Tag Archives: South Glengarry

Williamstown’s arena closed on Monday due to employee positive COVID-19 test

On Monday morning, the Township of South Glengarry announced the temporary closure of the arena in Williamstown, along with several other township buildings, in online posts that referenced “health and safety reasons.”

Later in the day, the township clarified.

“Acting under the advice of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the Township of South Glengarry temporarily closed three of its facilities to the public on Monday, October 19th, 2020. The closures of the Municipal Office, Fire Hall in Lancaster, and the Char-Lan Recreation Centre were a direct result of a positive COVID-19 test of an employee.”

Township of South Glengarry statement

The announcement went on to reassure residents and users of the facilities: “The Township has maintained a strict contact tracing regime for all individuals entering these facilities and all relevant information has been provided to public health authorities for investigation and follow-up. At this time, any person requiring follow-up from the EOHU has been contacted. Township staff have since deep cleaned all of the noted facilities.”

When the arena in Williamstown opened for the season on September 21, strict health protocols were implemented, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Among them was capacity limits, required wearing of a face mask, and signing in for contact-tracing purposes.

The Char-Lan Recreation Centre is slated to reopen “for ice times only” later today (October 20) at 5 p.m.

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South Glengarry officially shutters all rec facilities, programs through the summer

It’s official: sports and recreation facilities, along with all programming, will be shuttered through the end of the summer in the township of South Glengarry.

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The closure means that all township-organized sports leagues, summer camps, and recreation programs are cancelled through to September 1. As well, facilities are closed and will not be accepting bookings.

The township’s notice indicated they had received 1000 registrations to date for various programs.

From the announcement…

“Township staff relied on guidance from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), which ensures municipalities are meeting, or exceeding, the orders issued by the Province of Ontario. The Township’s summer camp and programs, as originally planned, would not presently meet COVID-19 prevention and control measures for physical distancing requirements, participant ratios, and access to facilities,” explained Rick Ladouceur, director of recreation and facilities with the Township of South Glengarry.

May 28, 2020 statement from the Township of South Glengarry

Refunds will be issued to those who had already paid for programming.

The township notes that while organized programming has been cancelled, outdoor facilities are open and available for use, with some restrictions.

Trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, and ball diamonds are open, though residents are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines set by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Ford government.

Closed in the township are the splash pad in Williamstown, play structures, picnic areas, and all indoor facilities.

Taxpayers shouldn’t be expecting a positive impact to the township’s budget, though.

As Lachlan McDonald, South Glengarry’s treasurer and general manager of corporate services, explains to me that “we have deployed a lot of those resources to maintenance items, and with halls/facilities closed it is the optimal time to re-fresh – coat of paint, plaster holes, etc. The interesting thing, when thinking about soccer, is that despite no soccer/parks, we are still keeping the grass cut.”

As well, full staff continue to work, though have been “deployed somewhat differently.”

Budget-wise, the recreation and facilities line went from $1,428,030 in 2019 to $1,759,800 for 2020. McDonald adds, “I’m hoping some of the efficiencies found during these times of austerity will have an afterglow in budget 2021 and onward.”

North Glengarry and Cornwall

In Cornwall, recreation programs remain suspended. As for facilities, the city has closed the aquatic centre, the multi-sport complex, the civic complex, the BMX track in Guindon Park, play structures, picnic areas, the outdoor gym, splash pads, and outdoor pools.

Meanwhile, outdoor recreational facilities, such as fields, ball diamonds, the skatepark, and tennis courts, are “open for low-contact, single-competitor sports. No team play is permitted. Clubhouses and change rooms remain closed.”

Some of the the city’s public washrooms at recreational areas are open, though.

Also open are Marina 200, boat launches, and trails.

North Glengarry continues to follow recommendations from the Ontario government, mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me. The township hasn’t made any decisions regarding the summer, as of yet, though.

As the North Glengarry website notes, “At this time playground equipment and bathrooms remain closed until further notice. Users are asked to respect Public Health safety recommendations while using any park installations.”

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RRCA trails available during COVID-19 pandemic

Trails on Raisin Region Conservation Authority properties remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, as users are reminded to follow physical distancing protocols outlined by health officials.

Locations include the Charlottenburg Park, the Cooper Marsh Conservation Area, and the Gray’s Creek Conservation Area. Only nature trails are open to the public; all other facilities are closed. In addition to maintaining physical distancing, people are reminded to avoid touching any common surfaces as they are not sanitized.

