Corp Comm Connects

Splash pads, sports fields, basketball courts back in play in Markham

Pop Up summer camps set for 24 neighbourhood parks in July as COVID-19 restrictions ease
June 24, 2020
Heidi Riedner

While public playgrounds remain closed across the province, the city is offering more options for outdoor activities.

Splash pads and outdoor basketball courts, along with park washrooms, are set to reopen June 26, which is also the day the city will resume issuing permits to sports organizations for outdoor sports fields.

While that includes soccer, baseball and cricket fields, the permits are for practice only.

The Markham Pan Am Centre will reopen July 20 for lane swimming, with lessons, lane swimming and aqua fit sessions at Morgan Pool scheduled to resume by the end of July.

“We have taken a thoughtful and careful approach to reopening facilities so we can fully inspect, clean and install proper signage,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti said, adding park washrooms will be cleaned twice a day with a deep clean weekly.

Day camps offered a bit more of a challenge under provincial guidelines, but the city is tackling the problem with an innovative strategy it is putting in play for July.

The Pop Up Park Program involves a series of outdoor camplike activities that will run in 24 neighbourhood parks.

“We understand that it is important for people to spend time outdoors, safely,” Scarpitti said, noting council and city recreational staff made it a priority to keep public parks and trails open during the past three months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This next phase allows for additional outdoor options while adhering to provincial orders and ensuring public safety,” he added.

A wide range of interactive and virtual camps, including ones offered by the Markham Museum, Flato Markham Theatre and the Varley Art Gallery, are also available.

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