Holiday camps and winter instruction programs shut down by city

Thousands of kids looking forward to city-run holiday camps and skiing or skating lessons will have to forego those activities that get them out of the house, as the programs have been cancelled.

“With COVID-19 cases in Toronto continuing to rise, we need everyone including our children to stay home as much as possible over the winter school break,” said Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, when the cancellations were announced Dec. 17.

The city is cancelling 2020 holiday CampTO camps, which already had 706 kids signed up for it, as well as its Learn-to-Skate program which had 441 registrants. Registration for the Instructional Ski program had not yet begun but had nearly 5,000 spaces available.

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The cancellations were made on advice from Toronto Public Health and the city’s medical health officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the numbers of cases in Toronto continues to rise.

Toronto remains in the grey lockdown category of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.

The city’s holiday camps were scheduled to start on Dec. 21 at 30 locations as the winter school break began.


Some winter activities still on

Refunds are being issued automatically to all who have already registered for camp or skating lessons, the city says. Questions can be submitted by email.

However, the city notes many outdoor winter activities will continue, including:

  • skating at more than 50 artificial ice rinks
  • tobogganing at 23 hills
  • eight snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the city’s five golf courses
  • more than 800 playgrounds and 30 parks with outdoor fitness equipment
  • outdoor sport courts, including 60 tennis courts with nets in place
  • 70 outdoor table tennis and 60 chess tables
  • six disc golf locations