Ontario announced a three-step plan to reopen Ontario based on vaccination rates and other indicators starting in mid-June, though many outdoor recreational facilities will also open just in time for Victoria Day long weekend.
Though many recreational facilities will open on May 22nd, Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order that prohibits you from travelling outside your region.
Here is a list of what you can do outdoors this 2021 May long weekend in Ontario.
FYI: Youth aged 12 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments across Ontario starting May 23rd.
1. Gathering With Friends
According to the new rules, you can gather outdoors with a maximum of 5 people including members of different households. and indoor activities are not allowed except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone). This means that you can meet friends (up to 4) in parks, outside your home or any other outdoor space.
Golf courses and driving ranges can reopen effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. You can book a tee time online at your nearest course.
Frisbee golf locations will also be open.
3. Outdoor Playgrounds and Sports Courts
All outdoor courts and recreational areas like Baseball diamonds, Batting cages, Soccer, football and sports fields, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks, skate parks, cycling tracks and bike trails, horse riding facilities, shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs, playgrounds, portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment, arche1y ranges, lawn game courts, including lawn bowling, bocce and croquet courts can also reopen.
Splash pads at the parks will also open.
Recognizing that splash/spray pads, like other outdoor recreational amenities, can be safely enjoyed, we have amended the regulation to align splash pads/spray pads with other outdoor recreational amenities.
Splash/spray pads will be allowed to open 12:01 a.m. on May 22nd.
— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) May 21, 2021
Boat and watercraft launch areas are open. Marinas and boating clubs can open with clubhouse, restaurant, pool, communal steam room, sauna or whirlpool, meeting room, fitness centre or other recreational facilities on the premises must be closed to the public. Areas for first aid services, provide take-out or delive1y service, contains a washroom can remain open.
Trent-Severn and Rideau Canal Historic Sites:
Parks Canada has announced that both the waterways will only open after June 2, 2021.
If you live in the region, you may drive along a portion of the waterway in your health unit. You may not be able to watch the locks operate, but you can definitely enjoy conservation areas and other outdoor places.
- Road Trip: Drive the Trent-Severn Waterway
- Road Trip From Ottawa to Kingston: Drive the Rideau Canal National Historic Site
5. National, Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas
Outdoor parks including nationals parks, provincial parks and conservation areas remain open. Some conservation areas require you to buy online tickets before visiting. If you want to visit some waterfalls of Hamilton (visit only if live in the Public Health Hamilton area), you will need a reservation, especially for Tew and Webster Falls.
You can now visit Ontario parks for free by borrowing day-use permits from participating Ontario libraries.
- 100 Adventures in Ontario Provincial Parks
- Ontario Road Trip: Discover 11 Islands on the Long Sault Parkway
Gardens: Ontario has many fabulous gardens. Visit your nearest garden and enjoy spring blooms.
- 20 of the Best Gardens You Should Visit in Greater Toronto Area
- 19 Gardens You Should Explore in and Around Ottawa
- 20 Sculpture Gardens to Visit in Ontario
Being surrounded by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, it is no surprise that Ontario boasts of some great beaches. Though most beaches are not officially open, i.e, staffed with life guards, during Victoria Day long weekend, you can still visit and enjoy the beaches in your health region.
- Top Beaches to Visit in Ontario
- Blue Flag Certified Cleanest Ontario Beaches & Marinas For 2021 Summer
- Beaches in Greater Toronto Area
7. Hotel stays & Short Term Rentals
You can enjoy a staycation at your local hotel. Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts are allowed to open with indoor pools, fitness centres or other recreational facilities closed, but short-term rentals (like AirBnB) are only allowed to open to individuals who are in need of housing.
8. Dining/Outdoor Picnics
Get a picnic kit or non-messy food from your local restaurant and enjoy a picnic outdoors. You are allowed to get food from restaurants via delivery, take-out or drive-through. In-person dining at restaurants is not allowed.
Outdoor dining with up to four people per table will open only on June 14th.
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, there are no fireworks by Ontario cities, towns and festivals for Victoria Day weekend.
You are allowed to buy ‘Family Fireworks’ and light them in your property (not parks and roads) in most Ontario cities/towns without a license, following local bylaw. Check the bylaw before lighting them up.
10. Things to Do on Victoria Day Weekend
Here is a list of things to do during Victoria Day weekend in some Ontario cities:
Other Activities (in Future)
Recreational camping is not allowed. According to Ontario’s three-step plan, Ontario Parks, campsites, campgrounds and short-term rentals will open on June 14th.
- 25 of the Best Parks to Go Camping Near Toronto
- 25 of the Best Provincial Parks to Go Camping This Summer in Ontario
According to Ontario’s three-step plan, gatherings of up to 10 people outdoors, outdoor dining, outdoor horse riding will open on June 14th.
Early July: Gatherings of up to 25 people outdoors and up to five people indoors, Outdoor sports leagues, outdoor meeting and event spaces, outdoor performing arts and cinemas with capacity limits, Spectators at horse racing and motor speedways with capacity limits, Outdoor tours with capacity limits, Outdoor waterparks, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions with capacity limits. will open as part of step 2 or after 21 days of Step 1 and 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent of adults with two doses.
Late July/Early August: After 21 days of step 2 and after 2 and 80 per cent of adults having at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose with 25 per cent of adults must have two doses, indoor dining, events, cinemas, performing arts, museums, galleries, aquariums, casinos, bingo halls, sports and recreation with capacity limits can reopen. Outdoor gatherings with larger capacity limits and indoor gatherings with capacity and other restrictions will also be allowed by then.
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