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COVID-19 Updates

Facility closure update
August 5, 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has been forced to make several difficult decisions related to the reopening of its many programs and facilities. As a charity with very limited reserves, we cannot compromise our long-term ability to serve the communities of Simcoe, Muskoka and Parry Sound by continuing to operate facilities that are not financially viable. As a result, we will not be reopening the following health and fitness facilities:

  • The Barrie Y at 22 Grove Street
  • The Orillia Y at 300 Peter Street
  • The Parry Sound Y at 36 Smith Street

In the future, the Parry Sound Y will continue to operate as a licensed child care centre. Day camps in Barrie, Orillia and Parry Sound, as well as licensed child care at the Barrie Y, will continue to operate through to the end of the summer; in the coming days, YMCA staff will contact families impacted by the closure of the Barrie Y to find alternative spaces at other YMCA Child Care Centres. The YMCA is also making every effort to relocate staff to other locations and/or to support them in finding new employment opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

These facilities were not financially viable for the long-term prior to the pandemic; with the YMCA projecting a $25 million loss in revenue over the next 12 months we could no longer afford to keep these facilities open.

We are reviewing the viability of our programs and facilities as well as our recent membership survey results. We will make decisions based on balancing our mission and vision with our long-term sustainability as a charity.

The closure of the Barrie Y is permanent – however, we remain committed to continuing to raise funds and work with all levels of government to build a new Y. We remain open to the possibility of working with municipalities and community partners to repurpose our fitness facilities in Orillia and Parry Sound. Our Child Care in Parry Sound remains open.

We are open to working with our partners and the municipality to repurpose this facility to meet the needs of the community.

The Barrie Y’s property has been sold to developers to build apartment buildings.

The YMCA will continue to operate child care out of this facility.

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka immediately put all memberships on hold when the facilities closed in March. All YMCA Memberships impacted by this closure have been cancelled and any outstanding credits on your account will be processed in the coming weeks. If you have any inquiries about the status of your account please email: hello@sm.ymca.ca.

Phase 3 Reopening – Update
July 13, 2020

Communities across Simcoe County, Muskoka and Parry Sound have been included in Phase 3 of the Province’s regional reopening framework. As the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka moves towards reopening our facilities, we will do so based on the following core principles:

  1. A commitment to the health and safety of our participants, volunteers, staff and the community
  2. Prioritizing programs that meet our community’s greatest needs
  3. Being financially responsible to sustain the long-term viability of the Y as a charity
  4. Supporting our employees by calling back staff from temporary lay-off as soon as possible

Today, the Provincial Government announced the initial details around the Phase 3 reopening plan for Ontario, which impacts some of our programs and services.

Health and Fitness Centres:
At this time, we will continue to utilize our health and fitness centres primarily for licensed child care and day camp programs. We will soon finalize plans for a phased-in approach to reopening. The safety of our staff and community-at-large will remain at the forefront of our decision making.

Licensed Child Care: 
We have heard today’s announcement about the change in the size of cohorts in licensed child care. Once the updated guidelines are released, we will review them and be communicating directly with our families who have not returned to care yet.


Phase 2 Reopening – Update
July 3, 2020

In alignment with our guiding principles, we have the following updates: 

  • 2020 Summer Program (Day Camp): Beginning Monday, July 6 in Barrie, Collingwood, Innisfil, Midland, Orillia, and Wasaga Beach. Click here to learn about what families can expect when attending this summer program.
  • Geneva Park Family Camp: Click here to learn about the key safety measures in place for the safety of visitors and staff.
  • Licensed Child Care: Beginning Monday, July 6, nineteen sites will reopen; four emergency child care locations stayed open after transitioning to licensed care. An additional location is scheduled to reopen July 13. Click here to learn about what families can expect as we transition back to these programs.
    • Click here to review the Enhanced Health Care & Sanitary Procedures
    • Click here to review the Reopening Prioritization Policy

Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Stay strong and stay connected.


