toronto retail stores

Shoppers are lining up outside Toronto retail stores and you should stop judging them

Rabid consumers are once again forming long lineups outside Toronto businesses as Ontario enters Step 1 of the Ford government's 3-step Roadmap to Reopen framework — a state during which both patios and non-essential retail stores can reopen to the public.

Nature is healing. Or maybe it's doing the reverse. I don't really know, but can we all just appreciate how nice it is for people to be happy again?

Even if that means waiting for three hours outside to browse the aisles of a Winners or whatever?

It's been more than two  months since anyone in Ontario has been able to enter a "non-essential" retail store, or even access "non-essential" goods within big box outlets like Walmart and Costco.

What's a few more hours? Especially in a city where lining up for stuff is a collective pastime?  And where people are following all public health protocols, including mask usage, physical distancing and capacity caps?

As of today, non-essential retailers are open to the public again for the first time since April 8.

Capacities are strictly limited to just 15 per cent, of course, which means that relatively few people can enter a store at one time right now.

This alone is likely to cause and exacerbate outdoor queues, but so too is pent-up demand for everything from clothes to crafting supplies.

Some people are reporting lineups 70 people deep or three hours long outside newly opened retail stores.

And this time around, with more than 70 per cent of Ontarians having had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, people are not taking kindly to the tired old "Really Toronto? REALLY?" rhetoric.

The lineups are still inspiring good jokes and legit social commentary, nonethelesss...

And it's not only TJX companies drawing crowds: People in Toronto also started lining up outside bars before midnight this morning to partake in one of their first post-lockdown patio drinks.

For those who aren't into shopping or patios, Step 1 of reopening should still be at least moderately exciting: As of June 11 at 12:01 a.m., outdoor gathering limits are also expanded from five people to 10, along with a whole bunch of other stuff you can read about right here.

Lead photo by

Patel Jay/blogTO submission


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