City pools and splash pads can reopen Friday. Here's why they won't
KITCHENER -- They've been dry for longer than usual, but come Friday, the Ontario government will allow water recreational facilities like splash pads and pools to reopen.
Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that 24 health units would be able to enter phase two of reopening the province, including Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Huron-Perth and Brant.
But most cities say that four days' notice isn't enough.
"To be clear, we certainly weren't anticipating that splash pads and pools and so on would be part of the province's phase two, and so that came as news," admits Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
In Cambridge, the city says its splash pads don't typically open until the end of June or the start of July.
Before that can happen though, city staff need at least two weeks to open the pipes and complete spring maintenance.
In Waterloo, the only city-run splash pad is at Waterloo Park, which is still under construction and likely won't be ready until mid-July.
At the Boardwalk, a spokesperson tells CTV Kitchener that the splash circle won't reopen because the playgrounds inside are still provincially restricted.
As for pools, municipalities say that they'll remain closed until seasonal staff like lifeguards can be hired and trained.
Eventually they will reopen, but when they do, strict physical distancing rules will apply.
"There’s a host of enforcement officers out and about and one of the places they’ll be around is splash pads," Region of Waterloo CAO Mike Murray said during a Tuesday morning media briefing.
Guelph, meanwhile, says it'll keep its cooling facilities closed for now. The city says it will not be opening its pools or splash pads on Friday, either.
As for cooling options, the region has opened its cooling stations for those who need them, also with public health guidelines in place.