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UPDATE: July 17, 2020 Orillia to reopen parks and select facilities as part of Stage 3

Posted on Friday July 17, 2020

In light of the Province’s Stage 3 announcement earlier this week, the City of Orillia is in the process of reopening select City facilities and amenities with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.

“As we enter Stage 3 of reopening, the City of Orillia is starting the process of reopening select municipal facilities and amenities in Orillia. When considering reopening, there are many factors that come into play such as public safety, timing, staffing levels and fiscal responsibility,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “We’re excited to start reopening our playgrounds today, but ask that everyone be patient as crews work through the necessary reopening process. As I’ve said before, reopening doesn’t mean relaxing. It’s critical that everyone using our parks continue to practice good hand hygiene and keep physical distance from anyone not in their household or social circle of 10.”

Garage sales are now permitted in the City of Orillia provided they follow the guidelines as set out by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Play Structures

Staff are working towards the reopening of all play structures within City parks to public access starting July 17. Crews will prioritize the reopening of parks by order of highest to lowest usage. Large community parks such as Couchiching Beach Park and J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park will be first, followed by smaller neighbourhood parks and parkettes. Due to physical distancing limitations, swing sets will only have every other swing reinstalled. Please be patient as staff work diligently to reopen all parks safely.

Outdoor Athletic Facilities and Pavilions

Pavilions and Orillia soccer fields, baseball diamonds and the artificial turf (located at West Orillia Sports Complex) will remain open on a first-come, first-serve basis with no associated fees. Permit bookings will not be available for the 2020 season for outdoor athletic facilities and pavilions based on low user group demand, staffing levels and maintenance required. Provincial Stage 3 reopening requirements are restrictive on the number of players allowed in organized team sports. Provincial rules state leagues must be set up such that there are no more than 50 players in a group/division/league and teams in that group can only play against each other and cannot play teams from outside the league. This would be very restrictive in the number of teams able to participate.

Recreation Programming and Facilities

City of Orillia recreation programming will begin in fall 2020 in a modified capacity that adheres to physical distancing and gathering restrictions. Watch for a digital version of the Fall Made Fun Guide with detailed information later in August.

Rotary Place is currently running day camps and will reopen to the public with ice rentals starting Aug. 17. Brian Orser Arena will open at a later date based on user group and programming demands. Barnfield Point Recreation Centre is also being used for day camps and will reopen for Bayside Restaurant starting Monday, July 20.

The Orillia Recreation Centre will be used for day camps beginning Aug. 10, 2020. The new recreation centre will open to the public after Labour Day. More details on the opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre will be released soon.

Opera House and Stephen Leacock Museum

The Orillia Opera House is anticipated to reopen its stage to audiences beginning Aug. 17, 2020, with a Taste of Summer program. Shows will be limited based on gathering and physical distancing restrictions.  The Stephen Leacock Museum continues to be open to the general public and will be accepting limited smaller scale bookings in Swanmore Hall for the remainder of 2020.

The Orillia Youth Centre

The Orillia Youth Centre will reopen its doors on Aug. 4, 2020.

Other Municipal Facilities

Orillia City Centre remains open to the public by appointment only. The Wastewater Treatment Centre, Water Filtration Plant, Municipal Operations Centre, Fire Stations, and Waste Diversion Site Administration Office will remain closed to the public at this time (the Waste Diversion Site itself is open to the public). All services are available by phone or email.

“We appreciate your patience as we ease into Stage 3. There is a lot of work to be done and it’s not as easy as flipping a switch to implement new operating procedures. Like so many of the businesses in our community, the City has made necessary adjustments to our staffing and operations in response to COVID-19 and as we start things back up, time is required to put in place the necessary health and safety precautions to keep our staff and the community safe,” said Mayor Clarke.

The following community assistance measures remain in place:

  • Emergency fund of $100,000 to be distributed to critical lead service providers on an as-needed basis.
  • Waived 2020 property tax penalty and interest through to July 31, 2020, for both residential and businesses.
  • Waived 2020 water and sewer penalty and interest through to Sept. 30, 2020, for both residential and businesses.
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charges are waived for any pre-authorized payment plan until July 31, 2020 (you may still incur charges by your bank).
  • Suspension of all water shut-offs due to non-payment of water bills until Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Waived Orillia Transit fees until July 31, 2020. 
  • Waived parking fees through to July 31, 2020.
  • Deferred implementation of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) to Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Established an Economic Recovery Task Force.
  • One-million dollars set aside for COVID-19 related social and economic recovery efforts.
  • Offering an alternative day camp program called ‘Camp Orillia’ this summer as a childcare service to help parents who are returning to work.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • Stay home and away from others when you are feeling ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Keep a physical distance of two metres when with those not in your household or social circle of 10.
  • Wear a mask/face covering indoors, on Orillia Transit, or in situations where physical distancing is a challenge or not possible.
  • Avoid touching your face and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.

For more information visit:

For more information on the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Orillia visit:

For COVID-19 updates from the SMDHU visit:




Mayor Steve Clarke

Brent Thomas
Orillia Fire Chief

Gayle Jackson
Chief Administrative Officer

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Business Development and Communications