WINDSOR, ON -- Starting Monday, golf courses and marinas can begin preparing for the upcoming season, but must remain close to the public.

They are amongst a group of businesses that have been given the green light by the Ontario government to open under strict safety guidelines.

"I think that’s a bright light for the dark times we’re seeing right now," says Trese Macneil, City of Windsor’s coordinator of community sports services.

Since last fall, the city’s Lakeview Marina has undergone a $5 million dollar dock replacement project. Macniel says the COVID-19 pandemic suspended construction which pushed back the expected completion date.

"The original timeline was to have it for spring of this year. We were entirely closed last season due to the high water levels. So we weren’t able to accommodate any of our boaters last year," says Macniel. 

She is not ruling out the possibility of a reopening this year but says no firm date can be set. 

"We don’t know is the effect of COVID-19 on construction industry, it may affect getting parts and supplies." 

The pandemic has also pushed back the start of golf season. 

"We have about a 6 to 8 week delay in our regularly scheduled maintenance," says Cory LaJeunesse, general manager at Sutton Creek Golf Club.

As a seasonal business, weeks of delay can cause a huge financial downfall. 

"We haven’t had any revenue since October of 2019, so for us it has been quite difficult. Bills are still amounting. We are still responsible to pay those," says Annemarie Adam, communications director Seven Lakes Championship Golf and Estates. 

There is no set date of when golf courses will be open to the public, but when it opens, extra measures will be taken to ensure physical distancing and safety. 

"It’s going to be totally different this year," says LaJeenesse. "We foresee bigger spacing between tee times to further separate group. Walk-on and unscheduled played most likely won’t be allowed." 

Seven Lakes Golf Course plans on restricting golf carts to one driver only.

"We are going to try to eliminate the sale of any food, beverage and snack bar items," says Adam.


The government said following proper health and safety guidelines, these businesses can reopen as of May 4 at 12:01 a.m.: 

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only
  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Additional essential construction projects that include: shipping and logistics, broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure; any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services; municipal projects; colleges and universities; child care centres; schools; and site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.