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Virtual Town Hall Recap – April 28, 2020

By May 1, 2020

We want to give a sincere thank you to everyone who joined us for the meeting! We had 139 people tune in, and enjoyed a very thoughtful discussion about how the current pandemic is affecting the province. We are grateful to have such an invested and supportive community from all over Ontario.

Some key takeaways:

Please do not climb outdoors.

Climbing outside in Ontario is subject to restrictions by multiple levels of government. Any green spaces which are not explicitly closed to the public are open for walkthrough access only. This applies to all green spaces, including crown land and crags which normally do not have open access. Climbing is not considered walkthrough access, as it involves staying in one place for an extended period of time and touching shared surfaces. Please see here for more details.

Choosing to climb when it is not permitted by your local government may result in climbing being banned.

Green spaces are being patrolled, and you are liable to be ticketed for not following the rules. If the climbing community develops a bad reputation now, we may lose access permanently to some of our favourite crags.

We have a responsibility to keep each other informed about best practices.

The OAC is not a governing body. We are not here to enforce restrictions, but to educate. We believe that if a climber is informed about the impacts of their actions, they will make safe and responsible decisions. If you are aware of climbers who are not adhering to current restrictions and regulations, we recommend having an open and respectful discussion. Some people may not be aware of how the rules apply to smaller communities or certain lands. As provincial restrictions exist in addition to federal ones, it can be confusing to understand why Ontario is under a different set of sanctions than other provinces or territories. Approaching the topic with empathy will go a long way.

We will follow federal, provincial, and local legislation as things change.

The best thing we can do right now is to stay informed. As provincial guidelines are updated, we will do our best to communicate changes with the climbing community. The ways in which we are able to enjoy the outdoors will most likely change, and we will have to adapt our best practices to local regulations. We’re watching the situation closely and will let you know the second you can get out there!

Please feel free to reach out to us at any time if you have questions about climbing access, at info@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca.

A complete recording of the meeting is available below: