Toronto’s community and recreational centres, and indoor pools are reopening across the city on Monday.
Mayor John Tory made the announcement last week, saying “these centres play a vital role in the communities that they serve, and when they’re gone, we can see that people miss them greatly.”
“They provide a safe place for many, and it provides a sense of community where healthy activities help to build strong communities. People are eagerly waiting for them to open up,” he said.
Of the 119 community centres, there are 29 that have indoor pools.
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Tory noted that the community centres will operate differently than before the pandemic and will have limited use due to public health measures and guidelines.
Visitor capacity will also be limited, and a maximum of 10 people will be permitted in any community room.
Capacity at indoor pools will also be reduced to 25%, similar to outdoor pools, to ensure space for physical distancing.
“To give as many swimmers as possible the opportunity to cool off, swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions followed by enhanced cleaning,” the City said.
The amenities available for use include lounges, meeting and multipurpose rooms, computer labs, washrooms, indoor pools for drop-in leisure and lane swim, and lobbies.
However, gymnasiums, kitchens, saunas, and studios will not be available.
Visitors will also be screened upon entry, following the model currently used for the City’s outdoor pools, which Tory said has been successful so far.
The activities that cannot yet happen in the community and recreational centres include indoor sports, fitness and wellness activities, singing and dancing, food distribution or dining, and activities where equipment is passed or shared between people like cards, chess, and dominos.
Some locations will have limited daytime hours, as they are also being used for the CampTO program, and people must wear a mask or cloth face covering (except while swimming) when visiting a community recreation centre.