Child Care – Update
June 9, 2020

Today child care was included as part of Phase 2 of the province’s reopening framework. In the coming days, we will share timelines for our Y to reopen our licensed child care centres based on the needs of our community and current health & safety guidelines. Be well & stay safe.


Camp Programs – Update
May 19, 2020

Today, the Provincial Government made an announcement regarding summer camps; as a result of this announcement, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the LEAP Leadership Program at YMCA Geneva Park and the summer camp season at YMCA Camp Kitchikewana. We will be reviewing information shared by the government and public health to determine if we can safely operate our YMCA Geneva Park Family Program as well as day camp programs across Simcoe County, Muskoka and Parry Sound this summer.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate these challenging circumstances. 


Youth Services – Update
April 20, 2020

While our facility is closed, we continue to operate the following programs, virtually:

  • Youth In Transition Worker Program: Provides community support for youth aged 16-24  leaving the care of the Children’s Aid Society and transitioning into independent living.  Referrals can be made by directly emailing/calling/texting Eva Trifon:  Eva.Trifon@sm.ymca.ca or 705-796-2688.  Support is provided by phone/text/email/Video Chat.
  • Youth Justice Program: Provides community support for youth who are on probation in Simcoe County.  Referrals are received from the probation officer that youth is currently connected to. Youth on probation who are interested in our outreach services can connect with us for more information. Questions can directed to Amanda Tepei:  Amanda.Tepei@sm.ymca.ca or 705-818-1135.  Support is provided by phone/text/email/Video Chat.
  • Youth Gambling Awareness Program: Provides workshops and awareness presentation about the risks of gambling to youth and adults in the community from a harm reduction perspective.  Online resources and workshops available. Inquiries can be directed to Brent.Jefkins@sm.ymca.ca or 705-794-0727.
  • Youth Canadian Action Network: Provides an opportunity for youth aged 15-29 to identify and create projects for community needs and interests that are specific to the youth and their communities.  Program qualifies youth for volunteer hours for school and provides skills that are transferable to the workplace. Referrals can be made by contacting Shane Morrison:  Shane.Morrison@sm.ymca.ca or 705-730-8204.  Support is provided by phone/text/email/Video Chat.
  • Youth Quest: Provides youth aged 15-29 with 6 weeks of paid pre-employment training and 14 weeks of on the job workplace experience. Interviews are being coordinated and facilitated by video chat/phone/text. Inquiries and referrals for programs in Orillia, Barrie and Alliston can be made directly to Sarah Drake: sarah.drake@sm.ymca.ca or 249-288-4972.

Summer Season – Update
April 8, 2020

Although our facilities are currently closed, our camp team is being patient and optimistic as we continue to prepare and plan for an amazing and safe summer season. Detailed below is an update about the 2020 summer season and information concerning your current registration.

Summer 2020
The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and is following the direction of local public health authorities and government officials. The safety and wellbeing of our families, campers, staff and volunteers remain our top priority. We will continue to assess the situation with a focus on health and safety before making a decision about the upcoming summer season. As soon as a decision is made, we will communicate with you.

Beyond this, we continue to proceed with caution and are doing our due diligence. We recognize that new policies and procedures will need to be in place regarding health screening, sanitization and health promotion to ensure the safety of campers and staff. We are working with local health authorities and YMCAs at a national level to create stringent health procedures to ensure the safety of all.

Payments & Cancellations

  • YMCA Camp Kitchikewana: We will not automatically process any preauthorized payments in April or May. The balance of summer fees is due on May 1, 2020 for most families and we will defer these payments until a later date when we have more certainty on summer. If we can open for the summer season, we will connect with you to inform you of the revised payment date. If we are unable to open, we will connect with you to inform you of the closure and provide you with an update on deposit refunds.
  • YMCA Day Camps: The balance of fees for July camp sessions are due on June 1. The balance of fees for August camp sessions are due on July 1. If we are unable to open, we will connect with to inform you of the closure and provide you with an update on deposit refunds.
  • GP LEAP: The balance of summer payments that was due on May 1 will not be processed. If we can open, we will connect with you to inform you of the revised payment date. If we are unable to open, we will connect with you to inform you of the closure and provide you with an update on deposit refunds.
  • Geneva Park Cottage, suite and vacation guests: We know that many families in our community are currently experiencing hardship and we are being flexible and understanding for anyone who is not ready to make payments. We will continue to hold everyone’s registration and space for the upcoming summer. If we are unable to open, we will connect with you to inform you of the closure and provide you with an update on deposit refunds.

