News Release
June 5, 2020

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto, led by Toronto Public Health, is providing guidance to safely reopen restaurants for indoor and outdoor dining, and personal service settings for personal care services once provincial orders are lifted for these sectors of the economy.

The city’s close to 8,000 restaurants and 3,500 personal service settings (including hair salons and barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons and aesthetic services) have been closed or had their service delivery severely impacted since March due to provincial orders and public health recommendations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners are advised to begin preparing for reopening but are not permitted to begin operating until the revised order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act is announced by the Government of Ontario and comes into effect.

City staff will be communicating with impacted businesses over the next week either individually or through local BIAs, including TABIA and the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association to ensure that the resumption of service can happen as quickly as possible once provincial orders are lifted.

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to staff and clients, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and other public health requirements must be followed when businesses reopen.

The City will also work with business owners to understand enforcement, accessibility and cleaning requirements, and how to maintain physical distancing to keep customers and employees safe.

Restaurant and personal service settings that have a current licence can prepare to reopen when the provincial orders are lifted. A reopening inspection by Toronto Public Health will not be required.

The issuing of new business licences and renewal of existing licences by the City of Toronto has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help business owners with their restart plans, the City has now developed new processes for businesses to apply and obtain licences online.

If a new business licence is needed for restaurants or personal service settings, owners can email for a contact-free licence application process. More information on business licensing and application requirements is available at

Guidelines for restaurants can be found at:

Guidelines for Personal Service Settings can be found at:

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“Restaurants and personal service settings are key parts of our economy that I am eager to see reopen as soon as safely possible. I hope these guidelines will help businesses as they prepare to reopen – I know the vast majority of business owners want to do everything they can to protect their employees, protect the public who use their services, and protect the health of our entire city. The last few months have been devastating for businesses that were forced to close due to public health precautions and I know everyone wants to do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid having to ramp up restrictions again. This is another example of the important work we are doing – along with all other municipal governments – to get the city and its businesses back up and running in a safe way.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Defeating COVID-19 requires us to continue making progress in containing its spread, while at the same time reopening our economy. That makes our work to prepare restaurants and personal services to resume operations safely incredibly important. The only way reopening will be possible is through coordination with the Province and with well-informed, thoroughly prepared businesses in each and every sector.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

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