Tips for Enjoying Summer in Ontario

Tips for Enjoying Summer in Ontario

COVID-19 and ongoing lockdowns have made it difficult to enjoy the seasons we love the most, but there are still many ways to take advantage of the warm weather as we head into summer. As vaccines are being widely distributed across the country and case numbers are on the decline, the province has released a three-step plan for both outdoor and indoor activities in the coming months.

Last Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that these stages will be reliant on vaccination rates and intensive care numbers. Over the long weekend, golf courses and tennis courts have reopened but there are still limits for outdoor social gatherings and organized public events.

According to CP24 “driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks” are all permitted to be used by up to 5 people but no sports or recreational classes are allowed at this point.

The steps for reopening Ontario are expected to be as followed:

Step 1

This stage will be in place as of June 14th or two weeks after 60% of adults have at least one vaccination dose. Ontario officials said 58.5% of the adult population have received a first dose as of last Thursday.

Outdoor activities and gatherings will be permitted in this phase but there will be some restrictions.

What will be permitted:

  • Outdoor gatherings for up to 10 people
  • Outdoor dining (4 people per table)
  • 15% capacity for non-essential retail
  • Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies with two meters of physical distancing
  • Up to 10 people for outdoor sports and training
  • Day camps, campsites, and campgrounds
  • Parks and hiking trails
  • Horse racing and motor speedways
  • Pools, splash pads and wading pools

Step 2

Indoor activities are expected to resume in July or when 70% of Ontarians have the first vaccination and 20% has received their second dose. Outdoor restrictions will also be loosened further during this phase.

What will be permitted:

  • Outdoor gatherings with up to 25 people
  • Indoor gatherings for up to 5 people
  • Up to 6 people at a table for outdoor dining
  • 50% capacity for essential retail
  • 25% capacity for non-essential retail
  • Opening personal health care services (mandatory face coverings)
  • Outdoor meeting and event spaces
  • Boat tours
  • Amusement and water parks
  • County fairs and rural exhibitions
  • Outdoor sports leagues and events
  • Outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music, events and attractions

Step 3

August is when the government anticipates Ontario beginning to return to normal life, this phase will be when 70% - 80% of adults have their first vaccination and 25% have both doses.

What will be permitted:

  • Larger indoor and outdoor gatherings
  • Limited capacity for essential and non-essential retail
  • Larger indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies
  • Indoor meetings and event spaces
  • Indoor seated events
  • Indoor sports and recreational facilities
  • Indoor attractions and cultural amenities
  • Casinos and bingo halls

Things are looking up for Ontario after a long year of lockdowns and restrictions; phase 3 is on the horizon but until then here are some tips that will help you make the most of summer 2021.

Embrace Outdoor Sports

Whether it’s golf, skateboarding, tennis, yoga, running, or soccer, this summer is the perfect opportunity to get outside and discover a new sport that could result in a life skill that you can be proud of post-pandemic.

Hiking around new trails and parks is also a great opportunity to have a change of scene and allows you to discover some beautiful sights you’ve never seen before. There is an abundance of trails in Ontario that will lead you to waterfalls, quarries, and small lakes.

As more outdoor sport and recreation restrictions are lifted, exploring activities in the sun is not only good for your physical health but mental health as well.

DIY Outdoor Dining

Until restaurant patios are open again, you can get creative and make a picnic for yourself and your family, significant other, or friends. Many parks and lakeshores in Ontario have beautiful views where you can set up a blanket and watch the sunset with some delicious food.

Upgrade your Patio & Garden

You can improve your own backyard or balcony with some plants, string lights, and new patio furniture. The summer is also the perfect opportunity to work on your green thumb by planting some flowers, fruits or vegetables.

Making some little updates to your home will not only make sitting outdoors more enjoyable but will additionally help prepare you for the entertaining company when the time comes.

Beach Days

Packing a cooler and sitting beachside allows you to get away from your usual surroundings, relax in the sun and work on your tan. We may not be able to go to a tropical beach just yet but there are plenty of beautiful beaches in Ontario that you can enjoy this summer.

Staycations

You can also take a vacation within the province by renting an Air B&B, cottage or local hotel. It’s important to treat yourself after such a trying year and there are plenty of places that are COVID safe for you to enjoy.

Camping

Many campsites in Ontario are planning to be open this summer. Sitting by an open fire, roasting some smores, and reconnecting with family and friends will allow you to unplug and immerse yourself in nature. You can book a site online right now and plan for a week or two in the wilderness this summer.

Get Planning!

It may take a little time and research but there is still plenty of things you can plan for this summer in Ontario so you can make the most out of the warm weather.

By Surina Nath

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