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Heading outside? City encourages Londoners to explore close to home


As Londoners work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying close to home, getting outdoors remains essential for residents’ health, wellbeing and commuting needs. With major parks seeing high levels of pedestrian and cyclist activity, residents are encouraged to explore their own neighbourhoods and choose the path less travelled, when possible.

“While many of us may feel uncertain about spending time outside, we need to continue to work together to find ways to do so without putting each other at risk,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “Exploring your own neighbourhoods, waving to your neighbours or trying out less-travelled local routes are great ways to feel more connected to your community.”

Choosing an Outdoor Route

Londoners can continue to walk or bike through parks, green space, trails and pathways, but maintaining physical distance of two metres is required. One way to maintain two metres of distance is to consider a path less travelled including local community paths instead of some of the more popular City-wide paths. CityMap is an online tool that can help find alternate routes.

With some of London’s most popular pathways and trails getting busier, the City is taking some steps to help Londoners maintain physical distance in key areas:

  • Springbank Park: Park entrances off of Flint Lane and Arboretum Avenue have been closed to motor vehicles, opening them up to pedestrians and cyclists and offering a great view of the magnolias and crab apple trees in bloom.
  • Wellington Road: Starting Friday, May 15, the City will open a curbside lane to cyclists and pedestrians travelling in both directions on Wellington Road on Clark’s Bridge over the Thames River. This lane will provide more space for people crossing the river along the Thames Valley Parkway (TVP).

Emergency vehicles, transit, deliveries and other essential service vehicles are not impacted by these changes.

Blackfriars Bridge and Kensington Bridge were previously modified to create more pedestrian and cycling space as key connectors to sections of the TVP. Downtown sidewalks remain less busy than typical and areas such as Dundas Place offer extra wide pedestrian pathways to pass through at a safe distance.  

City staff will continue to monitor overall park usage and areas of high use within road and park pathway networks. Residents can expect by-law enforcement to be patrolling these areas to ensure residents’ safety.

Following the Provincial announcement that golf courses and some park amenities can re-open, work will get underway at City-owned facilities and courses. When the courses and other outdoor recreation areas are ready, the City will provide additional information.

New Neighbourhood Activity

The City of London is introducing a new activity designed to help residents discover their own neighbourhoods. A downloadable scavenger hunt is now available for families looking for more to do outside. Households can complete this neighbourhood scavenger hunt together while close to home.

Consider sharing what you are doing with us!

See something inspiring during your travels, find a new favourite path, or witness something neighbourly that you’d like to share with the City? Email neighbourgood@london.ca for a chance to be featured on the City of London’s social media channels this spring.