Parks, sports fields reopening

A close-up of the batters boxes and home plate on a vacant baseball diamond. © Can Stock Photo / ca2hill

Londoners looking to get outdoors can now use the city’s parks and sports facilities.

The city announced on Thursday afternoon that it is in the process of reopening park amenities, including sports fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, skate parks, and park shelters. However, it says physical distancing of two metres will still be required. The city also said that gatherings of more than five people are still not permitted.

Work to reopen tennis courts and pickleball courts is ongoing, and it’s hoped they will re-open before the end of the week.

“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 Mayor Ed Holder. “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.”

Two of the city-owned golf courses, Fanshawe Golf Course and Thames Valley Golf Course, opened to the public last weekend. Off-leash dog parks are also open.

“The safety of Londoners and staff is our number one priority as we reopen park amenities,” said Scott Stafford, Managing Director, Parks and Recreation. “I’m hopeful Londoners will continue to practice all health guidelines in these spaces.”

While some facilities are reopening, others will stay closed. According to the city, outdoor playgrounds, play structres, and equipment will be off-limits. So will outdoor pools, spray pads, and wading pools.