Media Release – Town of Smiths Falls opens municipal swim areas, looks towards Rideau Canal opening June 1

May 29, 2020

Town of Smiths Falls opens municipal swim areas, looks toward Rideau Canal opening June 1

The Town of Smiths Falls is moving forward with the gradual re-opening of municipal recreational assets in accordance with changing provincial and federal regulations. Key changes taking place this week include the opening of municipal swim areas to the public, and the opening of the Rideau Canal, June 1.

On May 27, and in accordance with a loosening of provincial restrictions, the Town of Smiths Falls announced the lifting of some restrictions at recreation locations in town, namely at municipal fields, courts, and the skateboard park.

“We are pleased with the efforts we’ve seen from the community in response to the re-opening of recreational locations in Smiths Falls,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow. “As a community we are taking COVID-19 seriously, and continuing to physical distance as much as possible. I’m proud of the response from our residents and business owners.”

Next on the list of recreational areas to open for public use are swim areas in Smiths Falls. Please note the inflatable at Murphy Park has not been installed at this time and Town owned public washrooms are not open.

Citizens are reminded to practice physical distancing measures while using the beaches and any municipal parks and fields.

Beginning June 1, the Rideau Canal will be open for limited visitor access. Visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

• Lockage, boat launches, access points and mooring areas;
• Day use areas, including green spaces, picnic areas, and parking lots;
• Day use trails, including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways; and
• Lockstation grounds; and Parks Canada washrooms (where enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented).

In Smiths Falls, these openings will impact use of the Smiths Falls’ Detached Locks (31), the Combined Lockstation (29a) in Centennial Park and Old Slys Locks (26-27). Parks Canada will be installing signage along the waterway to remind visitors of physical distancing requirements while using the Rideau Canal.

Citizens may also notice both the public docks and Le Boat docks have been installed in anticipation of the canal opening. Beginning June 3, Le Boat will be welcoming visitors to Smiths Falls and boats will once again be departing for travel along the Rideau Canal.

“We are excited to see the gradual re-opening of businesses and services in Smiths Falls, and I’m looking forward to seeing boats cruising the canal once again.” said Pankow. “While this is all good news, it’s important that we continue to do what we can to protect our families and our community, by wearing masks when away from home and continuing to social distance.”

As re-opening of the province moves forward, the Town continues to encourage citizens to use face masks while away from home, and especially in situations where maintaining a two-metre distance may not be possible. Wearing a non-medical face covering does not protect you from exposure to the COVID-19 virus, but it can offer protection to those around you.

Ongoing recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19 include the following actions:

• Stay home when feeling unwell.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Observe physical distancing rules and maintain at least two-metres between yourself and others at all times.
• Be patient and follow store procedures to maintain physical distancing.
• Wear a cloth face covering if you have must go places where maintaining distance is difficult or when it is required by a business.
• Practice good hand hygiene and carry hand wipes or hand sanitizer with you at all times.

The Town of Smiths Falls offers resources for businesses and residents on its COVID-19 resource page at https://www.smithsfalls.ca/public-safety/covid-19-coronavirus/

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For further information, please contact:

Malcolm Morris
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext. 3305
mmorris@smithsfalls.ca

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Shawn Pankow
Mayor
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext 1110
spankow@smithsfalls.ca

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