Town continues with plans to ‘Open Orangeville’, 27 park sites reopened

July 24, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The Town of Orangeville is ramping up its measures to reopen community facilities and services following the months-long COVID-19 pandemic. 

After successfully opening its splash pads at Fendley Park and Everykids Park back on June 24 without too many issues, the municipality gave the green light to its parks and recreation staff to reopen all 27 municipal playgrounds and outdoor spaces this past Friday (July 17), after Ontario Premier Doug Ford moved much of the province into Phase 3 of the economic reopening. 

Included was the grand opening of the new playground at Everykids Park, which boasts a junior space kitted out with slides, climbers, low-level monkey bars, accessible rings and swings. The site also includes a senior playground, which includes an explorer dome with climbing, sliding and spinning features, along with the Town’s first artificial turf surface. 

“I’m excited to announce that Everykids playground at Harvey Curry Park will be opening for the first time,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “This state-of-the-art and accessible playground was developed in consultation with the community, and I’m glad to see it finished in time for this reopening.”

Staff will continue to monitor and check all play structures on a weekly basis and will be posting rules related to COVID-19 to ensure that everyone remains diligent while visiting and using all play spaces. The public is being asked to wash their hands often and maintain a physical distance of two metres between other people while using all play spaces.

To help with the monitoring aspect, the Town has installed smart cameras at the Orangeville Community Garden site on Centre St. and at the Rotary skatepark, which staff say will give the municipality an opportunity to test the innovative technology in both passive and active spaces. 

The cameras, which are AI enabled, have a variety of capabilities that the Town will explore throughout the life of the project. The cameras will alert staff of the number if the number of people in a space exceeds the predetermined capacity. 

Once the cameras have been tested and their full capabilities determined, the Town plans to move them to new spaces to “support the continued reopening and monitoring of public spaces, and possibly events”. 

A Town press release states that the project includes the use of machine learning technology to redact personally identifiable information on the images it receives. Staff claim that privacy is ensured with the automatic redaction of personal information at the camera source, highlighting that no private data is ever captured or stored. 

“A key goal is to support reopening spaces and activities without needing to have staff physically monitoring and checking locations constantly,” said Mayor Brown. “Following the guidance of Public Health, we’d like to open Orangeville as quickly as possible, while supporting the health and safety of the community. This is a tool that can support us on that journey.”

The community will take another significant step next month, with the reopening of Orangeville Town Hall. The building will reopen for public appointments on Aug. 4. Capacity inside the building will be limited to 50 people, including staff and visitors, at any given time. Facial coverings will be required inside the common areas of Town Hall at all times, and social distancing is to be maintained. 

These steps all go hand-in-hand with Open Orangeville, a 67-page document that maps out the municipality’s plan to kickstart the community following the COVID-19 pandemic. Town CAO Ed Brennan briefly discussed the report at an Orangeville Council meeting on July 13.

“It is a collective effort from our supervisors, with input from all of our staff. There are hundreds of documents that form this recovery plan, all rolled up to provide a high level overview of actions taken, and actions that will be taken as we work through this recovery,” Mr. Brennan stated.

The report can be found in its entirety on Town  website at 

The chief take-away from the report is that, financially speaking, the Town is still in reasonable shape, despite offering a variety of cost-saving programs for residents throughout the pandemic. Treasurer Nandini Syed informed Council that the municipality’s cash flow projections for July through to September show that the Town is in a “good, positive position” to manage expenses.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.