COVID-19 Updates:

  • Community Update

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended most emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) until July 29, 2020. Keeping the emergency orders in place provides the government with the necessary flexibility to ensure the protection of vulnerable populations, such as seniors, while continuing to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province with many regions entering Stage 3 on Friday.

On July 7, 2020, the Government of Ontario introduced the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 that would, if passed, ensure important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial Declaration of Emergency has ended.The extension of these emergency orders under the EMCPA would allow orders that remain essential to be continued under the proposed legislation, if passed. The government continues to review emergency orders currently in place to determine when and if they can be safely eased or lifted.

The following orders under s.7.0.2 (4) of the EMCPA are extended until July 29, 2020:

City of Toronto community centres and indoor pools to open next week

Mayor Tory announced that City of Toronto’s community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools will be reopening on Monday, July 20. The community centres, recreation centres and indoor pools were closed in March to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As Toronto remains in Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening plan, a total of 119 community and recreation centres, including 29 locations with indoor pools will reopen to the public for limited use on July 20. Indoor pools will reopen for drop-in lane and leisure swimming.

People will be able to visit community recreation centres and make use of lounges, meeting and multi-purpose rooms, computer labs and washrooms. Opening these locations will provide more recreation opportunities and help increase Torontonians’ options for relief from the summer heat and prevent heat-related illnesses.

When the centres open, the following amenities will not be available:

  • gymnasiums
  • fitness or active areas (including walking tracks)
  • kitchens and studios
  • saunas and whirlpools

At this time, the City’s community centres cannot offer or facilitate indoor sports, fitness and wellness activities, singing and dancing programs as well as food preparation, distribution or dining activities where equipment or supplies are passed or shared amongst participants. This includes activities like card games, chess or dominoes. The City anticipates that some of these amenities and activities will resume when Toronto reaches Stage 3 of reopening.

Visitors to the City’s community centres should expect changes similar to those that they have experienced at other City amenities and indoor public spaces. Visitors will be screened upon entry and will be asked for contact information for contact tracing, should it be required.

These locations will also feature line management and barriers at service counters. People must wear a mask or cloth face-covering (except when swimming) when visiting a community recreation centre. Visitor capacity will be limited, and a maximum of ten people will be permitted in any community room. Capacity at indoor pools will also be reduced to 25 per cent, similar to outdoor pools, to ensure space for physical distancing. To give as many swimmers as possible the opportunity to cool off, swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions followed by enhanced cleaning.

Community centres that offer CampTO will have limitations and restrictions on access and use during camp hours, including drop-off and pick-up periods, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Signage and wayfinding are being installed to reinforce physical distancing and admission rules and regular cleaning of common facilities such as washrooms and water fountains will take place.

The City of Toronto continues to safely and gradually reopen amenities for people to enjoy this summer as Toronto moves towards Stage 3 of reopening. Residents visiting community recreation centres should continue to follow Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash hands often, practise physical distancing and wear a face covering or mask in all indoor public spaces.

Ontario Extends Expiry Period of Marriage Licences

The Ontario government is taking steps to extend the expiry period of most marriage licences that have not been used due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This change is being made as a proposed amendment to the Marriage Act, and if passed, will help reduce the financial and administrative burden for many engaged couples.

The province is proposing to extend the expiry date for most marriage licences issued between December 1, 2019, and the end of the province-wide Declaration of Emergency due to COVID-19. These licences would still be valid and could be used for up to 24 months from the end of the Declaration of Emergency. Couples with a qualifying unused marriage licence issued during this timeframe are encouraged to hold onto it. They would have up to 24 months to use it and would not need to replace their marriage licence.

If there has been a change of name or marital status, or a couple no longer has their unused licence, they would have 24 months from the end of the province-wide Declaration of Emergency to apply for a replacement licence at no provincial cost. The replacement licence would be valid for three months from the date it was issued, so couples would only apply for a replacement within three months of their rescheduled wedding. Couples needing a replacement licence are encouraged to contact the municipality where they purchased their unused licence.