bars in toronto

This is how Toronto bars are getting ready to open and why some are staying closed

Now that Toronto bars can officially open Friday during Stage 3, some are navigating how to do so safely and others have decided to not take part at all.

Farside in East Chinatown is one bar that has decided to stick with their Stage 2 plan and not offer indoor service.

The bar has a patio on the road in compliance with the city's CaféTO program and according to Rachel Conduit, one of the bar's owners, they will only be offering outdoor dining, even if they are legally allowed to open their doors to the public.

Stage 2 has been going well for them so they are continuing at this pace with their policies including limited hours, socially distanced tables, and the sanitization of all surfaces.

Conduit told blogTO that they received a great reaction and "at least 20 comments from people who saw our post thanking us for not rushing into it."

"We are choosing not to offer indoor dining and not to rush," she said. "Customers are happy that we aren't opening indoors."

Ryan Ringer who owns Grey Tiger in Bloordale also posted in a local Facebook group expressing his concern about Stage 3 in Toronto.

He says his bar will remain in Stage 2 for the summer, "operating outside and online" while they continue to reimagine and reshape their business.

"Our government is failing us," he added. "They do not want to do the hard work. So they are taking the easy way out." 

Wasted Youth Bar in Bloorcourt, on the other hand, is planning to open their doors for Stage 3.

According to the bar's own Mike Taylor, the Wasted Youth team will be doing everything in their power over the next few days to get their space ready.

"Our opening plan is to try to keep our patrons as safe as possible while still providing our off-brand type of experience within the space," says Taylor.

"We will be doing contact tracing, sanitizing every table between each service, providing sanitizer stations upon entry and in every area where guests will come into contact."

"All other restrictions put forth by the government and controlling bodies will be in effect like mandatory masks when up from your group and spacing of seating to keep social distancing," Taylor says.

Small businesses like Taylor's are relying on indoor dining to increase sales and survive.

"I am grateful for the slow and steady approach by the government and I hope that means that we will not have another shutdown of business as it will probably end in the shuttering of our business."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Toronto craft beer brand and tap room permanently shuts down

10 new restaurants that opened in Toronto last month

Toronto pizza place will donate 100 pies to frontline workers if Jason Momoa visits them

Former Montrealers say new Toronto bagel store is almost as good as the real thing

Owner of Toronto bar touched after customers buy up their entire beer inventory

Toronto artist designs new McDonald's cups honouring Indigenous culture

Toronto restaurant receives outpouring of support after getting its windows smashed

Toronto cookie company receives threats after calling out Adamson BBQ fundraiser