In response to requests by the City of Toronto and Peel for stricter restrictions, Premier Ford announced this afternoon that Toronto and Peel will go into lockdown on Monday. The lockdown measures include closing all Indoor sports and recreational facilities, including tennis courts. This change takes effect this Monday and will last a minimum of 28 days.


    There seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation being spread concerning the protocols to be followed when exiting and entering the courts. Players are erroneously being told by others that they are required to get off the court 5 minutes prior to the hour. Those same players that thought players should be leaving 5 minutes early are then also moving onto the courts in that same 5 minute period. Needless to say, this has led to unnecessary confusion and frustration and even a few confrontations.

    So, the time for the bell has arrived!!!

    The bell will ring at 5 minutes to the hour and then again on the hour. The “bell rules” are as follows:

    1. When the first bell rings, players must stop play immediately. This does not mean finishing your game first. It means stop playing, exit the playing area, put on your mask, change clothes, pack up your belongings, and vacate the court, all before the second bell rings. 5 minutes should be plenty of time. You should not still be on the court or still sitting on the chairs when the second bell rings. You should be on your way out of the dome by the time that second bell sounds.
    2. Players waiting to play should not start making their way to their court until the second bell rings at the hour mark. Do not start making your way to the court prior to the hour, even if you see that the previous players have vacated and it is empty. Wait for the second bell.

    Cheers,
    Doug


    On November 10, 2020, the government announced new provincial restrictions in the City of Toronto to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. One of these restrictions is a 10-people maximum capacity for indoor facilities. To ensure that Tam Heather adheres to this 10-people limit, the following changes will take effect immediately with respect to individual court reservations in GameTime.

    • Courts 2, 3 and 4 will allow reservations for singles play only
    • Court 1 will allow reservations for doubles play
    • Court 1 can still be reserved for singles play, but we would ask members to only reserve court 1 for singles if none of the other courts are available.
    • All leagues and multi-court block bookings will be contacted and given the option to continue playing, but must adjust their schedule and play to adhere to the new 10-people limit. If this cannot be done, they will temporarily suspend play and the courts will be opened up.
    • Lessons will also be limited to one person and the coach.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are hopeful that the necessity for these new measures will be short-lived.


    With the announcement late yesterday afternoon by Mayor Tory that Toronto will move to the red zone of Ontario's COVID-19 tiered shutdown system, our plans to reopen Tam for curling league play have been derailed yet again. This change takes effect this Saturday and is expected to last for at least 28 days until mid-December.

    This would mean:

    • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training; no league games allowed.
    • Maximum occupancy per area limited to ten (10) persons per room; so a maximum of ten (10) persons on the ice and another ten (10) in the lounge area. 
    • No alcohol or food sales allowed.

    With these measures in place, league play becomes an impossibility, not to mention the lack of socializing before or afterwards. As a result, the decision has been made to cancel curling completely until the beginning of January 2021. Although these measures expire December 12, it doesn't make much sense to reopen for just a few days before Christmas. We can only hope that these measures will have the desired impact of lessening COVID numbers in order that, in January, we can reopen for an abbreviated curling season. The ice will remain in and we will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation as January approaches and will decide on whether a partial season, starting in January, is an option. Additional communication will be forthcoming on the potential for a partial season.

    We have already started to receive inquiries about refunds. In this regard, I want to assure everyone that we will be providing pro-rated refunds to registered members based on when and if we reopen. Refunds will therefore not be processed until January earliest.

    In closing, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work our way through these unusual times. I also want to thank the Board Members, convenors, volunteers, and all interested parties who have been helping us navigate throughout this period of uncertainty.

    Questions or comments can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Disappointedly yours,
    Doug

     


    The winter tennis season, with COVID protocols in place, is now a month old. Unfortunately, it looks like these protocols are going to be with us for a lot longer than we’d all like. And as with anything new, it has required some getting use to. Some things were tougher to get used to than others, and some we are still not used to, or adhering to, at least not to the degree that is necessary. Specifically the following:    

    1. Face masks must be worn at ALL times except when playing on the court. Please wear your masks when entering the dome, while waiting for your court, and while getting ready to play. Masks may only be removed when playing. Once you leave the playing surface, immediately put your mask back on. This even includes when you are changing courts during league and block booking rotations Too many are only putting on their masks as they leave the dome. Not good enough!!!
    2. Wait socially distanced in the area to the right/east of the entrance until your court is available. This is being adhered to quite well by arriving players, not so much by the players who should be departing the court. They seem to think that this means that they can play longer because they aren’t being asked to leave. Players on a court should stop playing 5 minutes before the end of their session in order that they be off the court by the end of the hour. There have been numerous complaints arising as a result of this, to the point where a bell system is being considered and will be instituted if things do not improve.
    3. It is a requirement that the nets be drawn at all times. The locks on the nets are an indication of this. It is not OK to squeeze between the nets or lift them up and go under!!! Follow the directional arrows around the backs of the divider nets when moving between courts.
    4. Spectators are not allowed in the dome. I am not sure how to make this any clearer. Government mandated tracing requirements necessitate that we be able to report everyone who is in the dome at any point in time. If you are not playing, then you do not appear anywhere in our records. This means our records are not complete. So we are not in compliance. If you are not registered as playing on our courts, you should not be in the dome.

