Community centres, recreation centres, and indoor pools will be allowed to open Monday, July 20. Mayor John Tory made the much-awaited announcement on July 15 after months of closures. This is welcomed news for many residents seeking a break from the heat, but things will be different this year.
Visitors to community centres will have access to lounges, toilets and locker rooms, computer labs, multimedia and meeting rooms, and computer labs. However, gymnasiums, fitness centres, tracks, kitchens, saunas, and whirlpools will not be accessible.
Indoor sports, fitness classes, wellness classes, singing and dancing programs, dining, distribution services, and equipment and supplies are also on the no-access list. Services currently closed during Stage 2 (present phase) are expected to open during Stage 3 (partially, if not entirely).
Community centres will function differently this summer, but they’ll still provide a much-need break for seniors, teens, and indoor swimmers. A total of 119 community and recreation centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools will reopen. The pools will reopen for drop-in lane and leisure swimming.
“Community centres have played a vital role in the communities they serve by providing a safe space and a space for families, youth, and seniors to socialize and keep active. Although the centres will look different once they open, they will continue to provide the same services and amenities that residents have come to enjoy,” Mayor Tory said in a recent press release.
As with other city-owned venues, visitors to recreation centres will be asked questions upon entering and may be required to provide contact tracing and location information. New rules when entering a community centre include:
- Wearing a face mask or face covering (not required while swimming)
- Barriers at counters and service areas
- Line management and distancing protocols
- A maximum of 10 people per community room
- 25 per cent capacity at indoor pools
- 45-minute maximum swim time
City community centres that are also CampTO centres will have limited access during camp hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Enhanced cleaning of common areas, sinks and faucets, and water fountains will occur during opening hours. More details about the recent announcement can be found on the city’s website.