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Bradford residents take to the outdoors in lockdown (11 photos)

What winter activities you can and can’t do in the town of Bradford

Since the province entered lockdown on Dec. 26, many Bradford residents have been experiencing 'cabin fever', cooped up inside with not much to do.

Many have been using the cold weather to their advantage, creating their own skating rinks in the backyard or at local ponds, sledding down hills with toboggans and snow racers, ice fishing on the canal and hiking at Scanlon Creek. 

Earlier this month, a 39-year-old Bradford woman was severely injured after smashing into a hydro tower on 'Deadman's Hill' located at Fuller Heights Park.

Signage has been put in to make it clear that the hill is not maintained or monitored for tobogganing and snow fencing has been installed around the tower. 
"But it is not possible to eliminate all hazards and users should be aware of the conditions of the hill and use at their own risk," says Caleigh Clubine, spokesperson for the town.

"As far as general safety precautions, we are not an authority on general public safety but I think it is safe to assume that residents should obey signage, wear all appropriate safety equipment, such as helmets for children, and be aware of the risks of any activity before embarking on it," says Clubine.

This past weekend, crowds could be found all over town enjoying the outdoors. 

In Grand Central, crowds were spotted on the frozen stormwater pond near Langford Boulevard and Aishford Road, skating and playing hockey. Some complained of the crowds on social media. At times there were upwards of 50 people on the ice.

Skating and ice fishing on storm water ponds is not permitted. The town says due to a spike in violation of this by-law, they are increasing public awareness and enforcement. 

As for ice fishing on the canal, the town has no by-laws regulating its use. Clubine says people should take all proper precautions before going on ice and that the town does not measure ice thickness or advise on safety.

Many residents are wondering why the town's outdoor skating rinks at Bud Brown and Lions Park have not been opened as of yet, noting some of the surrounding towns like Innisfil and East Gwillimbury have been working on opening theirs. 

"This is sad, we can't enjoy proper, safe outdoor rinks in Bradford like surrounding towns have," said one resident, Olena Rybko. 

The town says they will begin flooding the outdoor ice rinks next week, and once ready will have set capacity limits for residents to use. 

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is BradfordToday's Community Editor. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats
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