STC Framework for Recovery: Facilities and Amenities

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Under the STC Framework for Recovery the City is using a risk-based approach to guide decisions for resumption of services and reopening of facilities. Each City service has been assessed based on the criteria of safety, feasibility and community impact.

  • Safety: Can the service be delivered safely? Can the service be modified to achieve safety in delivery?
  • Feasibility: What is the cost associated with safely delivering the service? Is it fiscally responsible to expend those financial resources?
  • Community Impact: How does this service and related cost fit in the larger context of recovery for the community? Will it serve a broad section of the community? Is the service available through other partners?

Based on these criteria some facilities will not reopen to the public and some services may not resume until the risk of COVID-19 has been completely eliminated. Safety concerns, such as the necessity to use shared surfaces and limitations on the ability to provide for physical distancing, pose challenges for reopening facilities during the pandemic. Others may be delayed due to the costs associated with reopening, and how those costs compare with the community impact delivered by the facility.

As we welcome the public back to facilities and outdoor spaces we are looking to the public for their cooperation. We're all working to limit the spread of COVID-19 and we need visitors to practice physical distancing, practice good hand hygiene and observe facility guidelines to protect the safety of themselves and others.

A Staged Approach to Reopening

Take a look below for a full timeline of facility reopening. Please note all dates are tentative and subject to change based on the risk levels related to COVID-19 and direction from the Province of Ontario.

Stage 1

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage one

  • St. Catharines Farmers Market and Market Square
  • Parks, open for passive use
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm, open for passive park use, no animals

Stage 2

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage two

  • Buchanan Hall Administrative Building: Summer 2020
  • Fire Prevention Office: Summer 2020
  • Victoria Lawn Cemetery Mausoleums: June 20, 2020
  • City Hall: Summer 2020
  • City Splash Pads: July 1, 2020
  • City Sports Fields for user groups: Phased openings beginning July 1, 2020
  • City Beaches: June 26, 2020, daytime use only, beaches closed at dusk
  • Parks, open for regular use: July 1, 2020
  • Port Dalhousie Pool, Lincoln Park Pool: Summer 2020
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm, washrooms closed, no animals
  • Garden City Golf Course: July 6, 2020

Stage 3

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage three

  • Playground equipment: July 24 - 29
  • Port Weller Community Centre: July 27, 2020
  • St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre: July 29, 2020
  • Happy Rolph's Animal Farm washrooms: July 31
  • City Hall, by appointment only: Aug. 10
  • Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre: Aug. 22, 2020
  • Russell Avenue Community Centre: Aug. 22, 2020
  • St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre: Aug. 31, 2020
  • Bill Burgoyne Arena: Fall, 2020
  • Garden City Arena Complex: Sept. 8, 2020
  • St. Catharines Enterprise Centre: Oct. 5, 2020
  • Older Adult Centres: Oct. 5, 2020

Stage 4

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage four

  • Lakeside Park Carousel: 2021
  • Morningstar Mill: 2021
  • Lion Dunc Schooley Pool: 2021
  • Harriet Tubman Public School programming space: 2021
  • Outdoor City Pools: 2021
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm: 2021

Under the STC Framework for Recovery the City is using a risk-based approach to guide decisions for resumption of services and reopening of facilities. Each City service has been assessed based on the criteria of safety, feasibility and community impact.

  • Safety: Can the service be delivered safely? Can the service be modified to achieve safety in delivery?
  • Feasibility: What is the cost associated with safely delivering the service? Is it fiscally responsible to expend those financial resources?
  • Community Impact: How does this service and related cost fit in the larger context of recovery for the community? Will it serve a broad section of the community? Is the service available through other partners?

Based on these criteria some facilities will not reopen to the public and some services may not resume until the risk of COVID-19 has been completely eliminated. Safety concerns, such as the necessity to use shared surfaces and limitations on the ability to provide for physical distancing, pose challenges for reopening facilities during the pandemic. Others may be delayed due to the costs associated with reopening, and how those costs compare with the community impact delivered by the facility.

As we welcome the public back to facilities and outdoor spaces we are looking to the public for their cooperation. We're all working to limit the spread of COVID-19 and we need visitors to practice physical distancing, practice good hand hygiene and observe facility guidelines to protect the safety of themselves and others.

