City of Windsor announces gradual reopening of services. Here's what to expect

·3 min read
City of Windsor officials announced their plans to gradually reopen city services, as the COVID-19 pandemic slows across Ontario.  (Jonathan Pinto/CBC - image credit)
City of Windsor officials announced their plans to gradually reopen city services, as the COVID-19 pandemic slows across Ontario. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC - image credit)

The City of Windsor announced which services residents can expect to see in the coming weeks and months, as Ontario prepares to enter Stage 3 of its reopening plan Friday.

Mayor Drew Dilkens was joined by the city's acting commissioner of community services, Ray Mensour, the commissioner for legal and legislative services, Shelby Askin Hager, and Windsor Fire & Rescue Services Chief Stephen Laforet to give a virtual update Wednesday morning.

While officials cautioned that their reopening plan was gradual, residents can expect to see more services available to them in the coming days and weeks. Here's a look:

WATCH | City officials give an update on return to services:

City Hall will continue appointment based services at the 350 and 400 City Hall Square buildings, and Askin Hager said this is the most efficient and safest way for residents to access services at the sites.

The Parks and Recreation main office located at 2450 McDougall Street will open but officials still recommend making an appointment.

WFCU Centre and ice rentals

The WFCU Centre will officially close as a mass vaccination site on July 31, so the centre can return to more normal operations this summer and prepare for hockey in the Fall. Ice will be available on all community rinks beginning Sept. 7 and the main ce will be available for the Spitfires training camp.

Ice will also be available at the Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex at at least one rink on Sept. 7, with second pad availability on Sept. 20.

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

Ice will also be available at the Forest Glade Community Centre as of July 24, and at the Adie Knox Herman Arena on Sept. 7

Gyms and other rentals at the Capri rec centre will resume July 19, and slowly expand to other facilities.

Swimming and aquatics

Programs at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre and WFCU Centre will start again on Sept. 13, after outdoor pools and beaches close for the summer on Sept. 5.

Adventure Bay Family Water Park will remain closed until the fall, as officials say a shortage of lifeguards are preventing reopening.

Sanjay Maru/CBC
Sanjay Maru/CBC

Officials say capacity limits do make it difficult to offer full recreation programs at any of the city sites, but say most activities will be registration-based.

For a full list of city services that are returning, click here.

Ontario enters Stage 3 of reopening Friday

Last week, the Ontario government announced the province is moving to Step 3 of its reopening plan Friday, July 16, five days earlier than planned, allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The move allows for outdoor social gatherings of up to 100 people and up to 25 people inside.

Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms, would be able to open again at 50 per cent capacity or a maximum of 1,000 people, whichever is less.

Indoor dining, retail and personal care would have no capacity limits as long as patrons can properly physically distance.

Religious services and events such as weddings and funerals can also operate indoors, as long as people are following other public health measures.

Places such as museums, aquariums, casinos and bingo halls can run at 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent outdoors. Cinemas will also be allowed to open under the same restrictions (the sale of popcorn and other food will be allowed).

Chris Ensing/CBC
Chris Ensing/CBC

The move also allows for concerts, theatres and sports facilities to operate at 50 per cent capacity inside, with a max of 1,000 people. If outside, they can run at 75 per cent capacity with a max of 5,000 people for unseated events and 15,000 people for events with fixed seating.

Nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen, with a maximum of 250 people or 25 per cent capacity. The province says patrons are exempt from physical distancing requirements when dancing, but that face coverings must also be worn and businesses must record the name and contact information of every patron.

For a full list of what restrictions will change in Step 3, click here.

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