COVID-19 Updates

JULY 17, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on July 17, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

We notified you that the Club would be opened from July 1, 2020. The Club is operating according to the guidelines set by the City of Toronto. You must follow these guidelines to ensure that playing tennis at Central is safe for all. Please click on the link below to see the recently-updated guidelines:

 

As you were informed by email on July 1, Central now has an online booking system. Before you can book a court, you must register and sign the Central Tennis Club waiver. To do this, follow the instructions in the email sent on July 1. All games must be booked online and booked in advance.

 

Doubles play is now permitted, per the updated guidelines from the City of Toronto. It is recommend that your doubles partners are from the same household or social bubble.

 

The online booking system will be updated to allow doubles play by Saturday, July 18, 2020.

 

There is no restriction on singles play.

 

Drop-ins and guests are not permitted.

We have provided three hand sanitizing stations at the Club. We suggest that you also bring your own hand sanitizer and practice safe hygiene. For your safety, the Clubhouse is closed.

 

As per the City of Toronto guidelines, all Club programs have been cancelled with two exceptions:

  • You can book lessons with Stan Palmateer, our Club Pro (racquetmagic@yahoo.ca)

  • You can sign up for the Club Singles Ladder using the online booking system. Those who have signed up will be contacted by the coordinator.

 

Note: The online booking system has a feature to enable members to find a tennis partner.

 

We will keep you posted as the situation evolves.

 

Have fun and stay safe!
 

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

JUNE 30, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on June 30, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

Central Tennis Club will be open on July 1, 2020.

 

The permit that we signed with the City of Toronto requires that we follow a set of guidelines. Failure to follow the guidelines may:

 

a) increase the risk of a member contracting COVID-19 at the Club

b) increase the risk of the Club facing a penalty by the City or losing its permit, and

c) increase the risk of the Club being sued

Please ensure that you follow these guidelines, so we can keep tennis at Central Tennis Club safe. Members who violate these guidelines may have their membership cancelled.



Please click on the button below to download the "Guidelines for playing tennis during COVID-19":

 

A copy of the guidelines will be posted at the Club. These guidelines may be amended at a future date. We will keep you informed. Some key points:
 

  • No doubles. Singles only.

  • All games must be booked online in advance.

  • Drop-ins and guests not allowed.

  • Keep 2 metres away from other players at all times.

  • Bring your own tennis balls, uniquely identify them, and only touch your tennis balls.

  • Avoid touching common areas (the net, fences, poles, gates, etc.)

  • Regularly clean or sanitize your hands, and avoid touching your face.

  • Do not gather before or after you play tennis. No hanging around.

  • No access to the clubhouse (currently closed).

  • The clubhouse lock has been changed.

We have provided a hand sanitizing station at the Club. We encourage you to bring your own hand sanitizer with you.

 

We now have an online booking system. The supplier of the online booking system will send you an email explaining the sign-up procedure. Courts can be booked up to one week in advance, for one hour only. Back-to-back bookings are now allowed, i.e. two successive periods. If you are unable to play on the time you have booked, please log on to the booking system and cancel.

 

No organized programming or social events will take place at the Club for the time being.

 

The Inter-County season has been cancelled by ICTA.

All club programs are cancelled until permitted by the City guidelines.

 

However, you can book lessons with our Club Pro Stan Palmateer by emailing him at racquetmagic@yahoo.ca

 

We will keep you posted as the situation evolves.

 

Have a great tennis season and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

JUNE 23, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on June 23, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

The following information and recommendation were recently shared with all tennis clubs in Ontario by the Ontario Tennis Association.

Please click on the link below to read a recent article from a newspaper, The Chronicle Herald in British Columbia, which examines what the Government of British Columbia has recently enacted to protect amateur sport volunteers in its province:
 
https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/sports/hockey/province-clears-insurance-roadblock-to-return-of-amateur-sport-in-bc-460713/

As you will read, the Government of British Columbia recently passed an order under the Emergency Program Act that protects all sports organizations and organizers (including tennis clubs and their boards) from being sued if someone contracts or transmits COVID-19 (or claims to have) as a result of their participation in organized amateur sport, as long as those organizations are following provincially-mandated pandemic guidelines.

If legislation of this type were to be passed by the Government of Ontario, it would completely remove the possibility of any sports organizations and their boards from being sued for anything related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This would serve to add an extra layer of protection to all sports organizations and the people who make it possible for citizens to stay healthy and participate in their favourite recreational activity.
 
