Coronavirus: City of Toronto begins reopening closed parks amenities

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WATCH ABOVE: While the pandemic is still front of mind, the City of Toronto is reopening hundreds of closed parks amenities. But officials say it will not be for team sports and it will require a lot of common sense. Matthew Bingley reports – May 20, 2020

The City of Toronto has announced more than 850 parks amenities will reopen this week two months after officials shut down all amenities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement was made on Wednesday and on the same day as the City reopened five BMX facilities, 14 skateboard parks, four disc golf locations.

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In the coming days, more than 300 soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, more than 300 baseball diamonds, 150 basketball courts, picnic shelters and parking lots at parks are set to reopen.

“Individuals may use outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields for non-team sports, such as walking, running, biking, skateboarding, frisbee, kicking a ball, and low contact racquet sports like tennis, badminton, pickleball and ping pong,” officials said in a statement.

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“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.”

Preparation work is underway to reopen more than 600 tennis courts at 185 locations, some of which will open on the weekend. As well, work is beginning to reopen lawn bowling and outdoor bocce facilities.

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READ MORE: Toronto issuing fines up to $5K for people using prohibited amenities at parks

The announcement comes shortly after more than 70 off-leash dog parks reopened and approximately two months after all amenities were closed at the recommendation of Toronto Public Health staff.

Permits for use of fields and baseball times remain cancelled until June 29.

Officers will continue to enforce provincial orders on physical distancing and gatherings.

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