Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa announce facility reopenings

More places across Durham have announced reopening plans from Monday, January 31, in keeping with the province’s covid relaxations.

The Town of Ajax will reopen indoor recreation facilities. The town said it is continuing to take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety and protection of the community and staff by following all public health and provincial guidelines, restrictions and capacity limitations.

Reopening highlights:

  • Indoor pools at the Ajax and McLean Community Centres and the Audley Recreation Centre open for public and lane swims.
  • Indoor skating available at the Ajax Community Centre for ice user groups and public skate.
  • Fitness and Health Centre (FHC) at the McLean Community Centre open to members.
  • Group fitness available at Ajax and McLean Community Centres and the Audley Recreation Centre.
  • Squash at the Ajax Community Centre available (court reservation required).
  • Drop-in activities including basketball, pickleball, badminton, Friday Night Fun Centres and Clubs, youth spaces and group fitness (including aqua fitness) resume on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit ajax.ca/activeajax for schedules.
  • St. Francis Centre for Community, Arts and Culture launches 2022 in-person performances in late February.
  • Facility bookings available at 50% capacity with restrictions in place.
  • The Ajax Boxing Club and Ajax Rock Oasis Inc. offering pre-arranged programs at the Ajax Community Centre. Please contact the organizations directly for program related inquiries.
  • Town Hall and Operations Centre are open by appointment. Residents and businesses can book appointments with Town staff quickly and conveniently with the online booking system at ajax.ca/appointments.

The following safety measures remain in effect:

  • Proof of vaccination is required to enter TOA recreation facilities for patrons 12 years and older. Visit ajax.ca/programs for more information.
  • Masks must be worn in TOA facilities unless actively participating in a sport/class or exercising at a workout station in one of our FHCs, provided physical distancing is maintained.
  • Active health screening of patrons is required.
  • Please continue to respect physical distancing and hand washing guidelines, when possible.

Oshawa City Hall and Animal Services by appointment only

Oshawa said City Hall and the Oshawa Animal Services shelter will reopen for many in-person services by appointment only, effective Monday, January 31. Community members will be required to book an appointment in advance and to present identification along with an enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code.

Enhanced Vaccination Certification

In order to access City facilities, including City Hall, Oshawa Animal Services and recreation facilities, community members ages 12 years and older, including individuals with an eligible medical exemption, are required to present identification along with an enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code showing proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This requirement also extends to all coaches, officials and other volunteers entering a City recreation facility.

Both digital and paper enhanced vaccine certificates with QR codes are accepted. Enhanced vaccine certificates with QR codes can be accessed:

City Hall

As of Monday, January 31, City Hall will reopen to the public by appointment only. Community members are required to book an appointment for City services by calling 905-436-3311 during regular operating hours (8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday on business days).

Before visiting City Hall, residents are reminded that health and safety protocols remain in place and must be followed at all times. Capacity limits are also in place to ensure safe physical distancing, and as such, there may be a wait to enter City Hall.

The following services are being offered by appointment only:

  • Issuing of marriage licences
  • Civil marriage ceremonies
  • Commissioner for Taking Oaths

Community members can continue to do business with the City online or over the phone. Service Oshawa continues to be available online, over the phone or by email from 8 am to 6 pm. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 am to 1 pm and can be reached by calling 905-436-3311, emailing service@oshawa.ca or by accessing online services at serviceoshawa.ca. Additional online applications and payment options are available at Oshawa.ca.

Oshawa Animal Services

Effective Monday, January 31, the Animal Shelter will reopen to in-person operating hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Saturday. Adoption hours are 10 am to 4 pm. only. Community members are required to book an appointment for any OAS service, including adoption, cremation, or to collect/ drop off a stray animal, by calling 905-436-3311, ext. 2480.

Oshawa Animal Services continues to offer virtual pet adoptions online. To learn how to apply to adopt an animal, visit the City’s Adoption webpage.

For further information, to report a lost/found pet or for licensing services, call 905-436-3311 or view Service Oshawa online options.

Whitby to Start Phased Gradual Reopening

The Town of Whitby is reopening a number of its facilities, starting with the following changes:

Connecting with the Town: There are many ways to connect with the Town, whether it’s in-person, online, over the phone or by email. As of Monday, January 31, appointments will no longer be required to access in-person services at Town Hall or the Garden Street Branch. Before entering a Town facility, residents must follow all public health requirements, like wearing a mask and completing the health and safety screening. Learn more about accessing Town Services.

Community Centres: Effective Monday, January 31, the Whitby Civic Recreation Complex (CRC) Health Club and Anne Ottenbrite Pool at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre will open at 50 per cent capacity. Pre-booking of work-out and swim times is not required – first come, first serve. Learn more about how to become a Health Club Member at whitby.ca/healthclub.

Pre-registered Aquafit classes at Anne Ottenbrite Pool resume on Monday, February 7 and swim lessons will start on Wednesday, February 23. Pool schedule information will be available at whitby.ca/swim. All change rooms will be open and available for use. The CRC pool remains closed for renovations.

Effective Monday, February 14, the Brooklin Community Centre and Library will reopen to the public. Pre-registered programming will also resume at the Whitby 55+ Recreation Centre that day.

Arenas: Effective Monday, January 31, public skating and shinny programs will resume at 50 per cent capacity limits at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre, McKinney Centre and Luther Vipond Memorial Arena. For the full schedule of public skating and shinny programs, visit whitby.ca/skate.

Spectator areas will be allowed at 50 per cent seated capacity.

Arena Rental Permit applications are also now being accepted at 50 per cent capacity and will be reviewed based on availability. Submit a permit request online.

Outdoor Rinks: The Town has opened two natural ice skating rinks for community use: one at Peel Park (in the lacrosse box) and the other at Brooklin Memorial Park (in the tennis courts). The rinks are open between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. Priority use for shinny is Tuesday and Thursday after 4 pm and all day Saturday. Each rink is limited to 50 per cent capacity – first come, first serve. Rink users are required to follow all posted safety signage and Covid-19 public health guidelines. For more information, visit whitby.ca/skate.

Meeting and Event Rentals: Starting Monday, January 31 private bookings for meeting and event space at Whitby’s community centres will be available at 50 per cent of the room’s capacity. Groups interested in booking a space can email facilities@whitby.ca or call 905.668.7765 to learn more about availability.

Vaccination Proof and Covid-19 Screening:Proof of full vaccination using an enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code, along with identification, will still be required of all patrons 12 years and older to enter a Town recreation facility at every visit. A Covid-19 pre-screening must also be completed and presented before entering the facility. Health and safety measures will continue to be in place and must be followed by all who enter the facility.

Community Impacts: Effective Monday, January 31 social gathering limits are 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.

The town said it continues to review updates from the Ontario government to assess their local impact. For ongoing updates, visit whitby.ca/Covid. For more information on the Town’s recreation programs and how to access them, visit whitby.ca/GetActive.

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