    The COVID measures we currently have in place must be strictly adhered to if we hope to stay open for play. Please obey these measures and don’t be the reason we are required to close.

    Stay safe and have fun.

    Cheers,
    Doug


    Curling.Rocks.in.House.1x2Yesterday, the Ford government unveiled a new tiered system for COVID-19 restrictions. Under the plan, the other 3 regions (York, Peel and Ottawa) that are currently with Toronto in a modified version of Stage 2 will be moved into the new orange category as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday Nov 7, allowing gyms to reopen and bars and restaurants to resume indoor dining and, most importantly, allowing curling clubs to reopen for league play by restoring the 50 person indoor gathering limit.

    Toronto, however, will remain in a modified version of Stage 2 until November 14 after Mayor John Tory asked “for a little more time. Booooooo !!!!

    The good news is there will be more time to practice. We should all be in mid-season form by the time league play begins on Monday November 16. 

    Additional practice times will be as follows:

    • Monday Nov 9 to Friday Nov 13
      • 3:00 to 4:00pm
      • 5:00 to 6:00pm
      • 7:00 to 8:00pm
    • Saturday Nov 14 and Sunday Nov 15
      • 9:00 to 10:00am
      • 11:00am to noon
      • 1:00 to 2:00pm
      • 3:00 to 4:00pm
      • 5:00 to 6:00pm

    Cheers,
    Doug


    1. After having read it, be sure to bring your signed Declaration of Compliance with you to your first practice session.
    2. Do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your practice session.
    3. Park in the East parking lot (the side by the tennis dome) and enter by that door.
    4. Ensure you have your mask on before entering the building.
    5. Proceed downstairs to the locker rooms to change. Remain downstairs until an ice tech advises that the ice is ready and unlocks the door up to the ice. A couple of warm-up stretches while you are waiting might be a good idea. Before proceeding up the ice, deposit your signed Declaration in the box marked “Declarations” beside the door leading up to the ice.
    6. Be sure to take a moment to admire the job that Jason, Luc and the rest of the ice crew have done in converting our arena from 8 sheets to 6.
    7. All rocks have been sanitized prior to your practice session. If you are using a club broom, please take one from the wall rack as they too have been sanitized. After your session, do NOT put the broom back on the wall rack. Instead, put it in the black barrels marked “Used brooms – Unsanitized”. There will be no club stabilizers or delivery sticks available this season. Please arrange to purchase your own such equipment. The Tam Pro Shop can help with this.
    8. After one hour of perfecting your draw weight and enjoying being back on the ice, exit back downstairs to change.
    9. Unfortunately bar and kitchen service are not yet available; so we cannot invite you to stay for a drink or something to eat. We can only say how good it was to welcome you back and ask you to depart promptly in order that we start preparations for the next practice session.

    Cheers,
    Doug


    Lots of interest in getting back on the ice. Unfortunately, due to the 10 person indoor gathering limit and the need to sanitize between every session, the amount of practice ice is limited. 5 Days at 5 sheets at 7 sessions per day is only 175 sessions. With close to 300 members, that’s only one session per member assuming everyone doubles up. Granted, some members don’t need practice (it’s like riding a bike, right?), but most of us do, even if it’s just to make sure we don’t hurt something that first game.

    Some people have already reserved 5 sheets; one every day. Although I admire your enthusiasm, that’s not going to work as we’ll quickly run out of practice ice before everyone even has a chance to read the email about it being available. The reservation system does not have an automated means by which I can limit the number of reservations a person can make, so I am just going to ask that you limit your reservations to 2 initially. If, on Tuesday, there is still ice available, go ahead and reserve another time to a maximum of 3 sheets per member. In the meantime, if you have already reserved more than 2 sheets, please go back and cancel those extra sheets.

    Thanks. See you on the ice.
    Doug


    Fingers crossed, November 16 is our new anticipated date for the start of the 2020-2021 curling season. Hopefully Mr. Tory agrees.

    In preparation for the start of play, practice ice will be available starting on Wednesday November 4. 

