Some good news could be coming along with the summer heat. Toronto outdoor pools and beaches could be open again as soon as Friday, June 19, says Mayor John Tory. Tory was announcing SwimTO, the city's latest program in the time of COVID-19.

Tory was speaking on Wednesday afternoon alongside Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, Toronto's GM of emergency management during the pandemic.

There, the mayor teased that Toronto may soon be able to follow other areas of Ontario in letting the public back into outdoor pools and splash pads and allowing them to resume swimming at beaches.

"I am proud to announce today that we are launching SwimTO," Tory said.

"SwimTO is a quick-launch program that will help Torontonians access outdoor aquatic amenities... including swimming beaches, outdoor and wading pools, and splash pads."

Tory noted the program aims to provide Torontonians with a safe way to cool off during hot summer days.

"It's vital that Torontonians have an opportunity to cool down outdoors."

The mayor added that the plan is dependent on the province allowing Toronto to move into stage two.

He noted the official dates for these facilities to reopen will be decided by the province.

"But we are making plans expecting the orders could be lifted as early as June 19."

Tory had teased last month that the city's outdoor water facilities could be ready to reopen within a few weeks.

On Wednesday, he explained that City staff are currently readying pools and hiring staff to prepare for their reopening.

 

He said that within a week of getting provincial permission, splash pads will open in the city, followed by pools.

Tory also noted that lifeguards will return to six of the city's beaches on June 22, allowing the public to safely recommence swimming.

Later during Wednesday's briefing, Dr. De Villa suggested that she will have "some news" over the coming days about how Toronto is progressing in its recovery.

Tory stressed that while it will undoubtedly be pretty different from what we're used to in the 6ix, summer 2020 is definitely not going to be cancelled in the city, even if all large-scale events until July 31 are.

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