People in Toronto are playing tennis in the streets now that outdoor courts are closed
People in Toronto are having to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to finding new ways to go outside and stay active thanks to the province's latest restrictions on outdoor amenities and activities.
The city announced earlier this week that staff would begin blocking off basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball diamonds and lawn bowling greens as well as other closed amenities in parks following Premier Doug Ford's announcement of new restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19 — many of which have been called useless and nonsensical by experts and members of the public alike.
The closure of outdoor recreational amenities has been particularly criticized since experts say outdoor activities present a fairly low risk of transmission, but the rule remains in place all the same, which is why some residents are now taking to the streets to play sports instead.
By order of Provincial Regulation, City-operated recreation amenities in parks, such as tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, fitness equipment and each of the City-operated golf courses must close.— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) April 19, 2021
More info on affected #CityofTO services: https://t.co/4qmbVctxND pic.twitter.com/30a9fqKazA
A photo shared with blogTO by a local photographer this week shows two unnamed residents playing a tennis match on a quiet residential street, proving just how desperate people are for some fresh air and exercise after a long pandemic winter.
The two residents appear to be maintaining a safe distance from one another as they play.
But while the province's closure of select outdoor amenities officially came into effect on April 17, that didn't stop everyone from continuing to make use of city tennis courts and beach volleyball nets last weekend.
By next week, however, all the prohibited outdoor amenities in the more than 1,500 parks across Toronto will be physically blocked off, and signage indicating guidelines for use will be posted at playgrounds and other amenities that remain open.
In the meantime, a petition calling on the province to roll back the rule has garnered more than 36,000 signatures to date.
"Outdoor activities pose very low risk of COVID transmission when physical distancing is practiced, such as camping, golf, disc golf, use of park fitness equipment, tennis, pickleball, among several others," reads the petition.
"Blanket prohibition of most social and recreation activities will have the opposite effect the Government of Ontario is trying to achieve. If not allowed to participate in safe outdoor recreation, people will instead participate in risky indoor activities out of public view, which will spread the COVID virus to new networks of people."
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