City closes parks, playgrounds amid tightening COVID-19 restrictions
NCC also closing vehicular access to Greenbelt trails, dog parks
The City of Ottawa is closing all municipal parks, including off-leash dog parks, amid tightening restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The closure involves "all city park facilities and park equipment," which includes playgrounds. According to the city, "walkthroughs" are still permitted, but any group or team activity in city parks is banned.
All <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OttCity?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OttCity</a> parks and their facilities, including playgrounds, are closed to the public. Walkthroughs are permitted. Practice <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PhysicalDistancing?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PhysicalDistancing</a> & maintain minimum 2m distance from others. Groups or team activities are prohibited. More on City services: <a href="https://t.co/2N5KxLm55R">https://t.co/2N5KxLm55R</a> <a href="https://t.co/gsL7Yha6n8">pic.twitter.com/gsL7Yha6n8</a>—@ottawacity
The National Capital Commission (NCC) also announced Friday it's shutting down parking lots at its trails and dog parks in Ottawa's Greenbelt, starting 9 p.m. Friday.
"We recognize that this decision will affect residents' enjoyment of the Greenbelt, but we must make every effort to protect employees, contractors and trail users from COVID-19 and ensure compliance with public health directives from all levels of government, particularly the call to avoid all non-essential trips," the NCC said in a news release.
UPDATE | We are temporarily closing vehicule access to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Greenbelt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Greenbelt</a> as of 9pm on Fri, March 27, 2020, until further notice.<br>⛔All parking lots at trailheads & off-leash dog parks closed<br>⚠️Parking not permitted on roadways<br>More info: <a href="https://t.co/Z1rnxIo7kS">https://t.co/Z1rnxIo7kS</a> |<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottawa</a> <a href="https://t.co/sm5f5rGhs8">pic.twitter.com/sm5f5rGhs8</a>—@NCC_CCN
This includes popular trails at Mer Bleue and Pinhey Forest, as well as off-leash dog parks. People who can walk or bike to the trails will still be able to use them.
At the same time, the NCC said it's working to clear its network of multi-use pathways of snow and ice so people can get out and use them. For now, the NCC said it's not planning to close the Sir John. A Macdonald or Sir George-Étienne Cartier parkways to traffic, as some have suggested.
Health officials are discouraging or banning gatherings to stop the spread of the respiratory illness, and are asking people to stay at home as much as possible.