What Stage 3 Means for Kids and Families in Toronto

Health and Safety
Playgrounds are opening across Toronto (photo: High Park Toronto)

As we move into Stage 3 in Toronto on July 31st, it’s important to know what this means for you and your family. In Stage 2, we’ve been able to enjoy a lot of the summer staples we normally expect—museums, the zoo, the aquarium, camps, and more have been open.

So what does Stage 3 mean for you? We’re going to break it all down so you are able to safely enjoy the rest of your summer.

Remember, just because attractions are open, this doesn’t mean we’ve returned to normal—head over to our coverage on Stage 2 reopening to read all about the precautions you should take before heading to a large city attraction.

Find more at the provincial government’s Reopening Ontario webpage.

Playgrounds and City Facilities

I know there are a lot of kids that will be happy to hear that more than 800 playgrounds and play structures, community and recreation centres, and libraries will be opening up on July 31st. It’s very exciting that we can finally take our kids to the local park, but Toronto Public Health has put together a list of safety precautions that parents and guardians can take to help kids stay safe.

  • Teaching children proper handwashing, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and cover their cough.
  • Monitoring yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Staying home if you or your child is sick.
  • Bringing your own hand sanitizer, wipes, bottled water, sunscreen and personal items.
  • Keeping a two-metre (six feet) distance from others, when possible.
  • Wearing a mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing; do not apply a mask on children under the age of two.
  • Washing hands before and after using an outdoor playground.

Early Learning & Child Care Centres

The City of Toronto will be reopening 10 Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Centres (TELCCC) by August 4 to help support parents as they begin to return to work.

Two centres opened on July 23 and eight more centres will reopen by August 4.

By August 4, 21 of the 47 City-run child care centres will have reopened. It is expected that most of the remaining locations will reopen by the end of September.

Public Gatherings

Toronto residents will now be able to participate in expanded gatherings and public events. Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted.

You will still need to maintain physical distancing with those that are outside of your household or 10-person social circle. But as long as you are able to keep your family 2 metres away from other people, you are able to head out gatherings. Masks will be required for any indoor gathering.

Other Services And Amenities That Will Be Permitted To Open

Some services and businesses have been able to expand their offerings during Stage 3. These include:

  • Restaurants and bars that are now permitted to offer indoor dine-in service, provided that all patrons are seated when eating or drinking and that tables are separated by at least two metres or have plexiglass or other impermeable barriers separating them.
  • Sports facilities, subject to conditions that include team sports only be played without physical contact or modified to avoid physical contact and organized team sport leagues are limited to 50 players. The number of spectators attending sports facilities is limited to 50 spectators at an indoor facility and 100 spectators at an outdoor facility.
  • Some recreational programs and services, including fitness, sports, and art and music classes.
  • Recreational attractions and businesses (i.e. museums, zoos, arcades, bowling alleys, pool halls, some karaoke).
  • Live shows, performing arts and movie theatres together with a limit of no more than 50 people at an indoor cinema or performance venue and no more than 100 people at an outdoor cinema or performance venue. There is no attendance limit on the number of people who may attend a drive-in cinema.
  • Personal service settings can now perform services tending to the face (i.e. facials, beard trims, eyelash extensions, etc.).
  • Tours and guide services subject to capacity limits of no more than 50 people for indoor tours and no more than 100 people for outdoor tours.

Businesses And Services That Will Remain Closed

There are some businesses and services that have been deemed too high-risk by the Province. These businesses will not be permitted to open. This includes:

  • Nightclubs, except when serving patrons food or beverages and carrying on business in the same manner as a restaurant or bar.
  • Amusement parks and water parks.
  • Buffet-style food services.
  • Private karaoke rooms, unless installed with a plexiglass or other impermeable barrier to separate the performer from every other person in the enclosed space.
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bathhouses and oxygen bars.
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

There are also certain high-risk activities are also not permitted to occur during Stage 3:

  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements.
  • Overnight stays at camps for children.
  • Team sports are not allowed to be practiced or played unless the sport has been modified to avoid physical contact between the players.

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