back to work ontario

John Tory really wants people in Toronto to get back into the office

As of Monday in Toronto, mask mandates and vaccine passports are now gone, all businesses are back open sans capacity limits and things actually feel normal once more as we approach what will hopefully be a fun, safe summer — which will include people back at work, if Mayor John Tory has anything to do with it.

Today marked not only the shedding of masks in all indoor public spaces across the province, but also the return of City of Toronto employees to their offices after a lengthy stint of working from home, a lifestyle many residents have adjusted to after two years of COVID-19 closures and public health restrictions.

"Today, we cut a ribbon to send a clear message: Toronto's reopening is underway," Tory wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

And in the ceremony to officially reopen City Hall and other Toronto-owned buildings, the mayor said that he hopes other companies will likewise reopen their workspaces and ask staff who have been working remotely to come back in-person.

"I hope other businesses will follow our lead and I know from my meetings with major employers that most of them are, sometime over the next two or three weeks," Tory said, emphasizing the importance of being able to experience workplace culture and liaise with coworkers in the flesh.

"They say a lot of their employees want to come back, they certainly want them to come back and we're doing this as they will do it with health and safety in mind."

City employees who were working remotely up until this point will now have to adopt at least a hybrid work model where they're in the office part of the time, as many other sectors are doing.

In the wake of the reflection that the pandemic brought, many employers are also toying with other new models of work, such as the four-day work week or more flexible vacation time.

The City launched a campaign last summer to help employers and their staff return to work safely, and while many people have been ready to get out of their home offices for months now, Omicron put those plans on hold last year while businesses signed leases for commercial space and drew up plans for how to proceed.

Hopefully, they won't all be reminding us how much our pets miss us and how comfy our all-day sweatpants were during the transition.

Lead photo by

Jason Cook

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