Last updated: April 8, 2021 at 10:38 a.m.

Toronto is in a province-wide shutdown and subject to a Stay-at-Home order.

Informed by the best advice from Toronto Public Health and other public health experts, the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario have enacted legislation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The enforcement of these public health bylaws and orders continues to be a priority for the City of Toronto.

On April 7, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Class Order requiring that all elementary and secondary school students transition to online/remote learning.

Effective April 7, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., all schools and private schools, child care centres and authorized recreational and skill building programs must comply with the following requirements:

Schools and Private Schools within the meaning of the Education Act located in the City of Toronto:

  1. Suspend all in-person teaching and instruction.
  2. Despite section 1, schools and private schools within the meaning of the Education Act may open:
      1. to the extent necessary to facilitate the operation of a child care centre provided that the child care centre shall not provide child care or before or after school programs for any child who, immediately before April 6, 2021, was enrolled in a school or private school located in the City of Toronto;
      2. despite paragraph (i), if the child care centre is authorized by the Minister of Education or otherwise in accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 to provide emergency child care for children of individuals listed in Schedule 5 of Ontario Regulation 82/20 issued under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, to facilitate the provision of child care by the child care centre to the children of those individuals;
      3. to allow staff of the school or private school to provide remote teaching, instruction or support to pupils, so long as the school or private school operates in accordance with public health guidance and any COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Education.
  1. Suspend all in-person camps, including those described in section 4(1)9 of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

Child Care Centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, located in the City of Toronto:

  1. Ensure child care and before or after school programs are not provided for any child who, immediately before April 6, 2021, was enrolled in a school or private school located in the City of Toronto.
  2. If the child care centre is authorized by the Minister of Education or otherwise in accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 to provide emergency child care for children of individuals listed in Schedule 5 of Ontario Regulation 82/20 issued under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, section 4 does not apply with respect to the provision of child care by the child care centre to the children of those individuals.
  3. Suspend all in-person camps, including those described in section 4(1)9 of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

Authorized Recreational and Skill Building Programs within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, located in the City of Toronto:

  1. Suspend all authorized recreational and skill building programs.

General:

  1. In this Order, all references to “authorized recreational and skill building programs”, “child care”, and “child care centre” have the same meaning as in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. All references to “school” and “private school” have the same meaning as in the Education Act.

Under the temporary physical distancing bylaws, people who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) apart in a park or public square. The fines for failing to practise physical distancing in a park, beach or public square range from a ticket for $1000 up to a maximum of $5000.

Start: April 2020 through Emergency Order No. 1 and Emergency Order No. 2 signed by Mayor John Tory

End: On September 30, 2020, City Council voted to extend the temporary bylaw until January 2021

Legislation: temporary amendments to Municipal Code Chapter 608, Parks, and Chapter 636, Public Squares required by the Mayor’s two emergency orders were implemented by City of Toronto By-law 322-2020 and By-law 323-2020

The Province of Ontario implemented regulations on the mandatory wearing of a mask or face covering through Ontario Regulation 364/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 3), Ontario Regulation 263/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 2) and Ontario Regulation 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 1) made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. Currently, the Stage 1 (grey or lockdown stage) Regulation 82/20 is in effect in the City of Toronto.

Under the Reopening Ontario Act, the use of masks or face coverings is mandatory in all public indoor settings across Ontario, such as businesses, facilities, workplaces, and shelters with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services. Wearing a mask or face covering is also mandatory in a vehicle that is operated as part of a business or organization. Read the Province of Ontario regulations for full details about mandatory masks or face coverings.

In addition to provincial regulations on mandatory mask or face coverings, the City of Toronto By-law 541-2020, as amended by By-law 664-2020, requires a mask or face covering to be worn in all indoor public spaces in Toronto and in common areas in apartments and condominiums.

While the City of Toronto bylaws remain in effect, the City enforcement team will also enforce the stricter requirements of the applicable Stage 1, 2 or 3 Regulations made under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Under the Reopening Ontario Act, following a conviction, the Court may impose the following fines and penalties:

  • An individual is subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year
  • An individual who is an officer or director of a corporation is subject to a fine of not more than $500,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year
  • A corporation is subject to a fine of not more than $10,000,000.

