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Channel Cats make a splash as new recreation centre opens

'We are excited to start welcoming people into the building as we gradually return to recreation,' says City of Orillia official
ORC Channel Cats Oct 26 2020
The Orillia Channel Cats take part in their first swim practice at the Orillia Recreation Centre earlier this morning. Contributed photo

NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF ORILLIA
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The long-awaited opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre is here, but in light of COVID-19, the opening will be carried out in a staged approach.

Starting Oct. 26, 2020, the Orillia Recreation Centre, located at 255 West St. S., will be open to the public for fitness center time slots, pre-registered drop-in aquatics, fitness and sports programming, registered programming and user groups.
 
“The opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre is a pivotal point for our community, and I am so excited for people to walk through the front doors and experience this amazing facility for themselves,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.

“Although the opening is very different than we had imagined and there will be no grand opening celebration (yet), this facility is something the entire city can be extremely proud of," said Clarke. "The Orillia Recreation Centre is a place where personal bests will be met, victories will be celebrated, and families will grow. Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to get to this day.”
 
The City of Orillia is taking a gradual approach in the opening of the Orillia Recreation Centre and has modified schedules to allow for monitoring of building capacity, implementation of proper cleaning protocols, and to allow for contact tracing.
 
As with all drop-in programming within other recreational facilities, pre-registration is required for fitness center time slots and drop-in programs at the Orillia Recreation Centre.

Pre-registration is being done for both contact tracing protocols and to allow for control of the numbers of people (both participants and spectators) within the facility in order to meet provincial legislation.

Although it may seem like an extra step in order to attend a drop-in program like aquafit, pickleball or to use the fitness centre, these protocols are in place to provide a safe environment to participate in recreational activities. Staff worked in conjunction with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to develop a safe return to recreation.
 
At this time there will be no walk-in availability for purchasing memberships (Fun Pass), drop-in programs or general access to the building. Staff ask that you please purchase your Fun Pass and register for drop-in programming using the online portal.
 
People can sign-up for a Fun Pass and/or redeem their Fun Pass gift certificate if previously purchased. Time slots for the fitness center and drop-in programs are now open for registration. Please be aware that when registering for drop-in programs participants must register 24 hours in advance of the drop-in timeslot. In order to register for drop-in programs visit Orillia.ca/sun.
 
“The long-awaited Orillia Recreation Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that will service both the recreational and sporting needs within the community. We are excited to start welcoming people into the building as we gradually return to recreation,” said Marcia Russell, Manager or Recreation Services.
 
In order to keep everyone safe and ensure COVID-19 protocols are met during programming, all visitors to the Orillia Recreation Centre will be screened and required to sign a waiver. All participants must come dressed and ready for their program as there is no access to changerooms at this time. Participants must wear a mask in common areas and in designated programs. Participants are permitted to show up only 15 minutes prior to their program. Please bring proof of enrollment on your smartphone or other method to show the front desk. 
 
Information regarding program safety protocols, instructional videos on how to sign up for a drop-in program and what to expect when attending your upcoming program, visit Orillia.ca/fun.

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