OTTAWA -- Outdoor fitness classes are open across Ottawa as the capital moves into Step 1 of the COVID-19 reopening plan.

After months in lockdown and with the first day of summer a week away, people now have the option of enjoying some company while they work out or take a fitness class.

At the Rideau Sports Centre, CEO Nicki Bridgland says they took advantage of the time they were closed to create new spaces for outdoor activities and classes.

Bridgland wanted to be ready no matter what the provincial reopening looked like.

"It's been so challenging, it's been exhausting to exhilarating," Bridgland said.  "We created this new outdoor fitness yoga studio and gym with 43 classes a week and the ability to book a personal trainer one-on-one."

Yoga instructor Anna Schulze is thrilled to be back at the head of the class, helping her students improve their skills and reduce the stress in their lives. All outdoor classes are capped at 10 people, but she sees this as the first step to getting back to normal.

"It’s so amazing to see the reaction after class. They are calm and love the fact that we are outdoors," Schilze said. "I think a lot of times people don’t come to practice in the summertime because they want to be outside, now they can do both."

Bridgland says the investment in the new facility was worth it.

"Watching peoples faces light up the tears in their eyes when they come back on the property and they see each other and there is that sense of connection with others." Bridgland said. "In the end it’s about health and wellness, but it’s also about human connection and bringing people together."

Indoor fitness centres remain closed under Step 1 of Ontario's reopening plan.

Along with outdoor fitness, here is a list of what you can do under Step One of the provincial reopening plan in Ontario.

  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people
  • Movie theatre drive-ins are permitted to open
  • Day camps for children permitted to operate
  • Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites are allowed to open, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals
  • Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks and historic sites may open with capacity and other restrictions
  • Retail stores in malls must remain closed unless the stores have a street-facing entrance.