Resource:

Food & Drink Establishment Restrictions under the Reopening Ontario Act

On November 20, 2020, the Province of Ontario announced new restrictions for food and drink establishments designed to curb COVID-19 spread under the Province’s Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. As of 12:01 a.m. on November 23, indoor and outdoor dine-in service at food and drink establishments, including bars, restaurants and food courts, is prohibited.

Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses.

Food & Drink Establishment Municipal Code Amendments

Note: Municipal Code amendments for service at food and drink establishments are currently superseded by provincial orders under the Reopening Ontario Act that prohibit indoor and outdoor dining.

Municipal Code amendments related to food and drink establishments require owners or operators to implement a number of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The fine for non-compliance is $1000.

On September 30, City Council voted unanimously in favour of strengthened regulations in food and drink establishments to help stop the resurgence of COVID-19. As of October 8, restaurant, bar and other food and drink owners or operators are responsible for:

  • Ensuring all customers remain seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying
  • Separating tables by at least two metres (six feet) or having plexiglass or other impermeable barriers separating them
  • Maintaining customer logs that include the names and contact information for each patron
  • Keeping customer logs for 30 days, providing logs to Toronto Public Health upon request for contact tracing purposes, and securely discarding after 30 days
  • Posting signage at all entrances to the premises to identify the necessity of keeping customer logs for contact tracing purposes
  • Establishing staff screening protocols
  • Limiting the number of customers who may be seated at the same table, to a maximum of six customers per table
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of amenities, equipment, and devices as necessary
  • Keep background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, no louder than the volume of normal conversation

Start: August 2020

End: On September 30, 2020, City Council voted to extend the temporary bylaw until January 2021

Legislation: City of Toronto By-law 665-2020 amending Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545, Licensing

Through a Class Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health, individuals who have COVID-19 who are not hospitalized, who have symptoms and are waiting for test results, or who have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 are ordered to self-isolate at home or in an isolation facility. People who have mild or moderate illness must isolate for 10 days after symptoms started, and people who have severe illness or are severely immuno-compromised must isolate for 20 days. Close contacts must isolate for 14 days after their last contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Failure to comply with the order is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

Anyone who is not subject to the Class Order or has not recently returned from travel, is strongly directed to avoid non-essential trips in the community and avoid close contact with others. For more information, read the Class Order fact sheet (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Dari | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Pashto | Portuguese | Punjabi | Simplified Chinese | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Urdu | Vietnamese).

Start: April 2020 (amended November 2020)

End: no set end date

Legislation: Class Order under the Government of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act

American Sign Language (ASL) Translation

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, all persons responsible for a business or organization in the City of Toronto implement the following measures:

Immediate Notification to Toronto Public Health

  1. Immediately notify Toronto Public Health via the Workplace Reporting Tool as soon as they become aware of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within a
    14-day interval in connection with their workplace premises.
  2. If two or more people test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with your workplace premises, employers must:
    1. Provide contact information for a designated contact person at the workplace premise and ensure that person is readily available to communicate with Toronto Public Health and implement any additional measures immediately as required by Toronto Public Health.
    2. Ensure that accurate and updated contact information for all workers is available to be produced to Toronto Public Health within 24 hours of request in support of case management and contact tracing requirements for COVID-19.
    3. Cooperate with infection prevention and control personnel from Toronto Public Health including allowing entry into the workplace premise for inspection and to support enhanced infection prevention and control measures and recommendations.

Businesses must ensure the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development and/or other relevant government authorities have been notified in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other applicable law.

Infection Prevention Measures

  1. Ensure hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities are provided in work and rest areas. Hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol content is recommended.
  2. Implement rigorous and frequent environmental cleaning in all high-touch areas and those areas accessible to the public, including washrooms, check-out counters, concession stands, and other high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons.
  3. Conduct or have the property owner or landlord conduct a regular review of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to ensure they are functioning well.
  4. Minimize instances of more than one individual in a vehicle for driving associated with work. If unavoidable, ensure face coverings are worn in the vehicle (preferably medical masks) and drive with the windows open.
  5. Ensure that physical distancing of workers takes place by at least two (2) metres throughout the workplace and during eating and rest periods (e.g., lunchrooms, change rooms, washrooms). Install one-way walkways to reduce close physical interactions.
  6. Implement physical barriers, such as plexiglass, when physical distancing is not possible. Physical distancing is always preferable to the use of barriers.