A Staged Approach to Reopening

Take a look below for a full timeline of facility reopening. Please note all dates are tentative and subject to change based on the risk levels related to COVID-19 and direction from the Province of Ontario.

Stage 1

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage one

  • St. Catharines Farmers Market and Market Square
  • Parks, open for passive use
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm, open for passive park use, no animals

Stage 2

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage two

  • Buchanan Hall Administrative Building: Summer 2020
  • Fire Prevention Office: Summer 2020
  • Victoria Lawn Cemetery Mausoleums: June 20, 2020
  • City Hall: Summer 2020
  • City Splash Pads: July 1, 2020
  • City Sports Fields for user groups: Phased openings beginning July 1, 2020
  • City Beaches: June 26, 2020, daytime use only, beaches closed at dusk
  • Parks, open for regular use: July 1, 2020
  • Port Dalhousie Pool, Lincoln Park Pool: Summer 2020
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm, washrooms closed, no animals
  • Garden City Golf Course: July 6, 2020

Stage 3

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage three

  • Playground equipment: July 24 - 29
  • Port Weller Community Centre: July 27, 2020
  • St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre: July 29, 2020
  • Happy Rolph's Animal Farm washrooms: July 31
  • City Hall, by appointment only: Aug. 10
  • Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre: Aug. 22, 2020
  • Russell Avenue Community Centre: Aug. 22, 2020
  • St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre: Aug. 31, 2020
  • Bill Burgoyne Arena: Fall, 2020
  • Garden City Arena Complex: Sept. 8, 2020
  • St. Catharines Enterprise Centre: Oct. 5, 2020
  • Older Adult Centres: Oct. 5, 2020

Stage 4

St. Catharines' facilities reopening: Stage four

  • Lakeside Park Carousel: 2021
  • Morningstar Mill: 2021
  • Lion Dunc Schooley Pool: 2021
  • Harriet Tubman Public School programming space: 2021
  • Outdoor City Pools: 2021
  • Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm: 2021
  • St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre set to reopen Aug. 31

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    17 September, 2020

    Aug. 28, 2020 - As summer vacation draws to a close and outdoor pools finish up for the season, swim fans will be excited to discover the St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre reopens Aug. 31.

    After months of closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre will open Monday with enhanced safety and prevention measures in place.

    “Staff are excited to welcome guests back to the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre and our team has been working hard to ensure the facilities are safe and accessible for all,” said Aquatics Supervisor Jennifer Green.

    New processes will require a reservation to access the pools. Guests can familiarize themselves with the new guidelines on the City’s website.

    Guests will need to make a reservation to visit the pools for all swims via the City’s eplay portal. More information related to registration can be found at www.stcatharines.ca/swimming. As a result of COVID-19, swim programs will have a limited number of spots.

    Lane swimming can be booked by calling 905.688.5601 ext. 1800.

    All guests will need to arrive 20 minutes before their booked timeslot to check in, make payment, complete COVID-19 screening and sanitize their hands. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter.

    Safety protocols and procedures will include limited occupancy to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. Change rooms will be open, but capacity will be restricted, and lockers will not be available. Guests are encouraged to arrive in swim attire and plan to change and shower at home afterwards. Spectators will not be permitted on the pool deck or in the viewing area.

    Everyone inside the facility will be required to wear a mask or face covering, except when swimming or showering. Children under the age of five and those who are unable to wear a mask or a face covering as a result of a medical condition or disability are exempt.

    There will be no pool toys in the leisure or lane pools. Lifejackets (PFDs) will be available and disinfected after each use. Flutter boards will be available for use in the lane pool only. Diving blocks will be closed.

    To ensure equitable access to as many community members as possible, the maximum length of each swim session will be 50 minutes and guests are requested to only book one swim per day.

    Modified programming is in place. There will be limited programs offered, including lengths swimming; water walking; women’s only swimming; leisure swimming; and soak and stretch. Beginning Sept. 21, the schedule will be modified with additional programs added such as fitness classes, swimming lessons, and some pool rentals.

    Membership pass holders may choose to use their passes as payment toward the lane and leisure swims. They can also leave their membership on hold until further notice or request a prorated refund.

    For membership questions, email aquatics@stcatharines.ca or call customer service at 905.688.5601 ext. 1800.

