Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto will be reopening community recreation facilities for drop-in programs and rentals effective Monday, January 31 in accordance with the Province of Ontario’s plan to lift some public health restrictions.
On January 20, the Province announced the next stage in the cautious and gradual easing of public health measures intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, provincial restrictions will permit some recreational programs and facilities to reopen with public health requirements and capacity restrictions of 50 per cent in place, including:
Proof of vaccination will continue to be required for those age 12 and older entering indoor sports and recreational facilities for the purpose of participating in organized sports, or coaching, volunteering, caregiving or officiating. Effective January 4, enhanced vaccine certificates with QR codes are the only acceptable form of proof of vaccination. Active health screening prior to entry will continue at community centres.
Online reservations for lane swim and Aquafit, typically released on Thursdays for the following week, are available beginning today at toronto.ca/swim. Reservations will return to Thursday releases beginning next week on February 3.
Toronto continues to be under an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. The Warden Hilltop and Masaryk Cowan Community Centres will continue to operate as 24-hour respite sites to help respond to demand for emergency shelter space due to the cold weather and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Allan Gardens Park and Centennial Park Conservatories will be reopening to the public on Monday. Animal attractions at Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo continue to be accessible to the public with capacity limits in place.
After-school Recreation Care (ARC) programs resumed at community centres when schools reopened to in-person learning on January 19. Outdoor recreation programs and facilities such as skating rinks and ski hills remain open.
As in the past, the Province intends to continue lifting regulations in phases. The City’s March break CampTO will begin on March 14 and will reflect the provincial requirements in place at that time. Spaces are currently available for in-person programs and virtual programs will be available for viewing online beginning January 31. Details and registration are available at toronto.ca/CampTO. Registration for spring instructional recreation programs will take place in early March.
In addition to recreational facilities, the City’s Toronto History Museums will begin to reopen on February 9. Residents are encouraged to visit toronto.ca/museums for confirmed museum site hours and programming information to plan in advance.
The Province also announced that starting on Monday, Toronto residents will be permitted, subject to capacity limits and public health measures, to eat indoors at bars and restaurants, resume going to gyms and gather with up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Theatres and museums will also be permitted to open. The full provincial announcement is available in the Province’s newsroom.
City staff are reviewing the new provincial regulations closely and updating information about activities that will be permitted as of Monday morning. More information about impacted City services will be available on the City’s COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage.
The City is also updating the COVID-19: Guide for Residents with the latest information on what is and is not permitted under the incoming provincial regulations.
Toronto Public Health reminds residents that the COVID-19 Omicron variant continues to spread, creating an urgent need for those eligible to receive a third dose of vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Any residents who have not yet received their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine are also encouraged to do so as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, while protecting oneself, loved ones and the community. Information about how to get vaccinated is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.
“We have made progress facing the Omicron surge and so I’m glad that the province is moving forward with a safe and cautious reopening that will allow our community recreation facilities. This is a good step forward and I want to thank City staff for working to ensure we can reopen these locations quickly.”
– Mayor John Tory
“As the province is moving forwards to reopening, I am once again urging Torontonians to remain cautious and take steps to protect themselves as we continue to see widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the community. Please wear a high quality, well-fitted mask in crowded spaces or where distancing is not possible, stay two metres apart from those outside your household, wash your hands and stay at home if you are feeling unwell, even if you have mild symptoms. If you have not gotten vaccinated, please book your appointment for the first, second and third dose. Getting vaccinated will help protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from serious consequences of COVID-19 as we expect in-person interactions to increase during the next step of reopening.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto Medical Officer of Health
“We are happy that the City’s community centres can once again provide Torontonians of all ages with the wide variety of recreation and other activities they need to stay healthy and active all year long.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
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