Last Friday, I joined Mayor John Tory, Councillor Jennifer McKelvie and members of the community to kick off the summer season with SwimTO.
News Release June 26, 2020
Today, Mayor John Tory was joined by Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park), and members of the community to kick off the summer season at Heron Park outdoor pool.
Since Mayor Tory announced SwimTO – a quick-start program designed to expedite the opening of the City’s beaches, outdoor pools, wading pools and splash pads – City staff have been preparing to open outdoor aquatic amenities. The plan helps ensure that all Torontonians can safely access outdoor aquatic recreation and cool down during hot summer temperatures as Toronto’s reopening progresses.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live Toronto, outdoor swimming is a great way to be active and stay cool during the summer. Recreation activities like swimming have an important role to play in helping to build strong and connected communities. Providing access to aquatic amenities for Toronto residents will help the City prevent heat-related illnesses. I encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunity to get outdoors and cool down this summer. – Councillor James Pasternak, Ward 6 Downsview – York Centre
The City began opening its outdoor aquatic amenities this week, beginning with splash pads on Wednesday. All 140 splash pad locations across Toronto will be open by tomorrow.
The fifteen outdoor pools that opened today include:
Sunnyside – Gus Ryder
Riverdale Park East
Alex Duff Memorial
Rotary Peace Park
The remaining pools will open for the season tomorrow, Saturday, June 27. Summerville, Alexandra Park and Kiwanis outdoor pools will open following the completion of planned state of good repair projects. The pools will stay open until the Labour Day weekend, while the splash pads will close on September 13.
In order to allow for physical distancing due to COVID-19, the capacity at outdoor pools will be significantly reduced to 25 per cent. Staff have worked closely with Toronto Public Health to meet guidelines to ensure people can swim safely at outdoor pools. When patrons visit the City’s outdoor pools they will be required to sign-in and provide their first name and an email or phone number to facilitate Toronto Public Health contact tracing should it be required. Leisure swims will be prioritized throughout the day to ensure as many swimmers as possible have the opportunity to cool off, and swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions to allow for cleaning. Supervision or swimming ability requirements are in place for children under 10 years of age at all City outdoor pools. Leisure swimming is free for all ages. Caregivers are reminded to supervise children at all times in wading pools, splash pads and water play areas.
As part of the SwimTO plan, the City’s indoor pools will open in early July. The City’s 100 wading pools will begin to open on a location by location basis over an 11-day period beginning July 1. Staff are working diligently to ensure aquatic facilities meet public health guidelines and to develop indoor swim programs and schedules.
Lifeguards began patrolling on six of Toronto’s beaches earlier this week. Starting on July 1, lifeguards will also return to the following four Toronto Island Park swimming beaches:
Centre Island Beach
Gibraltar Point Beach
Hanlan’s Point Beach
Ward’s Island Beach
Media requests for filming of pools can be accommodated at the following locations:
Alex Duff Memorial Outdoor Pool, 779 Crawford St.
McGregor Park Outdoor Pool, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
Monarch Park Outdoor Pool, 115 Felstead Ave.
Sunnyside Gus Ryder Outdoor Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
These designated locations will allow media to film from the pool deck without the need to call in advance. Media access will be allowed at these locations only and media must follow the instructions of staff at the site.
“In Toronto, summer is officially here when we open the City’s swimming pools, splash pads and wading pools. While COVID-19 has changed many of our daily routines, the opening of these water amenities provides residents a way to stay cool while enjoying the warm weather. I encourage Torontonians to take the opportunity get out, soak up the sun and cool down in our City pools, splash pads and beaches this summer.”
– Mayor John Tory
More information on about swimming in the city is available at toronto.ca/swim.
About James Pasternak
Councillor James Pasternak has represented York Centre (Ward 6) in Toronto City Council since 2010. He sits on the Mayor’s Executive Committee and Chairs the Infrastructure and Environment Committee as well as the Chair of North York Community Council.