The City of Guelph had been looking to reopen its facilities and get back to some sense of normalcy at the beginning of May, but as we itch closer to the end of April that plan was starting to seem less likely to come to fruition. On Tuesday, the City confirmed that facilities will remain closed until the state of emergency is lifted, and they will only open on the best advice of public health and the Province.
“We all want to get out and play in Guelph parks and recreation centres and get back to doing ‘normal’ Spring things. But now is not normal, the hard part is not over,” said Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart in a statement. “This is still an emergency, and we still need your support and cooperation to keep your families, your neighbours and your community healthy.”
Originally all City facilities were meant to reopen on May 4 including City Hall, the Provincial Offences Court, rec centres, Guelph Museums, and all branches of the Guelph Public Library. Earlier this month, the City cancelled all events and programming at their facilities through to July 5, which includes Art on the Street, Guelph Nighthawks games at Sleeman Centre, and Canada Day festivities at Riverside Park.
Last week, the Provincial government passed legislation to keep the state of emergency in effect until May 12. All non-essential workplaces and outdoor amenities will remain closed, and all social gatherings bigger than five people are banned until the second week in May.
The City’s Parks and Recreation department is still offering refunds for cancelled facilities and programming, and members of the public can get that information by emailing recreation [at] guelph.ca or by calling 519-837-5699.
As for city council meetings, the City says that they’re working to reschedule those too. There is a Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for Monday May 4, and the agenda for that meeting was supposed to come out on Thursday. More information about how the City will handle council meetings will be released in the coming weeks.
The City of Guelph says that they will reopen facilities, and restore programs and services only with the advice of Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, and with the direction of the Government of Ontario.