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Toronto to close City Hall and all municipal buildings over COVID-19 outbreak

In an effort to ramp up the city's efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced that all non-essential City staff will be sent home starting today and all non-core services are shutting down until further notice.

Tory explained the move in a lengthy Twitter thread published earlier today while emphasizing that essential and critical services will continue to operate. 

He said emergency services, Toronto Water, Toronto Hydro and TTC operations will all continue, and workers in the shelter system and long-term care homes as well as garbage and recycling collection will also proceed with their jobs.

Anyone else that works for the City will be sent home imminently, and all City buildings that weren't already closed (including City Hall) will now be closed to the public.

"Just as we are urging all employers, staff will continue to be paid and will not be laid off," Tory wrote. "We are doing this to set an example, following the advice of our medical officer of health."

Tory also said he met with BIAs from across the city today as part of his Economic Support and Recovery Task Force, and he's made it clear to City staff that extraordinary measures and a contingency fund are needed in order to help residents in these trying times.

"I hope the seriousness of today's emergency declaration will make it clear to every resident how important their personal actions will be in the coming days," Tory wrote while emphasizing the need for people to stay home and practice social distancing.

"I am confident that we will get through this because people are out there in our city right now looking after each other and helping each other because they know it is the right thing to do."

Lead photo by

Lori Whelan


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