City opens some access to outdoor park facilities

OTTAWA – In response to last week’s provincial announcement, outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks, are now open.

In addition, off-leash dog areas, benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open. In all cases, physical distancing of at least two metres is required. The City of Ottawa made the announcement today (May 19).

“City crews will begin installing tennis nets and unlocking off-leash dog areas immediately, and the work will be completed over the next few weeks,” city staff released in a statement. “Sports fields are available for casual use only, respecting physical distancing measures and groups of no more than five people. The rental of fields for competitive sports will not resume until provincial orders allow for competitive play.”

Provincial orders remain in effect prohibiting the use of play structures, swings, slides, splash and spray pads, wading pools and exercise equipment.  

During the first stage of re-openings, emergency provincial orders remain in place prohibiting gatherings of more than five people outside of your current household. This applies to all public use of opened outdoor park facilities. To allow for physical distancing and to limit the spread of COVID-19 when using outdoor sport amenities, maintain a two-metre distance from others, and avoid picking up someone else’s sports equipment. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Restrictions on benches, picnic tables and gazebos have also been relaxed under the provincial stage-one reopening framework, but physical distancing is required.

“Benches and tables are not cleaned frequently,” city staff said. “Please wash your hands after using them and be sure not to touch your face.”

Enclosed off-leash dog areas in city parks have now reopened. Please remember the gates at off-leash dog parks are high-touch surfaces that are not cleaned. Please wash your hands before entering and after exiting a dog park and avoid touching your face.

You can also walk your dog in a park’s greenspace, as long as you follow the park’s designation. Residents can check the map on to see the dog walking designation in their neighbourhood park.