below as they apply to indoor and outdoor recreational amenities (e.g. pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools and water slides) that are open:

Compliance with Applicable Laws

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must comply with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and regulations made under it.

Public Health Officials

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must follow the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.

Health Screening

  • Post signs at all entrances to the premises of the business or organization in a conspicuous location visible to the public to inform individuals on how to self-screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.
  • Actively screen every person who works at the business or organization before they enter the premises of the business or organization.
Sample TPH Resources:

Masks and Face Coverings

  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that all persons wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in an indoor area of the premises, or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization.
    • Some exceptions apply, such as: children under the age of two; people with medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult; and temporary removal to engage in an athletic or fitness activity.
    • Proof of an exemption is not required.
  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that every person who performs work for the business or organization and whose mask is temporarily removed to consume food or drink is separated from other persons by at least 2 metres distance or by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
Other Requirements:
  • Toronto Bylaw 541-2020 also requires operators to:
    • Create a mask policy for their establishment.
    • Communicate this policy to employees and patrons.
    • Post signs at all entrances to the premises in high visibility areas containing the required text.
  • Train employees on the policy, including exemptions.
  • Train employees on how to communicate with, and accommodate people who may be exempt.
Sample TPH Resources:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • A person shall wear appropriate PPE that provides protection of their eyes, nose and mouth if, in the course of providing services, the person:
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering during any period when that person is in an indoor area; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.

Capacity Limits

  • Limit the number of people in the place of business or facility so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
  • Businesses and facilities must also limit the maximum number of people permitted in the recreational amenity when operating in:
    • outdoor settings at 75 per cent capacity, by taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 1.33, and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
    • indoor settings at 50 per cent capacity, by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Fire Code.

Entrances and Managing Lines

  • Ensure that patrons are not permitted to line up or congregate:
    • outside the business or place, or at an outdoor attraction or feature within the business or place, unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons.
    • inside an indoor part of the business or place unless they are:
      • maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons; and
      • wearing a mask or face covering, unless entitled to an exemption.

Safety Plan

  • Prepare a safety plan, which:
    • describes measures and procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
    • includes measures for screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of PPE, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • is in writing and made available to any person for review, upon request; and
    • is posted in a conspicuous place where it is likely to come to the attention of those working in or attending the business.
  • Businesses, places or events with indoor recreational amenities, or are used for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities, must also include information in its safety plan on how it will:
    • prevent gatherings and crowds;
    • manage requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing where patrons are permitted to line up or congregate (as noted above); and
    • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games.
Sample TPH Resources:

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • The person responsible for the business or place must ensure the following are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition:
    • washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public; and
    • any equipment that is rented to, provided to, or provided for the use of members of the public.
      • Applies to computers, electronics and other machines or devices that members of the public are permitted to operate.

Section 2: Specific Rules (Roadmap to Reopen: Step 3)

O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 2 sets out additional sector specific conditions that businesses and organizations must follow to be permitted to open. These conditions have been summarized below as they apply to indoor and outdoor recreational amenities (e.g. pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools, water slides):

