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.
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
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.
Increase seen in trash, dogs off leash, feeding wildlife
CBC News · Posted: Sep 02, 2020 11:37 AM NT | Last Updated: 5 hours ago
As Gros Morne National Park has seen an increase in local visitors this summer, staff have also seen some unwelcome sights: more litter on trails, dogs off-leash, people feeding wildlife and even toilet paper scattered in the wilderness.
Rob Hingston, Parks Canada’s acting visitor experience manager at Gros Morne, said while they see some of that every year, “this year it seems to be a little bit more obvious.”
“I think what we have is, we have a lot of people that may not be familiar with national parks and what’s expected behaviours with regard to looking after their own safety, and with regard to how they should keep the park unimpaired and protected,” said Rob Hingston, Parks Canada’s acting visitor experience manager at Gros Morne.
Victoria police are asking the public to be mindful of their surroundings while walking or cycling in the Vic West and Burnside areas of the city, after trip wire was discovered in multiple locations over the past week.
On Aug. 20, police discovered semi-transparent fishing line set across a staircase in Cecilia Ravine Park near the Galloping Goose trail, hanging about a foot from the ground. Last Wednesday, police received another report of fishing line set two inches off the ground deliberately tied across a dock ramp at Regatta Landing.
Conservation officers will try to trap the bear on the Coquitlam Crunch
Chad Pawson · CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 11:30 AM PT
Conservation officers say they will try to trap a black bear that was filmed on Saturday tapping a runner with its paw on a popular trail in Coquitlam, B.C.
The encounter, which happened just after 11 a.m. on Saturday, was filmed by Sam Abdullah, who climbs the popular Coquitlam Crunch up to four times a week. The trail is a steep 2.2-kilometre climb located in a green corridor of the city.
Abdullah said he was nearing the top on Saturday when a woman descending in front of him froze as a black bear emerged from the bushes.
He began filming the encounter on his cellphone, and the video shows the bear getting closer to the woman and eventually extending a paw to her leg before jumping back.
“I think she was in shock and she just froze there, you know,” said Abdullah, who carries bear spray when he climbs the trail.
WATCH | Bear taps at woman on Coquitlam Crunch trail:
Bear taps at woman on Coquitlam Crunch trail
2 days ago
The encounter, which happened just after 11 a.m. on Saturday, was filmed by Sam Abdullah, who climbs the popular Coquitlam Crunch up to four times a week. 0:51
Eventually the woman was able to get past the bear, and she can be seen running past Abdullah and looking at the camera.
Plan calls for reducing unofficial trail network, conserving sensitive habitats, ecosystems
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 12:00 PM ET
The National Capital Commission’s (NCC) newly released draft master plan for Gatineau Park emphasizes conservation, while at the same time encouraging park users to engage in outdoor activities that are environmentally friendly.
The plan, released Friday, calls for reducing the number of unofficial hiking trails and limiting development to protect sensitive habitats and ecosystems.
It also outlines a strategy to expand the park’s boundaries by integrating adjacent NCC-owned land into its territory.
The draft plan was developed after a three-year consultation process where the NCC sought feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including the park’s users, representatives from local Indigenous communities, elected officials and special interest groups.
If the plan is approved by the commission’s board, it will guide the long-term planning, use, and management of the sprawling green space for at least the next decade.
A previous version of this story misstated the number of kilometres of unofficial trails in Gatineau Park. There are approximately 330 km of unofficial trails in Gatineau Park.Aug 31, 2020 5:12 PM ET
Jackson Morton’s paddle travelled hundreds of kilometres before washing up onshore
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 5:00 AM ET
Jackson Morton loves taking long canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness, but it turns out his favourite paddle has an even bigger appetite for adventure.
The outdoor education major at Queen’s University was working for Camp Hurontario and leading a canoe trip on the Moisie River in Quebec last year when the paddle got away from him during a stretch of rough water.
He “ended up tipping over into a rapid,” he told Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
“When we popped up the paddle was gone.”
‘I sort of expected it was gone’
A lengthy search failed to turn it up, and as the weeks and months went by, Morton lost hope that anyone would find it.
“Once tripping season was over I sort of expected it was gone,” he said.
It was made in the style of legendary Ontario paddle-maker Ray Kettlewell, with the “perfect balance between the blade and the shaft.” That made it special, Morton said.
But while he mourned the loss, the paddle was on the move, travelling down the Moisie and into the St. Lawrence River.
One year later, Parks Canada employee Kent Baylis was on vacation with his family about 30 kilometres east of Baie Comeau, Quebec.
His girlfriend came back from a walk with some news: she had found a paddle that had washed up on the beach.
That Baylis and his family were the ones who found the paddle is a special stroke of luck, Morton explained to Alfa.
Though he lives in Quebec, Baylis grew up in Ontario, and is “one of the few people who would have recognized what it was,” he said.
Baylis saw Morton’s name and the Fishell Paddles mark, and contacted the company, who posted it on Instagram.
Morton had just popped out of the water after a swim when friends alerted him to post, and “within five minutes I was on the phone with Kent.”
While the paddle remains in Quebec, Baylis hopes to hand-deliver it to Morton the next time he visits family in southern Ontario, and Morton says he’ll be happy to have it back.
The enduring mystery? Where the paddle went during its year away.
“It must have come out of the mouth of the Moisie somewhere near Sept-Iles. Then it would have had to survive the winter,” said Baylis.
“Then it made its way about 150 kilometres further west along the coastline [of the St. Lawrence],” he added.
“It’s pretty rugged terrain… I’m quite surprised it ended up where it did.”