Release date: April 25, 2020
Amenity Closures – When Can They Be Re-Opened?
The CCI-Toronto Legislative Committee recognizes that condominium corporations may be receiving inquiries from owners and residents regarding ongoing amenity closures, which are made even more difficult by the closure of outdoor parks and private gym memberships. Many individuals rely on their condominium's amenity spaces for social interaction, personal fitness & wellness. As the closures related to COVID-19 have been ongoing for more than one month now, residents isolated within their units may be wondering exactly when amenities can be re-opened.
It was recently announced that some municipalities in the GTA have begun re-opening of outdoor public spaces such as hiking trails. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that condominium amenity spaces are ready to be re-opened.
Emergency Order of the Provincial Government
On March 17, the Provincial Government issued an Emergency Order which ordered the closure of all facilities providing recreational programs, even on private property. This includes all condo recreation spaces, and the Toronto Public Health website specifically lists outdoor amenities such as parks, gardens, benches, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, outdoor exercise equipment, and other outdoor recreational amenities. Therefore, this order extends to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
This order is currently in place until at least May 6, and re-opening of amenities would not be recommended for as long as the order is in place. Even once the order is lifted, each condominium corporation will have an obligation to re-open the amenities in a manner that protects the health and safety of all users as well as staff & contractors.
Follow the Advice of Public Health
Any community should look to their local public health agency for guidance. Even as municipalities are able to start re-opening amenities, there may be differences in regional infection rates and recommendations.
Resources and Links
Following are links to various public health agencies in the GTA:
York Region: https://www.york.ca/wps/wcm/connect/yorkpublic/4d3de804-a233-4c63-80cf-449970f3782b/Fact+Sheet+For+Commercial+and+Residential+Buildings.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=n6thwVS
Peel Region: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/ ; https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/housing/
Durham Region: https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/novel-coronavirus-update.aspx
We hope that the above information will assist condominium communities in communicating with residents inquiring about re-opening their amenity spaces.
During this pandemic, it is important that residents remain within their homes and not in common spaces such as amenity areas. Remember that there are infected persons who are asymptomatic (but still contagious), as well as the fact that the virus is contagious long before a sick person begins to show symptoms. Opening of amenities would create risk for all persons using the facilities as well as building staff. In addition, cleaning staff may be currently using the time they would normally spend maintaining these facilities to do additional sanitation/disinfection of commonly touched areas.
Stay home, stay safe!