    Hours of operation may vary, so visit www.stcatharines.ca/swimming for the most up-to-date information.

    Please visit the St. Catharines Public Library website for the Dr. Huq branch re-opening details and hours of operation.

  • Skating returns with reopening of Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre

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    17 September, 2020

    Aug. 20, 2020 - The sounds of sharpened blades hitting the ice will soon return to St. Catharines.

    As the City rolls forward with Stage 3 of its STC Framework for Recovery, Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre will reopen its doors this Saturday, Aug. 22, after months of closure in response to COVID-19. The opening marks the first City arena to begin post COVID-19 operations, with enhanced safety and prevention measures in place.

    “There’s definitely some excitement building here, it has been a long time since we have welcomed the public onto the ice, and we know both our user groups and staff have definitely missed it,” said Community and Events Coordinator Brianne Wilson, adding, “while bringing back the joy of skating may be our goal, safety is our highest priority, and we have worked to have everything in place so this Saturday our users can feel confident in their continued health as they lace up their skates.”

    In terms of safety protocols and procedures occupancy will be limited, with no more than 25 participants allowed on any individual ice pad to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. Spectator areas, benches and change rooms will not be available at this time.

    Participants are asked to arrive dressed to skate, although chairs will be set up adjacent to ice areas for participants to put on their skates. Users should arrive 15 minutes before their ice time, and gather in the parking lot. When all participants are present staff will escort them into the facility at the front doors, as indicated by onsite signage.

    This applies to both ice rentals and public skates. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection efforts will take place between groups of users.

    Visitors will be required to wear masks in off-ice areas.

    Arena hours remain unchanged from pre-COVID-19 hours, with the facility open from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.

    Public skates will be available from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, beginning Aug. 24. Public skate participants will be required to register, on a first come first serve basis, via an online form at stcatharines.ca/PublicSkating. Upon completion of the form staff will follow up to arrange payment, with credit card being the preferred option.

    Ahead of these regularly scheduled public skates, the City will host several free public skates to welcome the public back to the ice this Saturday, Aug. 22 on a first come first serve basis. The free public skates will take place on rinks one and three from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on rinks two and four from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is not offered for these free public skates.

    The City has been working with established user groups through its Ice Allocation Policy to allocate seasonal ice needs. Those wishing to book ice can check availability through the eplay portal at stcatharines.ca/eplay by selecting ‘Ice; activities’ in the function field under the facilities tab. After reviewing availability email ice@stcatharines.ca with the desired timeslot and contact information including phone number for staff to follow up.

    Ice availability is offered on a first come first serve basis. At this time, ice is not being allocated past Oct. 31.

  • St. Catharines outlines Stage 3 reopening timelines

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    31 July, 2020

    July 23, 2020 - With Niagara moving into the third stage of Provincial recovery efforts the City is setting dates for reopening of several facilities and amenities.

    The gradual reopening of a wider array of City facilities, including City Hall, comes as the City prepares to enter Stage 3 of its STC Framework for Recovery.

    As more City locations, and nearly all local businesses, reopen their doors the City is reminding residents that vigilance in the face of COVID-19 is more important than ever. Residents should continue efforts to slow the spread of the virus such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, and the use of masks in enclosed public spaces.

    “We’re moving forward but we need to remain vigilant and pull together as a community, continuing to follow health and safety guidelines,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “Facilities and services may look a little different as we reopen, but it’s important we protect the community, keep the momentum going, and avoid moving backwards.”

    Guests to City facilities will be required to wear a mask, in accordance with the City’s Mandatory Masks By-law. The City is working to ensure procedures, such as passive screening of visitors, and infrastructure are in place to ensure the safety of both residents and staff as more spaces reopen.

    “Safety is our top priority as we reopen spaces, with that said we are excited to once again welcome residents and deliver the services they count on,” said Chief Administrative Officer Shelley Chemnitz, adding “as we welcome the public back we want them to have the confidence we are working to keep them safe, so we can continue to advance out of the pandemic, we know they have missed these amenities and their patience, and cooperation, is beyond appreciated.”

    As part of Stage 3 recovery efforts the following facilities will reopen to the public.

    Playground equipment, July 24
    With Provincial restrictions lifted the City will begin reopening playground equipment at its parks starting Friday, July 24. Fences and closure signage will be removed from all playgrounds by July 29. Residents should note playground equipment will not be sanitized. Washroom openings, under a phased-in approach, will commence after playgrounds have been opened.

    St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, July 28
    The museum will open to the public with safety protocols in place on July 28. With limits on occupancy the museum is asking guests to call ahead and book a time slot to visit, allowing for disinfection efforts between groups of guests. Prospective visitors can call 905.984.8880 to book their time.

    Port Weller Community Centre, July 27
    With staff already on hand to operate the on-site bathrooms related to the adjacent splash pad, Port Weller Community Centre will open ahead of schedule, on July 27, for drop in recreational activities and modified programming.

    Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm washrooms, July 31
    Animals will not return this year to the farm, however the public washrooms on site will reopen on July 31, with the area remaining in use as a passive park space.

    City Hall, Aug. 10
    While the majority of services offered through City Hall remain accessible remotely via modified formats, the City will begin accepting appointments for in-person delivery of services on Aug. 10. Those wishing to book an appointment will be able to do so online at www.stcatharines.ca/CitizensFirst, or by calling 905.688.5600. With limitations on the number of individuals allowed in the building, and staff resources, residents are asked to access services remotely if they are able.

    Russell Avenue Community Centre, Aug. 22
    Although the centre will reopen Aug. 22, residents should note programming may be limited or altered, and all rental requests may not be accommodated.

    Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre, Aug. 22
    The centre will reopen Aug. 22, with ice preparation underway as of July 31.

    St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre, Aug. 31
    The aquatics centre will reopen Aug. 31 with modified programming. Initially only leisure and lane swimming will be offered. Swim lessons, fitness classes and rentals will resume on Sept. 21.

    Older Adult Centres, Oct. 5
    While the City continues to review operations a target date of Oct. 5 has been set for the reopening of Older Adult Centres.

    St. Catharines Enterprise Centre, Oct. 5
    The City’s small-businesses support centre has continued to operate with virtual service delivery throughout the pandemic. In-person services will resume on Oct. 5.

    Please note, with the fluid nature of the ongoing emergency, some dates listed above are subject to change.

  • City beaches closed at dusk effective immediately

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    30 June, 2020
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    June 30, 2020 – The City is moving to address ongoing issues at its beaches with several actions, including overnight closures of these amenities.

    Effective immediately all City beaches — including Sunset Beach and the beach at Lakeside Park — will be closed from dusk until 8 a.m. While the City will keep beaches open during the day, so residents can cool off and enjoy the amenities, closing beaches at night will allay several concerns, including difficulties limiting the number of beachgoers at night.

    Crowds gathering on beaches pose several safety concerns, in addition to the impact of noise and traffic on nearby residences. The move comes after an incident on Sunday night at Sunset Beach where two individuals were arrested following a series of alleged assaults.

    Gates to parking lots will be closed at dusk and vehicles may be towed. Additionally, staff will be deployed in the coming days to ensure facilities are maintained, and to fence of access points in the evening.

    During the evening hours City crews and Fire Services will undertake drive by inspections to ensure closures are being followed, alongside increased parking enforcement in areas and on streets surrounding beaches.

    As the City moves to address immediate issues further measures will be investigated in the coming week, including the possible deployment of security personnel, if problems persist.

  • City announces dates for opening of beaches, splash pads, golf course and other amenities

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    26 June, 2020

    June 18, 2020 – As the City prepares to enter Stage 2 of its STC Framework for Recovery residents can look forward to enjoying some time outdoors with the finalized dates for reopening select amenities.

    Today the City announced finalized dates for the reopening of beaches, mausoleums at the Victoria Lawn Cemetery, splash pads, the Garden City Golf Course and select sports fields.

    The finalized dates come as the City begins a phased-in start to Stage 2 of recovery efforts. Safety protocols — such as occupancy limits and enhanced disinfection protocols — to limit the spread of COVID-19 have been put in place where possible, and the City remains committed to its goal of reopening facilities only when it is safe to do so for both the public and staff.

    To ensure continued forward momentum in the recovery process the City is asking the public to do its part in curbing the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to safety protocols and procedures in place at newly reopened areas and facilities. Additionally, residents should continue to wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing, stay home when sick, follow the direction of Niagara Region Public Health and comply with Provincial emergency orders.

