Last updated: November 27, 2020 at 3:50 p.m.

The public can learn what to expect at beaches, dog parks, parks, swimming pools, and tennis courts as well as public washrooms.

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. In this document, garden member refers to gardeners at community and allotment gardens. This document provides interim directions for managers and participants 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. Review COVID-19 Guidance for Community Agencies for more information.

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater in older adults (age 70+), individuals with a weak immune system, and individuals with a pre-existing medical condition. Toronto Public Health (TPH) strongly encourages residents who are at higher risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 infection to limit interaction with others, stay home as much as possible and take additional precautions.

Reduce the risk of transmission

  • Stay at home when you are ill.
  • Keep a two metre/six foot distance from those you don’t live with.
  • Respect the provincial Emergency Order for gatherings:
    • Do not gather indoors except with people you live with.
    • Do not gather with more than 10 people outdoors.
  • Wear a mask when visiting indoor public spaces, and when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing of two metres/six feet when outdoors.

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Prior to entering or exiting the gardens, every person must wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. If warm water is not available, wash your hands with cold water and soap and then apply hand sanitizer.
  • If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred.
  • If soap and water are not available, hands must be wiped 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 wash 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.

Declaration from garden manager and garden members

  • Each garden manager and garden member must sign the Toronto Public Health Community and Allotment Garden Declaration, which states that garden managers and members must adhere to the interim directions.
  • Signed and dated declarations for all members of community gardens must be kept by community garden managers and must be made available to TPH upon request in order to investigate a positive case of COVID-19, should one be detected.
  • Signed and dated declarations are required before a garden member can participate in an allotment garden in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Self-screening

  • Every person visiting the garden must complete a self-assessment for COVID-19. If they answer YES to any of the questions they should not participate in community gardening.
  • All garden members and managers should be aware of symptoms of COVID-19.

Entrance Restrictions

  • Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or has had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot enter a community or allotment garden.
  • No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens.
  • Access to the garden is only permitted to plant, maintain and harvest food. No events, training, or other programming is allowed.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Requirements

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect high traffic areas, and frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g. entrances/exits, tool sheds, water spigots and hoses, waste containers, and common areas).
  • High touch surfaces and items in common areas must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • In general, regular household cleaners such as bleach, or alcohol-based solutions are acceptable.
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings document.

Equipment and Tools Requirements

  • Avoid sharing tools and equipment, if possible.
  • If you must share tools and equipment, disinfect after each use.
  • Do not share gardening gloves.
  • Gardening gloves should be laundered after each use.
  • Wash your hands before putting on and after taking off gardening gloves.

Required Signage

Communications

  • Community garden managers must:
    • provide information to garden members to ensure they are familiar with COVID-19
    • create a schedule to minimize crowding at the garden and to understand who was at the garden when 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.
  • If a garden member or manager tests positive for COVID-19, TPH will follow-up with close contacts who may include other garden members. Other garden members who came in close contact with the infected member may also be required to self-isolate.
  • Encourage members and visitors 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.

Other resources


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Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, dance studios must close.

Toronto is currently in the Grey Lockdown Stage of the provincial government’s COVID-19 Response Framework.

  • Outdoor driving ranges are permitted to open with restrictions.
  • Indoor driving ranges are closed.
  • Clubhouses, pools, meeting rooms, fitness or other recreational facilities on the premises must be closed to the public.
  • Facilities with restaurants, or food premises can open for take-out and deliveries only.
  • Use of facilities for gatherings, fitness classes or events are not permitted.
  • Stay current by visiting ca/COVID19, as information changes frequently.

1. Golf Facilities / Clubhouse

  • Clubhouse must be closed, including indoor retail (i.e. Pro Shop), locker rooms, change rooms, showers, gyms, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and hot tubs.
  • Events and gatherings are not permitted.
  • Background music should not exceed normal conversation decibel level.
  • Maintain premise HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.

