Family Fun Outside Of The Home

Measures are lifting! As more businesses and parks re-open, here's what families can now do outside of the home. Though not mandatory, health officials are highly recommending the use of face masks when physical distancing is not possible. You'll find that many stores and businesses are requiring that you do so, to enter their premises. Remember to observe distancing rules when out in public spaces and parks, and to pick up your garbage so that recreational spaces remain clean and enjoyable for all :).

City Parks
Most city parks are open and some park amenities have re-opened including: dog off-leash areas (certain locations); fishing with a licence; boating, kayaking, and canoeing; BMX and skateboard parks, disc golf locations; soccer and multi-use fields and baseball diamonds; outdoor basketball courts; tennis courts, platform tennis; and pickleball courts. We love those social distancing circles painted on the grass like at San Francisco parks, and after the recent large crowd gathering at Trinity Bellwood, that park is getting the circles — and hopefully others will too. Picnics with members of your household (5 or less) are allowed. You'll find the latest City of Toronto updates here by clicking on the Parks tab. For GTA parks, check your local city website for updates.

Toronto Botanical Gardens & Edwards Gardens
These two gardens and the Don Valley ravine are open for you to enjoy while practicing physical distancing. The parking lot is also open. For now, the main building, washrooms and Garden Shop remain closed at TGB, and obviously, there are no educational programs being conducted at this time. More info

Downsview Park
Downsview Park is open however the playground, basketball court, and washrooms are closed. Parking lots are now open as well. Park officials request that you leave no trace when you visit so that means taking your garbage with you to protect workers and help keep the park clean. More info

Provincial Parks
On May 11, 225 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves across the province re-opened to the public for limited recreational activities. An additional 115 provincial parks opened on May 15. Right now, only self-guided activities such as walking, hiking, biking, boating, paddling and fishing (with a licence) are permitted within provincial parks. Camping and other activities are still not permitted at any provincial park or conservation reserve. All buildings and facilities including water taps, campgrounds, backcountry campsites, roofed accommodations, playgrounds and beaches continue to be closed. Get updates from Provincial Parks. Update as of June 1 on Provincial Campgrounds: Backcountry camping will be available at the 20 provincial parks in Ontario that offer it starting June 1, including access points, paddle and portage routes, and hiking trails. Again, campsites are limited to five people at a time, per the provincial guidelines, unless everyone lives in the same household. A number of amenities and activities remain closed in provincial parks and conservation reserves until June 14. here.

National Parks
Starting June 1, Parks Canada will start a safe, gradual opening of some its outdoor locations in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Visitors will be permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces at certain locations. All camping facilities remain closed until June 21. Group activities and public events are still prohibited until further notice. Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places remain open. Get updates from Parks Canada here.

The government has extended the closure of overnight/transient camping sites until June 9. Campgrounds offering full season contracts are permitted to allow campers on site. Social distancing and limits of 5 people for group gatherings currently remain in effect at all campgrounds. Recreational facilities including beaches, pools, and splash pads remain closed. KOA Ontario provides a list of campgrounds with their opening dates. Camping in Ontario also provides great resources.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Drive-Thru Experience
Families can now take a drive on the wild side! This visit will be unlike any you’ve had in the past as you see the Zoo from an entirely new perspective. You’ll be driving on staff-only roads, pedestrian walkways through the Zoo site, and even through the lion cave in the African Savanna. Keep your eyes open at every turn; it will be like a real-life safari — only this time, you’ll be seeing animals from around the world. New tickets have been released for June but hurry, this event has been selling out quickly. More

Drive-In Theatres Are Re-Opening
It's official! Drive-in theatres in Ontario have been given the go-ahead to re-open for business as of Sunday, May 31. Families will now be able to catch a flick outside of the home. After checking the following websites, many of these theatres have not yet announced a date, but most are expected to re-open soon as they prepare to implement distancing measures to protect both customers and employees. Some have announced a date of June 5. Here's a list of drive-in theatres located in and around the GTA area. More

'It's All Right Now' Public Art Project
Enjoy some outdoor art! The Waterfront BIA is presenting The Bentway's 'It's All Right Now' initiative. Co-produced by The Bentway and Cossette, this city-wide movement is turning Toronto into a canvas of inspired and conversation-starting local art. It’s All Right Now is a public art project and a collective movement that confronts and captures varied perspectives, experiences and understandings of life in COVID-19. For the next weeks, the project will continue to roll out on Toronto’s streets, walls, digital public spaces, video trucks and more, including right on the waterfront. More info

While it's important to get out for some sunshine, exercise and fresh air, physical distancing and staying at home remain the best practices to mitigate the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19. Stay safe!

Due to the rapidly-evolving nature of the COVID-19 response, some information may become outdated. Check links provided for the latest announcements.

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