Physical distancing circles are making their return to the grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park.
The white circles, first introduced last year to promote physical distancing from other park-goers, will start popping up next week as City staff get to work painting them. The process will be weather-dependent as the paint requires dry, sunny weather to set properly.
Although gatherings, even ones outdoors in a park, are currently prohibited by the provincial Stay-at-Home order, the City says that the circles will allow Torontonians who do not have yards to exercise and get fresh air in the park safely.
“We continue to work to give people safe outdoor places to get outside for fresh air and exercise during the pandemic,” Tory said. “We know Trinity Bellwoods is a popular park, so we’re proactively putting the circles in place this year to help make sure we’re encouraging people to be safe.”
Trinity Bellwoods has drawn large crowds throughout the pandemic when the weather is warm. One May weekend, in particular, the park saw mass crowds of improperly distanced, unmasked people gathering, with Premier Doug Ford saying it looked like a crowd at a “rock concert.” The distancing circles were introduced soon after.
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The City is now encouraging Toronto residents to use their local parks rather than travelling to different parks around the city. And if an amenity like a playground is crowded, they ask that you visit another nearby park or come back at a different time.
“We know that opportunities to exercise and play outdoors are critical for our mental and physical health,” said Councillor Joe Cressy. “As the spring season continues, we are focussing on making sure that Torontonians can get outside while staying safe. By wearing masks and distancing, people can enjoy our parks and recreational amenities without putting others at risk.”
Ontario’s stay-at-home order went into effect on April 8 and will last until May 20.