News Release
March 18, 2020

Yesterday, as part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and following the advice of the City’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Mayor John Tory announced the suspension of a number of City services and closure of City facilities. The measures ensure the continued delivery of critical City services and support of vulnerable communities while protecting the health of City staff and residents.

The City’s COVID-19 response webpages, available at, have now been updated with the temporary service impacts. Fire Chief and Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg today provided greater clarity on what residents should expect from today until April 5.

Initial, continuing service impacts focused on increasing social distancing:
• Closure of all child care centres, including those in private homes
• Closure of recreation centres and cancellation of recreation programming
• Enhanced intake screening and cleaning and disinfecting at emergency shelters
• Restriction of visitors and strengthened screening at long-term care homes
• Cancellation of Council, Committee, tribunal, and public consultations

There are now additional service suspensions intended to limit non-essential work and in-person interactions to protect the health and safety of our employees:
• Access to animal shelters for emergencies only by appointment
• Suspension of non-emergency building, bylaw, and Toronto Public Health inspections and enforcement of expired business licences
• Closure of civic centres and many City offices and help counters, including those servicing Courts Services, Housing Support, and Toronto Employment & Social Services
• Closure of all civic centre wedding chambers and suspension of new bookings
• Suspension of in-person permitting and licensing
• Enhancing screening prior to any in-person meeting or service and posting of signage with details on self-assessment and public health practices

Emergency response by Toronto Police, Fire, and Paramedics is not impacted. Toronto Water and Toronto Hydro operations, waste collection with the exception of yard waste, shelters and supports for individuals experiencing homelessness, TTC, road operations including snow removal as needed, and the response to COVID-19 continue.

For those employees required to report to work in their regular locations, the City continues to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and comply with the best public health and occupational health advice available.

This is an evolving situation. A full list of service impacts is available on the City’s website at The website will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. People are encouraged to check back often for the latest information on programs and services. 311 and the Toronto Public Health Hotline are experiencing a very high volume of calls.

Toronto Public Health continues to encourage all residents to stay home if possible and reduce their interactions with other people. Residents who have travelled outside of Canada, including to the United States, continue to be strongly encouraged by Toronto Public Health to self-isolate for 14 days.

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