Toronto gyms and restaurants will be reopening in 2 weeks

The Ontario government is officially lifting modified Stage 2 restrictions for Ottawa, Peel and York Regions beginning this Saturday at 12:01 a.m., according to Premier Doug Ford, as the province shifts to a new COVID-19 restriction model.

What this means is that bars, gyms, cinemas and the indoor dining areas of restaurants will be allowed to reopen this weekend in cities surrounding Toronto, providing welcome economic relief to small business owners.

Capacity limits and restricted hours will be in place, mind you, as the aforementioned regions move on November 7 from modified Stage 2 into "restrict" — the middle of five tiered states that range from "lockdown" to "prevent."

Businesses within the City of Toronto, however, are out of luck for the time being.

"Mayor Tory has asked us for a little more time in Toronto, and as always I will support him," said Ford during his daily pandemic press conference on Tuesday.

"At Mayor Tory and Dr. de Villa's request, Toronto will move to the restrict level a week later on November 14th."

Fair enough, but with new case numbers hitting a record high of 1,050 province-wide this morning, some are wondering if we should be reopening anything at all, restrictions or not.

Opening gyms in regions surrounding Toronto will do little to stop Torontonians from using gyms (and potentially spreading the virus), after all.

Ontario had ordered all of the regions currently in modified Stage 2 to shut down gyms, indoor bars and restaurants, movie theatres and other sites considered to be high-risk for transmission of the coronavirus in October.

Toronto was told on Oct. 9, as case numbers reached record (at the time) highs, that these modified Stage 2 restrictions would stay in place for 28 days, beginning at midnight on Oct. 10.

That 28-day-long period ends on Nov. 6 — this Friday.

Regions moving into the "Orange-Restrict" zone on Nov. 7 will be Ottawa Public Health, Peel Public Health, York Region Public Health and Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

Toronto will join the following Saturday, unless case numbers continue to explode... and perhaps even if they do.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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