Canada’s Wonderland water park to remain closed for season due to COVID-19 restrictions
Canada's Wonderland is seen in this undated photograph posted on the amusement park's website. (canadaswonderland.com)
TORONTO -- Canada’s Wonderland says they are disappointed the government has not yet allowed amusement parks to reopen in Ontario, and due to the delay, the water park will remain closed for the rest of the season.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Toronto-area theme park said they have submitted “a comprehensive reopening plan” to the provincial government on several occasions. In the plan, they said they will adhere to physical distancing, capacity controls, and safety and hygiene protocols set forward by officials.
“We’re disappointed to hear that we still haven’t received approval to open,” Grace Peacock, director of communications, said.
“Due to this recent delay from the government, we will be unable to open our water park for this season due to the timeline restraints with our summer calendar. We will continue to work with the Ontario government and hope to welcome guests back soon to a fun and safe environment.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Tourism and Sport Lisa MacLeod said that health officials believe it’s not yet time to reopen theme parks or water parks.
"The chief medical officer of health has advised our government, and we have accepted his science, that theme parks and water parks of those nature still pose a significant threat as a result of COVID-19 and therefore will not be able to open at this time," she said.
MacLeod acknowledged the “seasonal nature” of amusement parks, but noted that until all regions are in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan, there remains too great a risk of exposure.
"We are not confident, given the circulation of people coming from different parts of Ontario and different parts of Canada at this point in time to open those theme parks until all of Ontario is in Stage 3," MacLeod said.
All regions in Ontario except for Windsor-Essex have moved to Stage 3 of the province’s economic reopening plan.
On its website, Canada’s Wonderland touts “new processes and enhanced procedures” that can help reduce the spread of germs.
Some of the precautions include the use of reservations, health screenings and temperature checks, required face coverings, hand sanitization, and the use of an app that can send customers real-time updates.