Mayor John Tory – “We Have To Stop This Virus Now”

COVID-19 Toronto

TORONTO – NEWS – Toronto Mayor John Tory states, “We have to stop this virus now to save lives, protect our most vulnerable and, ultimately, to protect our economy. That’s why I support the provincial health measures announced today. We can’t have a healthy economy and build back better if people are sick and continue to get sick in greater and greater numbers. We simply cannot have a healthy economy without healthy people. This is a tough time in our fight against the virus. We all need to stay home as much as possible right now and follow the rules in order to protect ourselves and each other.”

The Province of Ontario today announced further measures in Toronto and Peel Region to slow the spread of COVID-19, effective this Monday, November 23. The City of Toronto supports all efforts to reduce and eliminate the transmission of COVID-19 in the city to protect the healthcare system and save lives.
There are 36,821 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 420 new cases today. There are 174 people hospitalized. In total, 30,838 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,515 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.
Toronto entered the “Red – Control” zone of the provincial framework on November 14, with additional restrictions by order of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health under S. 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, including continued closure of indoor dining; closure of meeting and event spaces; continued closure of casinos and bingo halls; and closure of indoor fitness classes.

What Does The Lockdown Include

Proposed measures for lockdown (grey) are included below. These measures are not yet approved by Cabinet and are subject to change.

Organized public events, social gatherings and religious services, rites and ceremonies

  • No indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household
  • Limit for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people outdoors
  • Limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 10 people outdoors
  • Virtual and drive-in gatherings, events services, rites or ceremonies permitted

Restaurants, bars and food or drink establishments

  • Indoor and outdoor service prohibited
  • Take out, drive through and delivery permitted, including sale of alcohol

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Closure of all indoor facilities, including indoor courts, pools and rinks
  • Outdoor sports, classes and use of amenities, limited to 10 people
  • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities (for example, YMCA) allowed to be open for permitted activities such as child care services
  • Maintain 2 metre physical distancing, unless engaged in a sport
  • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)
  • Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2 metres of each other are not permitted
  • Indoor individual and team sports (including training) not permitted – exemption for high performance and parasport athletes and professional leagues (for example, NHL, CFL, MLS, NBA)
  • Face coverings required except when exercising
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
  • Require contact information for all members of the public that entre the facility
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
  • Require screening of members of the public, including spectators (for example, questionnaire)
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

  • Closed with limited exceptions for:
    • court services
    • government services
    • mental health and addictions support services (for example, Alcoholics Anonymous), to a maximum of 10 people


  • Retail permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted)
  • Exceptions where in-person shopping is permitted:
    • supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores
    • hardware stores
    • discount and department store-type retailers
    • beer and wine and liquor stores
    • pharmacies and safety supply stores
  • 50% capacity limits in retail outlets permitted to open for in-person shopping
  • Motor vehicle sales permitted to be open for in-person shopping by appointment only and other safety restrictions
  • Garden centres, plant nurseries permitted for curbside pick-up or delivery; indoor by appointment only
  • Outdoor markets permitted
  • Malls open, with:
    • retail outlets in malls permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted)
    • full access to businesses and organizations permitted to be open (for example, pharmacy, dentist)
    • food court open for take-away only
  • Requirement to maintain 2 metres while standing in line and flow management

Personal care services

  • Closed

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

  • Closed


  • Closed, except for:
    • drive-in cinemas
    • rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier

Performing arts facilities

  • Closed to spectators
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Amusement parks, water parks

  • Closed

Bathhouses and sex clubs

  • Closed

Boarding kennels and stables

  • Permitted to open for animal’s owner to visit the animal, assist in the care or feeding of the animal or, as applicable, ride the animal


  • Existing bookings as of November 22, 2020 honoured regardless of when the camping occurs
  • No new bookings after November 22, 2020 permitted, except for individuals who are in need of housing
  • Washrooms and showers permitted to be open


  • Permitted by curb-side pick-up

Driving instruction

  • In-person driving instruction not permitted
  • Virtual permitted

Film and television production

  • Permitted with restrictions in control (red)
  • Post-production permitted

Household services

  • Domestic and cleaning and maintenance services permitted, including:
    • housekeepers, cooks, maids and butlers
    • personal affairs management
    • nanny services and babysitters
    • other domestic personnel
    • house cleaning
    • indoor or outdoor painting
    • pool cleaning
    • general repairs
  • Outdoor cleaning and maintenance services permitted