In order to bring this to the attention of the Government of Ontario, we ask you to consider joining us in contacting your local MPP to request that a similar order be enacted in Ontario promptly. The more people who exert this type of pressure, the more likely we can compel the Government of Ontario to make the same change that was made in British Columbia.

Please click on the below button to see a proposed template for your letter.


 

Sincerely,

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club
 

JUNE 21, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on June 21, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

 

Good news! A major development took place last week, following the June 7 announcement that we would not be operating the courts this year.

 

After weeks of difficult negotiations between the Ontario Tennis Association, the insurance broker Marsh Canada, and the insurer Markel Canada. Markel has agreed to remove the “contagion exclusion” endorsement related to COVID-19 from the OTA club insurance policy. This means that our insurance policy now protects Central Tennis Club from the financial repercussions of a pandemic-related lawsuit, which could have ruined a non-profit organization like ours.

 

Please note that the legal risk the Club is facing did not entirely go away. In fact, this risk was felt nationwide by amateur sports clubs—not just in Toronto and not just tennis clubs—and has led several clubs to shut down.

 

The Government of British Columbia has acted on that and recently passed an order to protect all amateur sports organizations from pandemic-related lawsuits. We are hoping the Government of Ontario will follow suit. We will send you more information about that subject soon.

 

This said, in light of the major development with our insurance policy, Central Tennis Club Executive Team has decided to reopen as a Club (not as public courts). We will operate under a set of COVID-19 guidelines and limitations imposed by the City of Toronto, as outlined in our permit from the City.

 

Your Executive Team is working on a number of elements to reopen safely, including the establishment of an online booking system. Our target opening date is July 1, 2020. We will provide you with ongoing updates on our progress.

 

Stay tuned for more information in the coming few days about the Central Tennis Club reopening and the guidelines to playing tennis during COVID-19.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the Club this season!

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club
 

JUNE 7, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on June 7, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

 

Ever since the provincial government announced that it will allow sport activity for individual/single competitors including tennis to resume, and the City of Toronto issued the community tennis clubs with permits and a long set of guidelines for use during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Team of Central Tennis Club has been working diligently to see if we can safely reopen the club.

 

We have been meeting regularly online and have also been attending frequent meetings with Tennis Toronto (a subcommittee of the Ontario Tennis Association that oversees community clubs in the city like us), talking to the City of Toronto, and consulting with lawyers and insurance experts, among other endeavours.

 

Every year, Central Tennis Club purchases General Liability and Officers and Directors insurance. This protects the club and its officers and directors in the event there is a lawsuit. The same insurance is purchased by most other clubs in the province, through the Ontario Tennis Association. However, the insurer has informed us that we are not insured against a COVID-19 claim as the policy contains a “contagion exclusion”. As far as we know, no insurer in the country is offering COVID-19 insurance.

 

In addition, the City of Toronto has downloaded all legal liability as it relates to COVID-19 and other issues onto the club and its officers and directors. Toronto Tennis and the North York Tennis Association have lobbied the City to have them indemnify community clubs against COVID-19 claims but the City has refused to do so.

 

We have also obtained legal advice on waivers. A simple waiver is not enough to protect both the club and its officers and directors. The members of the Executive Team at Central Tennis Club are all volunteers who currently find themselves facing this significant legal exposure. This has left us and many other clubs in the city in an exceedingly difficult position, with some already deciding to close for the season, while others taking the risk to reopen.

 

Furthermore, the guidelines provided by the City of Toronto are extremely restrictive, not allowing any programming, doubles tennis to be played, or clubhouses to be used freely. The backbone of Central Tennis Club is the diverse programming that we offer—from teams, to house leagues, round robins, socials, tournaments, junior programs, and group clinics. The large majority of our members play doubles tennis all or most of the time.

 

All of this would not be possible under the current conditions, and there are additional measures that the City is recommending for singles play, which are understandable but require close monitoring and certainly do not eliminate the risk of someone contracting COVID-19 at the club.

 

With the major legal exposure mentioned above and with the limited added value that we can offer to our members due to the current restrictions, after much deliberation, the Executive Team has decided the following:

  • For the 2020 season, the City of Toronto will operate our courts as public courts. This means that you can still use them to play singles, but they are also open to the public and are not exclusive to you, our valued members. We will confirm the date of court readiness and availability to you soon.

  • The clubhouse will remain closed for the rest of the season, for your safety.

  • While Central Tennis Club will not be operating the courts and clubhouse this year, it certainly plans on coming back next year, providing the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the health and legal risks are mitigated.