Supports for Workers

  1. In order to encourage forthright reporting of COVID-19 symptoms or contact among employees, ensure that all employees are aware of income replacement and workplace-related benefits they are entitled to if they have to isolate due to symptoms of COVID-19, being tested for COVID-19 or being a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Businesses and community organizations must also follow Government of Ontario and City of Toronto guidelines for their specific setting or sector.

On March 3, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Class Order to all workplaces in the City of Toronto that are identified by Toronto Public Health as experiencing an active COVID-19 outbreak.

Effective immediately, all workplaces that are experiencing an active COVID-19 outbreak must comply with the following requirements until cleared by Toronto Public Health:

General

  1. Comply with all requirements that apply to your workplace as set out under applicable legislation including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “ROA”) and applicable regulations thereunder, as well as the requirements set out in this Order. Where this Order imposes an additional requirement not set out elsewhere in any applicable legislation, including any Letter of Instruction issued by the Medical Officer of Health of the City of Toronto Health Unit pursuant to the ROA, the requirement under this Order must be followed.
  2. Follow any further instructions provided by Toronto Public Health relating to COVID-19 and the active COVID-19 outbreak at your workplace, including instructions to close all or any part of your workplace for a duration specified by Toronto Public Health.

Public Health Measures

  1. Follow all Toronto Public Health instructions pertaining to COVID-19 testing for workers, and ensure that such instructions are communicated to workers as specified by Toronto Public Health.
  2. Ensure that any worker in the workplace wears a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their nose, mouth, and chin, in all areas indoors and at all times unless the worker:
    (a) needs to temporarily remove their mask or face covering,
    i. to consume food or drink, or
    ii. as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety;
    (b) is in a correctional institution or in a custody and detention program for young persons in conflict with the law;
    (c) is performing or rehearsing in a film or television production or in a concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance;
    (d) has a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
    (e) is unable to put on or remove their mask or face covering without the assistance of another person;
    (f) is being accommodated in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; or
    (g) is being reasonably accommodated in accordance with the Human Rights Code.
  3. For workplace common areas (including washrooms, lunch rooms, staff kitchens and cafeterias, and change rooms, and not including areas in which persons regularly perform work):
    (a) ensure that a minimum 2 meters physical distance between persons can be maintained;
    (b) limit capacity in each room to 25% of maximum occupancy, determined by taking the total square metres of floor area, dividing that number by 16 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number; and
    (c) post signage at all entrances to the workplace common area, in a conspicuous location visible to workers, indicating the maximum number of people permitted in each area.
  1. Post Toronto Public Health signage on physical distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing at all entrances to the workplace, in a conspicuous location visible to workers.
  2. Prohibit all workers with COVID-19 symptoms, or who otherwise do not pass the screening requirements set out in the ROA and applicable regulations, from attending the workplace.
  3. Provide contact information for a designated contact person at the workplace and ensure that person is readily available to communicate with Toronto Public Health 7 days per week, from 8:00am to 8:00pm, and can implement any additional measures immediately as required by Toronto Public Health.
  4. Maintain a record of every worker who attends the workplace during the active COVID-19 outbreak. Retain these records for 30 days after the active COVID-19 outbreak is declared to be over by Toronto Public Health. The record must include a first name, last name, phone number and, if available, email address at which each worker can be reached. The record must be provided to Toronto Public Health immediately in support of case management and contact tracing requirements for COVID-19.
  5. Comply with all instructions from Toronto Public Health, including infection prevention and control personnel. Such compliance shall include allowing entry into the workplace for inspection and to support enhanced infection prevention and control measures.

This Class Order does not apply to:

  1. A licensed child care program that is in compliance with guidance issued by the Ministry of Education;
  2. Health care providers and health care entities as defined in Section 77.7 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act who are subject to the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directives issued thereunder;
  3. Schools and school boards licensed under the Education Act; and,
  4. Schools and private schools within the meaning of the Education Act, that are operated in accordance with a return to school direction issued by the Ministry of Education and approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

On April 3, 2021, the Province of Ontario moved Toronto into the Shutdown Zone of the provincial COVID-19 response framework under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act .

