As the spring weather finally starts to make its way into Ontario, authorities across the province are making sure that people continue to stay at home. Several cottage country towns have released statements to inform tourists that beaches, outdoor spaces and even boat launches are shut down. Ontario's cottage country continues to warn people to not visit as the province deals with the pandemic.
Emergency orders continue to stay in place across the province and Ontario's cottage country is shutting down in an attempt to keep people from visiting.
While some areas are usually bustling with tourists at this time of year, cities warn that their beaches, boat launches, and even public amenities will all remain closed.
In a news release, the popular tourist destination of Muskoka warned that "outdoor recreational amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, beaches, skateboard parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, and other outdoor amenities are also closed until further notice."
“We recognize the impact that these decisions have on our facility users, but this precaution is necessary to help keep people safe,” said Muskoka Mayor Harding in a news release.
However, it's not just Muskoka that is taking these steps.
Some images from around #Gravenhurst as we continue to practice #PhysicalDistancing and follow Provincial orders.… https://t.co/ht4XAfcVTl— Town of Gravenhurst (@Town of Gravenhurst)1587582273.0
The Township of Huron Kinloss has also released a similar statement and has banned people from congregating for outdoor activities, including campfires.“Our hope is that people will follow the orders to help protect their own and others' health, but in the event this is not happening, Enforcement Officers have the ability to lay fines to ensure compliance of the Provincial and Municipal closures," said Mayor Twolan in the news release.
Curve Lake First Nation has even set up checkpoints to ban tourists from entering the village during this time.
According to their website, the checkpoint will not allow people in who are planning on using the space to socialize, go for nature walks, fish, or stay at seasonal residences.
Boat launches across the province are also shutting down to ensure that people aren't visiting cottage country to hit the water.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFHA) has released a list of boat launch closures for the season, some of which include the City of Kawartha Lakes, Kincardine, Township of Georgian Bay, and Prince Edward County.
📷David Jackson Danny Geyshick of Lac La Croix First Nation patrols a checkpoint near their community in Northern On… https://t.co/0AKIMR5hvY— Matt Frehner (@Matt Frehner)1586182867.0
As Ontario's cottage country shuts down for the season, some town mayors have even been calling on people to stay home amid concerns that the nice weather will still bring crowds.
Nina Bifolchi, the Mayor of Wasaga Beach, has also expressed concern over the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, she told CBC.
In fact, she wrote a letter to Doug Ford requesting police assistance to keep the crowds off of the 14 kilometres of beach at Wasaga.
"It's always that first long weekend that people want to go out and go to the beach," she told CBC. "We need to ensure that proper enforcement is in place. It's not as simple as closing a gate on a property."
Even beaches and parks in Toronto are being patrolled by police officers in attempts to keep residents from gathering in groups during the pandemic.