London

London reopens parks, courts and courses

As the province eases emergency orders, the City of London is reopening outdoor sports fields, park amenities, outdoor courts and dog parks.

Outdoor playgrounds, pools and indoor facilities remain closed

Londoners will now get to enjoy park amenities such as sitting on a bench. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

As the province eases emergency orders, the City of London is reopening outdoor sports fields, park amenities, outdoor courts and dog parks.

The relaxing of measures, originally put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, are in alignment with phase one of Ontario's Framework for Reopening.

"We know residents are excited to get some fresh air and exercise and we appreciate their patience as city staff work to get all of these park amenities open," said London mayor Ed Holder in a statement.

"Parks are a vital part of life in the Forest City. We are counting on everyone to do their part to keep following the health precautions that will ensure these are safe places for all to enjoy."

The following are now open:

  • Outdoor sports fields and baseball diamonds
  • Benches, picnic tables and park shelters
  • Skate parks
  • Basketball courts
  • Tennis and pickle ball courts
  • Disc golf
  • Golf courses
  • Off-leash dog parks

The following remain closed:

  • Outdoor playgrounds, including play structures and equipment
  • Outdoor pools, spray pads and wading pools
  • Premier irrigated sports fields and indoor facilities

Now that some amenities are reopening this week, the city wants residents to keep health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 top of mind.

"The safety of Londoners and staff is our number one priority as we reopen park amenities," said Scott Stafford, the managing director of parks and recreation for the city. "I'm hopeful Londoners will continue to practice all health guidelines in these spaces."

Those guidelines include:

  • Staying two metres away from others using a facility.
  • Avoiding gatherings of more than five people.
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve, elbow, or cover with a tissue and discard.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

If you arrive at a park that is crowded and you're unable to adhere to physical distancing measures, the city is advising Londoners to wait from a distance or return at another time.