The Ontario government has just announced that it’s reopening provincial parks and conservation reserves this Monday.
For the first time since March 16, more than 500 Ontario parks and conservation reserves will reopen for activities like walking, hiking, bird watching, and biking by May 11.
“We’re trusting people to be responsible and take this seriously,” said Doug Ford at today’s press briefing.
You’ll be able to access all of these areas for free until the end of the month. But practicing social distancing and avoiding gatherings is still being enforced, as is staying home if you’re feeling sick.
Access in these parks will still remain limited: camping is still prohibited, and drinkable water and washrooms won’t be available for use right away.
According to Jeff Yurek, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, park staff are launching maintenance and start-up procedures to slowly bring the grounds to full capacity, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and extra water when visiting.
The remaining 115 parks and conservation reserves not opening this Monday will open on Friday, May 15.
Still, Ontarians should avoid travelling too far to access these parks. It’s recommended they visit the Ontario Parks website for more details.
Meanwhile playgrounds and beaches continue to be closed across the province, with no foreseeable reopening date.