ontario capacity limits

Ontario removing capacity limits for large scale events and other indoor settings

Ontario is removing indoor capacity limits just in time for the long weekend.

The province just announced that select indoor and outdoor settings, where proof of vaccination is required, will have capacity limits lifted — meaning some venues can go back to 100 per cent capacity of pre-lockdown times.

Ontario has been under some type of lockdown since March 2020 as we went through four different waves of the pandemic.

Now, with public health and health care indicators remaining stable or improving, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits. 

"As we continue to see more Ontarians roll up their sleeves with over 22 million doses administered, our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know proof of vaccination requirements are providing an added layer of protection to Ontarians," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. 

The measures will come into effect on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 12:01 a.m.

Capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

To date, there has been a limited number of outbreaks in these settings. Capacity limits will continue to remain in effect in all other remaining settings at this time.

The new measures don't mean people can completely let their guard down. Other public health measures continue to remain in effect. These measures could include wearing face coverings, screening and collecting patron information to support contact tracing.

In addition, proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons.

"We must all continue doing our part and continue strictly following the measures that remain in place and get as many people as we can fully vaccinated, especially as we enter the holiday season," said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

However, in settings where capacity limits have been lifted, the requirement for individuals to maintain two metres of physical distancing are being removed, with limited exceptions.

Since the proof of vaccination requirement went into effect, the province has reached more than 86.8 per cent of individuals aged 12 and over vaccinated with at least a first dose and more than 81.9 per cent with two doses.

The majority of new cases continue to be among the unvaccinated.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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