ontario lockdown

Hardware stores and ski hills among businesses forced to close in Ontario lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdown is getting about as bad as it can get in Ontario this week, with all regions in the province adopting the most acute of pandemic measures on Boxing Day, even those areas that were previously in the far more permissive green, yellow, orange and red zones of Premier Doug Ford's colour-coded reopening framework.

In the new blanket shutdown, there will be a moratorium on private indoor gatherings provincewide, and all non-essential retailers and other businesses will have to close their doors and reduce service to curbside pickup and delivery only.

Among these businesses are shopping malls and other retailers that don't specialize in grocery or pharmacy items, salons, pet stores, ski hills and, surprisingly, hardware stores, which were previously deemed essential and remained open for limited in-person shopping in recent days, even in the Grey-Lockdown regions such as Toronto and Peel.

Residents in all parts of Ontario will have until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26 to hit up places like Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, RONA, and Home Depot before such establishments close down — again, save for pickup and delivery — for a minimum of either 14 or 28 days, depending where they are located.

The north of the province will face a shorter version of the new restrictions, which are similar but a notably separate thing from the Grey iteration of lockdown, while the more populous southern part of the province will endure at least another month of closures, which will be in addition to the weeks that some regions have already undergone.

With more rural parts of the province now having to shutter as intensely as Ontario's urban centres, trips to enjoy some winter sports at resorts like Blue Mountain and Horseshoe will have to be put on hold for the foreseeable future, along with outings to grab some pet food or home supplies, unless they are purchased online or at a grocery store.

Petitions demanding Ford allow ski hills to open up and provide citizens a much-needed chance to get outside and exercise in a socially distant environment are already cropping up online.

Lead photo by

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