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March 26, 2020 – Closure of Amenities in Parks Questions and Answers

Are parks closed?

No. Parks remain open on the advice of Toronto Public Health. Residents are reminded to engage in safe physical distancing of at least two metres apart from each other while in a park.

What is being closed at the City’s Parks?

All City-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system, are closed effective immediately in continuing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Work will continue throughout the weekend.

Why is this closure occurring?

While the public has been advised that fresh air and exercise is good if you are not ill, it has been observed that individuals are using parks and their amenities to congregate. The public has also shared its concerns about how parks amenities are supporting that congregation.

What Parks and park spaces are still open to the public?

Park and ravine green spaces will remain accessible, but all amenities within City parks are closed. Physical distancing of at least two metres is advised in these spaces.

Can dogs be taken to the open green spaces?

Yes, dogs can be taken to these spaces and should be on a leash.

What type of fines and enforcement will occur for those who access closed park areas?

Parks Forestry and Recreation staff are locking fences and gates, taping off playgrounds and amenities, securing basketball nets and affixing signage over the next several days. City staff working at park sites will ask people to move along and advise them that park amenities are closed.

Municipal bylaws give the General Manager of Parks Forestry and Recreation the authority to close parks amenities. Violations of municipal bylaws related to accessing a closed, City-owned parks amenity vary depending on the offence, but can result in fines of up to $5,000.

Where can people call to inform of people congregating in closed park areas?

Residents with concerns can call 311.