Still plenty on offer in Cornwall/SDG through the holidays

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Although the city announced on Wednesday, it would cancel all of its recreation bookings at the aquatic centre, Benson Centre, and Cornwall Civic Complex, there are still quite a few things to do during the holiday break.

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For starters, the Upper Canada Village’s Alight at Night, which boasts over a million lights decorating its many buildings, has not be impacted by recent provincial health regulations as the event is hosted outdoors. Visitors are required to wear a mask in the lobby area and stay two metres or six feet away from others. Although proof of vaccination is not mandatory to attend the event, it is needed in order to enter the Harvest Barn restaurant as it is considered indoor dining.

The Cornwall Public Library will be offering a handful of virtual activities. This includes a Christmas-inspired Jeopardy game that will be available on the library’s website. Every Monday, the library also presents a holiday recipe. On Dec. 27, the menu includes making Peppermint Nanaimo Bars.

The SDG Library had already planned to close all its branches from Dec. 24 through to Jan. 3.

Due to the change in health and safety regulations, the Boys and Girls Club of Cornwall and SDG will not be running any holiday programming. Its after-school programs will resume when children return to school however.

Getting around the city by transit has also been impacted, as Cornwall Transit announced immediate changes to its schedule on Thursday morning, citing a lack of staff resources and that some transit staff members are currently isolating after potential exposure to COVID-19, or due to being ill. The largest change is the cancellation of the community service route until further notice, along with timing changes for route frequencies. Riders are asked to contact the transit office with any questions or concerns at 613-930-2636.

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While indoor recreation facilities in the city are closed, it’s advised to check with municipal facilities outside of Cornwall to verify whether they are open. The city’s closures do not appear to affect any outdoor areas (parks, trails, etc.) within Cornwall.

Anyone wanting to get out and enjoy nature can venture westward and visit the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which remains open. Visitors will still have to follow provincial and Eastern Ontario Health Unit guidelines, which includes no congregating in groups, wearing a mask if unable to physical distance, and limit visitations with only members of their households. Washrooms remain closed at this time. It should also be noted that dogs are not permitted within the sanctuary trails.

The Summerstown Trails are also open to the public. Despite the cold weather, there hasn’t been too much snow, meaning that although the trails can be used for snowshoeing, skiing or fat biking, they haven’t been groomed or set yet.

The network of trails at all of the Raisin River Conservation Area sites will continue to be open to the public during the holidays. That includes Gray’s Creek, Cooper Marsh, Charlottenburg and Gray’s Creek Marina. Amenities at the sites, such as the Cooper Marsh visitor’s centre, remain closed due to the pandemic.

The city’s recreation facility closure is expected to last until at least Jan. 4— this will likely impact a Cornwall Prowlers home game scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 2 at the Benson Centre.

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