COVID-19 concerns have already had an impact upon the RRCA, including the cancellation of the 2020 Raisin River Canoe Race, a staple of the spring sports calendar. As well, all RRCA buildings have been closed to the public. Committee meetings and workshops through March have been cancelled, as was the planned March Break nature camp for kids. The conservation authority is continuing with its flood forecasting work and is hoping that the Gray’s Creek Marina will open as scheduled on April 27, followed by the Charlottenburg Park opening for camping on May 15.

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Char-Lan Skating Club abruptly ends season due to township rink closure

With South Glengarry announcing the closure of all recreation facilities for the next three weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, the Char-Lan Skating Club was forced to abruptly end its season, with means the cancellation of this year’s showcase event, which had been scheduled for March 29, at the arena in Williamstown.

Reportedly, the ice-making machine at the rink will be turned off this weekend.

The club has cancelled, as a result, all remaining skating days, in addition to the annual showcase, which skaters had been preparing for under the theme, ‘Ice, Camera, Action.’ The event is traditionally held at the end of each skating season, with stands packed full of family members and friends, as all athletes from the club skate in group performances.

Here’s the club’s official announcement:

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Char-Lan Skating Club announcement regarding COVID-19

The skating club says it plans to hold a small awards ceremony at a later date. In years past, awards have been presented to skaters on the ice, following the performances.

Assessment Day

Recently, the skating club held its assessment day for competitive skaters.

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Char-Lan Skating Club photo

From the club’s Facebook post: “A huge shout out to the Township of South Glengarry for all their hard work and support in preparing our facility and ice surface for this special day, and to our Assessment Coordinator and wonderful CLSC families for organizing a fun-filled after-party for all.”

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North Glengarry recreation facilities remain open, South Glengarry shutters theirs

North Glengarry mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me that “At this point, we are still open,” when asked about the township’s recreation facilities and widespread shuttering of sports leagues across the country, along with facilities where large numbers of people typically congregate, due to concerns over COVID-19. However, he adds, “We have suspended the March break camps.”

March 16 UPDATE: North Glengarry facilities closed.

MacDonald goes on to say, “Well we are being guided by Dr. Paul [Roumeliotis, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health] … keep crowds under 250.”

Meanwhile, this afternoon, the township of South Glengarry announced in a press release that the municipality is “taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the risk in South Glengarry remains low, the municipality is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities and community centres will all be closed from Monday, March 16 to Monday, April 6.”

All events scheduled during this period will be either cancelled or postponed. The list of closed facilities in the south includes the Char-Lan Recreation Centre, Martintown Community Centre, Green Valley Community Centre, North Lancaster Community Centre, Paul Rozon Park building, and Jack Danaher Park building.

Facilities in Cornwall are also being closed: “In light of COVID-19, the City of Cornwall is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5, inclusive. The Aquatic Centre is closed as of Friday, March 13 at 10:30 p.m.”

The EOHU states, “At the moment, the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is considered low. However, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with our partners at the regional, provincial and federal levels to monitor the situation, and is prepared to respond to any potential cases in our area should they occur.”

To stay informed about the virus, please see this regular-updated information page on the EOHU website.

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Kilt Skate set for Sunday in Williamstown

Glengarry’s edition of the Great Canadian Kilt Skate is scheduled for Sunday, March 1, at the Char-Lan Rec. Centre, beginning at noon.

As South Glengarry’s announcement notes, “Help us celebrate our Scottish Heritage in Ontario’s Celtic Heartland at the Char-Lan Community Centre.” The event is free to attend, running from 12 through 3 p.m. at the arena in Williamstown.

There will be an official opening ceremony featuring township politicians and the South Glengarry Pipe Band. This will be followed by a performance from members of the Char-Lan Skating Club. Then the arena ice surface will be opened for participants on the Great Canadian Kilt Skate, through to 2 p.m.

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From 12:30 through 2 p.m., the canteen will serve up free hot chocolate and Scottish flag tattoos will be available in the lobby.

In the Tartan Hall (upstairs), a cash bar will be open. There will be a Great Canadian Kilt Skate cake and Scottish shortbread cookies. Scheduled performances on the stage include the MacCulloch Dancers, McFee Fiddlers, Coleman Highland Dancers, and the Hallions.

Outside, planned activities include a fire pit with marshmallows, a snow slide, and horse-drawn wagon rides.

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