Although briefly allowed to open between March 26 and April 8, Quebec climbing gyms have remained closed for most of 2021. On June 7, they reopened.
While climbing gyms across the country have had to waited patiently to welcome climbers home, this year has proven expensive and long for these small businesses. In Quebec, climbing gyms closed on January 9 as the second wave spiked across the country.
For recreationalists and athletes, these gym closures provided a challenging new year. Although closures did have to occur, provincial governments received criticism for their response to the increasing case counts.
On January 9, Quebec saw 3,127 new COVID-19 cases. On June 6, the province reported 179 new cases.
As more people become vaccinated, climbing gyms in many provinces ready their doors for a fresh batch of exercise-starved participants. Alberta gyms have begun preparing for their reopening while BC climbing gyms have remained open for most of the pandemic.
The big question regarding reopening does come back to Ontario. As of today, Toronto climbing gyms have closed for 198 consecutive days. In the last year, Toronto gyms closed for 236 days.
Canada’s most populated province will have a lot of work to do in order to reopen this summer. As vaccination rates increase, however, new COVID-19 cases continue to drop. On June 7, 525 new cases were reported: the lowest number in eight months.
The province released their three step plan for reopening on May 20, with a promise of staying within each step for three weeks before moving on to the next. According to officials, Step 1 should begin June 14, although Ontario Premier Doug Ford has mentioned the possibility of opening before that date.
To move between steps, these vaccination thresholds must be met:
- Step 1: 60 % of adults vaccinated with one dose.
- Step 2: 70 % of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 % vaccinated with two doses.
- Step 3: 70 to 80 % of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 % vaccinated with two doses.
As of June 7, just over 61% of Ontarians have received their first vaccination. This suggests Step 1 could begin as early as this week. Presuming these steps do begin on June 14, the earliest climbing gyms could open would be July 26.
This date does presume that climbing gyms will not open in Step 2. Due to the fact that climbing gyms in Ontario have opened before regular fitness facilities in the past, there remains some possibility that they could open between July 5 and July 26.
With all of that said, the situation in Ontario continues to develop.
Edit: Ontario set to enter Step 1 on Friday following news from Provincial government Monday afternoon. Alberta set to open climbing gyms on Thursday, June 10.