Mayor John Tory says that the city may be “nearing the time” that it is safe to reopen amenities in parks, including playgrounds.

The city made the decision to close all park amenities back on March 25 in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In the days following the order, city staff fanned out across the city to tape off playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and other amenities. They also blocked off access to parking lots at city parks and beaches and issued fines to hundreds of people who continued to use the amenities.

“I have to abide by and I will abide by the advice of the medical officer of health as to when any risk posed by the virus on playground equipment or things like that has abated sufficiently but I think we are nearing that time now,” Tory said during an interview with CP24 on Friday morning when asked about the amenities. “Before we were discouraging people from going to parks but we are now saying to people it is OK to go the parks but keep your distance.”

It should be noted that the province issued its own emergency order shuttering park amenities a few days following the city’s decision and that order would have to be amended or lifted in order to permit the reopening of playgrounds, sports fields and other park amenities in Toronto.

Asked about the eventual reopening of parks on Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said that he is “in constant communication on a daily basis” with Tory’s office and “respects his decisions.”

Ford, however, did not specifically say whether it was something that is being considered.

The province has announced plans to reopen some outdoor recreational sports centres on Tuesday, including tennis courts, cycling tracks and horse riding facilities.