Mandatory Masks in Toronto and GTA Enclosed Public Spaces

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Mandatory Masks in Toronto and GTA Enclosed Public Spaces
 
Toronto City Council voted unanimously on June 29 in favour of enacting a temporary bylaw which makes wearing masks or face coverings mandatory in all enclosed public spaces as of July 7, 2020. The goal is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as the province moves forward in Stage 2 of the economic reopening.

This new Toronto temporary by-law is set to expire on September 30, unless extended by Council. The full Council decision is available online.

It is expected that other surrounding GTA municipalities will follow suit.

 

Open Houses

Of particular importance to REALTORS® is that open houses and presentation centres are among the list of indoor spaces where the use of masks or face coverings is mandatory. However, this does not mean that in-person open houses are now allowed.  

The provincial ban on in-person open houses during the state of emergency is still in effect, and the provincial order takes precedence over municipal bylaws. You can read more about the provincial ban in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Members are not allowed to conduct in-person open houses until the provincial order is lifted. Instead, Members are encouraged to continue using virtual tools for your safety, as well as the safety of your colleagues, clients and the general public.

For the complete list of all indoor places where the mandatory mask bylaw will apply in Toronto, please see below:

 

  • retail stores
  • convenience stores
  • malls, shopping plazas
  • grocery stores, bakeries, farmers markets (enclosed areas)
  • restaurants, bars (when permitted to open for indoor service)
  • indoor recreational facilities, gyms, swimming pools (when permitted to open)
  • libraries
  • community centres
  • community service agencies
  • personal service settings
  • churches, mosque, synagogue, temples and faith settings
  • art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos
  • banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces
  • real estate facilities such as open house, presentation centres (in-person open houses currently prohibited by the province)
  • common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g., lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms)
  • entertainment facilities, including concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos
  • business offices open to the public

The Toronto bylaw will also permit the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when receiving services, having a meal, or engaging in athletic or fitness activity. The bylaw will not apply to apartment buildings and condominiums, child care facilities and schools, and areas that are not enclosed (e.g., restaurant patios). It will apply to common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g., lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms). According to city staff, notwithstanding the exemption on condominiums and apartment buildings, the bylaw applies to indoor areas that are openly accessible to the public (e.g. lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms) in condominiums and apartment buildings where short-term rentals are allowed.

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