Hello Don Mills Tennis Club Members:

I regret to inform you that the Don Mills Tennis Club Executive Board has decided not to operate the club this year, and to revoke the request for the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) permit under which it normally operates.

There are numerous reasons. The main one is the absence of liability insurance coverage as discussed before. Two weeks of work later with officials, both the regular insurer nor the City have budged in indemnifying the club in case of a Covid suit, and even if there are 10 waivers signed by members, the club and Board’s personal assets are still exposed to a suit… which is too much risk to ask of a volunteer board. The other reasons are the severely restrictive Covid-19 operating Guidelines issued by the City, which restricts us from doubles play, no Kaffeeklatsch, no House League, no events, no socialization, severe social distancing measures, etc. The club would have incurred a large operating loss and the requirement for increased monitoring staff would also have sent our labour cost too high. [Please note, the cost for the courts resurfacing project is capitalized under a special budget already set aside, and does not/would not affect operating cash flow. That resurfacing project will carry on in the next couple weeks].

The large majority of the Community Clubs in Toronto have made the same decision to not sign the permit and for the same reasons. Currently, to our knowledge, Parkway, O’Connor Hills, Hillcrest, Gwendolyn, Bayview Village, Seneca Hills, Henry Farm … have all declined their permits.

What happens next to Don Mills is up to the City. We understand the City may decide to turn the Community Clubs courts into “public” courts, open to any body, but still regulated by the Covid-19 Guidelines. Or, they may choose to keep it padlocked.

Look on the bright side members: if the courts become public, you will get to play, but now for free! We, as executive don’t have to face the risks mentioned above, plus the club won’t have to pay a hefty permit fee [$4,000+] in order to operate under strict City restrictions. We won’t have to spend money on hand sanitizers and buy masks for our monitors. You could play as per usual – singles only please, unless same household – the only difference might be that you have to ‘tag’ your racquets on the outside fence alongside any public member and wait your turn. Please, if you observe any improper court behaviour from the public, please try to instruct them to take care of the courts. Please be our volunteer custodians in our absence. And please take your hand sanitizers, bottled water etc. along as there will be no facilities open.

For the handful of members who have already signed and paid their membership fees by e-transfer for 2020, you will get a refund. If you’d sent a cheque, we will just destroy them.

Thank you, stay safe wherever you end up playing… or not playing,

Angela Kooij, President

and the Don Mills Tennis Club Executive