Newmarket facilities to begin reopening next week as Town responds to move into red-control zone
The Town of Newmarket is pleased to move forward with a reopening plan in response to last week's provincial announcement that Newmarket is now within the red-control zone of the Province's reopening framework. The Town's reopening plan continues to provide safe recreation opportunities and events to the community, while also balancing the significant financial impacts of COVID-19.
"The main goal when making these service level decisions was to do everything that we can to support physical activity for youth and the community," says Mayor John Taylor. "We've had to make some tough choices in order to find some savings but at the end of the day, the Town is committed to providing much-needed recreational options and modified events that we can all enjoy safely. We will continue to seek support from other levels of government to limit the financial impacts of COVID-19 as much as possible."
The following facilities and services will reopen/resume with strict health and safety measures in place in accordance with public health measures.
The Manga Centre pool is scheduled to reopen on March 8. Patrons will be required to register for their swim session in advance. Reservations can be booked one day in advance at 9 a.m. at play.newmarket.ca.
The Outdoor Gorman Pool will reopen this season. More details will be provided closer to the reopening date.
The pool at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex will remain closed until further notice. The decision to potentially reopen the facility will be revisited in May.
Fitness Centre at the Magna Centre
The Fitness Center at the Magna Centre is scheduled to reopen on March 8. Reservations are required. Residents can register for timeslot at the Fitness Centre one day in advance as of 9 a.m. at play.newmarket.ca.
The Town is committing to operating four ice pads this season for various user groups. Two rinks at the Magna Centre are now available for use and a third rink will be available at the Magna Centre beginning next week. The Town is currently working on plans to add an indoor fourth rink in the near future.
Summer Camps and Special Events
The Town is currently exploring options to provide modified summer camps and special events to the community. Camp registration is anticipated to begin in May. Additional details will be communicated as plans are finalized.
Newmarket Public Library
The Newmarket Public Library is gradually reopening for in-person services on March 16 with strict health and safety measures in place. Access to public computer workstations will be permitted for an hour at a time. In-person membership services for issuing and renewing library cards will also be available. As health restrictions ease more services will be added while ensuring the safety of everyone. For more information, please visit newmarketpl.ca
Other outdoor recreation amenities
Outdoor recreation activities that are currently open like skating at Riverwalk Commons, Pickleball (Quaker Park) and tennis (Keith Davis Tennis Centre - outdoor) will remain open with existing health and safety measures in place.
Changes in service to limit the financial impact of COVID-19
In an effort to limit the financial impacts of COVID-19, the Town will be moving forward with the following service updates. With the updated services noted below, it is expected that the Town will save approximately $500,000 to $600,000 this year. Service changes include:
- Reverting back to the three-bag garbage limit as of April 6, 2021.
- At the beginning of the pandemic a temporary five garbage bag limit was put in place to assist residents who were staying at home. This was put in place as a temporary measure and in an effort to reduce costs, as of April 6, the Town will be reverting back to the bi-weekly three bag garbage limit. Garbage bag tags are available for purchase if additional bags/items are required. For more information visit newmarket.ca/garbagecollection
- Reducing tree plantings this year by 50%
- Last year, the Town of Newmarket planted 500+ trees to help expand Newmarket's tree canopy and is well within the goals set out in the Urban Forestry Management Plan. As such, the Town will reduce tree planting efforts this year by 50% to assist with the financial impact of COVID-19. The reduction in tree planting will not affect tree plantings for trees that were previously removed and need to be replanted.
- Reducing the grass cutting frequency and catch basin cleaning
- Grass cutting will take place once every 10 working days and open spaces and sport fields will take place once every 5 working days.
- Catch basin cleaning by the Town will be reduced by 50%. Residents will not be affected by this service change as the Town's catch basins are in excellent condition.
- Postponing playground equipment replacement and rehabilitation has been deferred for 2021. As a result, no playgrounds will be closed for construction this year.
- The Town's playground equipment continues to be inspected frequently to ensure it is safe for use and will not be significantly impacted by this postponement as the equipment is in good shape.
The Town will continue to work closely with York Region Public Health and take direction from the Province of Ontario as we try to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.
For more information on COVID-19 in Newmarket, please visit newmarket.ca/covid19, for information on what is open and what is closed in Newmarket, please visit newmarket.ca/reopen. For further information on COVID-19 in York Region, please visit york.ca/covid19