WINDSOR, ONT. -- With the region now in the “Red-Control” zone, the City of Windsor will be reopening outdoor skating rinks in the city.

A news release issued Tuesday says no additional service changes are expected for now until the region moves into the “Orange-Restrict” level of Ontario’s reopening framework.

“The last thing we want to see happen is for this gradual re-opening to become the cause of community spread of COVID-19 when the vaccination plan is on the horizon,” Mayor Drew Dilkens said. “At the same time, we are pleased that we can now offer outdoor skating that Windsor families can enjoy safely at Lanspeary Park and Charles Clark Square.”

The city says its outdoor Lanspeary Lions Rink will open by Wednesday evening and the Charles Clark Square rink by Monday, Feb. 22 depending on the weather.

The city says it will be taking additional precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by allowing only 10 skaters on the ice per session and all other COVID-19 protocols will be in place including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.

City staff will be on site to check-in skaters, pre-screen them and admit them onto the ice.

Free public skating will be available by advanced reservation only. Registration for Lanspeary Lions Rink will open Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Reserved sessions will be an hour long with 30 minutes in between for the staff to groom the ice and provide enhanced cleaning before the next session.

Washrooms will be available, but no additional facilities will be open at this time.

Each rink will open Monday to Friday and including skating sessions starting at 4 p.m., the last session of the day with start at 8:30 p.m. For weekends, the schedule starts at 8 a.m. and the last session at 8:30 p.m.

The city says the daily schedules are all dependant on the temperatures and any potential pandemic regulation changes.

“Recreation staff have already started to plan ahead for potential future re-openings,” recreation and culture executive director Ray Mensour said. “When public health officials further adjust Windsor-Essex guidelines, then further service level changes may be possible. Our primary focus is to ensure that any activities offered by the City of Windsor can be done in a way that protects the safety of residents and staff.”

The City of Windsor also highlighted the following updates:

  • The City of Windsor will continue to offer 15 minutes of free parking to those using the free Passport parking app at City meters, to help with takeout orders outside of restaurants.
  • While the region remains in “Red-Control,” the City of Windsor will not be opening any activities at municipal pools, arenas or recreation centres.
  • Parks and recreation staff are taking steps to prepare for future adjustments to public health guidance, including preparing facilities and staff for selective reopening once the region reaches “Orange-Restrict.”
  • After-school programming resumed on Monday, Feb. 8 and remains available. Parents may still sign children up for programing, offered at Windsor Water World, Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex, Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex and Gino & Liz Marcus Community Complex.
  • As a result of the rescheduling of “March Break” to occur in April 2021, City staff are planning for the potential offering of a limited day camp for area children and students. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Even when further re-openings occur in Windsor-Essex, it is anticipated that the WFCU Centre will remain closed to the public, as it is presently being assessed for possible use as a mass-vaccination clinic.

More information on city services and what’s opened and closed is available on the City of Windsor website.