Some boat ramps reopening

by Editorial Staff | May 6, 2020
boat ramp
The municipal boat ramp in Lindsay’s Rivera Park, scheduled to reopen May 14. (Photo by Jason Bain)

Some municipal boat ramps are reopening and some bans on outdoor fires are also being lifted as part of the first steps to reopen Ontario.

The City of Kawartha Lakes, for example, plans to lift its burn ban on Friday, May 8 and to reopen its public boat ramps on May 14 as part of municipal service expansions announced on Wednesday, May 6.

Burning remains prohibited, however, in the northern part of the municipality. This is still part of the province’s Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ). Kawartha Lakes is located approximately 90 minutes northeast of Toronto.

The RFZ was designated April 3 to prevent human-caused fires and also aid emergency responders during the pandemic.

Cities restoring services

Other municipalities have taken similar action. The City of Kingston reopened five boat launches on Tuesday, May 5. Other public amenities, however, including playground equipment, benches, washrooms and picnic tables remain closed.

Everyone, including anglers and hunters, are reminded to continue to practice health guidelines, including social distancing.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), which has called for the province to “reopen the outdoors,” is maintaining an extensive list of restrictions and closures that could impact fishing and hunting.

Long weekend approaches

Marinas were among the seasonal businesses allowed to open on Monday, May 4, although they remain closed to the public.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said the province will not band cottagers from enjoying their properties on the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend. He has reportedly been consulting with cottage country mayors about the issue.

Public health officials have discouraged seasonal residents from going to their cottages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some municipalities have even threatened to impose fines for those who chose to do so.

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  1. Marge wrote: I am wanting to know why we can’t go to our Resorts when we have paid for our seasonal.Especially when I am in my own City.
  2. Dave wrote: I am an essential hvac tech and the only thing I ask you guys /girls to please open up boat ramps with rules following the proper protocol. Please there are a lot of fishermen and guides trying to make a living or just feed there families. At least open one at a time. One in Windsor. One in Lasalle. One in Amherstburg. Again please open boat ramps.
  4. Glenn forrester wrote: They really should think about opening public boat launches before long weekend ! Tht would give people tht leave boats in water for season not at marinas to get there boats In! Daily fishermen or women who will stay in distancing program still will also want to get out to do some fishing after being cooped up so long ! So if all at once happens it will be out of control !
  5. Claude G wrote: Ok, once and for all,. Can 2 people who live at different addresses fish in the same boat?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Claude, it’s still recommended that you maintain six feet (two metres) apart from anyone outside your household. If your boat cannot accommodate this distance, then you wouldn’t be observing physical distancing parameters.
  6. PATRICK RIGG wrote: It would be nice to have an accurate up to date listing of what boat launches are open/not open along with local attitudes. I have heard from local relatives that the Police or others are "grilling" none-locals found fishing or launching in certain waters. As a city dweller with a boat, I don't need the complication of dragging the boat 2 or more hours to be accosted at a ramp or on the water. Regards
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Patrick, you can find a thorough list of openings and closures at this address: Just scroll-down a bit to see the "Boat Launches and public spaces" subheading.
  7. Craig Austin wrote: There is no evidence at all suggesting that someone well enough to launch a boat is in any more danger from Covid than from boating. Residents of LTC facilities are seldom seen launching boats. It is, and always has been a compliance test, we failed miserably.