Kitchener-Waterloo

Cities, townships open up park amenities and promise more restrictions to be lifted soon

Basketball courts, sports fields, dog parks and skateparks are opening across Waterloo region as the three cities and four townships lift restrictions for some park amenities. Playgrounds remain closed.

Municipalities remind people benches and picnic shelters are not sanitized, playgrounds still closed

The cities and townships of Waterloo region are reopening some park amenities over the next few weeks including sports fields, benches, skateparks and leash-free areas. Playgrounds, though, remain closed. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

People eager to get outside for some exercise will soon have more options as the cities and the townships in Waterloo region have announced opening more amenities in local parks.

Each city and township is opening the parks a little differently. 

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry said reopening some park amenities "will be welcome news" for many people, especially as the weather warms up.

"We have all been wanting to be more active outside and to enjoy the fresh air. That said, please be vigilant and mindful of physical distancing directives. We have collectively come so far and can't go backwards now," McGarry said in a release.

Wellesley Mayor Joe Nowak said people also need to understand with limited staffing, some openings may take longer than others.

"Township staff will move as quickly as possible, to reopen them in a manner that will ensure the safely of our staff and residents," Nowak said. "Staff are closely monitoring for any provincial direction on re-openings and have been doing the needed planning to ensure we can open amenities as soon as possible."

As parks reopen for more activities, all the municipalities reminded people to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others who aren't in the same household. People also still cannot gather in groups of more than five people.

As well, the City of Kitchener release reminded people to wash or sanitize their hands often, practice "good cough" etiquette and wear a non-medical mask when possible.

As well, all the municipalities noted playgrounds, park washrooms, outdoor gym equipment, splash pads and pools remain closed. Benches and picnic shelters are also not sanitized.

Cambridge

Open now: Basketball courts, outdoor furniture and sports fields like baseball diamonds and soccer fields.

Opening soon: Dog parks will open on Thursday, skateparks will open over the next two weeks, tennis, pickleball and volleyball courts will see a staggered opening over the next two weeks.

Riverside Beach Volleyball will remain closed until further notice. As well, the Riverside Bike Park is in need of seasonal repairs and an opening date will be announced at a future date.

Waterloo

Open now: Tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, dog parks, picnic shelters and benches as well as parking lots at Waterloo Park.

Opening soon: Skate park.

Sports fields in Waterloo remain closed as the fields have not been groomed, the city said.

"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," the city said in a release.

Kitchener

Open now: Basketball courts, dog parks, some sports fields (that don't require maintenance), benches, picnic shelters, picnic tables.

Opening soon: Skateparks are expected to open by Friday, tennis, volleyball and pickleball courts will open over the next two weeks and McLennan Park Mountain Trail needs maintenance work and is expected to open sometime during the next two weeks.

For the city's golf courses, Rockway will open on Monday, May 25, and bookings will start on Thursday. Doon Valley will open the nine-hole course on May 29 and the 18-hole course on June 3. 

Woolwich

Opening soon: Sports fields (but not for teams), tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, dog parks, benches and picnic shelters will all reopen on Friday.

Wellesley

Open now: Multi-use courts such as those for tennis, basketball and pickleball; the leash-free park at the Wellesley Recreation Centre; the skatepark at the Wellesley Recreation Centre; sports fields (but not for teams); picnic tables, benches, picnic shelters.

The township notes some areas may need maintenance work. In those cases, opening will happen once the work has been completed.

Wilmot

Open now: Basketball courts, sports fields (not for teams).

Opening soon: Tennis courts, pickleball courts, beach volleyball courts and the bike park are expected to be reopened later this week.

Still closed: Baden skatepark due to reduced staff.

The township's temporary dog park has been dismantled "to avoid continued fencing rental costs," the township said in a release. Staff are working to find a permanent location and there are plans for an online consultation process which will be on the township's website sometime over the next week.

North Dumfries

Open now: Dog parks, picnic tables, benches or shelters; tennis courts in Victoria Park; and sports fields in Victoria Park, Schmidt Park and Cowan Park.

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