    Practice ice can be booked using the new on-line Ice Booking feature on the Tam website at www.tamheather.ca. Simply log in and go to the Ice Booking icon. (Note: The Ice Booking option is only visible to PAID curling members)

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    Sandra BruceIn Loving Memory

    The Bruce and Lyons family are all deeply saddened to announce the passing of Sandra Bruce on October 23, 2020 after a six month battle with cancer.

    In her 76 years, Sandra savoured and poured her heart and soul into every moment of life, understanding better than any one that time was precious. Not a second was wasted.

    Smart, independent and driven, she was born in Sudbury, Ontario on June 27, 1944 and moved to Toronto in 1965, building a successful 39-year career at the Bank of Montreal while raising a family of three. Even in the busiest times, Sandra was one of the first ever soccer moms in all the best ways, inspiring a love for the game among her kids while organizing teams and countless weekend tournaments.

    Sandra touched many lives, bringing a sense of curiousity and passion for life that was an inspiration to all. She will be forever loved by her husband and soulmate Patrick Lyons, children Chris Bruce (Dana), Kathleen Bruce (Michael), Cary Bruce (Dana) and stepchildren Suzanne Lyons (Perry) and Gordon Lyons. To the Grandkids Cameron, Siobhan, Mara, Connor, Duncan, Andrew, Quentin and Joel, Grandma gave the gift of love and countless special experiences – from theatre outings and taking in the Christmas display windows downtown, to baking her famous meat pies. She instilled a zest for life and appreciation for the little traditions that will be her legacy for generations.
    Sandra will also be greatly missed by her siblings – Jackie Diasio (Joe), Patricia Alexander (Ted), and Reginald Moore (Darlene).

    On ice, water or the fairway, there were no half measures with Sandra whether she was calling a draw to the button, lining up a tricky six-foot putt, co-piloting their sailboat with Pat or dipping a paddle at daybreak with her fellow Dragon boat crew. The Divas, Business Women and Day Ladies all cherished the feisty spirit, leadership and camaraderie she brought to every competition – but what they’ll remember most is her laugh and the reminders that it’s all about fun after all.

    Sandra’s sense of duty to the greater good led to many, many hours of local club and charity event volunteering, most notably as a long-time member and volunteer of Tam Heather Curling Club and Pickering Dragon Boat Club, where her organizational abilities were breathtaking. She truly believed in sharing the wealth and gave generously to many charities. The most fitting tribute anyone could offer on her behalf if they wish would be a donation to Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre or Providence Palliative Healthcare where she received excellent care.
    Her passion for travel and discovery took Sandra and Pat and her dear friends Brenda Lachance, Jan Everett (deceased) and Evelyn Knuper around the world – there was always an adventure underway or in planning – with a fully mapped itinerary of course!

    Sandra, Mom and Grandma – we will miss you more than words can say but find comfort in knowing your spirit remains within each of us – encouraging, inspiring and insisting in fact, for us to live on without ever sacrificing a moment.

    A very small private family service will take place at McDougall & Brown Funeral Home. A celebration of life will follow at a later date.

    Due to COVID restrictions, the visitation and funeral services will be held privately by invitation only on Monday November 2. While the family wishes you could all be with them in their time of loss, they appreciate your kind words and condolences. Pat and family have arranged for the service to be live streamed for anyone interested in watching the service.  It will be available through the McDougall & Brown website and starts at 2 p.m.  

    Christine


    Mr. Ford’s announcement of a week ago Friday that Toronto was returning to a modified Stage 2 put a scare in us that tennis would be affected by increased restrictions. Fortunately this did not turn out to be the case.

    However, this did serve as a reminder that the COVID measures we currently have in place must be strictly adhered to if we hope to stay open for play and, for the most part, I’m please to say that they are.

    BUT, in some cases, they are not. Perhaps because the requirements are not clear enough; but in others this is not the case.

    1. Face masks are to be worn at ALL times except when playing on the court. Please wear your masks when entering the dome, while waiting for your court, and while getting ready to play. Masks may only be removed when playing. Once you leave the playing surface, put your mask back on. This even includes when you are changing courts during league and block booking rotations. Finally, be sure to put your mask on immediately upon completion of play in preparation for exiting the dome.
    2. When booking courts in GameTime, please be sure to list ALL players. This is critical to enabling our compliance with government-mandated tracing requirements. Hopefully this will never be needed, but in the event it is, we need to be able to report exactly who was on the courts at any point in time. So, even in situations where you use “I Pay” because you are paying the full court fee, be sure to list all the other players. In situations where you are taking a lesson with one of the coaches, the coach should book the court in order that he/she can list themselves as being present. If you are unable to play and arrange with another member to take your spot (remember: NO GUESTS), please update your reservation if possible before you play. If this is not possible, call or email the office to let us know about the change.
    3. It is a requirement that the nets be drawn at all times. The locks on the nets are an indication of this. Just because the locks leave a gap at the bottom between the nets does not mean that it is OK to squeeze between the nets instead of going around.
    4. Thank you to all those who have submitted their COVID Declaration of Compliance. If you have not yet done so, please print it off using the link provided HERE, read it, initial and sign it in all the indicated spots, and then deposit it in the locked mailbox at the east entrance to the clubhouse next time you play.

