Indoor recreation facilities, programs and rental bookings re-opening throughout September

Posted on Thursday September 03, 2020

As the City continues to transition through Stage 3 of the provincial reopening framework, recreation facilities, older adult centres, arenas, and programs will begin to re-open starting early September. Rental booking for city spaces will also resume this month.

“This is our biggest milestone yet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “Over the past several months, we’ve offered numerous recreation activities online through our #RecFromHome program but I know a lot of people are eager to get back to participating in person. Staff have developed a plan that will allow for the careful and safe re-opening of these services and we’re excited to welcome the community back into our rec centres.”

Earlier this summer, the City reopened various outdoor facilities, including tennis and basketball courts, disc golf, skateboard facilities, the dog park, picnic shelters, two pools and three splashpads. As with these amenities, residents can expect new safety measures in place, including: reduced capacity, enhanced cleaning, traffic flow signage, and physical distancing requirements.

Recreation facilities and older adult centres

All recreation facilities including older adult centres and the Centre for the Arts will re-open as of September 21, with the exception of John Dolson and WG Johnson Centre. The John Dolson Centre has been open since July and the Johnson Centre will open as of September 8.

As part of the City’s phased, gradual approach to re-opening, there will be several temporary operational changes at some of the centres. To start, the Cambridge Centre for the Arts, David Durward Centre and Allan Reuter Centre will operate on a reduced schedule with the arts centre and Durward buildings remaining closed on Mondays and Fridays, and the Allan Reuter Centre on Mondays and Tuesdays. The William Pautler Centre will initially open for pickleball only, with the possible opening of the condition centre at a future date. As capacity builds and need is established, these temporary measures will be reviewed and adjusted as required.

Recreation programs and swim lessons

In-person programs, swim lessons, and drop-ins are back for the Fall. Residents will be able to start browsing activities beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Registration for swim lessons will begin on Saturday, Sept. 12 with registration for all non-aquatic programs opening on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

To help monitor class sizes and ensure proper distancing, residents will be required to sign-up for drop-in classes before joining. Sign-ups will open online for each drop-in activity seven days before the scheduled class. Participants can sign-up online or by visiting the Service Cambridge counter at City Hall.


The following three City arenas will re-open on September 8: Hespeler Memorial Arena, Galt Arena Gardens and Preston Memorial Auditorium. Additional space will also be utilized for City bookings at the Cambridge Ice Park resulting in a total of six bookable rinks.

Due to Provincial guidelines, only Minor Sports Groups will be permitted bookings at this time. Staff will continue to monitor provincial and public health recommendations to work towards bringing back public skating and adult user groups. Staff will also continue to review overall arena use and will open more facilities dependent on future demand and provided it is safe to do so.

One parent or guardian per skater will be permitted as a spectator. All spectators will be required to adhere to designated seating and wear a mask or face covering at all times when in the facility. 

Rental bookings

Room rentals at city facilities will resume as of Monday, Sept. 21. Those wishing to book a space will be required to adhere to enhanced safety measures to help protect their guests and staff. For those who already had a booking scheduled, staff will be reaching out to advise on next steps.

Recreation re-opening schedule at a glance

Sept. 2

Drop-in programs for Johnson & Dolson viewable on CORAL

Sept. 8

Hespeler, Galt & Preston Arenas re-open (Minor Sports Groups only)

Sept. 8

Registered & drop-in programs for all facilities begin to be viewable on CORAL

Sept. 12

Registration for swim lessons opens

Sept. 21

Rental Bookings resume at all facilities

Sept. 23

Registration for all non-aquatic programs begins (in-person & online)

Sept. 26

Swim lessons begin

Oct. 13

Non-aquatics programs begin

The City will continue to determine how to safely reopen additional services and amenities as needed using a staged approach, guided by the advice and direction of Public Health officials and in coordination with the Region of Waterloo and area municipalities. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, further adjustments may be necessary at a future date. The City is committed to providing recreation opportunities and will continue working to develop alternative solutions whenever possible when needed.

For more information call Service Cambridge at 519-623-1340 or visit



Primary media contact

Erin Haase
Communications Advisor
City of Cambridge