  • We are proposing to transfer the membership fee that you paid for the 2020 season to the 2021 season so that you will not have to pay again next year. However, if you prefer to be reimbursed this year and to pay again next year, please email us at membership@centraltennisclub.com and we will process refunds soon.

 

Central Tennis Club has proudly operated continuously since 1967. These are the most unusual times of our lives and with the magnitude of the challenges that we are all facing, we unfortunately must hit the pause button this year. We sincerely hope that you will still be able to enjoy some tennis this year—safely. The Executive Team is committed to do everything it can to resume the programming that you love at Central Tennis Club in 2021.

 

We thank you for your loyalty and understanding and promise to keep in touch. We are in this together. Please stay healthy and safe!

 

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

MAY 26, 2020

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on May 26, 2020:

 

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

 

We have received a permit from the City of Toronto to reopen the club under a set of restrictions and guidelines, like anything else around us in this pandemic. Please rest assured that the Executive Team is working diligently together on reopening the club soon, but more importantly reopening it safely, once all important measures are in place. We will be in touch in the coming few days to provide you with further updates.

 

In the meantime, we are looking to hire court monitors to help us implement the City guidelines, including but not limited to the mandatory contact tracing. Please find attached a job description and pass it along to anyone interested in your household. All applicants must submit their application to info@centraltennisclub.com no later than May 29 and those selected for a phone/video interview will be contacted shortly after.

 

Stay tuned for more updates. Stay healthy and safe!

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

MAY 20, 2020

 

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on May 20, 2020:

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

 

We are excited about last week’s news from the Government of Ontario, announcing that all indoor and outdoor tennis facilities may reopen as of Tuesday, May 19. Getting the Province’s blessing is the first important step.

 

However, please remember that Central Tennis Club operates under a City of Toronto permit and must receive the go-ahead from the City before we can get members back on court. There is also a lot of work to be done to safely set up the club. Working under conditions of social distancing may slow down set-up slightly. Rest assured we will share information and update you as soon as we have final details and permission from the City, and we are able to set up.

 

We are all looking forward to getting back on court!

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

APRIL 7, 2020

 

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on April 7, 2020:

 

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

As a follow-up to our March 22 communication, the City of Toronto has since confirmed that all community tennis clubs must remain closed until June 30 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
 
All club facilities, clubhouses, and courts must remain closed. As a result, please note the following:

  • The TLTL and ICTA Leagues – postponed;

  • The Daytime and Wednesday Night House Leagues – postponed;

  • The Tennis Toronto Junior League – cancelled for the Spring session;

  • The Junior Spring Clinics – cancelled; we will be in communication with the parents about how compensation will be handled.

 

We appreciate your understanding in these difficult times. We will keep you informed of any developments by email and on our COVID-19 webpage, www.centraltennisclub.com/covid-19.
 
Stay healthy and safe!
 
Sincerely,

 

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

MARCH 22, 2020

 

The following was also sent as an email to the members of Central Tennis Club on March 22, 2020:

 

Dear Central Tennis Club Members,

We hope this message finds you and your families in good health. We are all facing unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic and our thoughts are with you all and with everyone bravely fighting this outbreak, particularly those who are at the front lines every day providing essential services to their communities.

The Executive Team at Central Tennis Club has been closely monitoring the situation and following guidelines and communications issued by Canadian tennis organizations, as well as the City of Toronto and the provincial and federal governments. Please rest assured that the health and safety of our club members remain at the top of our concerns, particularly as we deal with this crisis. We know that many of you are wondering when will the 2020 tennis season begin at the club, given the current circumstances.

We can only open and operate the club through an annual permit from the City of Toronto. Due to the seriousness of the situation, the City of Toronto has advised that they have not yet issued permits to any tennis clubs, and for now, the first effective day of the 2020 permit will not be April 1. We had initially planned to have a "work party" on April 4 to put up the nets and screens, and have the courts and clubhouse ready for you, but this will be rescheduled as we get updated information.

Central Tennis Club (courts and clubhouse) remain closed until we have a permit from the City of Toronto and until we deem it safe to reopen it.

We truly appreciate your understanding and promise to keep you updated every two weeks, as we closely follow this ever-evolving situation. Please stay tuned for future email communications on the subject, which will also be posted on our website on a page dedicated to how the COVID-19 pandemic affects Central Tennis Club, www.centraltennisclub.com/covid-19.

Most importantly, please stay healthy and safe!

Sincerely,

Your Executive Team at Central Tennis Club

© 2020 Central Tennis Club