For Immediate Release

Friday, June 12, 2020 – Port Hope, ON

On Monday, June 8, 2020, details of the Province’s Stage Two Reopening Framework were provided by Premier Ford and members of his Cabinet, which included a further reduction of lockdown restrictions and the reopening of additional select municipal amenities.

Municipal amenities reopening

Municipal staff have commenced program planning and facility preparation in anticipation of the resumption of select programs and the reopening of a limited number of municipal facilities.

Jack Burger Sports Complex

The Jack Burger Sports Complex (JBSC) will open for limited public use this summer and staff are working toward reopening the facility in early July. This is a tentative date, as staff are preparing the facility and readying the pools for public use. Staff will confirm the final date for reopening in the coming weeks.

A gradual and phased approach will be taken in the opening of the JBSC. Phase one will include the opening of the 25 metre and therapy pools for lane swims and swimming for children under parental supervision only, with limited numbers of patrons in the pool at one time. Swimming lessons and programs, such as aqua fit will not be offered at this time. The hot tub will remain closed.

Reservations for swimming will be required by each patron and appointments must be booked in advance. Public swimming will not be permitted for those who arrive at the JBSC without a reservation. Reservation information will be available at

Use of public change rooms and restrooms will be available, with strict guidelines in place to maintain physical distancing. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices will be conducted throughout the facility.

After 3 to 4 weeks, municipal staff will evaluate the approach and may introduce phase two of the reopening of the JBSC, which will include the reintroduction of select swimming lessons and programming. More information about this phase will be shared as it becomes available.

Town Park Recreation Centre and Day Camp

The Town Park Recreation Centre will reopen to facilitate our day camp program only, with a target date of early to mid-July.

Parks, Recreation, and Culture staff are developing procedures specific to the day camp program, which will be reviewed by local health authorities prior to the start of camp. These procedures will provide educational materials for camp staff to reduce potential exposures to, and spread of, COVID-19. This information will be consistent with the health and safety recommendations and ongoing monitoring efforts stipulated by the Ontario Government.

Camp programming has been modified from our typical camp activities to accommodate the physical distancing and enhanced cleaning and sanitation guidelines outlined by the government during the pandemic. To work within the regulations as well as to prepare for staff training needs and program development, the following adjustments have been implemented:

  • The target start date for day camp is early to mid-July. This allows for appropriate staff recruitment, training, communication with parents, and finalization of program directives.
  • The day camp program will be available to children ages 6 to 10 years old only.
  • Day camp will be available from Monday to Friday with a weekly registration option only. Participation in individual camp days will not be permitted this year.
  • Current Provincial ratios allow for 10 people in one group. Based on this guideline, the day camp program will accommodate 2 camp staff for every 8 campers in each pod.
  • Pods must stay together all week and limit interactions with other participants and staff.
  • Based on facility size, transition needs, and available space, a total of 3 groups can be accommodated, limiting registration to 24 participants per week.
  • Care will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. only.
  • The summer program will be restricted to the Town Park Recreation Centre to optimize our enhanced cleaning measures and to simplify supervision. This site also allows for limited access and control points for parents and will limit exposures to other patrons. The use of other municipal facilities will be considered when the health and government authorities provide further direction.
  • Staff are preparing a new registration process that allows week-at-a-time registration. Registration will be open to residents of Port Hope first, and then residents of Northumberland County to reach our weekly capacity. This allows fair and equitable access to the program for residents as a priority.
  • Field trips and bussing are not permitted, therefore virtual field trips are being explored alongside other local options, including outdoor play and exploration.
  • Staff are preparing screening protocols, sign-in procedures and communication plans to parents. Included in the guidelines will be an agreement with parents that they will be required to pick up their child from camp in the event of illness or misbehaviour within one hour of receiving the call.
  • Inclusion services (i.e. for special needs) are being reviewed through the Provincial directives and may be limited based on safety protocols.

Additional information about summer programs will be available at

Please note that, currently, all municipal buildings remain closed. Once ready, the reopening of the facilities noted above will be done in a gradual and phased approach, as there are strict regulations for all program areas as well as facility cleaning and preparations that municipal staff are required to conduct.

Cleaning and sanitation protocols

As select municipal facilities begin to reopen, enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols are being implemented. As a precautionary measure, we have increased the frequency of cleaning within our facilities, particularly of high-touch surface areas, including doorknobs, counter services, and elevators.

Physical distancing measures will be in effect. Signage will be posted throughout the facilities, including on the floor to remind visitors to keep a safe distance of two metres apart.

All municipal staff members are required to practice preventative health measures and to encourage all visitors to our facilities to do the same. These include:

  • proper handwashing and sneeze/cough etiquette.
  • keeping hands away from eyes, nose and mouth.
  • avoiding sharing food/beverages or personal items (utensils, water bottles, etc.).
  • Using the hand sanitizer provided when you arrive at, and leave, a municipal facility.
  • Masks and gloves will be used in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

As usual, staff are also directed to remain at home if they are experiencing cold and/or flu-like symptoms and we ask that residents and program participants do the same. Practicing good hygiene remains the best defense against illness.

Outdoor recreation sports

The Province has advised that organized team sports may resume using municipal recreation fields and amenities; however, all organizations are required to provide the Municipality with a Return to Play plan for approval before permits are issued. Use of the fields are available for organized sports for training and practices only, with no scrimmages or games permitted, per the guidelines from the Province. Participants must practice physical distancing at all times.

For additional information, please check these credible resources:

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