sex shops toronto

This is why sex shops are still open in Toronto despite the lockdown

The majority of retail businesses are currently closed in Toronto thanks to the province's lockdown restrictions, and yet some sex shops remain open for in-person shopping.

Several residents have therefore been wondering why these adult shops are operating when most other stores cannot, but it seems there's actually a perfectly logical explanation. 

The province's framework states that there are a few exceptions to the retail rule, including for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, other retailers selling groceries, beer and wine and liquor stores, pharmacies and safety supply stores. 

In this case, adult sex shops carrying condoms and other types of protection are actually included in the "safety supply store" category. 

"It is true that we're open as an essential service under the safety supplies category," said Veronica Kazoleas, owner of women's sex shop The Nookie located at 827 College St.

Kazoleas said the store consulted Ontario's Stop The Spread hotline before making the decision to remain open, and they confirmed that sex stores do qualify as safety supply stores. 

She added that sex shops are in fact an essential part of keeping people safe throughout the pandemic, and that some of her store's client base would not be properly served with just curbside pickup.

"We're honoured to support the sexual safety of our community during these unprecedented times. We're particularly grateful to continue to serve marginalized populations who may not have a credit card or even the internet access that would allow them to order curbside pickup for our essential supplies," she said.

"We're also grateful that people who may experience ostrasization or even violence from family members or intimate partners as a result of purchasing sexual safety supplies can do so safely and discreetly in store with cash."

When asked by blogTO whether sex shops truly are permitted to be open in Toronto right now, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health simply provided the same list of categories included in the framework and said individual businesses should consult their legal counsel to determine how the lockdown regulation – O. Reg. 82/20 – applies to their specific business.

Lead photo by

The Nookie


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