Things are looking up for Montreal. The city will gradually start reopening some sports facilities. As of Thursday, skateparks, pétanque areas, and outdoor athletic tracks are open for individual use. Dog parks will open on Friday, May 22, followed by municipal golf courses on May 23. Parc Jean-Drapeau's Île Notre-Dame is reopening on Saturday.
"Beginning on May 23, people will be able to access Île Notre-Dame, except for the parking lot which will remain closed. On that same date, access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and Parc Jean-Drapeau will also be permitted," city officials wrote in a statement.
The parking lots at La Fontaine, Maisonneuve, Jarry, Fréderic-Back, and Île-de-la-Visitation parks will remain closed.
Children's playgrounds, indoor sports facilities, and team sports are still closed until further notice.
Tennis courts across the island will gradually reopen through the end of May. Only singles games are allowed, with doubles and training sessions prohibited.
"In moving forward with the reopening of many municipal facilities, Montréal wants to encourage the population to take part in sporting activities and lead an active lifestyle, while ensuring it is protected," the city said.
In all cases, the city reiterated that strict social distancing measures must be enforced.
With businesses and activities reopening across the province, the government hopes that the public remains prudent.
Premier François Legault has said that health officials wouldn't hesitate to "put the brakes on the reopening" if the situation gets out of hand.
Encouraging Quebecers to wear masks and respect safety measures, Legault said on Wednesday that "it's no time to let our guard down. The virus is still there."
#COVID19: I urge all those who visit Montréal businesses, take public transit or travel to places where it is diffi… https://t.co/UGVaMkXxiq— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1590089048.0
With Montreal still considered a hot spot for COVID-19 in Quebec, health officials have repeatedly highlighted that a successful transition to a so-called "more normal" life only happens if the public respects the rules.
"I'm inviting all Montrealers again though it's beautiful outside and it's really tempting to all rush in the parks, please, it's important to keep your distance," said Mayor Valérie Plante at Thursday's press conference.
To help manage the influx of people enjoying the outdoors, the city is working hard to realize the Active Pathways Circuit in time for the summer months.
#COVID19: 112 km of safe active routes will be created. These temporary pedestrian and cycling routes are in additi… https://t.co/Ep5aAdczV5— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1589556530.0
In addition, hundreds of kilometres of new bike paths will connect the city like never before.
Stay tuned for more news.