Today, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto lifted the requirements of the Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) that ordered the closure of Adamson Barbecue, located at 7 Queen Elizabeth Blvd. on November 24. In a letter addressed to the owner of the establishment, he was reminded that “the order was necessary in light of the risk to health posed by the considerably unsafe operation of the Premises in contravention of required COVID-19 measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Adamson Etobicoke location has remained closed since November 26 pursuant to measures authorized under Section 24 of the HPPA.
On December 4, 2020, the Province of Ontario sought and received a restraining order against Adamson Barbeque, its owner, and other agents, restraining them from contravening the Lockdown Regulation under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). The Lockdown Regulation prohibits indoor and outdoor dining. That restraining order remains in place.
The lifting of the requirements of the Section 22 order would permit the Adamson Etobicoke location to open for takeout, delivery, or drive through only as allowed for under the Lockdown Regulation, subject to compliance with the City of Toronto’s business licensing bylaw and passing a DineSafe inspection. Should that location defy the restraining order and the Lockdown Regulation and open for indoor and/or outdoor dining, the owner, the business, and/or its employees and agents could face contempt of court findings.
Adamson Barbeque also remains in violation of the City’s business licence requirements. The City of Toronto’s Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) has written to the owner of Adamson Barbecue warning that he must comply with all relevant laws, including zoning and business licensing bylaws, and that failure to comply “may place your future business licence status in jeopardy.” In particular, the letter also advised that the owner is “prohibited from carrying on the businesses unless and until he has a valid licence.” The failure to operate without a business licence can result in a maximum penalty of $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.
The City’s MLS letter has also warned the owner that a court may order that the premises be closed for up to two years where an owner is convicted of knowingly operating without a business licence. The owner and Adamson Barbeque have collectively been convicted three times since 2017 for operating without a business licence.
Costs associated with the Section 22 order, including policing costs, can be sought against Adamson Barbecue.
During COVID-19, the majority of businesses in Toronto have complied with regulations necessary to protect public health. The City thanks those businesses and residents for doing the right thing during this difficult time. Businesses and individuals who do not comply with regulations designed to protect the public’s health, however, face significant financial penalties. Under the ROA, and following a conviction, the courts may impose the following fines and penalties:
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