    Stay safe and have fun.
    Cheers,
    Doug


    Based on all the emails we received over the weekend, there are a lot of members looking for reassurance that we are still planning to open for curling. Unfortunately, as a result of the new Provincial restrictions announced on Friday for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, it looks like our start will delayed by another week, from November 2 until November 9th.

    That’s the bad news. The good news is that work continues on getting the ice ready. Jet Ice will be in tomorrow to do a temporary cover-up of the houses on sheets B, C, F and G as we convert from 8 sheets down to 6. The “new” rocks also arrived from Weston. This one week delay might even give us some time for practice before the season starts on the 9th; stay tuned for more on that.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone the week of November 9th, if not sooner.

    Cheers,
    Doug


    The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we are proceeding with opening for curling

    Curling starts the week of November 9


    This is one last request to those of you who have yet to let us know your decision on curling this season. If you have already paid all or a portion of your fees, you can disregard this message.

    We plan to continue to prepare for a curling season until we are told we can’t. But first we need assurance from you, the members, that if we put in the ice, and if we are not locked back down again by our politicians, you are interested in curling this season.

    So far, only 40% (approximately 200 members) have confirmed that they are definitely planning on playing this season by registering and paying all or a portion of their membership. This is not enough to support opening. But there are still 257 members who registered back in May and June, but who we need to hear from. This number was over 300 earlier this week, so we conducted a phone blitz and contacted them all in an attempt to get a “yay” or “nay”. But our attempts were only partially successful as, in many cases, we were only able to leave a phone message. I thought the idea of cellphones was to make it easier to reach someone (not true).

    So, this email is intended for those 257 members who remain undecided/unpaid. Please do one of the following this weekend:

    1. If you plan on playing, please go to the website at www.tamheather.ca and pay for your membership. We have even added a split payment option that allows you to pay half now and half in January. If you are undecided because some, or even all, of your teammates from last season have decided not to play, but you would still like to play, rest assured that there are many others in the same situation who are looking for new teammates. Our drawmasters are very good at matching up teams. And you will have the final say in who you want to play with. This year will be less about competition, and more about just getting out and doing something active and social; just having some fun. Something that’s in very short supply these days.
    1. If you have decided not to play this season, please let us know with a quick email to the office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a phone call to 416-284-9251. If you were a member last season, you may also go online and convert your membership to a “Hold-My-Spot” membership.

    Please do one or the other.

    If you would like to play, but are hesitant to go ahead and pay because you expect that the recent uptick in positive COVID tests will result in us being unable to open, be assured that we will not keep your money in the event we are unable to open. Your money will be refunded in full. If we are able to start the season, and then get shut back down, you will receive a prorated refund for the entire portion of the season that is missed.

    I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

    Cheers,

    Doug

     


    welcome colourful“Welcome Back” to all returning members and “Welcome to Tam” to all new members.

    Before you arrive for your first matches, please be reminded again of the following COVID protocols that are now in place. Be sure to follow these guidelines for your own safety and that of your fellow members. Doing so will be critical to the Club being able to stay open and available for members to enjoy.    

    • Players must NOT enter the dome if they are displaying COVOD-related symptoms
    • Face masks are to be worn at all times until players reach their court and only be removed to commence play, then put back on to depart.
    • All players must read and bring a signed COVID waiver and declaration of compliance to their first game. This waiver was emailed to all registered members and is also available on the Club website under Club Info > Governance.
    • Players should arrive no more than 10 minutes before their games
    • Upon entering the dome, players should not congregate in the vestibule. Proceed directly into the dome and follow the arrows on the floor. Wait socially distanced in the area to the right/east of the entrance until your court is available.
    • All movement to and from the courts will be along the outside walls of the dome. Just follow the arrows on the walls.
      • Access courts from the right/east
      • Depart courts to the left/west
    • Divider nets to be kept drawn shut at all times and closed at the middle
    • Coat racks will not be available. So players should take their coats and all personal effects with them to the court.
    • NO GUESTS. This is a COVID-related protocol as we must be able to provide tracing information for anyone accessing the dome. Even in the event of a last minute cancellation, DO NOT fill that opening with a non-member.

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    Public Events

    There are no upcoming events requiring on-line registration

    Member Only Events

    There are no upcoming events requiring on-line registration

    Jitneys

    There are no upcoming events requiring on-line registration