The weekend has finally returned and in response the City is opening more services and amenities for residents to enjoy, following guidance from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
With sunshine on the forecast, residents are encouraged to head outside in their local neighbourhood for fresh air and exercise but they are also reminded to practise physical distancing or wear a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Ahead of the weekend, the City released a guide to all of the services and amenities that are open and which remain closed.
Open City parks and amenities:
- Picnic shelters
- Soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks
- Baseball diamonds and basketball courts
- Some public tennis courts and pickleball courts
- Off-leash dog parks
- BMX locations and skateboard parks
- City-run golf courses and disc golf locations
- Ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking
- Fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing
If a resident arrives at a park that is crowded, they are advised to visit a different park or return at a later time when there are fewer people.
Closed City parks and amenities:
- Public washrooms, with the exception of Trinity Bellwoods Park, which will open this weekend
- Lawn bowling facilities
- Outdoor bocce
- Outdoor exercise equipment
- Swimming pools
- Fixed barbecues
- Slash pads
- Farmers’ markets
- Nurseries and conservatories
- High Park Zoo
- Riverdale Farm
Permits for soccer, multi-use fields and baseball diamonds continue to be cancelled until June 29. 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.
There is no public ferry access to Toronto Island Park. New federal regulations limit the number of individuals on a ferry in order to reduce crowding and limit the potential for virus transmission. The ferry will continue running for Island residents only.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
On Thursday, the City of Toronto began adding painted physical distancing circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park as a pilot project to encourage people to practise physical distancing. When visiting the park, people can expect to see grids of painted circles roughly 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet apart. Each circle is large enough for two adults from the same household laying down or three adults from the same household sitting cross-legged.
If the park is crowded when people arrive and if no circles are available, people should visit a different park or come back later. Parks near Trinity Bellwoods Park include Stanley Park and Alexandra Park. Bickford Park, Art Eggleton Park, Christie Pits Park, and Dufferin Grove Park are also close.
Beaches are not closed under the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and remain open. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, City staff are working with public health officials on how the supervised swim program (i.e. lifeguards) could operate at Toronto beaches and the City will share more information when it becomes available. Swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard at the City’s beaches is not recommended.
Public washroom facilities
Washrooms at Trinity Bellwoods Park will open this weekend, followed by a phased approach with the aim of opening all park washrooms over the next several weeks. Staff are working with Toronto Public Health on guidelines for the safe opening of washrooms and other amenities.
Park parking lots
Most Toronto Parks’ parking lots in City parks are open this weekend. Three lots will remain closed: Sir Casimir Gzowski, Sunnyside and Woodbine. The parking lot at High Park is closed on weekends.
ActiveTO and Quiet Streets
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 while allowing for residents to be outside and get exercise, vehicle access on parts of some major roads will be closed for walking, running and biking again this Saturday and Sunday.
The following major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, May 30 at 6 am until Sunday, May 31 at 11 pm:
- Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
- Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue
Expressway closure and accelerated road construction
This weekend, the Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Highway 427 for annual maintenance and improvement activities, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street is fully closed for construction, and there will be closures in place for people to practise physical distancing while being physically active on Bayview Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East.
The Gardiner Expressway will be fully closed starting at 11 pm on Friday, May 29 until 5 am on Monday, June 1 for important annual maintenance and improvements. The City asks residents to plan essential travel ahead, leave plenty of extra time and be patient.