    St. Catharines Farmers Market, June 20
    This Saturday the City will introduce an expanded footprint for the St. Catharines Farmers Market allowing more vendors to participate while maintaining safety requirements. Specifically, the market will expand to encompass some area outside Market Square, allowing a total of 32 vendors to set up shop beginning this Saturday. Market vendors and visitors are required to wear a face mask or covering.

    Victoria Lawn Cemetery, June 20
    Both the Holy Trinity and Garden of Memories Mausoleums will open to visitors this weekend, with occupancy limits in place alongside intermittent disinfection efforts. A maximum of 20 individuals will be allowed to enter the Garden of Memories Mausoleum; while 15 will be allowed to enter the Holy Trinity Mausoleum at any given time. Mausoleums will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Administrative offices are available by appointment only.

    City Beaches, June 26
    While barricades will come down this Friday, Sunset Beach and the beach at Lakeside Park will fully open June 26 along with their bathroom facilities. The opening will coincide with Niagara Region water-quality testing. Residents should be advised the beach will not be groomed. Visitors are reminded to maintain a separation of two metres with individuals outside their household, and that Provincial restrictions remain in place on gatherings of over 10 individuals.

    City Splash Pads, July 1
    City Splash pads, and their related washrooms, will open on July 1. The City will have staff on site to assist during operational hours. Capacity limits will be in place to ensure physical distancing is maintained. Hand sanitizer will be provided for users. Splash pads will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Kiwanis Field, McCaffery Park Sports Fields, July 1
    The City will take a phased in approach to opening sports fields, opening these two first, on July 1 along with their related bathroom facilities.

    Garden City Golf Course, July 6
    While procedures to ensure safe operation are still being finalized the City is targeting July 6 for the opening date of the Garden City Golf Course. Visitors will be required to book tee times in advance and cash payments will not be accepted. Food such as snacks and beverage sales, including alcohol, will be offered, however the grill will not be in operation. Limited numbers of carts will be available. For more information visit www.stcatharines.ca/Golf.

    Other Facilities
    While the STC Framework for Recovery contains tentative targets for the reopening of several other facilities and spaces in Stage 2 exact dates have yet to be confirmed. The City is opting to act with caution in reopening, ensuring infrastructure and protocols are in place to welcome residents back safely. Playground equipment remains closed under Province of Ontario emergency orders. For more information on facility and amenity reopening timelines visit www.engageSTC.ca/FacilitiesRecovery.

    City Hall remains closed at this time while the majority of its services continue to be offered in modified formats. For more information about City services contact Citizens First at 905.688.5600 or via email to CitizensFirst@stcatharines.ca.

  • City eases restrictions on outdoor spaces and amenities

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    04 June, 2020
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    May 15, 2020 – As the City of St. Catharines cautiously eyes the road forward to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, some restrictions are being lifted allowing residents greater use, and access to, some outdoor spaces today.

    Specifically, residents will be able to use parks for more than walk-through uses, with some limitations. Residents must still abide by restrictions limiting groups to no more than five people and maintaining a two-metre physical separation. Passive activities will now be permitted in these areas including:
    • Bringing a chair or blanket to relax in parks
    • Kicking a ball, playing catch, flying a kite, and other such activities with members of their own households
    • Individual activities such as yoga or exercising, provided they are not in a group or class

    In addition to easing certain restrictions the City is opening some previously closed amenities for use, effective Tuesday, May 19. These amenities are:
    • Leash-free dog parks
    • Tennis courts
    • Skate parks

    Anyone taking advantage of these spaces should be sure to follow the best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 as outlined by Niagara Region Public Health. These include frequent washing / sanitization of hands, physical separation, avoiding touching of shared surfaces and staying home if displaying symptoms or having been in close contact with cases of the virus.

    Organized sports are still restricted, given their necessity for gathering of groups and close physical contact. At this time park and outdoor amenities such as playground equipment, benches, the Lakeside Park Carousel, and washrooms remain closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 on shared surfaces. With Sunset Beach remaining closed its boat launch will also remain closed as City staff assess its condition and need for repairs. The Garden City Golf Course also remains closed as staff review its operations as part of the City’s larger recovery planning.

