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COVID-19 Updates

CLOSURE ALERT:

Due to the COVID 19 restrictions announcement today from the Province of Ontario, as of 5:00pm on Sunday, November 22, Variety Village will close until further notice.

Attention Members:

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Toronto and the evolving guidelines and recommendations from Toronto Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health, Variety will close its facility tonight, Friday, October 9 at midnight. We will reassess the situation on Tuesday, October 13 and advise members and our community on how we can or cannot proceed.

While we are disappointed with this turn of events, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our members and staff as our first priority.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please check back for updates.

We have missed you these past four months and are thrilled that we are now able to share some new information!

Pending the Provincial Government’s Phase 3 announcement and guidelines, Variety Village will begin to gradually open with new health and safety protocols in place. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our Reopening Protocols.

Read the protocols in detail at the top of this page. Access to Variety Village will require advance booking through our online portal.

ONLINE REGISTRATION:

Please watch your inbox (and junk folder) carefully this week for detailed information about reserving time slots in our Cardio Room, Weight Room, Fieldhouse, and Pool! The email will be coming from “Variety Registration Portal” with the subject line, “Action Required – Your Portal Access”. It is important that you do not delete this email as it will include a custom link for online registration.

Please keep an eye on your junk folder as the email may be sent there. We look forward to having you back!

FACILITY UPDATE:

Our staff is working on protocols for reopening the facility so we can start welcoming members back once the Ontario Government gives Toronto the green light for Phase 3!

We miss you all and can’t wait until we are able to see you all again. Please stay tuned for more details on when and how we will be reopening our facility.

After the announcement made by the Province of Ontario stating that day programs will be allowed to operate, Variety’s Summer Camps will take place, with health and safety precautions in place, guided by the Provincial Government, Ministry of Health, with the additional resources from the City of Toronto, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Red Cross and The Lifesaving Society.

Read our health & safety protocols for Camps in detail here: http://www.varietyvillage.ca/fitness-sport/camps/

As Variety enters Phase 2 and swimming pools are permitted to open, we have made the decision not to open our pool for general use by members at this time. Our current priority is focusing on the safety of our campers and camp staff. Swim camps will take place with physical distancing measures in place. We will re-visit the opening of the pool to members in a few weeks time. Thank you for your support and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times.

CAMP UPDATE:

Variety is plans on reopening for summer camps next month with health & safety precautions in place, guided by the Provincial Government and Ministry of Health, with additional resources and guidance from the City of Toronto, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Red Cross and The Lifesaving Society.

ℹ️ We have posted our reopening protocol on our website. You can view them here: http://www.varietyvillage.ca/fitness-sport/camps/

The Covid-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly and like many of us across Canada, Variety has been deeply impacted. Now, more than ever, we are so grateful for your continuous support as a member, client, donor, and sponsor.

During these uncertain times, know that we are still dedicated to you and will do everything we can to continue to be an important community resource. Our mission is to ensure we open as soon as we are able, better than ever, and we are committed to growing Variety in the days, weeks, and months to come. We will not stop being here for our community and will continue to strive to achieve new heights.

Quick facility update: We decided to take advantage of the facility closure and began the maintenance work on our pool that was originally scheduled for May-June. We completely drained the main pool as well as the hot pool, cleaned them, and re-grouted them to make sure they are spotless! We are now filling them back up and the pools will be ready for you when we are able to re-open.

Our staff are still working hard for you! Follow us on our social media channels for daily workout videos, activity ideas for the whole family, and updates.

Stay safe everyone and we hope to see you all very soon!

We know that this closure has brought with it many frustrations and questions from our members and we thank you for your patience as we maneuver through this crisis.

As our facility is closed and staff are home for recommended social distancing, we are unable to process any payments and/or refunds. We would ask that you don’t email or phone in for refund requests at this time.​

Please note however, that we have suspended all automatic payments from members’ accounts.

Program payments, possible membership extensions and/or make up classes/camps will be addressed when Variety reopens to members. Unfortunately, we do not, at this moment, know when Variety will re-open. ​

As this closure and the directives of our government are fluid, we hope that our members will be understanding and work with us to find the best solutions to these trying times and continue to support our efforts to protect our community yet still engage you.​

As a charity, we know that when community comes together, even the smallest act has a lasting impact. This crisis will have a negative impact on our revenue and fundraising abilities but we know we will work through this together with the support of our loyal members, donors and sponsors – our community.

Further information and member updates regarding the COVID-19 will be posted on our website at http://www.varietyvillage.ca/about-us/restrictions-closures/covid-19-updates/

You are also encouraged to follow us on social media channels for updates and for videos to help you keep your fitness goals.

