Cycling is a permitted activity during stay-at-home orders and this 55-kilometre route offers something for every one.
about 2 hours ago By: Kathy Hunt
Cyclists, and others, are happy to find the bridge at Lock 42 open, after a long closure to restore the Trent-Severn Waterway bridge.Kathy Hunt/OrilliaMatters
If you feel like going for a bike adventure, but can’t go too far from home, here’s a route that takes you around Lake Couchiching that has lots of opportunities for exploring.
The 55-km route, starting from the Atherley Narrows, travels through two townships, the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, the City of Orillia and features three unique national historic sites. It also passes through or nearby lakeside parks, Simcoe County forests, and offers a variety of trails and paved roads, suitable for road or gravel bikes.
The first historic site on the route is the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs, the largest and best preserved wooden fish weirs known in eastern North America. The weirs were in use from about 3300 BC until the recent past. Today the Anishinaabeg are stewards of the site.
Conservationists upset about potential damage to Main River watershed
Lindsay Bird · CBC News · Posted: Apr 22, 2021 6:00 AM NT | Last Updated: 6 hours ago6 comments
Gary Gale has known the Main River his whole life — and how special the Northern Peninsula waterway, and the land surrounding it, is.
“I’ve fished and hiked the Main, God — since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I suppose,” he told CBC from his home in Hampden.
The Main River is about as remote as it gets in Newfoundland. You can see the mouth of it, where it spills into White Bay between the two communities of Sop’s Arm and Pollard’s Point, but there was no road access into its watershed whatsoever until the mid-1980s, and even then, nothing beyond rough woods roads.
Its pristine waters and old-growth forest led to it being designated a Canadian Heritage River in 2001 — the first one in the province — for what that organization deemed “its outstanding natural and recreational values.” In 2009, an extra layer of protection was added, when the province established the Main River Waterway Provincial Park.
Category: Local News Published: Wednesday, 21 April 2021 15:38 Written by Rob Mahon
Photo credit – Discover Estevan
The Estevan and Area Trails Association is trying to make hiking more accessible and more fun in the Estevan area.
Walking, jogging, hiking, and cycling are all among the few physical activities not interrupted by COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The weather is starting to turn to the point where people can get out and do it, and now they just need a place to do so.
One local group is trying to make sure people have space outdoors to perform the oldest form of exercise in the world and a few others as well. The Estevan And Area Trail Association has been working on cleaning up the trails around Estevan and adding some new elements to them as well.
“We’re just looking to get more users on the trails and keep the vegetation down and the soil packed,” said organizer Tanner Mantei. “I also just love seeing people out and enjoying the outdoors like I have my whole life.”
REGION OF WATERLOO, ONT.—Ten community infrastructure projects in southwestern Ontario are receiving government funding including the rehabilitation of the heritage designated West Montrose Covered Bridge, located in the Township of Woolwich.
Work will include removing and replacing steel bailey trusses with concealed steel girders, repairing and replacing the roof and reinstalling the fire alarm system, indicates a release. The bridge will be temporarily supported while under construction to preserve its structural integrity and heritage design.
Other projects that will receive funding include renovations, upgrades and expansions to community and recreational facilities, installation of a new septic system at an outdoor centre and creation of a multi-use trail to connect an existing trail network to a new transit hub.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $6.9 million toward these projects, with the Government of Ontario providing over $5.8 million through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The recipients are contributing more than $4.6 million, including private donations, toward their respective projects.
“The West Montrose Covered Bridge is an iconic landmark in the Region of Waterloo, and beyond,” said Karen Redman, regional chair of the Region of Waterloo, in a statement. “This funding will allow us to complete critical upgrades to ensure its heritage and cultural impact is preserved for our community to enjoy for many years. A new multi-use trail in downtown Kitchener will create a safe and active route for residents to access the future King Victoria Transit Hub, planned for construction in 2021, and will provide a connection to the popular Iron Horse Trail.”
