Testing the waters: Kitchener’s plan to reopen pools, splash pads, arenas, community centres
Idlewood Pool in Kitchener is seen here.
KITCHENER -- The City of Kitchener has set a rough schedule to reopen many of its recreational facilities that were shut down during the pandemic.
But it’s not a one-size, fits-all plan, because of what’s required to get everything going again.
Community centres, arenas, pools and splash pads reopen in phases, based on a variety of factors – including locations, staffing requirements, and the cost of retrofitting to meet new provincial safety measures.
“How we use these amenities will be very different than before, so it will take time and patience for all of us to adjust,” said Councillor Kelly Galloway-Sealock, the chair of the Community and Infrastructure Serivces Committee, in a news release. “It won’t be business as usual. We’ll all need to work together to keep everyone safe.”
Here’s the plan as it stands so far:
June 26: McLennan Park, Centreville-Chicopee and Kingsdale, including public washrooms near Wilson Pool, are scheduled to reopen.
Mid-July: Victoria Park, Chandler Mowat and Breithaupt splash pads may be reopened.
Note: physical distancing measures will be in placeincluding fencing and timed entry, to limit the number of patrons.
Indoor & Outdoor Pools
Early July: Harry Class Pool for family swims, lane swims, professional development and family lessons, and Idlewood Pool for family swims.
Mid-July: Breithaupt Centre pool for lane swims, family swims, public swims, older adult swims and family lessons.
Note: expect a “different experience” at pools, including no water slide usage, limited poolside seating, and timed entry limiting the number of people in pools.
Community Centres – starting late June
Reopenings will include Chandler-Mowat (as a cooling centre), Mill-Courtland (two days a week for community programs), and Kingsdale (for a House of Friendship food program on Wednesdays)
Four of the City’s largest community centres – Country Hills, Stanley Park, Victoria Hills and Forest Heights “will re-open only to enable the safe delivery of summer day camps.
Note: There are 1,000-1,300 day camp spaces available this summer, compared with a typical 4,900 spots. They will be given out on a priority basis, beginning with those who had already registered.
Select city arenas will reopen in mid-July to ensure ice is available for sport groups that have received approvals to deliver individual or small group training.
Activa Sportsplex anticipated to reopen first, followed by Sportsworld