Stay safe everyone and we hope to see you all very soon!

After the Federal, Provincial and Municipal announcements made on Monday, March 16, Variety’s Board and Management have made the decision to close our facility until further notice.

Given the rise of cases of COVID-19 here at home and around the world, we are taking this measure to ensure the safety of Variety’s members, staff and volunteers.

 We recognize the impact this closure will have on our families and facility users. We believe the safety of our community takes precedence and we will continue to monitor and adjust our operations based on the recommendations of our health authorities.

As this closure must take place at this time, we are undertaking to begin our upgrades to our pool to avoid a further closure of the pool in May/June as previously scheduled. Renovations on the Men’s fieldhouse changeroom will continue.
We will provide you with further updates regarding scheduled programs and the possible re-opening of the facility as they become available.
Take care of one another and stay safe everyone. We hope to see you soon.

Issued: March 16, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Variety will be closing the facility completely until further notice.

Please continue to check our website as the situation remains volatile and changes may be made quickly.

If you have any questions, please call our front desk at 416-699-7167 and listen to the automated message.

As a result of the Toronto Public Health notice to limit large gatherings, Variety will be closing the facility to the general public at 12:00 noon today, March 16, until further notice.

The following programs will continue to run:
– March Break Camps
– LINKS/ MILESTONES programs
– One-to-One Personal Training

Although the facility will be closed, you can still work out with us! We are planning to post YouTube videos of workout routines that members can do at home while the facility is not open to the public. The videos will be posted on our YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/varietyworkout) and will be updated regularly.

Please continue to check our website at http://www.varietyvillage.ca/about-us/restrictions-closures/ , as the situation remains volatile and changes may be made quickly.

If you have any questions, please call our front desk at 416-699-7167.

Variety continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation daily in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our members, visitors and staff. Senior Management obtains information and takes guidance from experts like Toronto Public Health, Ontario Public Health and Canadian Public Health Organization.

Authorities have advised that the virus does not spread through sweat or through the skin. The virus is spread when your hands come in contact with the virus and you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. That is why frequent and thorough hand washing is so important.

In addition, infected respiratory droplets can spread the virus if they end up in the mouth, nose or eyes. That is why sneezing and coughing into the elbow is so important.

Actions that Variety Village is taking to keep our staff and community safe:

· Starting Saturday, March 14, day passes will no longer be sold until further notice but memberships will continue to be sold

· Please consider not coming to Variety Village if you have been out of the country in the last 14 days

· Please do not come to Variety Village if you have a compromised immune system

· Until further notice, we are asking that there be a one member, one attendant / parent / guardian policy

· Building Cleaning – All high-touch surfaces are cleaned nightly with hospital-grade disinfectant, including the equipment room. Frequent re-cleaning throughout the day has also been implemented.

You can read about Variety’s preventative steps in more detail here: https://mailchi.mp/varietyvillage/coronavirus-our-preventative-measures

Please assist us in keeping Variety Village a safe place by proper hand washing and wiping machines down after use.

Navigating COVID-19: Member Updates

Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario flagship facility – Variety Village will reopen with health and safety precautions in place, guided by the Provincial Government, Ministry of Health, with the additional resources from the City of Toronto, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Red Cross and The Lifesaving Society. Continue to read below for more information on Variety’s Reopening COVID-19 Protocol.

As of November 14 City of Toronto and Public Health regulations state that masks must be worn at all times in the Cardio room, weight room and fieldhouse while working out.

FACILITY OPENING UPDATES:

Portal link: https://portal.varietyvillage.ca

A valid credit card must put into your portal account (you will not be charged – areas are free to book). If you do not have a credit card, please call the Membership Office to book your time at 416-699-7167.

If you have problems accessing your portal account, please email varietyregistrationportal@varietyontario.ca

Personal Training is open. Please contact Debbie at dmurray@varietyontario.ca or call 416-699-7167 ext 238 to book a trainer.

  • Members are required to wear masks when walking to/from the workout areas, however once inside the area they may remove their masks while keeping 2m apart.
  • If a member does not have a mask, they are available for purchase for $3 each.

We look forward to seeing you!

What to expect when you come back:

Online Portal Tutorial:

All staff will be provided with training on Variety facility COVID-19 protocols prior to the commencement of reopening. During training, all staff will be trained on the safe use, limitations and proper care of PPE, including, but not limited to; plexiglass, gloves, masks, and face shields.  In addition, cleaning, hand washing and sanitizing as well as surface disinfecting protocols will be provided. 

