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May 4, 2020

Ontario Announces Certain Business May Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines

Authors Hendrik Nieuwland and Domenica Moran

Ontario recently unveiled its plan for how it will reopen the province as part of the next phase of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  A Framework for Reopening our Province (“Framework”), published by the Ontario Government, details a three-staged approach for the gradual reopening of businesses, services, and public spaces.  Details on the Framework can be accessed here, and here.

The Ontario Government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, have released numerous sector-specific guidelines to help employers prepare their workplaces now so they are ready to safely reopen when they receive permission to do so.  Once businesses do reopen, the guidelines also contain measures to ensure workers and customers are protected.  We discussed these guidelines in our previous blog post, available here.

As part of Stage 1 of the Framework, Ontario has announced certain businesses and workplaces may reopen so long as they comply with strict safety measures to ensure they operate safely and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

As of May 4, 2020 at 12:01 am, the following businesses are permitted to resume their operations in compliance with their respective health and safety guidelines:

  • Garden centres and nurseries (with curbside pick-up and delivery only);
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and,
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes; and,
  • Auto dealerships (open by appointment only).


Further, golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but at this time they may not open to the public.  Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water.  However, marinas may not open to the public at this time.

Our firm will continue to provide you with updates as the Ontario Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

The foregoing is for informational purposes only and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances and business, please contact any of SOM LLP’s lawyers by email or telephone.
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