OCF Ontario Climbing Gym Reopening Statement

Dear OCF Members,

We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

We are excited that the collective efforts of physical distancing have started flattening the curve. With last week’s Phase I announcement by the Ontario government, the return to activities such as climbing could soon be possible.

The OCF is not a recognized PSO as defined in Thursday’s announcement. As such, our 2019-2020 season remains cancelled, and we will not be scheduling any further competitions until it is permitted and safe to do so. As the situation develops, we continue to work on behalf of Ontario’s competitive athletes and continue working towards our goal of gaining official status as a Provincial Sport Organization in order to better serve our members.

Although the OCF’s mandate is limited to competition climbing, we are working to support Ontario gyms however we can. We have been actively participating in a National Pandemic Taskforce, which has produced letters for use in discussions with government and public health authorities, as well as a guidance document for gyms to use when planning their reopening. For more information, please see https://climbingcanada.ca/en/pandemic-task-force/.

As private businesses, Ontario climbing gyms will each make their own decisions about reopening.

Ontario gym owners have been collaborating to coordinate their planning around reopening. Please see the announcement put out by many of them following Thursday’s announcement:

“Yesterday the provincial government announced Phase I of the framework under which closed businesses could begin to reopen. While climbing was mentioned in the context of competitions, there is a lack of clarity as to if or under what conditions we are able to open for regular business.

During our closures the owners of Ontario’s climbing gyms have reached out to each other to share ideas, support, and insights on operating our facilities in a way that protects our climbers, staff, and the wider community. We are fortunate to be part of a community where such collaboration exists. We are contacting the province as well as reviewing guidelines from the Climbing Wall Association, Ontario Climbing Federation, Climbing Escalade Canada, and the experiences of jurisdictions which have already reopened. We are doing what we can to be ready. When each gym is open again it will be in a way that is sustainable within the inherent risks of being active during COVID-19. We hope that can be relatively soon.

Thank you to all of our members for your love and patience as we’ve weathered the last several weeks. The shutdown is doing its job. The rate of infections in Ontario continues to fall. While we all want things to return to normal, we are aware that doing so in haste will undo the sacrifices made.

We look forward to seeing you all, and climbing with you again.”


The Ontario Climbing Federation Board