basketball net

Toronto has padlocks on basketball nets in lockdown and people think it's ridiculous

Among the additional restrictions that the Government of Ontario implemented a few weeks into the provincewide emergency shutdown was the controversial forced closure of outdoor recreational amenities such as soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, and even playgrounds.

Though Premier Doug Ford and his team eventually changed their tune and reopened the latter due to immense backlash, sports facilities in public parks still remain off limits.

And, with people seemingly ignoring the new rules and continuing to take advantage of things like beach volleyball courts and outdoor gym equipment, some municipalities are taking further steps to deter their use.

One extreme measure that has appeared in Toronto is the padlocking or otherwise blocking off basketball nets, disc golf baskets and the like to ensure that everyone knows they are not in commission at the moment, per provincial guidelines.

But many citizens are finding the step to be a little excessive and noticing that it's made for an extra dystopian feel around the city.

City staff, meanwhile, have said that they have only gone as far as erecting appropriate signage about such equipment and have not "actively removed basketball nets, padlock or bag basketball hoops on City property."

People are pointing out on social media the irony of being barred from using outdoor sports equipment while some are packing into parks to socialize consequence-free despite a stay-at-home order that deems outdoor exercise essential and outdoor get-togethers, obviously non-essential.

Then there are the masses of shoppers inside big box stores, which do have non-essential items blocked off along with significantly reduced capacity limits, but which many feel are still too crowded for comfort.

It has, of course, been proven that virus transmission is lower in outdoor settings, and also that physical activity is key to good all-around health, both bodily and mentally.

This is especially pertinent as citizens try to cope with months of endless lockdown and the drastic adverse psychological effects that have come with it, and have turned to socially distanced outdoor activities like tennis and golf to stay sane.

As daily new case counts remain quite high despite restrictions, and COVID ICU admissions continue to climb weeks into the shutdown, we'll have to see what other measures the province will try to implement to curb the spread as we wait for better access to vaccines.

Lead photo by

@JohnLorinc at Oakwood Collegiate Institute

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