Stay-at-home order, imposed on April 8 for 4 weeks, now extended until May 20

Muriel Draaisma · CBC News · Posted: Apr 17, 2021 4:51 PM ET | Last Updated: April 18

New restrictions are now in place that limit what people can and cannot do in Ontario as the province tries to curb a rising number of COVID-19 cases. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new public health measures on Friday that tighten the stay-at-home order already in place and include new restrictions on travel between provinces.

The stay-at-home order, first imposed on April 8 for four weeks, will now be extended until May 20.

According to the provincial government, the new measures are intended to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases as the third wave of the pandemic continues.

All of that means there are new limits on what residents can and cannot do. Here are some answers to questions you might have.

Can I go for a walk?

Yes. In its regulations, the government says: “An outdoor recreational amenity that is a park or recreational area may be open for the purposes of permitting persons to walk through the park or recreational area.”

Can I go for a walk with a friend?

This question is trickier.

The government says in its regulations that any person who uses outdoor parks and recreational areas, off-leash dog areas, or benches in parks and recreational areas “shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is also using the amenity, other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of either household.”

Can I gather with people outside of my household?

No, unless you live alone, and then you can gather with only one other household. The province said in a news release on Friday that it has prohibited “all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household.”

Can I take my dog to an off-leash park?

Yes. But you have to maintain a two-metre distance from anyone who is not a member of your household and who is not a caregiver of a member of your household.

Can my children play at a playground?

Initially, the province said all outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment were not to be used, but in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, Ford said the government will roll back restrictions on playgrounds to allow their use.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1383498997092941834&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbc.ca%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Ftoronto%2Fontario-restrictions-what-you-can-what-you-cannot-do-1.5991941&sessionId=cdd34e163bc73ce3a92315cba806180693765b80&siteScreenName=cbc&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550px

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist based at Toronto General Hospital, said Saturday that the province should be encouraging people to go outside. Bogoch is also a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force.

“It’s good for physical health. It’s good for mental health, especially with all the other horrible things that are going on in the middle of the third wave. Being outdoors is probably one of the best things you can do,” Bogoch said.

“It’s pretty clear that the outdoors is probably the safest place you could be during the course of the pandemic. We know that the risk of transmission outdoors is not zero per cent, but it’s getting close. It’s really, really low risk.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Saturday that the government will roll back restrictions on playgrounds to allow their use. (CBC)

The now-amended rules around playground use resulted in a tense situation for one Ottawa woman, who told CBC News she was threatened with a call to the police on Saturday morning by a stranger.

Simmi Dixit said she was walking through a park with her partner and young daughter when a man said he’d call the police on them because they were not allowed to be there. Dixit said they were not touching any outdoor amenities when they were confronted.

“People are at a point where they’re starting to emotionally break,” Dixit told CBC News.

“I think the narrative of fear that we’re hearing around COVID is affecting the way people judge themselves in these situations. We’re perceiving each other as threats instead of looking to each other for strength and support.”

Can I play golf on a golf course?

No. 

Can I play tennis and basketball at a court?

No. And you cannot use any amenities such as those for platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts.

Can I play baseball at a diamond?

No.

Can I enjoy a skate park or a BMX park?

No. And you can’t play Frisbee golf at such a location either.

Can I have a picnic at a picnic table?

No, you can’t. A picnic table is considered an outdoor amenity.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-restrictions-what-you-can-what-you-cannot-do-1.5991941

First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse city council has taken the first step to adopt a bylaw governing e-bike use in the city.

At council’s April 13 meeting, members passed the first two readings of the bylaw as well as changes to other bylaws to bring them in line with the new e-bike bylaw.

The changes come as e-bike use around town is increasing. The city’s trail plan also calls for updates to policies and regulations to legitimize the use of the bikes.

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OTC President, Terri LeRoux, Ontario Rep to CTF talks to importance of trails, activity and parks during COVID

How Ontario’s parks became pandemic lifesavers

BY MORGAN LIGHTLE
APRIL 18, 2021

It’s Saturday, March 20. It’s not only the first day of spring, but the first warm sunny day after a long pandemic winter. 

