COVID-19 Advice – Announcement from the Board

March 17th: Club Closure Update

Further to our communique yesterday, following the declaration of a Provincial State of Emergency, we want you to know what is happening and what the Board is doing to make sure that you are aware of all the events around the club. 

Most importantly, we are committed to communicate frequently with you, so that you can keep up with the planning and activities around the Club. At a minimum, our weekly newsletters will continue during this period when the Club is officially closed. 

In terms of the time of the closure, we are not sure how long it will be, but it is at least until March 31st, the date in the Premier’s announcement yesterday morning. As soon as we get more information on that, we will let you know. We will keep checking with our local, provincial and Federal Public Health organizations for updates and information and encourage you as individuals to do the same.

We are working to prioritize having docks installed so that on water training can begin on an individual basis. We were originally aiming for a March 28 docks-in event, but that may need to change, as the gathering of people may be too great. We are examining what can be done to have the majority of the actual docks installation done by a crane–installing the ramp, lowering the uppers–and then having Superior Dock and Marine float the long dock back from Ontario Place and attaching it to the ramp. We would plan to do this with a skeleton crew of fewer than 10 people. If you are available to help on March 26 and/or 27, please contact: Bahram Farahbakhsh

I’m sure you’re wondering how we’re going to make sure oars and boats don’t become a method for spreading disease once the docks go in–we are too. But we have almost two more weeks to figure that out. Ideas are welcomed–after all, we are a member-run Club. Katie deKlerk will collect your ideas and share them with the Board. 

Our Head Junior Coach Connor Elsdon, has developed an at-home training program for the Juniors to stay fit and healthy, and to be ready when we are able to gather again. Other members can reach out to their program coaches for at home training plans and to stay informed of any changes in our response. 

Thanks to Anne Hodkin and Peter Code, the trailer with the boats is back from Tampa (where it was when we decided to cancel the spring break camp last Thursday 30 minutes before the bus was to leave for Tampa with 28 Juniors and 8 coaches). Again, a skeleton crew will be organized to unload the boats, riggers, etc. I’m not sure if we will be re-rigging at this point. Contact Connor if you can help with that. 

Unfortunately, the club already incurred some unrecoverable costs related to the cancelled trip – the nonrefundable part of the bus cost, together with the cost of getting the trailer to, and back from Florida, to the tune of almost $7,000. The cost was divided between the athletes that were to go to Florida equally, which meant that the refunded portion was $250 less per athlete than the original cost of the trip. We regret we had to make this decision, but the club could not afford to cover this amount directly.

Hilary and Jen, the Club Rowing Program Co-Coordinators are busy organizing a virtual information night for April 8th, with more information later in this newsletter. 

In the next couple of days, the Board will organize a schedule of dates and times when you can come down to the club to retrieve any personal items from your locker or from the boat bays that you may have there and that you need elsewhere. 

We are eagerly planning for the season, and though the Club itself is closed, there is still lots of social networking that can go on, while we are socially distancing. Please reach out to your fellow members to ask how they are doing, and to check in. Let’s remember that primarily, we are a Club! And we know how to Pull Together (although at a safe distance for the time being). 

Your Board of Directors – Jason, Judy, Karen, Bruno, Bahram, Peter/John, Alex, Milan, Ruth, Odette

March 16 Update:

Dear Argos, We are writing to you today to update you on how the evolving pandemic caused by COVID-19 is affecting the club.

In the light of the declaration of a Provincial State of Emergency, as a facility providing indoor recreational programs, the Argonaut Rowing Club is now legally required to close its doors. The health and safety of our members is our priority and we support all efforts by the government to protect our members and the general public.

The COVID-19 situation is dynamic and changing quickly. We will continue to monitor health authority announcements for the most recent updates and we will align our response to the current advice.

Please watch for future email communications and Facebook announcements regarding access to the club.

With your health in mind, we remind you all to wash hands frequently, practice social distancing and to stay home if unwell.

On behalf of the board of directors, we wish you all good health.

The Argonaut Rowing Club
Please visit Public Health Ontario and Toronto Public Health for the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health Ontario and Toronto for more information and direction.If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or anyone on the Board of Directors (

Previous updates:

As you are probably well aware, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world and there are a few confirmed cases in Ontario as well as Toronto – 34 cases as March 9, 2020.

We have been monitoring the situation closely and have plans in place to protect the health and safety of members of the Club and guests.

It is very important that you avoid training at the Club if you’re sick. If you get flu-like symptoms you should skip training until you recover. If you believe you trained while you were unwell / showing symptoms, please reach out to the Captain or Board of Directors. If your symptoms worsen or you experience difficulty breathing or serious shortness of breath, it is important to seek medical attention. If you suspect you may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, please stay home and see Health organization links below for more information on next steps.

We are aware that other clubs and organizations are also in the process of developing plans for how to handle the outbreak in their environments. We are coordinating with those efforts as well, and will keep you informed.

We recommend following some very simple yet effective preventive measures that can help reduce the spread of the virus:

  *   Wash your hands often and thoroughly in warm, soapy water or use hand sanitizer (please take note of signage around the club)

  *   Keep alcohol based hand sanitizer available and use it when hand washing is difficult

  *  Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm, not your hand. Discard of the tissue after, in the toilet. 

  *   Keep common surfaces and items clean and disinfected including Club ergs, fitness equipment etc. 

  *   Keep away from the Club if you are showing signs of illness & are feeling unwell 

The gym, training room and other meeting rooms and high traffic areas are equipped with hygiene stations as well as additional cleaning supplies. Please update Bob Bubba ( if more supplies are required. We are also working with the cleaning staff to ensure more attention to disinfecting door handles, desktops and other potential transmission points.

Please visit Public Health Ontario and Toronto Public Health for the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health Ontario and Toronto for more information and direction.

If you have travel plans, please check the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country.

In general here at the Argonaut Rowing Club, we view the overall risk to be low.  But, we will continue to monitor it closely, and keep you informed as we work through this.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or anyone on the Board of Directors (