The City of Ottawa is helping cooped-up families beat the summer-like heat by opening splash pads despite continuing restrictions on some other park amenities.
Dr. Vera Etches, the city's medical officer of health, said during a news conference on Wednesday that from a public health standpoint, splash pads are similar to playgrounds and are therefore exempt from the strictures imposed by the provincewide stay-at home order.
Etches didn't provide a specific timeline, but on Wednesday some residents were reporting the water had already been turned on at some city splash pads, while others are due to open by the end of the week.
Etches said families are still being asked to take practical precautions.
"We don't expect children to wear a mask at splash pads, but we do underline and recommend highly that children try to distance from other households when they're using splash pads," Etches said.
"We know splash pads are an important support for families when it gets hot, and so I'm happy to see them open."