City of Toronto launches Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan

Today, Mayor John Tory launched the City of Toronto’s Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan.

Throughout the pandemic, the City has remained committed to providing people with safe opportunities for recreation. To help people stay active this winter season, the City is highlighting its offering of new and enhanced exercise-based recreation activities in parks locations across Toronto.

The City continues to urge people to stay at home as much as possible but recognizes public health officials have encouraged people to get exercise outside on their own and with members of their household.

The Welcome T.O. Winter plan provides safe ways for people to get outside in Toronto’s parks, including at our 54 artificial ice rinks and five golf courses.

Residents are encouraged to stay active this winter with members of your household at:

  • 23 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto
  • 8 snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the City’s five golf courses, with loops ranging from 1 kilometre to 2.5 kilometres
  • Free, leisure skating at the City’s 54 outdoor ice rinks, including Nathan Phillips Square, beginning November 28, weather dependent, with a maximum of 25 participants
  • Six disc-golf locations, including the newest at Scarlett Woods Golf Course, beginning November 28
  • New guided outdoor Walk Fit programs, including 45 sessions each week
  • High Park car-free weekends
  • City parks with additional 60 kilometres of paved recreational trails and pathways with snow maintenance
  • 100 parks with winter maintenance, including 60 with enhanced maintenance this year including cleared parking lots and paved pathways
  • Up to 30-plus natural ice rinks – the City is accepting applications until December 31 for community-built and maintained natural ice rinks in City parks
Throughout the winter the following parks amenities will remain open:
  • More than 800 playgrounds and 30 parks with outdoor fitness equipment
  • Outdoor sport courts, including 57 tennis courts with nets in place for winter tennis
  • 70 outdoor table tennis and 60 chess tables
  • 68 dog off-leash areas
  • The City will more than double its supply of winter park washrooms from 64 to 143 as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19
  • The archery range in E.T. Seton Park
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 at City outdoor ice rinks, participants must maintain a physical distance of six metres from people other than their household members at all times. The City is strongly recommending that masks or cloth face coverings be worn on and off the ice surface and masks are mandatory while waiting in line. Leisure skate times will run in 45-minute sessions and skating on the City’s outdoor ice rinks is only permitted during supervised hours. Capacity for all skating rinks is limited to 25 people per ice pad. This restriction is in place to ensure people can participate safely and continued compliance with orders from the Province of Ontario. Indoor washroom access will be available, however, change rooms are closed and skaters should come ready to skate. Customer service representatives will be onsite at City rinks to facilitate health screening, provide information and help with line management.

Participants should plan ahead to play as reservations are encouraged for outdoor Walk Fit and skating at the City’s outdoor rinks. A small number of spots will be reserved for people who are not able to make a reservation online. Reservations can be made online. In order to make a reservation, people are required to register with eFun and obtain at client and family PIN number by calling 416-396-7378. As ice-making and maintenance is weather-dependent and registrants will not receive cancellations by phone or email, people should check rink status online before heading out to skate.

The City continues to offer its Stay, Play and Learn at Home programming. People looking for ways to stay active and engaged while staying home can find a listing of free recreational and fitness programs, fun virtual activities, and learning and leisure activities online. Activities can be sorted by type, time commitment and audience. There’s something in the listing for every age group.

Holiday CampTO Registration is ongoing for holiday CampTO programs. This year, the City has expanded its offering with camps available at 42 locations. CampTO is a new day camp program developed this year that offers games, arts and crafts, and indoor and outdoor activities, featuring smaller group sizes and aligning with health guidelines. More information and registration details are available at toronto.ca/camps.

ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant The ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program will support Toronto’s main street businesses by promoting events celebrating art, culture and community to encourage business during the coldest months of the year. Business Improvement Associations (BIA), community groups, not-for-profits and charitable organizations are eligible to apply. The program will fund 50 per cent of eligible project costs such as winter lighting, additional marketing and advertising, and supplemental sidewalk snow clearing. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Winter Activation Grant Program is Monday, November 30 at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available online.

ShowLoveTO Partnership Program The ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is intended for community activations in Toronto between January 1 and December 31, 2021. Registered not-for-profit organizations, community groups and charities that serve Toronto residents and promote opportunities for the community to give back are eligible to apply. Activations may be online or in person and may include performing arts, dance, drama, comedy, virtual-online events, music, visual arts, literary arts, interdisciplinary arts, photography, craft, design, as well as expressions of history and heritage. All activations must demonstrate the capacity to follow current provincial and municipal public health guidelines. Applicants can apply for one-time support of up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. Applications are now available and the deadline to apply for the ShowLoveTO Partnership Program is Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

Quotes:

“The City and its residents continue to adapt and respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Torontonians made great use of the City’s parks and other recreation activities over the summer and we expect that interest to continue through the winter. While the public health advice has been clear – people need to stay home wherever possible – we do want to encourage people to safely get fresh air and exercise to maintain both their physical and mental health.” – Mayor John Tory

“Our parks and green spaces have proven particularly popular and served as a cornerstone of the health and wellbeing of many Torontonians throughout this pandemic. I’m glad that we will continue to provide safe outdoor recreation options for all Torontonians this winter.” – Councillor James Pasternak (York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

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