The orders, which came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 3 include:

  • Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are limited to members of the same household and up to one individual who lives alone.
  • Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained are limited to five people.
  • Religious services, rites and ceremonies, including wedding and funeral services, are limited to 15 per cent capacity indoors. Outdoor services are limited to the number of people who can physically distance by two metres.
  • In-person shopping is permitted for all retail, subject to capacity limits that must be posted publicly of:
    • 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies
    • 25 per cent capacity for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
  • Indoor and outdoor dining service at restaurants is prohibited; takeout and delivery of food and beverages is permitted.
  • Sports and indoor recreational fitness facilities are closed, with limited exceptions (i.e. use by high-performance athletes, use by persons with a disability for physical therapy, child care)
  • Team sports remain prohibited at outdoor recreational amenities
  • Meeting and event spaces remain closed
  • Personal care services like hair and nail salons remain closed

Fines for individual organizers of events that violate gathering rules are a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000 including one year in jail. Fines for those attending can range from $750 to $100,000 including up to one year in jail. Additional fines for violating provincial orders can range from $750 to $100,000, including up to one year in jail, and up to $10,000,000 for a corporation. Learn more from the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act .

 

Effective March 25, 2020, a Government of Canada order under the federal Quarantine Act requires all travellers entering Canada to self-quarantine for 14 days. More information is available on the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice web page.

In some cases, people who must quarantine under the federal order may also be subject to the Class Order issued by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health (for example, people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and have also recently returned from travel).

Compliance with the Province of Ontario orders and regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and City of Toronto bylaws, including restrictions on gathering size, mandatory masks or face coverings and physical distancing, is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team is responsible for ensuring compliance with public health regulations. The team is a joint effort by Municipal Licensing & Standards, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Toronto Public Health and Toronto Police Service.

Enforcement officers are on patrol across the city at all times and respond to complaints made through 311. Enforcing laws, regardless of the context, is a complicated and complex process. Enforcement requires investigation, the gathering of facts, and the application of often-complicated legal processes.

COVID-19 Enforcement Data

This data provides information based on enforcement activities for the bylaws and orders related to COVID-19. This document will be updated weekly, every Tuesday by 3 p.m.

Please note, data will be reconciled at the end of each month which may result in adjustments to the previously reported weekly figures.

Achieving compliance with public health-related orders and regulations has been a priority for the City of Toronto as it continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enforcing bylaws is a necessarily complex process that requires investigation, gathering facts and applying legal processes. On a case-by-case basis, the enforcement team works to achieve compliance through education and/or enforcement action. The City recognizes that the public have been asked to significantly adjust their behaviours as requirements and orders have changed throughout the COVID-19 response.

If you feel that you were wrongly ticketed, you have the option of requesting an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor and challenging it in court. You can do this by:

  • Requesting an early resolution meeting: Persons who received a ticket can request an early resolution meeting online using the online Court Case Look Up or by selecting the early resolution meeting option on their ticket and mailing it to the court address indicated on the back of the ticket. The City will send notices of early resolution meetings by mail or email to the address on file with the court. If the meeting with a prosecutor does not result in a resolution, the matter will be set down for trial at a later date.
  • Requesting a trial: Anyone wanting to dispute a ticket and request a trial can now submit a Notice of Intention to Appear form by email or by mail. This change applies to tickets issued on or after March 1, 2020.

All of the required Provincial Offences Act court forms are available on the City’s website. Completed forms can be emailed to POACourt@toronto.ca or mailed to the address indicated on the back of the ticket.

Once the trial date is scheduled, you will receive a notice by mail of the time and place for your trial. The Court will conduct a trial to decide whether you committed the offence that gave rise to the ticket being issued.

Class Order to Strengthen COVID-19 Protections – Revoked

The Class Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health on November 13, 2020, under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, was revoked on November 23, 2020, as the provisions in that order are covered by the Stage 1 (Grey-Lockdown) provincial regulations currently in effect.