BySaba Aziz Global News Posted April 20, 2021 7:00 am Updated April 20, 2021 11:13 am
In an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19, a blanket ban on outdoor recreational activities in Canada’s largest province, Ontario, has raised some questions about outdoor transmission.
Under tightened new restrictions that went into effect Saturday, Ontario ordered the closure of outdoor sporting facilities, multi-use fields and portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment. Picnic sites and tables were also closed.
But experts argue that the risk of COVID-19 spreading outdoors when compared to indoor activities is much lower.
“You know, you’re taking away the safe options from people as you do nothing to impact the places where the disease is spreading at a time when our ICUs (intensive care units) are literally collapsing,” Dr. David Fisman, a professor at the University of Toronto and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said.
Wearing masks has been a part of life for a year, but there’s a growing debate over whether they’re actually needed outdoors. Some argue that the constantly circulating air currents outdoors make mask-wearing outside unnecessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19 when you’re not in crowds, while others say there’s still a risk whenever you’re in the same vicinity as others.
Some countries and states are already loosening regulations on outdoor masking, fueling the debate. On Sunday, Israel dropped its outdoor mask requirement after COVID-19 cases went down significantly. Some 81 percent of eligible adults in the country are fully vaccinated. A growing number of states in the U.S. are also lifting mask mandates, leaving people in places like Colorado, Montana and Texas free to make their own decisions about masking up in public areas.
That raises a question: If given the choice, what should you be doing when it comes to mask etiquette outdoors?
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings and “anywhere they will be around other people.” Masks are also required outdoors (and indoors) in 26 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
But infectious disease doctors say that local regulations aside, you don’t necessarily need to wear a mask in every situation when you’re outdoors. “Outdoor masking in most ordinary circumstances is not going to provide extraordinary value,” infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Life. “If you’re in a crowd where people can’t social distance, masks make sense. But in ordinary outdoor environments, there’s not much value to it.”
A trio of people at Pukaskwa National Park in Ontario. People of all backgrounds, cultures and traditions want to see themselves reflected in Parks Canada staff/Parks Canada, Scott Munn
Canadians wants Parks Canada to work harder to make racialized communities, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2+ communities and people living with disabilities feel welcome in its parks, conservation areas and historic sites.
That was a key takeaway of “Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!” — the 2020 Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada, a national consultation that’s held every two years to help shape the agency’s response to challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.
The round table was delivered through virtual engagement sessions and an online engagement portal in October and November. It drew a record 4,500 emails and 20 written submissions, and attracted 60 organizations to nine virtual discussion forums. More than 500 ideas were shared through the online portal and 8,000 people were engaged over social media.
“Getting outside has been indispensable to many of us during this difficult year, myself included,” Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, wrote in his report and response to the round table. “COVID-19 has reinforced the need to ensure that all Canadians can access, enjoy and feel welcome in all natural and cultural heritage places.”
Wilkinson’s report details 12 action areas that “will help to protect more nature, strengthen Indigenous leadership in conservation, protect Canada’s built heritage, foster diversity in the stories shared at Parks Canada administered places and make these important places even more inclusive and welcoming to all visitors.”
The province is expanding the BC Parks budget to help make provincial park visits more enjoyable than ever.
During the next three years an $83 million increase is on the way for BC Parks, helping build new campsites, expanded trails and strengthened management of the park system.
“It’s absolutely clear how deeply people care about our provincial parks. The pandemic has brought more people than ever to visit BC Parks so they can safely spend time with family and friends while connecting to nature,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
“Investing in our parks helps secure our magnificent natural legacy so more British Columbians can appreciate its beauty. We are also supporting local businesses and the economy by creating employment opportunities through new investments in park infrastructure.”
In response to more demand for camping and out recreation, the money will be heading towards construction of new campgrounds, and more campsites and amenities at existing campgrounds.
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.
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.”
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?
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?
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.