City of Toronto ready for Step One reopening tomorrow

Tomorrow at 12:01 a.m., Toronto and the rest of Ontario are entering Step One of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, lifting some restrictions implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City is preparing to open all permitted amenities and resume some City services.

As announced by the Province last week, in Step One outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from different households are permitted. Outdoor dining is permitted with up to four people per table (or more if from the same household) and most non-essential retail can open at 15 per cent indoor capacity. The City is updating the COVID-19: Guide for Toronto Residents with a list of activities that are permitted when Toronto enters Step One on Friday morning: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents/.

Step One also impacts City services. A full list of changes to City services, updated regularly, is available on the COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/.

CaféTO patios

In Step One, outdoor dining by groups of up to four people from different households (or more if from the same household) is permitted. Food and drink premises are required to comply with provincial regulations, including distancing between tables, infection control and prevention measures, and recording the name and contact information of every patron who enters an area of the establishment. More information about CaféTO location reopening is available in today’s CaféTO news release: www.toronto.ca/news/city-of-toronto-cafeto-program-ready-to-support-more-than-1000-local-restaurants-as-toronto-enters-step-one-reopening/.

Learn more about the CaféTO program: www.toronto.ca/cafeto.

Parks and beaches

City parks and beaches remain open for all Torontonians to get fresh air and exercise. Under provincial regulations, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted. All people gathering at parks and beaches must comply with the City’s physical distancing bylaw and maintain a distance of two metres from people of other households.

Alcohol consumption in parks and beaches is prohibited with enforcement focused on large quantities of alcohol. All people visiting these shared City spaces is asked to properly dispose of any garbage or recycling. When waste bins are full, residents should pack up any waste to dispose of at home.

Lifeguards were stationed at the City’s designated swimming beaches as of June 5 to supervise swimming zones.

Pools and splash pads

Pools and splash pads are permitted to operate in Step One. Splash pads are now open for the 2021 season due to an earlier opening permitted by the province. Yesterday, the City announced outdoor pools will open on Saturday, June 12. This morning, the City launched an online reservation system that allows residents to reserve 45-minute swim sessions in advance. Reservations for swim sessions must be made in advance through www.toronto.ca/swim.

The 10 outdoor pools that will be opening on Saturday are:

  • Alex Duff – 779 Crawford Street
  • Monarch Park Pool – 115 Felstead Ave.
  • Heron Park CC – 292 Manse Rd.
  • Grandravine CC – 23 Grandravine Dr.
  • McGregor CC – 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
  • Parkway Forest CC – 59 Forest Manor Rd.
  • Pine Point – 15 Grierson Rd.
  • Riverdale Park – 550 Broadview Ave.
  • Sunnyside-Gus Ryder – 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.  
  • West Mall – 380 The West Mall

Wading pools will open at the end of June. More information is on the City’s Swimming & Splash Pads webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/swimming-splash-pads/.

Outdoor sports and fitness

Outdoor sports and fitness programs can operate with a maximum of 10 participants. Masks are not required, but participants must maintain a distance of three metres.

The City is committed to helping gyms find outdoor space in parks across Toronto. Yesterday, Toronto City Council authorized the City to support businesses and encourage the physical health of residents by waiving permit fees for commercial fitness permits to use City parks as outdoor space for private fitness classes. Information about permits for businesses offering outdoor fitness classes is available online: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/venues-facilities-bookings/booking-park-recreation-facilities/seasonal-league-permit-booking/?accordion=permits-for-private-businesses-offering-outdoor-fitness-classes.

This week, the City launched ParkFitTO, a new pilot initiative offering residents outdoor drop-in fitness workouts as well as weekly outdoor group fitness and walking programs. A number of City’s recreation centres will move fitness centre and weight room equipment outdoors into parks and other spaces adjacent to community centres for ParkFitTO participants. The program 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 options for individual and instructional group fitness. More information is on the City’s ParkFitTO webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/fitness-programs/parkfitto/.

The City will also begin issuing sports field permits for organizations interested in sports team training as permitted under the Step One rules, including the requirement that training sessions do not include games or scrimmages. Staff are consulting with permit holders to confirm interest in operating this season. Organizations that have not been in contact with staff can call 416-396-7378.

