One of Kingston’s most loved and used public parks will be open to the public again, after over two weeks of being closed by the City of Kingston.
According to Mayor Bryan Paterson and Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, the park will re-open on Thursday, Apr. 27, 2021 at 4 p.m. The park was initially closed on Friday, Apr. 9, 2021 following a day that saw large gatherings of young adults in the park, and on the same day a COVID-19 outbreak was announced in the neighbouring University District. Although that outbreak has since resolved, there is currently another outbreak within the Queen’s community within residence buildings.
While the initial closure was to be for 10 days, Mayor Paterson extended the closure on Monday, Apr. 19, 2021 for another week, but he conveyed that he is happy to reopen the park at this time.
“Most of the fencing will remain for now, but there will be openings in the fence to allow for access in and out of the park. This way, if similar crowding issues occur inside the park, we’ll be able to close it again quickly,” Mayor Paterson said in a statement to The Kingstonist. “We know how important this space is to the community, and so our goal has always been to reopen it as soon as possible. I’m optimistic that residents will be able to enjoy the park, get exercise, and enjoy the waterfront without the issues we encountered a few weeks ago.”
Dr. Moore also voiced his confidence that the community could once again use the space while adhering to current COVID-19 guidelines.
“I’m very happy to see the park reopened. I absolutely want to encourage our community to get out to walk, hike, bike, enjoy the spring air. Hopefully the mayflies will settle down,” Moore said, noting that Public Health has been in communication with Mayor Paterson and the City on a weekly basis throughout the pandemic. “They’re leaving the fence up just in case there’s any issues associated with it. But I do anticipate the fence eventually coming down completely in the coming week or so.”