THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay announced on Friday that cemeteries would close to the public. On Monday the city has reversed course and announced two cemeteries will remain open to the public.
Mountain View and St. Patrick’s Cemeteries will be open to the public, effective immediately.
“When I learned of a decision to close the municipally-owned cemeteries to visitors, I was uncomfortable as were other members of Council,” Mayor Bill Mauro said today. “I asked the Administration to consider other options to accommodate concerns relative to the health and safety of staff and visitors.”
City Manager Norm Gale said other changes are being announced today instead of closure. “In a dynamic and fluid situation, we are continuously evaluating our services and operations – and the changes announced today for the cemeteries are made to balance the health and safety of the public and our staff and the needs of family and friends for visitation.”
In order to keep staff and the public safe, and also provide visitations, visitors cannot use amenities within the cemetery including water taps and benches until the Provincial Declaration of Emergency is lifted. The Declaration has been extended until May 12.
Individuals visiting the cemeteries must maintain a safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others.
By Provincial Order, funeral services will still be limited to a maximum of 10 attendees, including clergy. Visitors to the cemetery are asked to be respectful and not approach funeral services.
Cemeteries are open to the public daily, a half-hour before dawn to a half hour before dusk, year-round. The City will continue to monitor compliance to inform future decisions on cemetery operations.