All training is done in line with Health and Safety guidelines.  All staff will remain 2 metres apart and be provided with face shields, masks and gloves for the duration of the training. Attendance records will be kept to ensure no staff is permitted to work without attending a training session.

All staff will be screened prior to entering the facility daily as per COVID 19 entry protocols.

All members will be screened prior to entering the facility daily.  You will have to answer/acknowledge a screening questionnaire by the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms.

If a member answers yes to ANY of the questions they will not be permitted in the facility. 

Entry will also be denied to any member who has come in close contact with someone who has any of the symptoms listed in the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms.

Only members who meet ALL screening protocols will be permitted to enter the facility for the time allotted through the booking portal. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up at all screening locations and entrances. Members are required to wear a mask (unless a medical reason prevents them from wearing one) when entering and traversing to and from their workout area.

All memberships have been paused since March 17 until the date that we are able to re-open.  The length of the time of the closure will be credited to all fully prepaid memberships.

As well, monthly membership fees ceased as of March 17.

If your prepaid membership expired during the closure, your membership will be extended for the duration from March 17 until the date of your membership expiry.

Members do not need to contact the membership office to have the extension added on – it will be done automatically.

Monthly membership payments will resume once the facility reopens, unless you notify the membership office otherwise.

Variety will utilize multiple entrances to facilitate physical distancing in our facility. All entrances will be equipped with hand sanitizer and controlled by a trained staff member who is wearing PPE. Members are required to wear a mask when entering the facility. 

The following entrances/exits will be used for each location; 

  1. Main Entrance – Cardio Room
  2. Weight Room Entrance – Weight Room 
  3. Cafeteria Entrance – Aquatics 
  4. Cafeteria Entrance – Wheel-Trans waiting area as of September 8.
  5. Main Entrance – Fieldhouse

Staff will be provided with masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and face shields. Staff are required to wear a mask at all times (unless told otherwise ex; while lifeguarding). As per the Training section above, staff will be trained on the proper use of PPE. If any gloves, face shields or masks are damaged or soiled, they will be replaced. Face shields will be disinfected frequently according to Ministry of Health Guidelines and at the beginning and end of each day. 

Members are required to wear a mask when entering the facility and traversing to and from their workout area. If you do not have a mask Variety can provide one for $3 each.

Weight Room – please use washroom at the weightroom entrance.

Cardio Room – please use the gender neutral washroom in the lobby.

Aquatics changerooms and washrooms are available for anyone registering time in Aquatics.

After September 8 – All other members, especially those travelling by Wheel-Trans, will be permitted to use the washrooms closest to the cafeteria .

Members are responsible for bringing their own equipment (basketball, soccer ball, hockey sticks etc). In the case that Variety does need to loan equipment to a member, the equipment will be disinfected before and after it is loaned out. Staff will disinfect equipment prior to handing it to members and staff will also ask members to disinfect equipment prior to returning it.Spray bottles will be provided with disinfectant spray for the member to use.

Variety will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all areas. All staff taking part in cleaning and disinfecting are trained on proper methods, locations and logging. A cleaning and disinfecting log will be posted and kept for our records. Proper hand washing techniques will be posted. Shared spaces will be disinfected between each use. If the area is visibly soiled, it will be cleaned prior to it being disinfected.

Variety Village will open in several phases to ensure each area is running safely for all members and staff. Once a member signs up for the portal and books an allotted time in the facility, their membership will reactivate on that date and membership fees will resume.

Until we (Variety) can ensure that our members have fair access to the facility, non-members will not be allowed access. We will only be allowing members to use our facility. In addition, the sale and use of Day Passes have been suspended. We will not be open for day pass usage until further notice.

Specific areas within the facility will be available to members for one hour time slots. Members will be required to book a time slot through the online portal prior to gaining access to the building (or by contacting membership via phone). Members must arrive at the building five minutes prior to their confirmed time slot to allow for screening. Members will answer a screening questionnaire. Members will then gain access to their specific area of the building and must leave at the end of their allotted time when requested by the staff member to do so. Members will be given 1 hour to use the facility per day.

There will be 15 – 30 minutes between each time slot (depending on location) where the staff member (cardio room, weight room, fieldhouse attendant or lifeguard) will disinfect all machinery using the Clorox 360 Spray or the Victory Gun. Individual disinfectant spray bottles will also be available for staff and members to use. 

Members should follow signs directing them to the appropriate door for the location they have booked. Water fountains will be completely off limits to members during their scheduled visit. Showers for rinsing and change rooms will be permitted in Aquatics for Aquatics bookings only.  

Washrooms are available on a limited basis as listed in the Washrooms heading above.

