Heavy demand expected as Ontario campgrounds reopen | www.WDIO.com

Heavy demand expected as Ontario campgrounds reopen

A campsite at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. A campsite at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. |  Photo: Jon Ellis/WDIO-TV, file

WDIO-TV
Updated: June 11, 2021 02:28 PM
Created: June 11, 2021 02:26 PM

Ontario Provincial Parks are warning visitors to be ready for lines as the province's campgrounds reopen following a COVID-19 shutdown.

Campgrounds are one of the things allowed to reopen Friday as the province moves into step one of its "Roadmap to Reopen" earlier than expected. Ontario Provincial Parks said they are anticipating a lot of campers and warned visitors to expect delays.

"We ask for your patience as our staff work hard to get everyone checked in. Please be kind to our park staff and to your fellow visitors," the park system said in a social media post.

Some facilities in Ontario Provinicial Parks will operate at reduced capacity this season to allow for enhanced cleaning standards.

Meanwhile, the City of Thunder Bay is reopening Trowbridge and Chippewa campgrounds, as well as the Chapples Golf Course outdoor patio. Some outdoor fitness programs are also resuming.

"We have been working hard to reopen city services and amenities following the Province’s announcement to enter step one earlier than expected and in accordance with Provincial restrictions," City Manager Norm Gale said in a news release.

Thunder Bay's splash pads, pools, and beaches will reopen throughout the month, beginning with the Prince Arthur's Landing splash pad on June 15.

Indoor dining and gatherings are still not allowed, but the limit for outdoor gatherings has been raised to 10 people. Religious services are allowed outdoors as long as capacity is limited to permit social distancing.

Non-essential retailers, which had only been allowed to offer curbside service and delivery for months, can now reopen at 15% capacity. Essential retailers can have 25% capacity.

Friday's changes are the first part of a three-step plan. The province will remain in each step for at least three weeks.

Despite the limited reopening, the border between the U.S. and Canada remains closed to non-essential travel with no indication when it will reopen.

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