Spring/Summer Newsletter: Our Parks & Community Centres

In March the City of Toronto closed all City-owned parks amenities and recreation facilities including playgrounds, sports fields, off-leash dog parks, and community centres. This was part of the City’s effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. As the Province has moved to reduce restrictions, the City has now once again opened a number of park amenities. In late May, the City began reopening park amenities which included parking lots, off-leash dog parks, tennis courts and basketball courts. At this time, playgrounds continue to remain closed.

In early June, the City also announced the launch of SwimTO – a program to help with the re-opening of the City’s beaches, outdoor pools, wading pools and splash pads. City staff are preparing outdoor aquatic amenities to re-open when Toronto enters Stage 2.  The City will re-open six swimming beaches, including Sunnyside Beach, on June 22. Starting July 13, the City will begin to offer summer camps across the city as part of its CampTO initiative. As the City and Province move forward with easing restrictions, additional park and recreational amenities will once again be open to the public.

It is important to note that planned park improvement projects and improvements to recreational facilities in Ward 4  are likely to be impacted by COVID19 as well. This could result in some delays and changes to previously shared timelines for projects. Our office will continue to keep you informed as these projects move forward.

As information is continually changing, please visit the City’s COVID-19: City Services website for the latest up to date information. Please enjoy the parks and amenities responsibly. All visitors must continue to practice safe physical distancing by keeping two metres apart.

High Park Weekend Closures

At the end of March, the City announced that most City owned parks amenities including playgrounds, parking lots, and off-leash dog park would be closed as part of the City’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. During this time, all vehicles were restricted access to enter into High Park. In May, the Province introduced amendments to the Emergency Order allowing the City to re-open more than 850 park amenities. As part of this announcement, the City lifted some restrictions related to vehicle access into High Park. Vehicle access into the park is permitted on weekdays (Monday – Friday). However,  as part of ActiveTO, on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), High Park will only be accessible to foot traffic to allow for physical distancing.

High Park Playground near Bloor St

The north playground at High Park has been closed for repairs and upgrades since fall 2019. The City is installing new playground equipment and structures while also rehabilitating the existing wading pool. The work is expected to be completed in 2020 (subject to emergency measure guidelines).

Charles G Williams Park

In Dec 2019, the City held a community consultation for the redevelopment of Charles G Williams Park. Based on the feedback that was gathered the final design plan was developed and can be viewed on my website. The next phase of work will be construction.

Close Avenue Parkette

In 2020, the City will begin the process to design playground improvements at Close Avenue Parkette. The current plan involves upgrading playground equipment, converting the existing wading pool into a splash pad and other park improvements.

Wabash Community Centre 

Work is underway to prepare for the new Wabash Community Centre. The scope of the project includes a new gymnasium and multi-purpose community spaces. The community will also be consulted on the option of having an indoor aquatics centre included as part of the project. The community centre is expected to open in 2025, subject to approval timelines and construction.