Here's how to figure out what's safe for you to do in Ontario right now
It can be hard to figure out what's safe to do in Ontario now that restrictions are loosening after we've been dealing with so many confusing changes for so long.
That's why the website SafeTO-Do was created just last week: a database of businesses in Ontario with notes about their vaccination status and policies that's now helping people make informed decisions about where they're going based on what they feel comfortable with.
It was great to enjoy a weekend drink at our local brewery, @PeoplesPintTO—especially knowing that all the wonderful staff were double-vaxxed! Thanks to the team for keeping our community safe & to @safetodo for alerting us to their awesomeness. pic.twitter.com/B1PcEJCovU— Marina B Wasilewski (@mbastaw) July 19, 2021
"I was personally looking for a gym to join and wanted to find a gym that required vaccinations. I did not yet feel comfortable exercising indoors, but would have been more comfortable if I knew everyone was vaccinated," sole creator of the website Brandon Mattalo tells blogTO.
"I thought other people might feel similarly, which was confirmed by a study showing that people are more likely to frequent certain kinds of businesses that have vaccine policies."
Businesses are listed by city, type and name with a link to their website and any announcments they've made, along with notes about whether their staff are vaccinated and whether customers have to be vaccinated to go there.
"I heard from a few people who have medical conditions, and they mentioned that the site is useful for finding activities that they feel more comfortable joining due to their heightened risks from COVID," says Mattalo.
"Today, many businesses have directly reached out to me to get added to the list."
Restaurants, breweries, gyms and adult entertainment clubs are included, as well as educational and healthcare institutions. Strip club Filmore's, Seneca College, dance centres, retail businesses and health clinics are all listed in the database.
There are also listings for businesses in Ottawa, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, London, Timmins, Guelph and Haileybury so far.
Just over 30 businesses are listed on the site at the moment, but business owners or anyone at all can tweet suggestions of places to add @safetodo.
"Overall, I want everyone to support all businesses, no matter what they choose to do. They are in an impossible position and have had a bad year and deserve our support," says Mattalo.
"The site is aimed at those people who were unlikely to go out to certain places due to their personal risk tolerances, but who may now feel more comfortable visiting these businesses that have certain vaccine policies in place."
Jesse Milns at Constantine
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