City reopens some park amenities

The City of Ottawa has reopened park amenities including benches, baseball diamonds and dog parks, closed for weeks as part of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Benches, baseball diamonds, dog parks no longer out of bounds, but playground equipment still off limits

Caution tape blocks people from using the playground at Lansdowne Park. Spray pads, swings, slides and play structures remain closed in Ottawa to comply with provincial orders. (Alistair Steele/CBC)

Ottawa's parks are slowly returning to normal.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the city announced it's reopening outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields including baseball diamonds, soccer pitches, disc golf courses, tennis courts, skate parks and pickleball courts.

Benches, dog parks, picnic tables and shelters will also reopen, though people are asked to continue staying two metres apart and to remain cautious about touching surfaces.

"Benches and tables are not cleaned frequently. Please wash your hands after using them and be sure not to touch your face," the city said in a news release.

The city also reminds people to avoid touching other people's sports equipment such as soccer balls and baseballs.

Provincial orders remain in effect prohibiting the use of play structures, swings, slides, splash and spray pads, wading pools and exercise equipment, the release said.

The sports fields are available for casual use only, as provincial regulations prohibiting gatherings of more than five people remain in place.

City crews have already begun installing tennis nets and unlocking gates to dog parks. Work to reopen all the parks will take place over the next few weeks, the city said.

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