On May 19, the Ontario government announced the immediate reopening of a number of outdoor recreational amenities as part of the first stage of its plan to reopen the province.

The Town of Orangeville will reopen some outdoor public recreation amenities for casual, informal use, effective Thursday, May 21. Use of these amenities is subject to the recommendations below being followed. Group bookings of these amenities cannot be made at this time. The recreation amenities to reopen include the following:

  • Off-leash dog park
  • Sports fields, i.e. soccer fields, baseball and softball fields
  • Sports courts, basketball and tennis courts will be unlocked, and nets/hoops will be installed this week
  • Rotary Skate Park will reopen once safety barriers are removed -- a process that will begin this week

The following recreation amenities remain closed as per the provincial government’s first stage of reopening:

  • Public washrooms
  • Playground equipment
  • Splash pads
  • Outdoor fitness equipment

The following recreation amenities remain open for walkers and cyclists:

  • Parks
  • Trails

Provincial emergency measures and Town by-laws remain in effect

Under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and applicable Town of Orangeville by-laws, the following behaviours are prohibited:

  • Gatherings of more than five individuals not from the same household
  • Use of amenities closed under the EMCPA

COVID-19 safety recommendations for using public recreation amenities

Signage will be installed at the Town’s recreation amenities in the coming days to remind residents of these safety recommendations:

  • Users must practise physical distancing (stay at least two metres apart)
  • Users can wear a mask or face covering if physical distancing is a challenge
  • Team play or doubles matches at sports fields and sports courts are not permitted unless participants are from the same household
  • Users should bring their own hand sanitizer and water to wash their hands before and after visiting the park
  • Keep Orangeville clean by taking litter or pet waste home with you

Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown says Council is pleased to see the Province of Ontario lifting some restrictions on outdoor recreation. “Individuals may use outdoor sports facilities for walking, running, frisbee, kicking and/or batting a ball, low-contact racquet sports such as tennis, and pickleball,” Mayor Brown says. “It is important for users to respect all physical distancing and hygiene protocols -- to ensure the continued use of these facilities.”

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

Keep up to date on the Town of Orangeville’s COVID-19 safety precautions at www.orangeville.ca/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.