toronto lockdown

Four Toronto businesses charged for not complying with lockdown rules

As Toronto enters its third week of lockdown and the majority of non-essential businesses remain closed for in-person service as a result of provincial restrictions, it seems a few establishments and individuals are still trying to get away with blatantly defying the rules. 

As a result, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management and Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said enforcement teams continue to do proactive inspections, respond to complaints, issue tickets and lay fines when necessary in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. 

"The city has taken formal enforcement action 1,693 times to date in response to COVID-19," said Pegg during the city's press briefing Monday afternoon. "This weekend, our enforcement officers continued to monitor compliance with the Reopening Ontario Act."

Pegg said enforcement teams proactively inspected 228 Toronto bars and restaurants over the weekend, all of which are required to only be offering takeout and delivery at the moment, and officers fortunately discovered a 99.5 per cent compliance rate among those businesses. 

Of the 228 establishments, only one was found to be non-compliant with the province's Reopening Ontario Act and action was taken by investigating officers, according to Pegg, though he did not reveal exactly which businesses it was. 

Pegg also said officers responded to 73 complaints about non-essential businesses of all kinds over the weekend, and three charges were laid against establishments including at least one giftware store and one furniture store in response to these complaints. 

Officers meanwhile investigated 98 complaints related to gatherings on private property during the same time frame, and Pegg said three charges were laid as a result of these complaints.

But while there are still evidently some residents and businesses blatantly ignoring the rules, Pegg pointed out that the phenomen was significantly less widespread this weekend than in previous weeks.  

"It is important to note that this is roughly half as many complaints as we received last weekend, which is deserving of our collective acknowledgement and thanks," he said.

"I want to thank the vast majority of residents and businesses who continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Your actions are helping to save lives, prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed."

Lead photo by

Jason Hargrove

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