May 10, 2020

Reposted from Town of Oakville

Playgrounds, sports fields, dog parks remain closed under provincial emergency order

As the province plans for recovery and the opening of some businesses, the Town of Oakville is taking steps to reopen park green space for neighbourhood use, with some restrictions still in place.

Starting Saturday, May 9, 2020, some outdoor spaces in Oakville parks are open, but residents are reminded that the Provincial Emergency Order remains in effect until at least May 19, which restricts the use of park amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields and dog parks, as well as groups of more than five people, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re reopening some outdoor spaces so we can all get some fresh air and exercise, but please remember to practice physical distancing so that all the efforts we’ve made so far are not wasted,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Public health officials continue to advise us that that keeping at least two metres from others, and not congregating in groups, remains crucial to limiting the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.”

Examples of permitted activities in parks green space, for individuals or groups of up to five people include:

  • Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball and flying a kite
  • Sitting on a blanket, grass or lawn chair
  • Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
  • Letting young children run and burn off some energy

Amenities and spaces that remain closed at this time include:

  • playgrounds and play structures (e.g. swings, slides, climbers)
  • sports fields (soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks)
  • outdoor exercise equipment
  • skateboard parks
  • off-leash dog areas
  • benches, picnic tables and shelters
  • beaches
  • marinas and boat launch ramps
  • park parking lots
  • recreation centre grounds and parking lots

In addition, prohibited park use extends to all organized sporting activities and training, such as football, softball, ball hockey, soccer, ultimate frisbee and basketball – even if they are not being played on a court or sports field, as these activities do not allow for proper physical distancing.

Town-owned cemeteries and community gardens have also reopened, with restrictions to ensure physical distancing is maintained for public safety.

Parks staff has begun spring cleanup, and grass cutting will continue over the coming weeks. COVID-19 protocols for essential workers include cleaning and sanitizing vehicles, daily screening of all staff and limiting the number of staff per vehicle where feasible. We remind residents that if you need to approach staff, please keep two metres from them and their trucks.

The town’s physical distancing by-law remains in effect. Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them and anyone with a dog not on a leash or on a leash longer than two metres can be fined a minimum of $300 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence.

“As we move toward recovery, we are implementing new protocols to allow us to deliver more services safely to the community. But, this won’t happen overnight. While the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases tells us that we are doing our part to flatten the curve, we need to remain diligent and continue to practise physical distancing when outside,” said Mayor Burton.

For more information on the town’s efforts to support the community in response to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 page or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.