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City to suspend some recreational programs to help slow spread of COVID-19

Last Updated Oct 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm EDT

The city is planning to curtail some recreational activities in response to the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

Based on the recommendations of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, a number of registered and instructional programs, group fitness and wellness programs are being suspended as of October 10.

They have previously said they would be suspended on October 13, but moved the date up in light of the province’s announcement Friday of further restrictions due to COVID-19.

Dr. de Villa says she recommended the move to protect the health of residents, keep schools open, and address the second wave of the virus.

As well, access to the City’s two conservatories at Allan Gardens and Centennial Park are also being closed.

“These programs are deemed high-risk for COVID-19 transmission due to being indoors, where the physical nature of the activity results in close contact and where masks cannot be worn,” city officials said in a release.

The suspension of registered and instructional programs will affect approximately 20,000 people.

City officials say those who registered for any upcoming programs will be notified of the cancellations and refunds will be automatically issued within the next two weeks.

The City says it will continue to operate the following programs with capacity restrictions and other health measures in place:

• leisure swim and skate
• lane swimming
• fitness centres
• arts and general interest instruction
• After-school Recreation Care
• December camps for children
• drop-in youth programs that do not include sports
• indoor athletic training permits with no game play, including hockey training
• permits for outdoor sports

All the City’s outdoor amenities in parks and green spaces, such as sports fields, skate parks, trails, BMX parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, outdoor fitness equipment, picnic shelters and playgrounds, remain open.