Cullum McConnell and his nephews, Ray, 8, and Frank, 6, enjoy the day skateboarding at Toronto’s Cedarvale Park. Beginners Ray and Frank happily skate around the dry splash pad as Cullum demonstrates some basic flips.

Cullum McConnell and his nephews Ray, 8, and Frankie, 6, enjoy skateboarding at Cedarvale Park in Toronto on March 20, 2021. MORGAN LIGHTLE/TORONTO OBSERVER 

“It’s a nice park to have close by,” said Cullum, a teacher. 

Located in Toronto’s west end between St. Clair Avenue and Eglinton Avenue, Cedarvale Park has extensive green space, along with athletic fields, a dog park, a splash pad, and deep cricket pitch. A trail also crosses through the forested ravine. 

“I go running here,” said Cullum. “Sometimes, the kids ride their bikes through here, they like to watch dogs at the dog park, play baseball in the field, or go tobogganing in the winter. It’s got lots of facilities that we all make use of, and the park’s been used much more during the pandemic.”

He’s right about Cedarvale Park’s busyness. Several passerby on the paved pathway, a father and son play at a nearby tennis table, and friends and families grouped together on the distant grass. 

Parks have offered people a relief from the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home orders. They have become essential and popular spaces for activity, entertainment and social connection. Park use is up — and it’s up a lot.

Adri Stark of Park People explains the increased use of Toronto’s parks:

Google has maintained a COVID-19 Mobility Report since Feb. 17 of last year, collecting mobility data from the location history of people’s phones and comparing it to pre-pandemic numbers. On the weekend of March 20, Google reported that park use was 30 per cent above pre-pandemic numbers in Canada. And last summer, Canadian park visits regularly got over 100 per cent above pre-pandemic levels peaking at 179 per cent.

Park People also conducted a COVID-19 parks survey that found 55 per cent of Canadian cities recorded increased park usage; coinciding with Toronto’s increase. The organization, which supports and mobilizes local groups and cities to realize the power of parks, acquired this data from 1,600 questionnaire responses distributed to park staff, city officials, and park visitors last June.

People gathering and enjoying spring weather at the Christie Pits Park in Toronto on March 21, 2021. MORGAN LIGHTLE/TORONTO OBSERVER 

“The pandemic has led people to parks, trails, and natural spaces like never before,” Terri LeRoux, a senior manager in PARCS (Property, Assets, Recreation and Conservation Areas) at the Credit Valley Conservation Authority, said in an email. “There remains a sense of normalcy and calmness at our parks and conservation areas.”

This growth in visiting parks and conservation areas is matched by an increase in gratitude for green space. Park People’s survey found that 70 per cent of people had developed a greater appreciation of parks during the pandemic.

According to Park People, 70 per cent of Canadians report their appreciation of parks and green spaces has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. GRAPHIC BY MORGAN LIGHTLE. 

“I find I appreciate park space more in light of the pandemic and utilize it more than I otherwise would,” said Mike Burekas as he and his partner Anastasya Kurivean waited in line to use Cedarvale Park’s tennis courts.

They don’t ordinarily play tennis but decided to try it out because of the nice spring weather.

“It’s a beautiful park,” Burekas said. “It’s green space and nice to escape to. She lives in a condo and I live in an apartment, we don’t have yards and this is a nice open space.”

The closure of indoor recreation centres and gyms means outdoor spaces are a great venue for activities. The lockdown led some people to discover and learn new outdoor hobbies. For instance, Annette and David Carnucci tried cross country skiing. 

Annette & David Cornucci cross-country skiing at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park in winter 2021. PHOTO COURTESY ANNETTE CORNUCCI. 

“We usually downhill ski, but Blue Mountain was closed,” said Annette in a Zoom interview from her and David’s home in Collingwood, Ont. “I had the opportunity to borrow my friend’s skate skis and take advantage of it at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.”