2. Workplace Safety Plan

  • All businesses are required to prepare and make available a written Workplace Safety Plan.
  • The plan should describes preventative measures or procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, use of masks and/or personal protective equipment, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • The Safety Plan must be posted in a visible location and be available to anyone upon request.

3. Limit Capacity and Practice Physical Distancing

  • Outdoor driving ranges may permit customers/members based on the ability for everyone to maintain two metres/six feet distancing, up to 50% capacity.
  • 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 rope off alternate driving range/ tee deck to allow for two metres/six feet distancing.

4. Communicate

Inform staff and customers about facility 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.

  • Customers are required to complete a self-screening questionnaire before arriving at the facility. Questions can be answered on paper, or online or by asking people directly
  • Remind customers to stay home if sick, even with mild symptoms.
  • Ask customers to bring their own face mask.
  • Ask customers to leave the facility after completing their practice, and not to linger.
  • Print posters for entrances and other locations, including mandatory mask bylaw.

5. Staff Screening and Attendance

  • Before each shift staff must complete a health screening questionnaire. This can be done on paper or on their device.
  • Remind staff to report to their manager and not to come to work when they are ill.
  • Create flexible policies to allow employees to stay home and self-isolate or to care for a sick family member. Refer staff to Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), if applicable.
  • If staff is sick while at work, send them home right away to self-isolate.
  • Refer to COVID-19 workplace guidance for more information.

6. Staff Training

7. Wear a Mask

  • Toronto by-law-2020 and Ontario regulation requires the use of mask in all public indoor settings such as businesses, facilities and workplaces.
  • Operators of golf courses and/or driving ranges are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks.
  • Staff should be trained on the new mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption by customers is not required.
  • More information on the bylaw is available here.

8. Limit Communal Items

  • If possible, assign staff to their own equipment (e.g. golf cart).
  • Equipment and tools that must be shared should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, including between users (e.g. cashier’s stations, machinery, golf cart, and pull cart).
  • Common areas should have disinfectant wipes. If wipes are not available, general disinfectants can be used.
  • Use contactless payment such as credit/debit tap, when possible.

9. Hand Hygiene

  • Wash or disinfect hands after interacting with co-workers/ customers or completing tasks.
  • Provide 70 to 90 % alcohol-based hand sanitizer by entrances, service counters and high-traffic locations.
  • Top up supplies of liquid soap, paper towels and sanitizers as needed.

10. Food Premise or Service

11. COVID-19 Contact Tracing

  • Develop a response plan in the event that someone becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If a customer becomes ill while on the course, send them home immediately or offer to call for emergency service, if required.
  • 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.
  • Keep a list of the names and contact information of staff and customers by date and time.
  • Any personal information collected is only to be used for COVID-19 contract tracing. Records should be kept in a locked draw/ office for 30 days, and then shredded.
  • Call Toronto Public Health for guidance if you know an employee has tested positive or if you have concerns that employees may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. Maintain confidentiality of employees’ personal health information.

12. Rented and Used Equipment

  • Any equipment rented or used (e.g. clubs) must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
  • Activities that require the use of equipment or fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use must not be practised or played within the facility.
  • Balls, baskets and tees should be washed and disinfected between uses.
  • Clean and disinfect high touched surfaces such as bag rack, seating, ball dispensing machine twice daily.

13. Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Educate staff on the use of cleaning agents and disinfectants, including disinfectant contact times (the time that the product has to stay wet on a surface to achieve disinfection).
  • Schedule cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces at least twice a day or more. High-touch surfaces include door handles, entrances/exits, pay terminals, counters, cabinet doors, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, hand rails, touch screen surfaces, keys, powered hand tools, steering wheels, etc.
  • Ensure washrooms are always stocked with liquid soap and paper towels.
  • Remove surface dirt first for the disinfectant to work.
  • Read the labels, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleaning the setting.

