Painted physical distance circles to return to Trinity Bellwoods Park this spring
Physical Distancing Circles will return to Trinity Bellwoods Park this spring in an effort to encourage visitors to maintain their distance amid the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting next week, depending on weather conditions, City of Toronto staff will once again paint white rings on the grass of Popular West Park to help keep people safe while using the outdoor space.
The circles were first introduced last year after a weekend in which thousands of people gathered in the park and paid little attention to the public health guidelines in place, which required that people who do not live in the same household stand two meters apart.
Although a province-wide home stay order is in effect until May 20, which requires people to leave their homes only for essential purposes, the city says the circles will help provide a essential outdoor space for residents.
“The City recognizes that many residents living in apartment buildings and condominiums that do not have courtyards need spaces to exercise and get some fresh air in city parks,” said a press release on Friday.
Circle gatherings are limited to people within the same household, under the order to stay at home. For people who live alone, they can merge with another household.
Coun. Joe Cressy, who chairs the Toronto Board of Health and represents Ward 10 of Spadina-Fort York, said opportunities to exercise and play outdoors are essential for mental and physical health.
“By wearing masks and taking the distance, people can enjoy our parks and recreational facilities without putting others at risk,” he said in a statement.
“These circles at Trinity Bellwoods will help visitors enjoy the park while remaining separate and protecting each other.”
Toronto reported 1,329 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 new deaths on Friday, bringing the cumulative total of virus-related deaths in the city to 2,991.
Since the start of the pandemic, the city has recorded a total of 139,296 cases of COVID-19. A total of 122,576 people have recovered.
The city is urging residents to stay away from people in other households when they are outside the home, wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as possible when they are eligible.