Media Release 21-01: Preparing for the Safe and Gradual Opening of the New Minden Hills Community Centre and S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena

Under the direction of the Government of Ontario and the approval of Municipal Council, the Township of Minden Hills is working towards the gradual and safe opening of the new Minden Hills Community Centre and S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena facility. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, health and safety is our number one priority. The Municipality will be putting protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Under the current provincial emergency orders the facility must remain closed to the public at this time. However, once allowable, the Municipality will reassess opening dates and targets, and based on where our public health region falls within the province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework, the facility will begin to operationalize in accordance with those guidelines. It is the Municipality’s intention, to first offer regulated access to the gym areas of the facility for the late winter/early spring season, when possible.

The facility will open with updated health and safety measures based on discussions with Parks and Recreation Ontario, other Ontario municipalities, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, the Township of Minden Hills Emergency Control Group and local community groups. These measures include hand sanitizer stations, spaces to allow physical distancing of at least two-metres (6 feet), plexiglass barriers, and enhanced facility cleaning of high-touch surface areas.
When permissible, the following services will be provided with restrictions and protocols:

GYM Recreational Opportunities:
• Limited and pre-registered court times;
• Limited number of players to 4 players on each court at one time;
• Court time will be allocated in 1 hour blocks with 20 minutes in between sessions;
• Masks must be worn in the facility until play begins;
• No spectators will be allowed in the court area; and
• Players must bring their own equipment.

Walking Track
• Pre-registration will be required for all walkers;
• Limited to 10 walkers at one time;
• Walking time will be allocated in 1 hour blocks;
• Masks must be worn in the facility until walking begins;
• No spectators will be allowed in the area; and
• Social distancing must be maintained.

The Municipality has made the decision not to install the ice for the 2020/21 season due to the continuing pandemic and the implementation of the emergency orders by the province. It is the intention to open the arena for the 2021/2022 season in late August.
The further gradual opening of other areas of the facility through 2021 include:

  • Open Gym bookings;
  • Fitness Centre;
  • Hall Rentals;
  • Lobby areas;
  • Facility Offices; and
  • Concession operations.

“We’re excited to see the community again! The building looks fantastic inside. Access to the building will be a little different, but these protocols in place will help keep visitors and employees healthy and safe,” said Craig Belfry, Director of Community Services for the Township of Minden Hills. “The gradual reopening of our community centre will see more programs and services being restored when it is safe to do so.”

Entering the Community Centre
New requirements have been set in place upon entering and exiting the facility including self-screening and a check-in desk equipped with a hand sanitization station. Everyone will need to register in advance. Please also be prepared for possible lineups and wear a face mask or nonmedical face covering when entering the community centre.

Controlled Facility Access
The community centre will be operating under controlled access including designated entrance and exits based on the location of the rental and/or program. All individuals entering the facility must only do so 15-minutes prior to a rental and/or program and exit within 15-minutes following the end of a rental and/or program.

Facility Bookings and Enquiries
For rentals or programming questions please call the community centre at 705-286-1260 x 552. For more information visit the Township of Minden Hills website at


Contact Information:
Craig Belfry, Director of Community Services
Township of Minden Hills
PO Box 359, 7 Milne Street
Minden, ON K0M 2K0