Horse racing

  • Training only, no races
  • No spectators

Hotels, motels

  • Permitted to operate except for any pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational facilities that may be part of the operations of these businesses


  • Open for curbside, delivery and pick-up
  • Patrons permitted to enter libraries for contactless drop-off and pick-up, and to access computers, photocopiers, or similar services
  • May open for permitted services (for example, child care services, AAmeetings)
  • No classes

Marinas, boating clubs, golf courses and driving ranges

  • Marinas and boating clubs
  • Permitted to operate for fuel supply, watercraft repair and servicing, watercraft docking and watercraft launching services for essential purposes
  • Clubhouses, restaurants, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises closed to the public, with limited exceptions
  • Golf courses and driving ranges:
    • Outdoors permitted, maximum of 10 people
    • Indoors closed
  • Indoor shooting ranges closed


  • Closed

Museums and other cultural amenities (for example, art galleries, science centres)

  • Closed


  • Only permitted to open if they operate as a restaurant, bar, or other food and drink establishment (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only)

Personal services

  • In-person personal services not permitted, including:
    • personal shoppers
    • party and wedding planners
    • personal organizer services
    • personal physical fitness or sports trainers
    • house sitters

Photography studios and services

  • Closed

Real estate agencies

  • Permitted to operate; open houses permitted by appointment only

Short-term rentals

  • Existing bookings as of November 22, 2020 honoured regardless of when the rental occurs
  • No new bookings after November 22, 2020 permitted, except for individuals who are in need of housing

Strip clubs

  • Only permitted to open if they operate as a restaurant, bar, or other food and drink establishment (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only)

Tour and guide services

  • Closed

Veterinary services

  • Permitted to open for urgent or time-sensitive care only

Zoos and aquariums

  • Closed to the public
  • Permitted to operate for the care of animals
Today’s announcement adds further restrictions in Toronto, including:
• closing all outdoor dining and patios. Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses
• closing malls, except for essential businesses
• closing all non-essential retail, except for curbside pick up; large retailers with a grocery section can remain open at 50 per cent capacity
• limiting capacity of big box and essential business to 50 per cent capacity
• closing all indoor gyms and recreational programs, with some City-operated community centres open for community supports, such as food banks
• closing all hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlours.
Residents of Toronto are strongly encouraged to stay home, except for essential travel, such as groceries and other necessities, like medicine; healthcare appointments; exercise; school; child care; and going to work. By reducing the number of people who are out in the community, we reduce the number of potential contacts and exposures to COVID-19, which will drive down case counts.
Having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit is prohibited under provincial orders. Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are exempt. Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged.
City of Toronto parks are open, and residents are encouraged to use them for exercise, including walking, but to do so only with those they live with.
To avoid future or prolonged restrictions following the strict measures announced today, it is important that Torontonians follow the advice and orders of public health experts to protect the healthcare system and to save lives. The City acknowledges how challenging and difficult this is for individuals, families, businesses, and the mental and economic health of the city.
While these restrictions are necessary to reduce contacts and the spread of COVID-19, they must be implemented alongside enhanced supports to protect frontline workers and disproportionately affected communities. The City of Toronto is working closely with its provincial and federal government partners to expand supports to frontline workers and vulnerable Torontonians. The City will have more to share on this in the coming days.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“While I know that today’s news is difficult, nearly half of all of our COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic have occurred since October 1. We have to do everything that we can to prevent COVID-19 spread, protect our most vulnerable residents, preserve the capacity of our hospitals and save lives.  Please reach out and take care of each other, especially now during these next few weeks, as we face these challenging times together,” states Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health.
“We have to act fast in order to contain the current surge of COVID-19 cases in our city. Today’s announcement by the Province of Ontario is welcome news. But while enhanced public health restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of this virus and save lives, they will only truly work if everyone in can access to the supports they need. That means protecting those who are most vulnerable in our city by ensuring paid sick leave, increasing financial support for businesses and employees that have lost work, and expanding community-based testing options. Our City is continuing to work with our Provincial and Federal counterparts to ensure these enhanced measures are put in place,” comments  Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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