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Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, all indoor gyms and recreational programs must close.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, all indoor gyms and recreational programs must close.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, all indoor playgrounds must close.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Outdoor Playgrounds and Fitness Equipment (also available below) and download the outdoor playgrounds poster (also available in tabloid size and 18 x 24 inches).


COVID-19 Guidance for Outdoor Playgrounds and Fitness Equipment

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. Revised or updated guidance may be issued to further control the spread of infection or loosen restrictions. Please check our website periodically for updates.

Outdoor Playground and Fitness Equipment

  • Prior to opening, inspect all equipment to verify its safety.
  • Outdoor equipment does not need to be sanitized.
  • Encourage participants to practice good hand hygiene. Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid group gatherings, and adopt strategies to encourage two metre/six foot distancing as much as possible.

Signage

Post signs in highly visible locations to remind everyone to practice preventative measures. Signs can include the following points:

  • Notice that the playground and fitness equipment are not sanitized.
  • Gathering restrictions and to avoid close contact, where applicable.
  • Self-Screening for COVID-19 symptoms, and to go home if they have symptoms.
  • Physical distancing poster, ground markers, or other cues to stay two metres/six feet apart when waiting to use equipment.

Modify Layouts

  • Move benches to ensure they are at least two metres/six feet apart, where possible.
  • Remove picnic tables from playground areas to avoid people congregating.
  • Install hands-free garbage bins near the playground.

Drinking Fountains

  • Water fountains may remain open. Clean and disinfect at least twice daily.
  • 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.

Garbage Bins

Garbage bins have removable linings, and are changed frequently to prevent overflow.

Washrooms

  • Clean and disinfect washrooms at least twice daily.
  • High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, railings, door handles, bathroom surfaces should be cleaned more often.
  • 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.
  • Considerations include:
    • Clean high-touch surfaces, made of plastic or metal between groups of children.
    • Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces.
    • Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface.
    • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces is not recommended.
    • Refer to Public Health Ontario guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces.
    • Ensure staff are trained on handling of cleaning chemicals and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Always follow the manufacture’s label, and avoid mixing chemical products.

Personal measures for participants and families using playgrounds

  • Pre-planning and protective measures families can take to keep each other safe include:
  • Teach children proper handwashing, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to cover their cough.
  • Monitor yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you or your child is sick.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), wipes, bottled water, sun screen and personal items.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing. Do not apply a mask on children under the age of two.
  • Wash hands before and after using outdoor playground.
  • If the playground is busy, find another park or go back later.

Toronto is in Lockdown level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, effective 12:01 a.m. on November 23. Under the provincial order, all recreational water facilities must close unless they comply with O. Reg. 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1, Schedule 2, 48.

Toronto is currently in the grey – lockdown level of the provincial government’s COVID-19 Response Framework. The following checklist will help you understand the current rules and regulations for recreational winter activities (e.g. skiing, snowboarding, skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing) 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.

Activities that require individuals coming within two metres/six feet of others outside your household are not permitted.

Preparing for the activity

  • 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.
  • Dressing rooms and locker rooms are closed. Dress/put on equipment at home as much as possible.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Enjoy the activity with those you live with. Do not congregate with others.
  • 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.
  • Remain at least two metres from others at all times, including while engaging in the activity, waiting in lines, using amenities (e.g. washroom, chair lift) etc.
  • Avoid activities where you may come into close contact with others you don’t live with (i.e. where you will be less than two metres apart).
  • Do not use equipment or fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
  • Do not share personal items (e.g. water bottle, clothes, personal equipment).
  • Food service premises on site are open for take-away only. Enjoy food and drink at home.
  • Music played in the facility cannot exceed the decibel level at which normal conversation is possible.

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.
  • Pack up and head home immediately after the activity. Do not linger to socialize or otherwise.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment that was used (e.g. skis, goggles).
  • Launder clothes, including coats, mittens, scarves, etc., in the warmest possible setting and dry completely, if required.

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