More activities return to parks with reopening of amenities

It started with the dogs and now use of park facilities is being extended to athletes, picnickers and skateboarders.

“Based on the advice of our public health officials, we are moving quickly and carefully to open more than 850 park amenities this week across the city,” Toronto mayor John Tory announced yesterday. “This is great news for all Toronto residents who enjoy our parks.”

Off-leash dog parks were reopened on May 19.

Yesterday, five BMX locations, 14 skateboard parks and four disc golf locations were to be opened for the first time since March, along with the gradual reopening of parks’ parking lots.

And by this weekend, parks staff are to have reopened picnic shelters, more than 300 soccer fields, more than 300 baseball diamonds, 150 basketball courts and 185 tennis court locations. Outdoor sports facilities and fields, though, are restricted to individual non-team sports, such as walking, running, biking, skateboarding, frisbee, kicking a ball, and low contact racquet sports like tennis, badminton and ping pong.

Next up next week: lawn bowling facilities and outdoor bocce.

Keep your distance

For all these activities, the usual physical distancing of two metres is to be practised. If you arrive at a crowded amenity, you should wait until there is enough space to physically distance or return later, a city press release warned.

Individuals are not permitted to play team sports, such as soccer or baseball, even on fields intended for this purpose, unless they are members of the same household.

Playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, swimming pools and splash pads are to remain closed.