Please know that at this time we will be proceeding with our regular cancellation policy, however know that if it becomes necessary for us to cancel summer programs because of COVID-19, we will issue a full refund on all deposits and fees that have already been paid.

Registration
At this point in time, we continue to accept registrations for the 2020 summer season. 


Health, Fitness, and Aquatics – Update
April 1, 2020

Based on the direction of all levels of government and public health officials, we have extended the closures of our health, fitness, and aquatics centres beyond April 6. We will re-open our doors when it is deemed safe to do so for our members, staff and volunteers. We will continue to keep you up-to-date as we move forward.

Please note: All health and fitness membership and child care payments are on hold and we will not process any payments until our centres reopen.


Child Care – Update
March 30, 2020

The health, safety and well-being of our community and staff is always our top priority and to this end, we have been following the advice of public health agencies and all levels of government. At this time, we will be extending the temporary closure beyond April 6, 2020. A new reopen date will be provided once updated timing is announced by local school boards and health agencies.

We would like to reassure families that you do not need to worry about contacting us to put your Child Care or Before and After School Care on hold. As of March 18, we have automatically stopped fee collection, families will not be charged for care until our centres reopen. NO payments will be collected on April 1 or beyond if we remain closed.  Refunds/credits for any days of care from March 16 – 31 will be reviewed once we reopen.

We want to let you know that we are doing everything we can during this time to ensure that when we reopen our doors our community is stronger than ever and the YMCA is able to continue to provide a safe and nurturing space for your child.


Immigrant Services – Update
March 20, 2020 – 12:30pm

YMCA Immigrant Services will continue to provide Support Services using telephone, text, and online resources. If you need to book an appointment for Support Services please phone or text 705-241-2501.


Employment & Learning Services – Update
March 18, 2020 – 1:00pm

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s Employment & Learning Services sites in Midland, Huntsville, and Parry Sound will remain closed to the public in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Appointments with a Job Coach will proceed as scheduled, virtually and by telephone.

As we continue to navigate in these uncertain times, we are now establishing new methods of engagement with our job seekers. Employment opportunities are available online as well as posted in our windows for members of the community to walk by and still honour social distancing.

We know during this time you might still need to continue your job search! To connect with a YMCA job coach, please call the Midland (705-528-0845 x0), Huntsville (705-787-0349 x0), or Parry Sound (705-746-8480) Employment & Learning Services sites directly.

We will continue to look for guidance from our local District Health Unit and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer as we monitor COVID-19, and continue to make adjustments as needed.


Move to Give – Postponed
March 16, 2020 – 2:30pm

The growing concern around COVID-19 in our community has everyone feeling unsettled, especially as we experience many changes to our day-to-day lives and in the weeks to come. In the past 48 hours the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has had to make many difficult decisions in an effort to navigate these uncertain times. As a centre of community, it is also our duty to protect our volunteers, donors, members, families, program participants, sponsors and the residents of our community, as best we can.

As a result, we have decided to postpone our Move to Give fundraising event, initially scheduled for April 4, 2020. The decision was not easy, but the best way to ensure we support our mission of building healthy communities.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the incredibly dedicated staff, volunteers, sponsors and participants that have put a tremendous amount of effort into the lead up to this year’s event. We appreciate your support and enthusiasm and look forward to rescheduling as soon as local health officials indicate it is safe to do so.

Our communities are resilient. Together, we will get through this.

Event updates for Move to Give will be posted on MoveToGive.ca, as they become available.

 

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