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Newmarket closing indoor recreation facilities due to COVID-19 restrictions

Outdoor facilities, town offices, library remaining open
facility closed lockdown
File photo/NewmarketToday

The Town of Newmarket is closing all its indoor recreation facilities and cancelling winter programming until Jan. 26 in the wake of new provincial COVID-19 regulations.

The town announced today it would follow provincial restrictions closing indoor recreation for the next three weeks. Starting Jan. 5, the town is closing the Magna Centre, NewRoads Centre for Performing Arts, the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, the Recreation Youth Centre and Sk8 Park, the Elman W. Campbell Museum, the Newmarket Seniors’ Meeting Place, the Newmarket Community Centre and the Old Town Hall. All associated programming at the facilities will also be postponed or cancelled. 

Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said it is not a good way to start the year but the town will at least be keeping outdoor facilities open, which is allowed under provincial rules.

“We will continue to do our best to provide as many outdoor amenities as possible to provide safe outdoor activities for the community," Taylor said. 

The province is grappling with record-high COVID-19 case numbers brought on by the omicron variant. The province reported a record new 11,352 COVID-19 cases Jan. 4.

The town said all participants for cancelled programs in January will receive a full refund. It asked residents to have patience while the town processes the refunds, which may take eight weeks to complete. The status of programming beginning Feb. 1 will be determined at a later date.

Council and committee meetings will also be returning to a virtual format after converting to a hybrid approach at the end of last year. Live broadcasts will continue to be available through the municipal website.

Meanwhile, outdoor amenities in Newmarket will remain open, including skating at the Riverwalk Commons, the rink at Lions Park, trails, parks, outdoor basketball, pickleball and tennis courts.

Both the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex and the Newmarket Community Centre will be open only for their uses as mass vaccination clinics.

Meanwhile, the customer service centre at the municipal offices at 395 Mulock Dr. will remain open. The Newmarket Public Library is also staying open with reduced capacity.

Taylor said you should connect with loved ones.

"I know this has been extremely tough on everyone. Please continue to reach out and check on your family, friends and neighbours,” Taylor said. “Sometimes we never know how meaningful a quick phone call or message can be to someone who is struggling. Now might be the time they need it most."