The Amenity Itch: When are our amenities opening?
It has been nearly five months since COVID-19 was declared a Pandemic and Ontario went into a state of emergency, beginning its lockdown.
Unfortunately, that meant a lot of changes here at Emerald City One. In order to meet the requirements laid out by the Government of Ontario, Elevators had to be reduced to two occupants at a time to allow for proper physical distancing.
This is still the current practice in the building, but now also includes wearing a mask in all common elements (as per the City of Toronto bylaw effective August 5th, 2020). https://www.toronto.ca/news/toronto-city-council-approves-mandatory-masks-or-face-coverings-in-apartments-and-condominiums/
A number of hand sanitizer dispensers were installed throughout the building in an effort to help residents stay safe. Believe me when I tell you, it wasn’t easy getting our hands on supplies like that when it was nearly 100% sold out everywhere!
The heaviest hitting factor was that we had to close the amenities. This included the gym, gymboree, the pool & spa, and the Party Room (Guest Suite and Pet Room stayed open as neither presented a social distancing issue). What was disappointing about it at the time was that we had scheduled the Party Room Grand Opening Celebration (post restoration) but had no choice but to postpone it due to the situation. Talk about taking the wind out of our sails! We really wanted to show off our new Party Room, and to have it back for Resident use!
I understand the frustration over COVID-19 impacting the reopening process but please believe me when I say, it is not to anyone’s advantage to unnecessarily prolong the closure of the amenities.
So what is open, and what are the plans?
Open: The Guest Suite and Pet Room have always been open.
Open: The Party Room and terrace are open for exclusive-use bookings.
The Board waived the rental fee to make up for the fact that the room has not been available. If you want to book the space, please contact the management office.
Up next: Gym, pool, non-exclusive Party Room uses.
Okay, let's talk about reopening the amenities, as this seems to be a point of contention. The majority of all condos across the GTA still have all of their amenities closed, including our neighbours at 62 and 66 Forest Manor Road.
Please consider that condominium amenities do not operate like a business. Where Ontario has been opening facilities in stages, we are not automatically set up to meet and implement the new requirements. There may be guidelines in place, but there isn’t a “How to Covid Correctly” handbook currently in play. We are all trying to do our absolute best to figure out the many complexities that COVID-19 has placed on our condo community. We are doing our best to reopen in a methodical manner that ensures the regulations are met, and also that the safety and security of the residents and staff is considered at every angle before doing so.
This makes opening up the Gym and Pool facilities a lengthy and ongoing process. It is not as simple as unlocking the doors and saying “have at it”, even if we wish we could. Once we green-light the pool, we still have to notify the Health Inspector who then must make an onsite visit to provide a thorough inspection. We have submitted the paperwork for this and are currently waiting for a health inspector to arrive. After submission of the paperwork, the process is stated to take 14 days. Once we get a pass, we can officially open the pool. It is also our desire and intention to open the barbeques and non exclusive use of the Party Room shortly, but we are looking at implementing a scheduling system that works to meet the guidelines and safety for all.
Unfortunately, because of the guidelines that we are following, there will be changes to the hours of operation of the facilities, the number of occupants at any given time will be reduced and due to distancing, not all areas of the amenities will be accessible. For example: It was suggested by our health inspector via email, to not open the spa at this time.
Believe me, we understand the frustration of not having access to the facilities in your own community and we personally thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We hope to have the amenities safely open as soon as possible so that everyone may enjoy them once again!
If you have any questions or constructive suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
-Douglas Carney, Superintendent.