Community COVID-19

Guelph leash-free areas reopening, park limits loosen

Some leash-free areas will are allowed to be used.

As warmer weather comes, the city is allowing residents some more freedom to move.

Dogs in a green space — file photo.

The City of Guelph announced on Wednesday that it is opening up leash-free areas and tennis courts while dropping some of the restrictions put in place on greenspaces, parks and sports fields as the coronavirus pandemic ramped up earlier this year.

Residents will be allowed to play on city sports fields, canoe and kayak, fish, fly a kite, exercise, park in parking lots, use picnic shelters, pavilions and benches, play a set of sports and use designated leash-free areas and sports fields.

The city specifies that residents are not allowed participate in organized sports, play at playgrounds splash pads and wading pools, use park washrooms, book pavilions for gatherings and use the fenced leash-free areas at Peter Misersky Park.

City Hall did emphasize in a release that physical distancing recommendations from Public Health should continue to be followed with gathering to groups of five or less and keep a distance of two metres apart from those who they do not live with.

“We all know that spending time outdoors is important for our physical and mental health,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said in a statement.

“As we re-open some of our unfenced leash-free areas and all tennis courts and begin to ease some of the restrictions around how people can use our parks, I want to remind everyone to act responsibly so we can continue to protect the health of our community.”

“I am encouraged by the cautious re-opening of City amenities,” the medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said.

“With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s important for people to be able to safely spend time outdoors,” Dr. Nicola Mercer added.

“With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s important for people to be able to safely spend time outdoors.”

The easing of local restrictions come as the provincial and federal governments made similar moves to reopen parklands, campgrounds and other environmental amenities.

Ontario started “stage one” of its reopening plan on Tuesday. This included allowing retail stores with street entrances to reopen.