Greater Sudbury joins other northeastern towns and cities in re-opening parks

The City of Greater Sudbury will join other northeastern municipalities in re-opening some outdoor recreation facilities.

Sudbury, North Bay and Kirkland Lake among those to re-open parks as COVID risk eases

A sign listing precautions to be taken during the COVID-19 outbreak greets visitors to Sudbury's Bell Park. The boardwalk at the park and some other municipal outdoor facilities will start to reopen. (Erik White/CBC)

The City of Greater Sudbury will join other northeastern municipalities in re-opening  some outdoor recreation facilities.

The province started gradually reopening the economy earlier this week. 

Retail store restrictions were loosened and the province announced off-leash dog parks, outdoor multi-use fields and water sports facilities could start to reopen.

North Bay opened its parks, tennis courts and sports fields on Wednesday and Kirkland Lake also welcomed citizens back to its parks, including the dog park and bike park. 

"These reopenings come as welcome news, especially with the beautiful weather we've been having," Greater Sudbury mayor Brian Bigger said.

"At the same time, the virus has not gone away and we must continue to act responsibly."

The city says staff will inspect and ensure the safety of each site, remove barriers, replace signage and place garbage containers over the next few days.

The city says under the province's emergency orders, playgrounds, splash pads, field houses and all indoor recreation facilities remain closed. Washroom facilities at parks also remain closed.

Here is how Greater Sudbury plans to roll out the reopening:

Off-leash Dog Parks

  • The Minnow Lake Dog Park and Azilda Dog Park will reopen by the weekend. The hours will be daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Community Parks and Trails

  • The Bell Park Boardwalk and AY Jackson Trail will reopen by the weekend. All other trails and open spaces remain open.
  • Residents may use park benches, picnic tables and gazebos but are reminded those amenities are not sanitized.

Basketball Courts

  • Outdoor basketball courts will reopen early next week. The city says courts in regional and community parks, such as LoEllen Park, will reopen first, followed by courts in neighbourhood parks, such as York Street.

Tennis and Pickleball Courts

  • Outdoor tennis and pickleball courts will reopen early next week. The city says multi-court complexes, including Delki Dozzi, Brebeuf, Carmichael, Cote, Fraser, James Jerome and Elmview will open first. To ensure physical distancing, doubles play is not allowed.

Skate and BMX Parks

  • Skate and BMX parks will being to reopen early next week, starting with the Carmichael Skate Park.
  • The city says park equipment is not sanitized.

Sports Fields

  • Baseball diamonds and soccer fields will start to reopen next week.
  • The city says use of play fields is restricted to gathers of five or less and people must stay two metres away from others who are not part of their household.
  • League play and scrimmages are not permitted.
  • The Selkirk Disc Golf facility will reopen by the weekend.


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