Mayor John Tory announced today the launch of ParkFitTO, a new pilot initiative offering residents outdoor fitness programming. With provincial restrictions still in place, the City of Toronto’s recreation centres will deliver fitness programs during the summer season at outdoor locations.
With ParkFitTO, the City will offer outdoor drop-in fitness workouts as well as weekly outdoor group fitness and walking programs. In order to facilitate drop-in workouts, a number of the City’s recreation centres will move fitness centre and weight room equipment outdoors into parks and other spaces adjacent to community centres.
ParkFitTO will operate from June 14 until September and will follow public health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of participants. ParkFitTO provides both free and affordable paid options for individual and instructional group fitness.
Outdoor group fitness and walk-fit classes
Starting on June 8, residents will be able to register for group fitness and walk-fit classes, with programs starting on June 21. Outdoor group fitness classes are registered programs for one hour each week for a four-week period. Participants must be 13 years or older and each class is limited to 10 people. These programs will be continuous throughout the summer.
Outdoor group fitness classes include:
- Outdoor walk-fit programs, in which instructors lead participants on pre-determined routes through neighbourhoods and parks. This program is free of charge, and there are more than 1,500 spaces available for booking at 32 locations across the city.
- Fee-based group fitness classes include Zumba and Zumba Gold, Cardio High/Low, Cardio Dance and Cardio HIIT, Gentle Fit, Stretch and Tone, Run Fit and Boot Camp and are delivered by qualified staff. There are 2,350 spaces available for registration at 23 locations across the city.
The quickest and easiest way to register for outdoor group fitness and walk-fit classes is online at https://efun.toronto.ca/TorontoFun/Start/Start.asp. In addition, phone registration will be available at 416-396-7378.
Residents need a family number and client number to sign up for recreation programs. Those looking to register are encouraged to get their numbers before registration day by calling 416-396-7378. Residents can also call this number Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for help preparing for registration.
Outdoor drop-in fitness workouts
Starting on June 10, residents age 16 and up can reserve a free 45-minute outdoor fitness workout, with up to 10 participants per location. Approximately 1,500 spaces will be available weekly for reservations at 12 locations across the city. Program tip sheets will be available for those looking to do self-guided workouts.
More information about ParkFitTO is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/fitness-programs/parkfitto/.
Outdoor fitness permits for businesses
In recognition of the increased need for access to outdoor space, essential fresh air and exercise, and to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, commercial permits for private businesses who want to offer outdoor fitness, yoga or martial arts classes in park spaces will be available free of charge this summer, subject to Council approval this week.
Beginning today, the City will accept requests for permits from June 14 through to October 3. Applications received on or before June 9 will be reviewed and processed by end of day on June 11 with the earliest possible start date. Applications received after June 9 will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with a target of two to three business days for processing.
Permits will be issued for open green spaces in parks, and approval for permit requests will depend on proximity to environmentally sensitive areas, sports fields, gardens, conflicts with other permitted or programmed areas and other site-specific considerations. Permit holders will be required to comply with current provincial restrictions, including gathering limits and restrictions around amplified sound. In Step 1, there will be a maximum of 10 participants, including an instructor. Typically, these permits are issued at a cost of $47.06 per hour. Interested businesses can contact [email protected] or 416-396-7378.
“The City remains committed to finding ways for Toronto residents to stay active, socialize and enjoy our parks this summer. The ParkFitTO program is a wonderful way for residents to get fit and get essential fresh air while they exercise. We are also working to help gyms. In recognition of the increased need for exercise, and to assist businesses so impacted by COVID-19, commercial permits for private businesses who want to offer outdoor fitness, yoga or martial arts classes in park spaces will be available free of charge this summer. I will be bringing a motion to City Council this week to waive the permit fees from now to October 3. We are waiving these fees to encourage people to get permits so we can manage the space, so they can confidently plan outdoor classes and to be of some assistance to these businesses.”
– Mayor John Tory