Days after Ontario approved Stage 2 reopenings in most of Windsor-Essex, the City of Windsor is planning to reopen some of its facilities, services and amenities as early as July 6.
According to city officials, however, not all facilities and programs are reopening just yet.
Many will have to wait several weeks into the summer before they can welcome visitors, as they require more prep. Others still will remain closed until the region enters Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework.
"I think it's fair to say that shutting down city operations, that was the easy part and as we've gone through the last 100 plus days together, we know that opening ... [it's] more difficult, [it's] more complicated," said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, during a Tuesday news conference.
Dilkens added that reopening multiple facilities across the city with more than 2,500 staff members makes the task challenging, but it's one that city council has spent weeks organizing.
Since the city was unaware when it would receive provincial permission to enter Stage 2, Dilkens said they were unable to call back and begin training staff.
Any services opening in city hall or Windsor Public Works at 1266 McDougall Ave. on July 6 will require an appointment. Residents can also expect to find screening tools and protective barriers at both locations.
City services reopening July 6
- Licensing (by appointment only).
- Gaming (by appointment only).
- Marriage licenses (by appointment only).
- City officiated outdoor wedding ceremonies (limit of 10 attendees).
- Counter service for taxation support (by appointment only).
- Counter service for permit applications (by appointment only).
- In-person payment of parking fees for permits and passes (by appointment only, this does not include payment of parking fines in-person) .
Facilities and amenities reopening this summer
Seven of nine splash pads across the city are set to open July 13.
Those not opening include Remington Booster Park and Kimmy Lucier (Mic Mac Park).
The splash pads that are opening will be enclosed using temporary fencing and will have staff on site to occasionally sanitize parts of the splash pads and to limit the number of people using the pads.
Sandpoint Beach is scheduled to reopen on or before Aug. 4. While the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit does not have the resources to test beach water-quality this summer due to COVID-19, Windsor city council approved the hiring of a private contractor to perform this task at Sandpoint Beach.
The city says staff will be trained on new public health protocols and will install lifeguard chairs and swimming area lanes.
Outdoor team sports can also begin, but only for training purposes. Games and scrimmages are not allowed. The city said it's in the process of surveying local sports organizations to see if there's a need for outdoor sports field for the remainder of 2020.
If demand exists, a limited number of fields may be made available.
Park permits can also be purchased for small gatherings that follow provincial guidelines, including weddings and picnics.
A five-week day camp for children aged three to 14 — beginning Aug. 4 until Sept. 4 — will be made available at the WFCU Centre and Capri Pizzeria Complex.
Staff will be trained in July on new pandemic-protocols and facilities will be reoriented to support physical distancing.
Registration for the camp begins July 2 until July 12.
Here's what must wait for Stage 3
- Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment.
- Indoor and outdoor city swimming pools.
- Indoor recreational and culture facilities, including Willistead Manor (previously booked rentals up to Sept. 7 will be cancelled).