    “We are certainly proud of everyone’s efforts in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and happy to be lifting some of the restrictions for our residents,” said Chief Administrative Officer Shelley Chemnitz, adding, “it will be great to see people back at some of these amenities, but we have to remain vigilant, we are urging everyone to continue to exercise caution when they do head outside so we continue to move forward, not backwards, in the fight against this virus.”

    The move to lift restrictions comes as the City adjusts its response to COVID-19, in line with yesterday’s announcement from the Province of Ontario. On May 14, the Province announced the opening of certain outdoor amenities — such as golf courses and marinas — this weekend. City staff are continuing ongoing work to map the City’s path forward as the Province prepares to enter its first phase of recovery on Tuesday, May 19, lifting the closures of several non-essential business categories like retail operations and all construction projects.

    Bylaw enforcement will continue to enforce gatherings larger than five people, dogs off-leash, and anyone using closed park amenities.

  • Farmers Market gearing up for May 23 reopening

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    04 June, 2020
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    May 15, 2020 – Niagara’s bounty will soon be back on the table, literally and figuratively.

    After weeks of closure in response to the spread of COVID-19, the St. Catharines Farmers Market is preparing to open its doors to the public, albeit with a different look and feel, alongside a laundry list of safety protocols to ensure the health of both vendors and patrons. The market will return Saturday, May 23, from 8 a.m. to noon.

    “Our patrons have been looking forward to this day for a while now, and our vendors have been counting on it as well,” said Community and Market Coordinator Deanna Chakarova. She was quick to note the market won’t have its normal social feel as patrons will be asked to move through without their typical chat with vendors.

    “Things will be a little different, you won’t be able to pickup and inspect your produce to find just the right pick, but the market will once again be open, serving up the best Niagara has to offer.”

    Chakarova said guests can expect the full range of produce, meats, cheeses, wines and baked goods they have come to love at the market, in addition to newly-introduced safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    “We know everyone missed the market, but the closure was necessary to ensure that shoppers and vendors can conduct their business safely,” said Chakarova, adding the City has been cooperating with Niagara Region Public Health alongside Farmers Markets Ontario to ensure best practices as the market reopens its doors.

    Newly-introduced requirements and safety actions for customers include:
    • Self-assessment for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms
    • Admittance of only one customer at a time, pairs or groups are asked to have only one individual enter the market
    • No more than 16 customers being admitted to the market at any given time
    • Requiring of customers to sanitize their hands before entry
    • All customers and vendors must wear a face mask or covering due to limitations on other typical preventative measures such as sneeze guards. Wrapped scarves, bandanas, surgical masks and face shields will all be considered acceptable face coverings
    • No handling or sampling of food will be permitted; vendors will set up a display table to showcase their products but sale items will be stored behind the table for completion of customer orders
    • Maintaining a safe physical separation of two metres from other shoppers, including in the entry line
    • Distancing and traffic-flow lines will be clearly marked outside and inside the market
    • Reusable bags will not be permitted for the time being

    Based on stipulations set out by the Province of Ontario, only farmers and vendors selling food items will be featured during the State of Emergency. Vendors selling beauty supplies, flowers, crafts and other non-food-chain products will not be featured. Even with these limitations patrons can expect 20 vendors on site May 23.

    Vendors will also face a host of new restrictions and protocols to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including:
    • Mandatory use of face masks
    • Preferred use of electronic payments, cash payments will require a second individual whose sole duty will be handling of cash
    • Maintaining a two-metre separation when possible with patrons and fellow vendors who do not reside in their household
    • Prepackaging of products when possible
    • Frequent hand washing / sanitization
    • Self-assessment for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms

    Moving forward the St. Catharines Farmers Market will run on a limited schedule, on Saturdays only from 8 a.m. to noon. A list of vendors participating in the market during COVID-19 restrictions can be found at www.stcatharines.ca/market.

    As part of the reopening the market will introduce a new online shopping portal, a feature that will continue even after COVID-19 restrictions ease. Those who still have a hankering for fresh meats, veggies, fruits, cheese and more, but might not yet be ready to physically enter the market, can head over to our shop on Open Food Network to fill up their virtual shopping cart with an array of items from all the vendors they would normally find at the market. From there they simply place their order and it will be prepared for pickup at the market the following Saturday.