City of Toronto staff have been developing new ways to deliver and improve service. This week, the city is introducing an online reservation option for its indoor drop-in lane swim program as well as weight rooms and fitness centres.
“City staff worked quickly to reopen the city’s aquatic amenities as soon as they received the green light from the province. While COVID-19 has changed many of our daily routines, in some areas it has also helped us adapt and expedite our service delivery. I encourage people to consider reserving their indoor swim online in advance and making use of the expanded recreation services we have to offer,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
The new online reservation option enables people to conveniently book an indoor lane swim at any of the city’s 29 indoor pool locations or a gym session at select city weight rooms and fitness centres. To date, more than 300 aquatic amenities in Toronto have opened safely with public health measures in place, and Toronto continues to progress in its reopening. Fitness centres and weight rooms will reopen on August 17, but people will be able to reserve spots online beginning August 13.
The capacity at indoor pools remains significantly reduced, at 25 per cent of regular capacity, to allow for physical distancing as a result of COVID-19. That means a maximum of about six people can attend a drop-in lane swim. The new online tool will allow people to reserve a lane before they arrive. Spaces will continue to be made available for people who walk in or do not have access to a computer. After reserving online, people can pay their drop-in lane swim fees at the pool.
Assistance with learning how to use the online reservation tool is available by calling their local community centre or the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Customer Service at 416-396-7378, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To ensure people can swim safely at city aquatic amenities, programs have been modified to meet public health guidelines and provincial restrictions. City pools continue to feature enhanced cleaning protocols and physical distancing requirements. Cleaning takes place every 45 minutes and patrons must stay two metres (six feet) apart.
When visiting the city’s recreation amenities, people will continue to be required to sign in, complete a health screening and provide their name and contact information to facilitate Toronto Public Health contact tracing if needed. Masks or other cloth face coverings must be worn in all Toronto indoor public spaces but are not required while people are swimming or exercising.
In addition, the city is gradually reopening services and amenities for everyone to enjoy this summer as Toronto remains in Stage 3 of reopening. Stage 3 and the associated loosening of provincial restrictions has allowed for the safe restart of many city services, expansion of indoor and outdoor gatherings and provision of additional recreation opportunities for Torontonians.
Some recreation highlights as part of Toronto’s Stage 3 reopening include:
- The city has increased its parks and recreation permit offerings and is currently issuing permits for the following activities:
- sports and multi-use fields for games and practices (in cohorts of 50)
- farmers markets
- community and allotment gardens
- formal photography in parks (this does not include conservatories or recreation centres)
- picnics of up to 100 people or the designated site capacity which may be less than 100
- boot camps
- special events, small in nature, no more than 100 in attendance
- lawn bowling
- More than 119 community centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools have reopened since July 20.
- More than 800 playgrounds and play structures reopened since July 31.
- There have been more than 17,600 registrations to CampTO and nearly 3,500 participants took part in the first week of ParksPlayTO.