Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/2/2021 (329 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
YOU could soon work out at a city gym, but splashing around in a city pool won’t be an option.
Limited fitness options will resume on March 8 as the city slightly eases pandemic restrictions at nine facilities, while pools and arenas remain closed. About 75 part-time employees who were laid off will return to work.
Jason Shaw, Winnipeg’s assistant chief of emergency management, said access will be limited to the use of gym equipment, such as free weights and treadmills, while group activities won’t be available.
"We’re taking a slow and measured approach and we’re starting with the recreation facilities," said Shaw.
The decision to keep pools closed is not linked to a specific risk for the spread of COVID-19.
"We are going to open them eventually. We’ve just got to go through the processes to make everything safe," he said.
The limited fitness access will be offered at Chief Peguis Fitness Centre, Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex, Elmwood Kildonan Pool, Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, Freight House Recreation Centre, Kinsmen Sherbrook Pool, Pan Am Pool, Sergeant Tommy Prince Place and St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool.
Visitors are asked to book fitness blocks before they arrive (through leisureonline or by calling 311), show up dressed to work out and provide contact information.
Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) questioned the lack of pool access. He said seven of his ward’s residents reached out to complain about the decision shortly after it was announced Wednesday.
"Not to open pools, to me, is just unfair. It’s not providing the service we are supposed to. It’s a failure," he said.
Klein said residents questioned why they will be able to visit a gym at a pool complex but not the pool itself.
"People said it doesn’t make any sense. You can’t argue, they’re right," said Klein.
The councillor said pools warrant extra consideration, since some residents with arthritis, past injuries or joint issues can only exercise safely in water.
"(This shows) our inability to provide good services to residents," he said.
There is currently no set date for the pools to reopen, though Shaw said the city is working to make that change as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the lobbies of each reopening rec building will also be available for Winnipeggers to seek short breaks from extreme cold weather, something the city also offered during winters before the pandemic.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.