Nearly all of Ontario, apart from the Windsor area, has now moved to Stage 2. What does this mean in terms of how your summer will look? Yes, you can get a haircut (finally!), but beyond that, here is what you can expect for kids and families as more services and attractions open up around the province. Find more at the provincial government’s Reopening Ontario webpage.
First, This Is Not Business As Usual
Do some homework before you visit these attractions to find out about their physical distancing measures and safety requirements. For instance:
- reservations and timed-entry tickets may be required
- food and beverage sales may not be available
- some parts of the attractions may remain closed
- stroller and other rentals and coat check may be unavailable
Note that as of July 7, everyone is required to wear face masks in indoor public spaces in Toronto and most of the GTA. This includes museums, galleries, libraries, and aquariums, as well as zoos.
Museum and Galleries
Museums and galleries are beginning to open, with COVID-19 measures in place, including timed ticketing (buy tickets online in advance) and requiring visitors to wear face masks. As of this writing, here is the status of various museums and galleries in Toronto.
Aga Khan Museum – open
Opened to the public on June 27.
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) – open for members
Reopened on July 2 for members and annual pass holders. Will open to the general public on July 23.
Black Creek Pioneer Village – closed
No information on reopening yet, but you can download the Black Creek app to take a virtual tour of the village and hear stories.
City of Toronto Museums & Historic Sites – some open
Some sites reopened with limited hours on July 13; this includes Colborne Lodge, Fort York, Gibson House, Montgomery’s Inn, Spadina Museum, and Todmorden Mills. Still closed: Mackenzie House, Scarborough Museum, Zion Schoolhouse.
Gardiner Museum – open
Opened July 11.
Hockey Hall of Fame — opening soon
Reopening July 15.
Ontario Science Centre – closed
Has not announced reopening dates.
Peel Art Gallery (PAMA) – closed
Has not announced reopening dates.
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) – open
Opened July 11.
Zoos and Aquariums
Face masks are mandatory in Toronto and many other municipalities at all indoor buildings at zoos and aquariums. Nearly all attractions require timed-entry tickets to be purchased in advance and all are operating at reduced capacity.
African Lion Safari – open
Both walking trails and drive-through areas are open, as well as select food kiosks.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo Hamilton – open for private groups
You can arrange a private group tour at this wildlife rescue and nature centre.
High Park Zoo – open
High Park Zoo opened to the public on July 14. Note that the park remains closed to vehicle traffic on weekends.
Jungle Cat World – open
The park is open; food locations and educational programs are closed.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – open
The aquarium is open for visits, though dive shows, programs, the café, and playground remain closed.
Toronto Zoo – open
Both regular zoo visits and the drive-through Scenic Safari are open.
Safari Niagara – open
Opened to foot traffic on June 23; open attractions include the petting zoo, splash pads, walk-up dining. Still closed are rides, playground areas, shows and keeper talks.
Parks, Beaches & Nature Centres
In Toronto, 10 of 11 public swimming beaches are open. Only Rouge Valley Beach remains closed. Public parks are open for walking, running, biking, picnics (single households only), dog off-leash, licensed fishing, sports (team training only), basketball, and tennis. Skateboard and BMX parks are open. Parking may be limited. High Park is currently closed to vehicles on weekends. Not open in Stage 2: playgrounds and exercise equipment.
Allan Gardens Conservatory – open
The conservatory is open. Visitors must wear a face mask and complete a COVID self-assessment.
Evergreen Brick Works – partially open
At this writing, Evergreen has opened its Saturday Farmers Market and Evergreen Garden Market only.
Royal Botanical Gardens — open
All outdoor garden areas and trails are open. Most indoor amenities are closed.
Toronto Botanical Garden – open
Outdoor areas are open at the TBG. Indoor areas remain closed.
Stage 2 allows the reopening of public pools—indoor and outdoor. The City of Toronto opened outdoor swimming pools (approximately half of all city pools) in early July. Indoor pools are set to open on July 20. Visitors will have to sign in for contact tracing and only two people are allowed in changerooms at once. Not open in Stage 2: water parks and wave pools.
Splash Pads and Wading Pools
In Stage 2, splash pads and wading pools are reopening. In Toronto, all city splash pads opened on June 27 and wading pools were scheduled to be open by July 12, though some locations have been reported as still closed. Find your local wading pool to find out if it’s open.
Outdoor Recreational Facilities
This is limited to “low-contact attractions and activities”, including mini-golf, paintball, and ziplining and outdoor adventure parks, including some Treetop Trekking locations and go-kart tracks. Not open in stage 2: amusement parks, playgrounds and play structures.
You likely will not see the return of free, in-library programming this summer, but a least you can stock up on some reading material. Libraries in most municipalities will be open for curbside hold pickup and returns.
Drive-In Movie Theatres
You may have to embark on a road trip to see a drive-in movie this summer since only a handful still exist in Ontario, but what is summer vacation for if not road trips, right? Find drive-in movies near you.
Most provincial parks and private campgrounds are open for RV and car camping, with physical distancing restrictions. Ontario Parks has a lengthy list of facilities within its parks that will remain closed, including visitor centres, playgrounds and sports fields, yurts and cabins, park stores, equipment rentals, laundry facilities, swimming pools, and showers.
Find more information about Stage 2 reopening plans in your area:
- Durham Region – Community Reopening Toolkit
- Halton Region – Reopening Halton Region
- Hamilton – Guidance for Reopening Workplaces & Public Spaces
- Niagara Region – Reopening Your Business During COVID-19
- Ottawa – Ottawa’s Reopening Plan
- Peel Region – Coronavirus Updates
- Peterborough – Guidance for Stage 2 Reopening
- Toronto – Toronto Public Health
- Waterloo Region – Waterloo Public Health
- Guelph Region – Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
- York Region – Reopening and Resuming Business