Indoor Recreational Amenities

Indoor recreational amenities may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Indoor capacity: the total number of members of the public permitted to be indoors at any one time must be limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the facility. Refer to Section 1 for calculation.
  • Spectator capacity: the number of spectators at the facility at any one time must not exceed the following limits:
    • Indoors, designated spectator area: 50 per cent of the usual indoor seating capacity, or 1,000 persons, whichever is less.
    • Indoors, no designated spectator area: limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the indoor area of the facility and in any event may not exceed 50 per cent capacity, or 1,000 persons, whichever is less.
    • Outdoors, designated spectator area: 75 per cent of the usual outdoor seating capacity, or 15,000 persons, whichever is less.
    • Outdoors, no designated spectator area: 75 per cent capacity, or 5,000 persons, whichever is less.
    • Refer to Section 1 for 50 per cent and 75 per cent capacity calculation.
  • Signage: the person responsible for the facility or permit holder must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the facility is permitted to operate.
  • Physical distancing: every person in an indoor area of the facility must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the establishment except,
    • from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household,
    • if they are engaged in sports or games at facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities, or
    • if they are seated spectators at a seated event at such a facility.
  • Spectator masks: every indoor spectator must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to an exemption. Every outdoor spectator must wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to an exemption or unless they are seated with members of their own household only, and are separated from other persons by at least two metres.
  • Safety plan: prior to permitting any participants in an organized sports league or event to practise or play the sport in the facility, the facility must ensure that the league or event has prepared a safety plan in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20.
  • Record keeping: the person responsible for the facility, or permit holder must:
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who enters the facility,
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
    • only disclose the records to a Medical Officer of Health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • Screening: the person responsible for the facility or permit holder must actively screen individuals who enter the facility in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the facility.
  • Exceptions: see O. Reg. 364/20, Schedule 2, section 16 for exceptions that apply to any part of the facility that is being used:
    • for a day camp or overnight camp for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 for day camps produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
    • by a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014; or
    • for the purpose of the provision of social services.

Outdoor Recreational Amenities

Outdoor recreational amenities may open if they comply with the following conditions, where applicable:

  • Facilities with indoor clubhouses must limit the total number of people permitted at any one time to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the indoor clubhouse, and in any event cannot exceed 50 per cent of the capacity of the clubhouse, as described in Section 1.
  • If the person responsible for an indoor clubhouse at the outdoor recreational amenity rents its space, the conditions in Reg. 364/20, Schedule 1, section 4, will apply.
  • The person responsible for the outdoor recreational amenity must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the indoor clubhouse is permitted to operate.
  • Outdoor recreational amenities used for sports and recreational fitness activities must follow the conditions set-out in the section above for Indoor Recreational Amenities.

Waterparks

  • Waterparks may open if they meet the conditions set out in O. Reg. 364/20, schedule 2, section 27.

Teaching and Instruction

Section 3: Recommendations for Meeting and Enhancing Compliance

The following recommendations are offered to assist owners and operators of indoor and outdoor recreational amenities (e.g. pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools, water slides) in meeting and enhancing compliance with the requirements summarized in Sections 1 and 2 of this document.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Staff Training

  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. They should change masks when moist or dirty. See more information on the use of non-medical masks or face coverings.
  • Discourage staff from gathering together in the lunchroom or common areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 15-30 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if water and soap is not available.
    • Cover coughs or sneezes with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
  • Encourage staff to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Train staff on the proper use of PPE (e.g. gloves, masks, face shield), when required. Refer to Public Health Ontario
  • Inform staff that physical distancing must not compromise safety supervision or the bathers’ safety (e.g. rescues, first aid).
  • Lifeguards who are actively providing safety supervision should not be expected to monitor adherence to measures outlined in this document (e.g. health screening, physical distancing). These responsibilities should be assigned to another staff member.
  • Train staff on safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during first aid and resuscitation. For additional information, consult industry experts such as the Lifesaving Society and the Canadian Red Cross.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • In addition to the PPE requirements set-out in Section 1, staff should wear PPE consisting of a surgical/procedure mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield) if physical distancing or separation via a physical barrier cannot be maintained.
  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are not suitable for use as PPE.
  • See more information about PPE.

Entrances and Managing Lines

  • In addition to the requirements set out in Section 1of this document, encourage patrons to wear a mask or face covering while waiting in line outdoors.
  • Post signs which outline physical distancing requirements in lines and discourages individuals from gathering on the property or nearby right of way.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing between patrons while waiting to be screened.
  • Post an employee at the entrance to monitor the number of patrons entering and leaving, and control/stagger patron entry to prevent crowding.
  • Once the capacity limit is reached, allow one patron in for every patron that leaves.
  • Make hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use.

