Toronto reopening sports amenities in public parks this week

Chris Herhalt,

Published Wednesday, May 20, 2020 3:30PM EDT

Last Updated Wednesday, May 20, 2020 5:57PM EDT

The City of Toronto is reopening sports amenities in its parks this week, including sports fields, basketball and tennis courts and BMX or skate parks, but says team sports are still off limits and physical distancing must be maintained.

Between today and Saturday, more than 850 individual amenities will reopen, including 300 soccer fields, 600 tennis courts, 300 baseball diamonds and various picnic shelters.

But that doesn’t mean anything more than one-on-one competition can begin.

“Individuals are not permitted to play team sports, such as soccer or baseball, even on fields intended for this purpose unless they are members of the same household,” officials said Wednesday.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said it is crucial people using the parks continue to distance themselves and behave responsibly.

“We are relying on people to be personally responsible and to continue to keep their distance from others even in the parks – Dr. de Villa very well explained why this is because we don’t want to go back, we don’t want to go back to when we were spreading this virus, often unknowingly.”

All playgrounds, splash pads, greenhouses, nurseries, pools and all outdoor exercise equipment will remain closed until further notice.

High Park will remain closed to vehicle traffic on weekends, while the High Park Zoo will remain closed, along with Riverdale Farm.

Lawn bowling lanes and bocce courts in Toronto parks may reopen next week.

On Tuesday, the City reopened all off-leash dog parks.

The City says bylaw enforcement and parks staff will be patrolling areas to make sure physical distancing measures are respected.

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