Failure to follow procedures and timing may be cause for a suspension in membership.

Staff are not permitted to assist members on and off machines or transferring into water chairs. Members are permitted to bring their attendants, if required, but all attendants must adhere to our screening protocol, as well as current attendant policy. Staff are to keep 2 meters (6 feet) apart from all members during their shift, unless immediate medical assistance is needed. 

Wheel-Trans will resume visits to Variety Village on Tuesday, September 8. The Wheel-Trans waiting area will be located in the cafeteria. Physical distancing for members will still apply. This area is only allowed to be used to wait for a Wheel-Trans pick up. For all drop offs the member is to wait outside the designated entrance for the area  that they have booked in advance. This information will be made clear by signage outside the doors. We  will work in cooperation with Wheel-Trans for best practices and will update as needed. 

If a member arrives without pre-booking a location they will not be permitted inside the facility.

Phase 1 – Reopening of the Cardio and Weight Room ( Aug 10)

Each member will be given a bottle of disinfectant upon entry and are required to wipe down any machine they have used upon completion of their exercise. These bottles will be returned at the end of their session so that they can be used in subsequent time slots. Staff will disinfect the bottles along with the machines before the next group of members arrives. 

Members seeking access to the Cardio Room Room will do so through the front doors, entering directly to the left of the main doors, into the Cardio Room. 

Members accessing the Weight Room will do so through the double doors into the Weight Room lobby (at the south end of the upper parking lot.)

Physical distancing rules will be enforced in these areas. Members are not permitted to use a machine that is less than 2 meters or 6 feet from another member. 


 

Phase 2 – Reopening of the Aquatics Wing  (Aug. 17) 

Members will have access to change rooms for showering prior to entry into the pool (as per Ontario Public Pool Regulations 565). They must enter the change room, change and shower before entering the pool deck. One person (or 1 family – a family is considered those individuals who are under the same family membership) will be allowed in the shower area at a time. Other members who require a shower must wait at a distance of 2m until the shower is free. 

The lifeguard will clear the pool at the one hour mark. All members will be required to exit immediately and change as quickly as possible. As the change rooms are cleared, a staff member will disinfect all three change rooms and touch points on the deck using Clorox 360 spray or the Victory Gun.

There will be 30 minutes between each pool session to allow patrons to change, and exit, limiting the mixing of cohorts; as well as allowing for staff to clean and disinfect this area.

There will be no equipment provided to swimmers (PFD’s, noodles, toys, mats etc.), however members can bring their own equipment. 

Members will access the pool through the cafeteria entrance.


 

Phase 3 – Reopening of the Fieldhouse (Sept. 8)

Members will enter the Fieldhouse through the main doors. There will be no access to changerooms or water fountains. A washroom will be made available only in the case of an emergency and by notifying a staff member.

Members must bring their own equipment for use on the courts, such as basketballs..

Members should adhere to strict physical distancing when using the track and courts.

High touch surfaces, such as door knobs, will be disinfected at the end of every time slot.

Change Rooms and water fountains will not be permitted at this time.

Members will gain access to our online portal through a link that is generated through our database and is then sent via the email on file.

Once a member has their login information they can access the portal here: https://portal.varietyvillage.ca

When the member activates their online account they will then be given online access to a list of dates/times that are available for booking each of the 4 areas (Cardio Room, Weight Room, Aquatics and Fieldhouse) in three week stages. Members can also call in or email at  varietyregistrationportal@varietyontario.ca  to have a Variety Village staff book their time for them, if they do not have access to the internet, a valid credit card or they require assistance.

 

An alert reminding members that physical distancing is required in all spaces in the facility will pop up upon booking their hour time slot. At this time only one visit for one hour is permitted each day to allow opportunity for all members to regain access to the facility. 

Physical distancing must be followed at all times. Variety has the right to ask a member to leave if they are not following protocols.

Extraordinary times call for Extraordinary measures.

At Variety we are surrounded daily by many extraordinary circumstances, challenges, obstacles, and extraordinary people who inspire us to continue to pursue the work that helps to make change in the world today.

As quarantine and isolation strategies continue, Variety is unable to provide that direct support to our community through our facility programming. Many of the families and children we serve are directly impacted.

The children, families — and partners and staff around the world who help them reach their goals — continue to be our priority as we navigate this ever-evolving global situation. Join us and help support vulnerable children with disabilities in your community today.

Now, more than ever, we will need the support of our community, donors and sponsors.

BUS: We have a bus stop right outside! Take the 12A from Victoria Park Station.

FREE parking onsite.

Wheel-Trans accessible.

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