Outdoor amenities to stay closed as Ont. extends stay-at-home order
KITCHENER -- Outdoor amenities, including golf courses, will stay closed under the province's extended stay-at-home order, frustrating those in the Waterloo Region’s golf and tennis communities.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford announced the order would stay in effect for another two weeks and is now set to expire on June 2.
All outdoor facilities, including baseball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts and golf courses are closed under the order. Ford said he understands the science community is divided on the issue but said his government is erring on the side of caution.
Speaking about golf specifically on Thursday, Ford said the problem isn't what happens on the course, but rather what happens before and after a round of play.
"I talk to my buddies, I know what happens," he said. "They pick up another buddy, two or three, they go golfing and there is nothing with golfing. The problem is the mobility. Then after golf, they go back and have a few pops, and that's the problem."
Many people in the golf community said they're upset about the decision and told CTV Kitchener that they have safety protocols in place and more than 100 acres of green space to allow for space between people.
Rob Moore, the club manager of the Deer Ridge Golf Club, said he's also taking exception to Ford's second-hand knowledge of what happens at the course.
"I certainly don't know of any of our members who were driving together to come to the club," Moore said. "Everything as far as afterwards here was closed, there was no gatherings, there was no hanging out.
"Unfortunately, it seems like the decision was made on the lowest common denominator."
Moore said public courses will likely suffer more than private courses with paid members. He added they expect a large turnout when golf is allowed again.
On the sunny and warm Thursday in Victoria Park, one Waterloo Region tells CTV News they noticed around 300 people outside, enjoying the weather, and rather close to each other.
Waterloo Park also had a number of people in the vicinity, but the nearby Waterloo Tennis Club remained empty.
"The sprt itself is very safe, whether singles or doubles, it's easy to stay two metres apart," said club manager Helen MacRandle. "People are masked before they go on court, so any time you could be within two metres you are masked."
She adds that demand is huge for when restrictions are lifted, as the club now has 500 members and cannot accept any more membership requests.