Closed recreation stores meant David couldn’t invest in new skiing equipment, so he borrowed skis, going so far as to wear extra socks so the boots could fit.

“We improvised, but we’re having fun learning something different.”

—David Cornucci

On a sunny March 21, a group of music students from Humber College played jazz for a large, well-spaced audience at Christie Pits Park, near the intersection of Bloor Street West and Christie Street. 

“This specific thing is mostly thrown together,” said Nick Marshall, the group’s trombonist. “It’s whoever can come. We mostly call tunes, we don’t rehearse, and we play tunes we all know and work out on the bandstand.”

Moncton using flashing lights, fencing to persuade geese to nest elsewhere

Kate Letterick · CBC News · Posted: Apr 14, 2021 8:00 AM AT | Last Updated: April 14

Moncton, N.B., is hoping to discourage geese from nesting near two popular walking trails in the city’s west end.

Dan Hicks, the director of parks operations, said the number of geese at Centennial Park and Jones Lake is increasing.

“The population has grown to such a degree here in the local Moncton area that the goose and human interactions are becoming less friendly,” Hicks said.

Last summer, there were complaints about the amount of droppings left on the two trails. Moncton city council agreed to spend thousands of dollars to try and fix the problem last fall.

Read the article

Welland’s Parks and Trails

WELLAND TAKES 15TH SPOT IN MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE’S ‘CANADA’S BEST COMMUNITIES’

SHELBY KNOX Tuesday, April 13th 2021 – 12:52 pm Newstalk 610

Welland is getting some high praise after being listed among Maclean’s magazine’s ‘Canada’s Best Communities.’

Maclean’s lists Welland as number 15 in their 2021 ranking of the best places to live in the country.

Some of the factors considered include affordability, population growth, taxes, crime, the weather, and internet access.

Mayor Frank Campion says, “We excel in amenities.  It is one of the reasons people come here, there are parks and trails across the city for residents and visitors.”

Read the article

Federal funding for Active Transportation

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, March 12, 2021 – Investing in public transit strengthens communities, helps Canadians get around in faster, cleaner and more affordable ways, and ensures good jobs today while charting a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Investing in pathways and trails for cycling, walking, hybrid e-bikes and scooters, and wheelchairs gives everyone the opportunity to get out, get active, and access public transportation.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Parliamentary Secretary Andy Fillmore announced $400 million over five years to help build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges. This is the first federal fund dedicated to building active transportation through Canada – powered by people – and part of the Government of Canada’s plan to create one million jobs, fight climate change, and build a more sustainable and resilient economy.

Read government page

An Ontario Trails/Frank Cowan Company Webinar – “Covid-19 Research on Trails and Outdoor Recreation: What We’ve Learned so Far”

Hoping you would be able to attend this important webinar!
As we all deal with aspects of COVID-19, an understanding of its impacts on trails and trail use should help all of us plan and manage our trails throughout this pandemic.

Please consider attending.

To register go to:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/covid-19-research-on-trails-and-outdoor-recreation-what-weve-learned-so-f-tickets-118001199765

Just select the tickets button and you will be redirected.

OTC Membership up for renewal?

Please renew to take advantage of your free ticket for this and other webinars. 

We have another webinar on October 22 – Greenway Trail Networks – Combining Recreation and Nature.

https://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/support/join

Thanks

Cable of B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky Gondola deliberately cut for 2nd time – CBC News

Line severed overnight, sending cars crashing to the ground, general manager says

Rhianna Schmunk · CBC News · Posted: Sep 14, 2020 7:33 AM PT | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

A car from the Sea-to-Sky Gondola lies crumpled on the ground after the cable was cut on Sunday. (Squamish RCMP)

The cable of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola near Squamish, B.C., has been deliberately cut in the middle of the night for the second year in a row, leaving the tourist attraction in shambles and its staff completely bewildered.

The thick, downhill cable of the gondola was severed overnight, sending dozens of cars crashing into the mountain around 4 a.m. PT.

General manager Kirby Brown said his phone started ringing off the hook with the news before dawn.

Read the Article