Mayor John Tory said Wednesday the city is formulating plans to reopen splash pads, swimming pools and beaches as part of a new program called SwimTO.
The mayor said pools and other aquatic amenities will be ready to open quickly if Toronto is given a green light to move into stage 2 on June 19. Beaches, meanwhile, will reopen officially for swimming on June 22.
In a release announcing the plan, the city said the city’s 140 splashpads would open first – within a week of being permitted to open – after getting the go-ahead. Outdoor pools and wading pools would follow shortly afterward..
Staff said the city is is working to expedite the opening of outdoor pools, splash pads and wading pools by hiring staff, filling outdoor pools, turning on filtration system and creating signage around physical distancing.
They’re also establishing new health guidelines “that will ensure these amenities can be operational as soon as possible after they are permitted”.
Beaches have never technically been closed under Ontario laws, but lifeguards will be returning to staff them on June 22. Beaches set to reopen include Bluffer’s Park, Cherry/Clarke, Kew-Balmy Beach, Marie Curtis Park East, Sunnyside and Woodbine; the beaches on the Island will open once ferry service resumes.
The city adds that under the city’s physical distancing bylaw, any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket.