Row Ontario is here to support our member clubs and rowers as we navigate our way through this unprecedented crisis. We have developed this page as a way for the Ontario rowing community to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the COVID-19 Regulations and how they impact rowing throughout Ontario. We will be updating this page as necessary as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.

COVID-19 in Ontario

The Province of Ontario continues to closely monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current legislation for Ontario combined with the approved sanctioned activities from RCA (below) set the rules for rowing in our province. We are monitoring the changing situation and Row Ontario is committed to keeping our members up to date.

The announcement on Sept. 1 from the Ontario government regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate Program for Ontario can be found here:

Ontario Vaccine Certificate

Ontario Vaccine Certificate FAQ’s

The current legislation can be found on the government website here:

Current Legislation in Ontario

Ministry of Health Guidelines for Day Camps

Ministry of Health Guidance Regarding Proof of Vaccination

The current COVID-19 Road to Reopening can be found here:

Road Map to Reopening

Additional announcements from the provincial government are available here:

Government of Ontario Newsroom

RCA Sanctioning

(Please Note: While the below activities are sanctioned by RCA, your club is responsible for ensuring you are following the current provincial Regulations.)

Under the guidance of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Wilkinson, RCA is proceeding with a phased approach to lifting restrictions on sanctioned activity. RCA is responsible for determining which activities are currently sanctioned and therefore covered under RCA insurance.

RCA Risk Assessment and Mitigation Checklist Tool

To support clubs in their planning and ability to prepare to reopen, RCA has designed a RCA Risk Assessment and Mitigation Checklist Tool. This resource is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and was developed in collaboration with RCA’s Chief Medical Officer, national partners and Provincial Rowing Associations.

Clubs are expected to complete the tool to determine their Club Risk Assessment Score. RCA will not sanction activity, and thus not provide insurance coverage, for a club that has a HIGH RISK or VERY HIGH RISK score.

The Mitigation Checklist includes expectations that are considered mandatory, highly recommended, or enhanced. At a minimum, clubs must ensure that all mandatory expectations are met to ensure their activity is sanctioned and thus covered with RCA insurance.

Completion of the tool does not in itself grant permission for reopening. Clubs must abide by their local, provincial and federal Regulations when making decisions and assessments for reopening.

Key Considerations for Return to Rowing:

  • Clubs must complete a Risk Assessment Tool and Mitigation Checklist and maintain a copy for their records.
  • All participants must be registered in the RCA Web Registration System before participating in any rowing program.
  • RCA guidelines and tools may change at any time to align with health authorities.
  • The Risk Assessment Tool and Mitigation Checklist is for Return to Rowing Club Program activity on water and does not apply to dry land training or associated facilities, or for delivery of regattas.
  • Any individual that chooses to row outside of sanctioned club activities does so at their own risk. They will not have coverage provided by RCA insurance.
  • Owners of private equipment should continue to respect facility access restrictions as issued by local government and/or the club.

Current RCA Sanctioned Activity 

The following is a list of activity that has been sanctioned by RCA. Clubs are covered by insurance for the following activities if they are permitted under local and provincial Regulations:

  • Indoor rowing activity
  • Rowing in all size of boats
  • Recreational Instruction Programs

Note: Competition is not currently sanctioned by RCA

Row Ontario will work to provide ongoing updates to the leaders of member organizations regarding the evolving provincial Regulations.

Row Ontario Safety Plan Template

Under Ontario law, each organization is required to have a Safety Plan. This plan is required to detail procedures for screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, and the wearing of personal protective equipment.

Below is a template for a club’s safety plan. Each club’s situation is unique and could require further procedures. This is in addition to the RCA Risk Assessment and Mitigation Tool that club’s must first complete.

All club approved procedures are subject to change due to Provincial or local Municipal Regulations and those will take precedence.

This tool has been built with input from Rowing Canada, the Ontario legislative requirements including Ministry of Labour and Public Health Advisories and some Ontario rowing clubs. A special acknowledgement to Doug Rourke from the Georgian Bay Rowing Club for his work leading to the development of this tool.

Row Ontario Safety Plan Template

Row Ontario Recommendations for Clubs

Please find below a list of recommendations to assist with club stability throughout the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Build multiple financial budgets and contingency plans. The unpredictable nature of this crisis should have you planning for multiple scenarios; best case, worst case, and somewhere in between. Create clear and well communicated refund policies.
  • Review current authority/ decisions making practices and put in place contingency plans in the event decision makers become unable to fulfil their commitments.
  • Look out for each other and communicate with your members to keep them up to date on the latest developments within your club.
  • Ensure your club is following the ongoing legislation requirements around operations, not only those related to COVID. These include ongoing health and safety, concussions, and employee training.

Follow Row Ontario and COAST on social media to stay up to date on the latest announcements. For additional resources on club governance visit the COAST Library

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Resources

To help aid financial burdens during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has implemented some economic support programs for businesses. Here are some programs and their links that may be of relevance to rowing clubs in Ontario:

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Ontario Trillium Foundation – Resilient Communities Fund – Apply before Aug. 4, 2021

Ontario Trillium Foundation – Community Building Fund – Supporting Ontario’s Recovery

Other Ontario Business-based Grants

Any questions regarding these programs can be directed to COAST Manager Lisa Roddie.

Workplace Safety and Prevention During COVID-19

These resources have been prepared in partnership with the Government of Ontario:

Keeping Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Business Resources
  • Helpful Tips and Tools
  • COVID-19 Information and Infection Control
  • Mental Health
  • Work Remotely

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services

  • This resource has specific guidelines about marina operations. There are similarities to club operations, however clubs will need to address other additional issues.

How to Handwash

E-Training for Workplace Safety and Prevention

Workplace Screening Information / Daily Screening Tool

COVID-19 Exposure at Your Club

Contact Row Ontario ( and and RCA ( and immediately regarding any of the following:

  • An individual at your club has a positive COVID-19 test.
  • An individual at your club has been advised by Public Health to quarantine or be tested as they have been in close contact with an individual who has a positive COVID-19 test or confirmed COVID-19 illness.

Row Ontario Office

You can find the contact information for all Row Ontario staff below as well as our areas of responsibility so you know who to direct questions to. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Chief Executive Officer: Andrew Backer
Strategic Planning, Grant Applications, Board and Committee Governance, Financial Operations, Human Resources, Risk Management and Revenue Generation

COAST Manager: Lisa Roddie

COAST Program – Club Operations & Governance Support

Director, Rowing Pathways & Performance: Chris Marshall

Athlete Development (Flatwater, Para & Coastal); Provincial Development Teams – including Canada Summer Games team; High Performance Partnership Management; Quest for Gold—Ontario Athlete Assistance Program (OAAP)

Manager, Communications & Community Engagement: Frank Christie

Website Management; Social Media; Row Ontario Communications – including monthly newsletter; Community Engagement; Media Relations; Branding; Annual Club Membership and Participant registration.

Coordinator, High Performance & Administration: Greta Chase

Accounts payable and receivables; Member club tracking and invoicing; High performance program travel, logistics, entries & team uniforms; Regatta auditing support; Administrative support.