Kitchener council endorses plan to open splash pads, swimming pools, community centres and arenas

The front entrance of Kitchener City Hall.
The front entrance of Kitchener City Hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

On Monday, Kitchener city council approved a plan that will see some of its amenities open as early as Friday.

“I wish it were as simple as just unlocking the doors and turning on the lights at these facilities, but it just isn’t,” Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said in a release from the city on its plans for reopening facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — City of Kitchener’s plan for reopening could stretch into 2021

The city says splash pads at McLennan Park, Centreville-Chicopee and Kingsdale will open on Friday with physical-distancing measures in place, including fencing and timed entry. City staff will be on site to make sure rules are followed.

The splash pads at Victoria Park, Chandler Mowat and Breithaupt may follow in mid-July.

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Harry Class Pool and Idlewood Pool will also open in early July with the former offering family swims, lane swims, professional development and family lessons, while the latter will be available for family swims.

In mid-July, the indoor pool at Breithaupt Centre will open for lane swims, family swims, public swims, older adult swims and family lessons.

Limits will be placed on indoor pools, which will include no water slide usage, limited poolside seating and timed entry, which limits the number of patrons in the pool at one time.

READ MORE: Coronavirus pandemic forces Kitchener to lay off 842 employees

The city’s 15 community centres are expected to open by the end of June for limited use, including as cooling centres and community food distribution services.

Kitchener’s largest community centres — Country Hills, Stanley Park, Victoria Hills and Forest Heights — will reopen for summer day camps.

The city says it is offering significantly fewer spaces for day campers as there will only be 1,000 to 1,300 day camp spaces compared with around 4,900 spots in a normal year. The city says those who were already registered for day camps will get first dibs on spots.

Some arenas that were originally slated to open in mid-August will now open a month earlier, Kitchener says.

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The city says it will initially open rinks at Activa Sportsplex, which will be followed, depending on demand, by Sportsworld. Between one and four rinks will be available for use.