Physical Distancing

  • Post physical distancing signs throughout the facility, including at all entrances, change rooms, washrooms decks, etc.
  • Remind staff and patrons to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other people they don’t live with.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing, where appropriate (e.g. entrances, showers, pool deck, diving boards).
  • Design a walking flow for the whole facility (e.g. creating one-directional walking paths with prominent signage and/or floor markings), where appropriate (e.g. showers, change rooms, pool deck).
  • Encourage physical distancing in the water and on the deck (e.g. one-directional swimming lanes with prominent signage and/or deck markings, reminders to leisure bathers).
  • Stagger times for lap swims, training and other activities or programs.
  • Place markers or circles so patrons know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Install plexiglass/barriers, if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and patrons (e.g. service counters, cashiers).
  • Temporarily decommission and/or mark unavailable change room/washroom amenities (e.g. toilet stalls, urinals, sinks, showers, lockers) such that they are at least two metres apart.
  • Reduce/remove unnecessary pool deck furniture (e.g. lounge chairs), where possible to permit adequate physical distancing of patrons.
    • Arrange furniture at least two metres apart, and place signs/notices in fixed seating spaces (e.g., poolside benches).
    • Mark furniture locations so that they may be repositioned easily (e.g. tape/paint on the floor).

Capacity Limits

  • Post signs indicating the capacity limits for rooms which patrons or staff may have access to, such as change rooms, washrooms, showers, etc.
  • Monitor capacity of the facility, including change rooms and other areas, as appropriate.
  • If capacity is reached and physical distancing is difficult or not possible, advise patrons to return at another time.
  • Note: facilities must ensure that the total number of patrons permitted at any one time on the deck and in the pool does not exceed the maximum patron load as determined by Reg. 565/90 – Public Pools.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

  • Increase the introduction and circulation of outdoor air by maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or by opening windows and doors, where possible. Avoid recirculating air.
  • Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk.
  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Where provided, use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.
    • Seating and activities should be arranged away from areas with high airflow (i.e. not in front of air vents).
  • Rooms where indoor ceiling fans are used should have an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, limit the blowing of air across people and surfaces by positioning them to provide an upward movement of air.
  • For more information, review TPHs COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Communication

  • Inform staff and patrons about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, such as using posters, updated websites, email or social media accounts.
  • Encourage staff and patrons to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and patrons.
  • Encourage patrons to download the COVID Alert App so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Print and post signs in highly visible areas, including at entrances and washrooms as a reminder for everyone to practice public health measures:

Other Resources


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Play is important to the well-being of children and communities. Sports, recreation, arts and culture activities build confidence and resilience, foster healthy social interactions and promote overall well-being. However, it’s important to know the risk of returning to these activities, particularly for young children who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the following information as a guide to help mitigate the risks so all children can return to activities as safely as possible:

Risk Factor

Reducing Risk

COVID-19 spread: People may be contagious before they show symptoms. Vaccination. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to get COVID-19 and spread infection.
Setting: Respiratory droplets and aerosols stay in the air longer when indoors, especially if airflow or ventilation is poor Host activities outdoors as much as possible. Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor settings including gymnasiums, fitness areas, arenas and change rooms.
Number of people and physical distancing: Large gatherings/groups reduces the space for physical distancing, and increases the number of potential contacts. Crowding increases the spread of COVID-19. Keep two metres physical distance as much as possible. Limit non-essential visitors, spectators and volunteers. Reduce group size and consider “cohorting” where participants are assigned to the same group/team even for different activities.
Masks: Masks cannot be worn during high intensity activities or water sports. Host activities outdoors. Encourage masking whenever possible, including before and after completion of the activity.
Equipment and gear: Shared equipment increases the number of high-touch surfaces. Wash hand or sanitize hands before and after using shared equipment. Avoid sharing equipment as much as possible or clean and sanitize frequently used equipment between users.
Travel: Travel to other communities for competition or performances. Limit travel to other communities as much as possible. Have protocols in place for safe travel, recognizing that carpooling increases the spread of COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 prevention measures, see COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses & Community Organizations.