Decision Monday how to open the Stuart Park ice rink this winter

How to open outdoor rink

City council will be tasked with making a decision whether it will be safe enough to open up the popular Stuart Park outdoor ice rink this winter.

The rink, which opened nearly a decade ago, brings together thousands of people each year, however, with restrictions on gathering sizes and other health measures in place due to COVID-19, staff say business as usual will not be an option this year.

A report for council outlines three levels, including not opening the rink at all this season.

Under the two levels in which the rink would open, protocols would be put in place to ensure gathering size and distancing measures are followed.

Level 1 would include closure of the fire pit plus no skate rentals or food vendors on site. The rink would be open for casual use, with signs outlining COVID-19 safety protocols and support staff during peak times to educate the public on safety guidelines and monitor size and distancing protocols.

Level 2 would allow for online registration only for peak times (5 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends), with pre-booked sessions lasting just one hour with a maximum of 50 people per session. limited services may be available.

Drop-in casual skating would be available during non-peak hours.

Staff recommend starting at Level 1, but if crowd size and distancing protocols become a challenge, operations would move to Level 2.

Staff says if the more restrictive protocols also become a challenge, the next option would be to close the facility

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