A link to the new City of Toronto Tennis Policy can now be found on the TennisToronto website. Here are some highlights and information on parts of the policy that are still being fine-tuned.
NEW for the 2017 Season (updates from the revised policy):
- Public hours: Clubs must provide a minimum of six (6) regularly scheduled prime-time hours per week, two (2) of the six (6) hours must be made available on weekends and holidays. Public hours must be scheduled in time blocks of (at least) two (2) hours at a time. For the purpose of scheduling holiday hours, “holiday” shall refer to actual holiday dates (e.g. Canada Day – July 1st). A list of holiday dates within the tennis season will be circulated to Clubs by the Division at the start of the season, annually.
- Clubs are required to post public hours at the tennis courts and on the club website. Parks, Forestry and Recreation will also be posting all public hours on the City website.
- A waiting list can only be established when a club has a minimum of 75 adult members per court.
- Waiting list and/or transitional fees are expressly prohibited. The maximum annual membership fee for 2017 is $200. An administrative fee may be charged for new members but the combined membership fee and administrative fee cannot exceed $200.
- Clubs with clay courts can charge an additional clay court surcharge of $75.00 per member, annually.
- Clubs must have a formal complaint resolution process.
Please note that not all details involved in the new policy have been ironed out.The Tennis Liaison Committee (TLC – see page 2 of the policy for a definition of the TLC) is still working hard to develop useful guidelines for clubs on outstanding items.
The “Outdoor Community Tennis Club Procedures and Guidelines” document is being completed and will be posted on the City’s tennis website in the coming weeks. See: toronto.ca/tennis.
TLC members are also working on a framework to assist clubs in developing their formal complaint resolution process. City staff will be providing clarification regarding the “Suspension and Ban Policy”, specifically, what responsibilities and authority rests with clubs and what is the responsibility of the City. Clubs should know that the TLC has agreed that a club reserves the right to withdraw membership or guest/ non-member playing privileges if someone breaches club rules so long as the club ensures due process including appropriate communication with anyone affected. The City’s Suspension and Ban policy comes into play only if a club wants to ban someone from the City asset altogether. Such a ban is a severe step, and the City is responsible for issuing bans in these rare circumstances.
Regarding accessibility, the City Council has asked that clubs develop their own policies to make financial and physical accommodations for those in need of such accommodation. To assist clubs, the TLC is developing a framework for both financial and physical accessibility. The TLC hopes to develop this framework in 2017, but it will not be ready for the opening of tennis season.Clubs should be aware that legislation such as AODA (The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) applies to them regardless of any City involvement and clubs should be doing their due diligence to meet the requirements of this legislation.