Thanks to COVID-19, Toronto playgrounds off-limits

Hubbard park sign in the Gerrard and Broadview area.

The City of Toronto is closing all playgrounds and park amenities to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Mayor John Tory announced.

The list of closures include: city-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system.

The closures will come into effect immediately.

“This decision was not made lightly. It was a very difficult decision but it is the right decision. As mayor, I know how important our parks are to area residents. They are the hearts of so many of our neighbourhoods across the city. They are some of the best parts of our city,” said Tory in a video message, posted on youtube.

The Mayor says this wasn't an easy choice to make.

“And especially now when people are so confined, children and adults alike and even dogs, our parks are so important as a place to relax, a place to play, a place to just get some relief from the unprecedented conditions in our city.”

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says play structures will be taped off, and any gates will be closed and locked.

Tory says anyone not following the rules could face sanctions, but wouldn't elaborate on what those would be.