City Preps COVID-Safe Rec Programs, While Province Extends Stay-at-Home Order

When the Government of Ontario announced changes to the stay-at-home order a few weeks to allow for the re-opening of outdoor recreation facilities, there was a question mark locally about splash pads. On Tuesday, the City of Guelph cleared the question mark and announced dates for the opening of water-based amenities, plus summer recreation programs, while the Province formally announced the extension of the order.

First, the good news for lovers of splash pads. The pads at Norm Jary, Northview, South End, Jubilee and Waverley Park will be open starting on Saturday June 12 from 10 am to 8 pm. The Market Square splash pad will be open the next week on June 19 and 20, and then open daily for the season starting on June 26. The hours of operation for Market Square will be 10 am to 7 pm, 50 people will be allowed to use the pool at a time, and will operate in 45-minute sessions at the top of every hour.

The Hanlon Creek splash pad will be closed for the whole season though due to construction on a new splash pad and washroom facilities.

The wading pools in Exhibition Park and Sunny Acres Park will also open on the weekend of June 19 before opening daily on June 26. Operating hours will be from 10 am to 7 pm for 10 people at a time and 45-minute sessions. The wading pools will be closed from 1 to 3 pm everyday for cleaning. The Lyon pool will be on the same schedule with a senior/accessible swim from 10-10:45 am and public swim from 11 am to 6:45 pm. Life jackets will be available, but lockers and change rooms will be closed.

The City of Guelph is also planning to hold summer day camps and outdoor recreation programs starting the week of July 5, but there will be no indoor rec programs or swimming lessons offered at this time. Registration opens on June 9 at 7:30 am both online and by phone at 519-837-5699.

“Every June we celebrate recreation and parks month and encourage people to get outside, get active, try a new sport or activity. COVID-19 restrictions are changing how and where we play, so we’ve re-imagined Guelph’s recreation programs for all kinds of COVID-safe summer fun,” said deputy CAO of Public Services Colleen Clack-Bush in a statement.

Meanwhile at Queen’s Park, the Government of Ontario formally announced the continuation of the stay-at-home order. The order was originally set to expire on Wednesday at 12:01 am, but the first phase of the Province’s re-opening plan is not meant to go into effect until June 14. All the current restrictions will remain in effect for the next two weeks, but Ontarians will be allowed to travel to a secondary residence, but only with the people from their own home.

“We’ve seen great progress in our fight against COVID-19 in recent weeks, but now is not the time to let our guard down,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in a statement. “With the Stay-At-Home order set to expire, we need to provide people with certainty so that they can continue to follow public health guidance. Doing so will help us to meet our goal of starting to gradually lift some restrictions when we enter Step One of the Roadmap when it is safe to do so.”

According to Public Health Ontario, there were just 699 new cases in the province on Tuesday, which is the lowest the daily number of new cases has been since last October. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health there were just four new cases on Tuesday, while the number of active cases in the region is now down to just 156.

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