Summary of rules on water activities

Water enthusiasts everywhere are chomping at the bit and wondering when they’ll be able to resume their activities. Here’s a useful summary for people in our watershed.

As of May 19th, 5pm

The unmistakable sound of a paddle slicing through quiet waters. The wind grabbing your sails as you leave the dock for the first time of the season. The exhilarating rush of the cold water down your wetsuit as you launch on an open water swim. We get it, and we’re right there with you! Water enthusiasts everywhere are chomping at the bit and wondering when they’ll be able to resume their activities. Here’s a useful summary for people in our watershed – note that public health guidelines around physical distancing and travel between regions still apply. Please make sure to check back regularly for the latest information, rules are constantly changing.  

Québec:

Starting May 20, non-organized outdoor recreational and sporting activities carried out individually or in pairs, without physical contact and with limited or no access to sanitation facilities, will be permitted: Whitewater and still water canoeing and kayaking; Kitesurfing; Day fishing; Paddleboarding; Scuba diving and snorkeling (outdoors); Surfing; Rowing (singles only); Speed canoeing and kayaking (singles only); Sea kayaking; Open water swimming (lakes); Triathlon (with swimming component in open water only); Sailing (single rider only). The key will be to make sure your access point to the water is legally available for you to use. For example, as of writing, Gatineau Park is not open for non-local enthusiasts arriving by car. 

Ontario:

Stage 1 reopening of activities in Ontario include outdoor sports facilities, and “individual indoor and outdoor sport competitions without spectators,” such as water sports. 

The Ontario government has opened provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access. However, only “self-guided activities such as walking, hiking, biking, boating, paddling and fishing will be permitted within provincial parks”, and “camping and other activities are not permitted at any provincial park or conservation reserve. All buildings and facilities including water taps, campgrounds, backcountry campsites, roofed accommodations, playgrounds and beaches continue to be closed.”

Day visitors will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

Ottawa:

Good news! The city is making plans to open Westboro, Petrie Island, and Mooney’s Bay beaches this summer.

Boat launches in City of Ottawa parks are now open as of May 16th.

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