City of Guelph Confirms: Outdoor Rec Will Be Open This Weekend

Following up on Thursday afternoon’s announcement from Queen’s Park, the City of Guelph confirmed in their own announcement that yes, outdoor recreation facilities will be open starting this Saturday. The move is jut in time for the Victoria long weekend, and though there won’t be much of the usual celebrations, the City and local agencies are reminding you to be cautious about personal celebrations.

“After following the rules and restrictions for so long, it may seem strange to see people getting together again. We’ve consulted Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and reviewed the regulations, and we’re all excited to get out and play this weekend,” said Doug Godfrey, the general manager of operations, who confirmed the re-opening in a statement.

An update on the City’s website said that baseball diamonds, basketball courts, cricket pitches, disc golf courses, soccer fields and tennis courts will all be open on Saturday, and that City workers will be removing the fencing from the skate park “as quickly as possible.” Outdoor gatherings of up to five people will be allowed, but the City is not yet accepting bookings for team sports or practices.

All other provisions of the current stay at home order from the Government of Ontario will remain in effect until at least June 2.

That means that there’s no public fireworks this long weekend for the second year in a row, which might make you, or someone you know, decide to hold your own fireworks display. On that point, the City reminds you that there are a certain set of conditions for setting off fireworks on this, or any special occasion.

According to the City of Guelph, you are only allowed to set off fireworks between 9 am and midnight on Sunday and Victoria Day itself. When using fireworks, you have to set up somewhere away from buildings, dry grass, and trees, keep the audience at least 40 feet away, light one firework at a time, and keep an extinguisher or water source nearby in case things get out of hand. You also need the City’s permission before setting off fireworks on City property like a local park.

The Guelph Humane Society also have advice about fireworks on the Victoria Day long weekend, and that’s a reminder that domestic pets and wildlife do not like the loud bangs that accompany fireworks. For pets at home, GHS recommends distracting them or trying to buffer the sound, while drivers are being warned to keep an eye open for animals fleeing an area where fireworks are going off.

“If you’re going out to see fireworks, keep your pets at home,” said Melissa Stolz, Intake and Behaviour Co-ordinator at GHS in a statement. “Do not take your dog with you as they may get scared and become frantic, which could lead to them getting away from you. Similarly, if you have a cat that goes outside, make sure they are in for the evening and all windows and doors are securely closed.”

If you have any issue with fireworks, call the Guelph Police Service at their non-emergency number at 519-824-1212.

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