City shuts down all recreational facilities for three weeks

Newsflash 100By Staff

March 13th, 2020



Earlier today, the City of Burlington activated its Crisis Management Team (CMT) to coordinate City efforts to protect public and staff from the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining essential City services to the community.

To aid efforts in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community, the City of Burlington has made the decision to close all City recreation facilities for a minimum of three weeks, as of this evening.

With the recreation facility closures, the following services will be suspended: March Break programming, arenas, pools and community centres, including the Seniors Centre.

All City organized large public meetings and gatherings are also cancelled, with the exception of Committee and Council meetings at City Hall.

The CMT will be reviewing internal City meeting guidelines and issuing an update on Monday, March 16. City Hall will remain open for business with enhanced health and safety protocols for staff.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “In light of the current situation with COVID-19 and the rapidly changing updates from healthcare professionals and our partners across all levels of government, I certainly understand and share the concerns of residents related to attending programs and events at City facilities.

“We are evaluating things daily — and sometimes multiple times during the day — and will always put residents’ health and safety first. The decision to close City recreation facilities for next three weeks and cancel programs including March Break, does not come lightly, but in meeting with our Crisis Management Team, we feel it is a necessary one. Please continue to look after your health, follow the advice of healthcare professionals and support one another. Let’s always be our best through these trying times.”

Commisso stare

Tim Commisso, City Manager

Tim Commisso, City Manager added:  “At the City of Burlington, we understand the decision to close recreational facilities will have a significant impact on individuals, families and communities.

“We are also very aware that this needs to be done as a precaution to help keep people in Burlington stay safe and aid in containing the spread of COVID-19. We continue to work closely with Halton Region Public Health and make our decisions based on the latest scientific evidence on COVID-19. We thank our residents for their understanding as we continue to address this challenge together. We will continue to share City updates daily with the public.”

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5 comments to City shuts down all recreational facilities for three weeks

  • Bonnie

    As a member and volunteer at the Burlington Seniors Center, I was pleased to learn that the Center would be closed to protect our members. The Bistro is a meeting place for many residents and it would have been impossible for the staff to insure that the tables etc. were properly disinfected on an on going hourly basis. Social distancing would not have occurred as is recommended and many would have been put at risk.

    I only hope, that the gentlemen posting the above comments and suggestions have contacted city hall and offered their support, as community outreach at this time is essential.

  • Fred

    Our Mayor is doing the right thing, she is following Public Health recommendations that will minimize community transmission and protect our vulnerable population. I am a senior active in aquafit and programs at the Seniors’Centre and don’t want to see increased morbidly in our community. I don’t mind sacrificing 3 weeks for the common good.

  • Greg

    Some of these services are very important to our most vulnerable citizens. Can we have creative solutions?

    Can the library do curbside pickup?

    Can we limit the number of people at a time and ramp up cleaning at centres for people looking for work?

    What about people who use the City facilities for a place to go during the day?

    As an aside, do all City employees get paid during the shut down? I wonder if they didn’t if City leadership would close so readily.

    I don’t believe that closing everything at the drop of a hat is leadership. I expected more from our Mayor.

    • Stephen White

      Hi Greg: Right you are! Now… if we had a Business Continuity Plan in place, and someone actively managing this at the City (hint, hint!!!), then the importance of providing services to the most vulnerable members of our community would have been considered long before now, and imaginative, creative alternatives would have been explored and would now be implemented. Instead, the response from City officials is akin to “suck it up”.

      All of the measures you have suggested are good ones. Here’s one that costs $20 a month by leveraging technology in a purposeful manner:

      1) go in and register for Zoom Video-conferencing account.
      2) seniors and other vulnerable community members could be connected from their computer or just by phone in a virtual meeting place.

      It would reduce isolation, provide a mechanism by which seniors and others could connect with friends, and enable follow up on those most in need.

      You are right. There are creative work arounds for a lot of problems that would reduce social isolation during this critical time. What certainly isn’t widely available is responsive leadership.

  • Penny Hersh

    Finally. The museums are closed why not the Burlington Performing Arts Centre?