With a stay-at-home order in effect, getting your heart rate up in the great outdoors is still allowed.
The new order in Ontario went into effect today (Jan. 14) and will be in place for at least 28 days (Feb. 10). The goal is to reduce the number of people you have contact with outside your immediate household to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The emergency order requires people to stay at home except to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, access health care services, exercise or work. In Northern Ontario, schools are open for in-person learning.
While gyms and indoor recreation are shuttered, people are permitted to go out to walk their dogs or enjoy local trails.
In the Timmins area, here's what you need to know for some of the popular recreation options:
Porcupine Ski Runners
- The cross country ski and showshoe trails are groomed and open to members and non-members daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The chalet lounge, change rooms, bathrooms and rental room are not open to the public. Rentals should be booked a day in advance by calling 705-360-1444. Face masks are now mandatory outdoors if physical distancing (two metres) cannot be maintained. A full update on the club's lockdown changes is available here.
Mount Jamieson Resort
- The Timmins ski hill is closed.
- Rinks maintained by the city are open and the city will be enhancing the signage for public health requirements at the outdoor rinks. People using outdoor rinks or parks have to keep at least two metres from other people that they don't live with. Games where people may come within two metres of each other are not allowed.
- Snowmobiling is permitted, according to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC). "So, snowmobilers with valid trail permits are permitted to access any available (green) or limited availability (yellow) trails at this time, but only within the context of the provisions of the Stay At Home Order that allows local recreational exercise from your primary residence," reads the OFSC update. In Timmins, trails are not open yet. The OFSC trail map shows all of the trails as unavailable (red).
Going for a walk
- Exercising is a permitted outdoor recreation. Mattagami Region Conservation Area (MRCA) trails are open. The MRCA trails include popular spots such as Hersey Lake Conservation Area and Gillies Lake. A full list of its trail system is available here.
Other important things to know
- Outdoor gatherings are now limited to five people.
- People are required to wear a face-covering or mask in indoor public spaces. Masks are also now being recommended for outdoor activities when physical distancing cannot be met.
- Police officers, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors can issue tickets to people not complying with the stay-at-home order or not wearing a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, and businesses not enforcing requirements under the order.
- Timmins Police's enforcement will be focused on groups of more than five, mandatory wearing of masks, and physical distancing in public, according to corporate communications co-ordinator Marc Depatie. Officers will also monitor neighbourhoods as part of regular patrols and address any "apparent violations of the restrictions," he said.