Niagara Falls, ON – Following the emergency orders put in place by the Province, Niagara Parks closed all outdoor recreational amenities effective March 31, 2020, in addition to its public-facing facilities and operations, which closed effective March 14. As indicated by the emergency order, public spaces including Niagara Parks’ 1,300 hectares of open parkland along the Niagara River, remain open for walk-through access only at this time.
First and foremost, Niagara Parks continues to echo the advice of our public health officials in asking everyone to please stay home. As the weather gets nicer and more individuals start venturing outside of their homes, the safest way to enjoy the outdoors is to stay within your own communities and neighbourhoods while maintaining a safe physical distance of at least two metres at all times. While Niagara Parks’ public spaces remain open for walk-through access, all amenities are still closed, including public washrooms, playgrounds, park benches, picnic tables, etc.
Signage has been installed across Niagara Parks, reminding the public of what is and is not open and available and repeating messaging from public health officials around leaving home only when necessary and practising safe physical distancing. For individuals still choosing to visit public spaces, in addition to following the health and safety measures put in place by the Province, the public is reminded to treat our natural environment with respect.
At this time, Niagara Parks’ parking lots remain accessible. This decision is informed by past experience in managing the high volume of traffic on the Niagara Parkway in a safe and responsible manner. Closing off parking areas does not necessarily discourage visitation, but instead leads people to park unsafely along the roadway or in other areas, putting themselves and others in danger. Rather than risking additional public safety concerns, Niagara Parks has instead added signage to help individuals make informed decisions for themselves to protect their health and safety, as well as those around them.
This is the same approach taken by the Niagara Parks Police Service, who continue to patrol the Niagara Parkway, engaging with individuals to ensure they are aware of the health and safety measures we should all be taking and helping to enforce the emergency orders.
Should members of the community wish to report any instances of non-compliance with the emergency orders on Niagara Parks property, they can contact Niagara Parks Police Service dispatch at 905.356.1338 ext. 0.
For any other questions or comments, Niagara Parks’ Guest Services Centre remains open and available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.877.642.7275.