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Newmarket bylaw officers now patrolling parks differently to enforce physical distancing

BARRIE — If you were out at one of Newmarket‘s 45 parks on Sunday, there‘s a chance you may have seen bylaw officers patrolling the area a little differently then usual.

With more than 800 acres of property to monitor, it was a challenge to observe so much land efficiently. Now, they are equipped with golf carts to serve residents more efficiently.

"It‘s provided us access into places that might have been a little harder for us to get to on foot as well as we can address complaints in a little more timely fashion with the carts," said bylaw officer John Quinn.

This initiative is a part of the town‘s new COVID-19 bylaws. It will help officers enforce and educate people on the rules of social distancing.

With a population of over 90,000 residents, the town of Newmarket is the fourth most densely populated in the province of Ontario, which makes social distancing in small spaces an even bigger challenge.

The Mayor of Newmarket, John Taylor, said he‘s proud of his residents for working so hard to ensure social distancing is being practiced and said they are doing an excellent job at it.

However, he does worry that with the warmer weather, more people will be in a mindset to ease off the diligence.

Taylor also said that he is aware of certain hotspots, such as Fairy Lake and Tom Tailor Trail. Keeping that in mind, the mayor said a message he would like to get across is that countless options for parks and trails surround Newmarket, so he wants to encourage people to spread out.

"I‘m asking people to consider going elsewhere," said Taylor.

"We‘ve got any other trails and parks all through town, and of course, we‘ve got a conservation area regional forest surrounding us and then there are sidewalks in all communities."

Today, the forecast in Newmarket was sunny, and reached a high of 18 degrees, making the trails and parks a popular to be.

And while Taylor said he‘s proud of his town for working hard to flatten the curve, he wants to remind his residents that if people want to keep the parks and trails open, they need to continue adhering to the rules and stay vigilant during the pandemic.

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