hudsons bay toronto

Hudson's Bay closing Queen St. store after uproar over opening during Toronto lockdown

The Bay has closed its Queen Street flagship after coming under fire for remaining open during the first day of lockdown Monday. 

Despite a Provincially-ordered closure of all non-essential retail stores, which came into effect yesterday and will last for at least 28 days, the eight-floor Hudson's Bay on Queen remained open to shoppers. 

The company cited its offering of groceries and other essential items through its Pusateri's Fine Foods, which is located in the basement and was reportedly closed on Monday anyway, as the reason for staying open. 

Meanwhile, the majority of its other locations in Toronto and Peel fell back to curbside pickup. 

By midday Monday, a number of government and health officials had publicly stated that The Bay should not be allowing customers inside, including Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaff.

Health Minister Christine Elliott released a statement to CP24 saying that only big box retailers with "a full grocery store component" are allowed to stay open. That would apply to stores like WalMart and Costco, but not stores like Ikea or The Bay. 

Following the backlash, The Bay announced Monday evening that they would be closing their flagship store and reverting to curbside pickups only.

"We reviewed closely to ensure compliance and, as such, closed all our stores in Toronto and Peel but one, which contained a grocery store," said HBC spokesperson Tiffany Bourre. 

"We understood this to be in line with the province's direction, however we have now made the decision to close our Queen Street store tomorrow." 

It's unclear whether the Province or City have moved to fine the massive retailer's Queen Street location following the one-day blunder.

Meanwhile, a number other locations of The Bay across the country have closed after failing to pay rent.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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