Supports for businesses

The City continues to offer several programs to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about these programs, economic supports and resources, including the BusinessTO Support Centre for one-on-one virtual support, as well as on demand and live webinars to help business re-open, is available on the City's COVID-19: Economic Support & Resources for Businesses webpage:

www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/.

Businesses can also follow the City's BusinessTO social channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and sign up for the City's weekly BusinessTO eNewsletters:  https://toronto.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bf950b9b743e107ac54e33704&id=545639073e.

Toronto Animal Services

Toronto Animal Services will reopen stationary spay-neuter clinics to the public for owned pets and feral cats on a limited basis beginning June 14. COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep staff and the public safe. Information on the program is found on the Stationary Spay & Neuter Clinic webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/animals-pets/spay-neuter-services/stationary-spay-neuter-clinic/.

Washrooms and sanitation services

Residents and visitors can continue to access washrooms, including portable toilets, in parks and recreation facilities.. A full list of washroom and sanitation facilities is available on the City’s Spring & Summer Washrooms in Parks & Recreation Facilities webpage: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/spring-summer-washrooms-in-parks-recreation-facilities/.

The City also has about 700 public drinking fountains located in Toronto parks. Given COVID-19 guidance on sanitation requirements from both the Province and Toronto Public Health, only the drinking fountains connected to open park washrooms have been operating. These fountains, approximately 200, are cleaned and sanitized twice daily alongside the park washrooms.

Following updated public health guidance, staff are now working hard to open the remaining 500 drinking water fountains in Toronto parks as quickly as possible. Toronto Public Health has confirmed that while their guidance around sanitation stands, the City can now open the remaining fountains using a risk mitigation approach that includes signage advising the fountains are not cleaned and appropriate health measures should be implemented, such as hand hygiene and the use of bottles rather than drinking directly from the fountain.

As the remaining 500 drinking fountains were dormant for more than a year and offer potable water service, additional work is required to commission them this year. Each drinking fountain must be assessed, tested to ensure water quality and repaired if needed. Staff began the work this week and will continue to prioritize it to ensure it is completed efficiently.

Waste and Drop-Off Depots

Select Drop-Off Depots will be open to the public as of Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12, with all Drop-Off Depots open to the public starting on Monday, June 14.

Tomorrow, all Drop-Off Depots except Ingram will be open to the public for drop-off of general waste, household hazardous waste and electronics. Ingram will be closed until Monday for planned maintenance. On Saturday, June 12, Bermondsey and Scarborough will be open for drop-off of general waste, household hazardous waste and electronics. Disco, Commissioners and Victoria Park will be open for drop-off of household hazardous waste and electronics only.

A mask or face covering must be worn when visiting a Drop-Off Depot. Those exempt from wearing a mask/face covering, must schedule their time of arrival by calling 311 to be transferred to a Drop-Off Depot to book a time. Payments must be made via debit or credit card. More information about Drop-Off Depots including accepted items and hours of operation is available at online: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/recycling-organics-garbage/drop-off-depots/locations/.

Zoos

In Step One, outdoor exhibits at zoos can open with capacity limited to 15 per cent of a ticketed area to be accessed by reservation only or provide drive-in or drive-through access to the public in accordance with the Step One rules. The restrictions allow the Toronto Zoo to operate through a ticketing system: https://www.torontozoo.com/. At this time, High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm are not able to open. All animals continue to be cared for by staff.

Vaccination

Vaccine coverage is a key consideration in the provincial Roadmap to Reopen: https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario. There are COVID-19 vaccination appointments available at City-operated clinics.

All people age 12 and older are eligible to book first dose vaccination appointments at City-run immunization clinics. Anyone age 70 or older, people who received a first mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) on or before April 18, and people who received a first AstraZeneca vaccine more than 12 weeks ago are eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment at a City-run clinic. Appointments can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on www.toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

To easily connect to resources including vaccine appointment bookings, information on vaccines and upcoming telephone town halls, Toronto residents can text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 or 833-750-0888 for more information.

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