Residents make do with snowy Boxing Day as weather-dependent businesses fight closures
Published Saturday, December 26, 2020 7:44PM EST
KITCHENER -- Families were out on Boxing Day trying to make the most of what they were allowed to do on the first day of the Ontario-wide COVID-19 lockdown, while weather-dependent businesses are hoping not to be left out in the cold for long.
The Buis family moved to Kitchener from South Africa in March and were out sledding for their first time on Boxing Day.
"It's so easy to get trapped down in our houses," said Chris Buis.
They were joined by dozens of other families at McLennan Park taking to the hills for one of the only pandemic-safe winter activities.
Meanwhile, weather-dependent businesses like Boler Mountain in London have been forced to close just as the snow has set up ideal conditions.
"As ski areas, we feel we can contribute to better health," said Marty Thody of the management team. "Better being open than closed."
Boler Mountain is hoping to be considered for reopening, as its management team says they can operated safely.
"If we were to open today, our buildings would be close to the public, we could be booking times online, and the tickets would be give out at the ticket window," said Thody. "Our members would book online and go straight to the lift."
In a statement, the Ontario Snow Resorts Association says that the closure, "has caused resorts to spend millions of dollars in anticipation of opening just to be closed."
They add that, despite their save our skiing campaign, Ontarians will still lose out on an activity that helps their physical and mental health.
A petition calling on the government to reconsider its closure has garnered over 60,000 signatures.
"This is all about people doing the right thing, and we can get to open," said Thody. "Do the right thing and we'll get out here and enjoy this white stuff."