The Toronto Eaton Centre is now boarded up and surrounded by barricades
A photo posted to Reddit shows the entrance near Yonge and Dundas blocked off with the barricades, while the entrance to H&M has been covered with boarding.
According to a statement from Cadillac Fairview, who owns and operates the Eaton Centre and several other malls in the province, the barricades were put in place as an "additional safety measure" that's being applied "around the perimeter of all of our shopping centres in Ontario."
To account for H&M's storefront being boarded up, the statement notes that "we did not make any changes to store fronts" and the decision to modify it would be at the discretion of the retailer.
Some Redditors were quick to point out that it's likely an anti-looting measure.
"They’ve done this at one of the two malls in London. It’s for anti looting. They’re easy targets if someone were to drive a car into the mall and rob them," said one.
"This is being done to prevent ram-raiding the mall. Now that there isn't the usual wall of people on the sidewalks and inside, it's trivial to pop the curb at speed and go through the glass. Police are also stretched pretty thin right now too, so response times are long," said another.
"The city may also just be contractually obligated to use some of the concrete blocks they would usually be dropping outside dispensaries."
The entrances to the Eaton Centre are blocked with Jersey barriers and doors locked “due to COVID-19.”— Sean Marshall (@Sean_YYZ) March 28, 2020
Isn’t this a violation of the city’s planning requirement for the Eaton Centre to be built? It’s construction in the 1970s blocked off several east-west public access points. pic.twitter.com/LSzQZySVlD
Last week the Ontario government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, including retailers, in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within workplaces.
In Ontario, Cadillac Fairview owns and operates Sherway Gardens, Don Mills, Fairview Mall, Fairview Park, Lime Ridge, Markville, Rideau Centre and Mansonville Place, as well as several others in Canada.
Only a select few stores within the malls have been permitted to remain open as an essential service through restricted access only.
Join the conversation Load comments