LONDON, ONT. -- Londoners can now play catch, kick a ball around, fly a kite or exercise at the park, but outdoor playgrounds and play structures remain off limits.

The City of London says it is in the process of reopening several park amenities for public use, in alignment with Phase 1 of Ontario's Framework for Reopening the Province. 

“We know residents are excited to get some fresh air and exercise and we appreciate their patience as city staff work to get all of these park amenities open,” said Mayor Ed Holder in a statement.

“Parks are a vital part of life in the Forest City. We are counting on everyone to do their part to keep following the health precautions that will ensure these are safe places for all to enjoy.”

While park amenities reopen, health measures and precautions remain critical to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. This includes physical distancing, and limiting the size of gatherings to no more than five people, unless they are from within the same household. 

The city says these spaces are not sanitized, and residents are asked to wash or sanitize their hands after use. 

Londoners may use outdoor sports fields and baseball diamonds for non-team sports.

Picnic tables, benches and park shelters are also now open for public use.

Skate parks and basketball courts are now open for use, and the city has started the process of installing nets and reopening tennis and pickleball courts. While the work continues, Londoners will notice some courts have nets installed and are open while others will remain closed until the work is complete.

All tennis and pickleball courts are expected to be open by the end of the week.

Fanshawe Golf Course and Thames Valley Golf Course reopened last week with new COVID-19 policies and procedures in place. River Road Golf Course will remain closed until further notice. 

All City of London off-leash dog parks are open for public use.

"The safety of Londoners and staff is our number one priority as we reopen park amenities," says Scott Stafford, managing director of Parks and Recreation. "I’m hopeful Londoners will continue to practice all health guidelines in these spaces."

Londoners will see new signage installed at spaces with open park amenities with these measures. 

In keeping with physical distancing measures, if you arrive at a park space that is too busy or crowded, the city asks that you wait until there is enough space to properly practice physical distancing or return at another time. 

Outdoor pools, spray pads and wading pools will remain closed in accordance with provincial orders until further notice.  To find a park amenity near you, visit: