TORONTO -- The City of Mississauga reopened more park amenities and facilities on Monday after being closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase two of the city’s COVID-19 recovery plan includes reopening off-leash dog parks, public tennis courts and community tennis clubs, BMX/skate parks, picnic shelters, park benches and seasonal washrooms.

“As we work to slowly reopen our park amenities, we understand that some of our parks, such as those along our waterfronts, will see an increase in visits and use,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We encourage residents to continue to stay local, stay apart and to use their common sense. If you arrive at a park and it is busy, please turn around and go home.”

The city has placed signage at all the amenities reminding people who do not live together to keep two meters apart. Bylaw officers and Park Ambassadors will continue to patrol the parks educating residents on the physical distancing rules.

The move comes as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city continues to climb. According to Peel Public Health, there are now 2,211 cases in Mississauga with 199 deaths.

Dog Parks

Crombie said the decision to move to phase two was based on advice from public health officials. 

“We’ve done an analysis and we realize that transmission is occurring in the workplaces and household clusters,” Crombie said. “Once we were able to isolate where the transmission was occurring we thought this is the time we could ease up on park restrictions.” 

Phase one of the reopening plan occurred last month and included municipal golf courses, marinas as well as community gardens. 

However, the following park amenities remain closed:

  • Sport fields
  • Multi-sport, basketball and bocce courts
  • Union Park and Community Common leash-free zones (size cannot meet physical distancing requirements)
  • Boat launch at Marina Park (due to high water levels)
  • Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment (under Provincial Order)
  • Spray pads and wading pools (under Provincial order)

Those amenities will reopen under phase three, depending on daily case numbers and how well residents are following health and safety guidelines, the city said.

City council also decided to cancel all events, festivals, and gatherings at city facilities until September 7.