By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Parking lots at Ashbridges Bay and Woodbine Park will remain closed this weekend to allow for more space, after the city announced reopening of some of its parks and amenities for the May 23 weekend.
Residents are instructed to follow physical distancing guidelines while using parks and amenities. Bylaw officers will be monitoring the parks this weekend to assess if guidelines are being followed.
“Understandably, many of us want to come down to enjoy the beach,” said Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford. “It’s important to remember physical distancing bylaws are still in place for parks. Given how popular the beach is, we can keep some pressure off by keeping the parking lot closed.”
When the parks first closed in late March, the parking lots were blocked off after the city received several reports of people gathering in groups, ignoring closures, and not following physical distancing guidelines.
For now, the lots remain closed to public access.
However, the Ashbridges parking lot will be open this weekend to allow access for members of the Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club and for essential work required on the docks. Access to that parking lot will be monitored by a pay duty police officer, and only yacht club members and those doing work on the docks will be allowed entry
With the city’s ActiveTO program closing the eastbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard East, and the beach parking lots closed, Bradford hopes it will allow for optimal space for residents to enjoy the weather and maintain physical distance.
“I hope we’ll all be able to take advantage of enjoying the extra space,” he added.
Across Toronto, most park parking lots will be open this weekend with a few more exceptions including lots at Sunnyside Park and Sir Casimir Gzowski Park.
High Park’s parking lot will be closed to vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays.
Some parking lots with concrete barriers will be reopened next week at Leaside Park, Underpass Park, Stan Wadlow Park, Taylor Creek Park, Riverdale East Park, and Major Ali Abbas Park.
- Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.