Here's everything that's opening in Ontario in Step 3

Jul 9 2021, 4:58 pm

Ontario is moving into Step 3 of its reopening plan next week, lifting a slew of pandemic restrictions.

The province announced Friday it’s moving into the final step of its reopening plan five days early, with 77% of people 12 and up having a first dose and 50% being fully vaccinated.

Starting at 12:01 am on Friday, July 16, many more activities will be allowed in the province. Here’s what life will look like in Step 3:

Gyms and fitness studios

Gym rats rejoice. Pumping iron is finally allowed again. Indoor gyms, including group training classes, will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity during Step 3.

This includes chain gyms as well as fitness facilities in hotels and other rental accommodations.

Face coverings are still required in indoor public spaces during Step 3, even when people are working out.

Indoor dining

Restaurants in Toronto are allowed to serve customers seated inside during Step 3 for the first time since November.

There will be no limits on the number of people per table, but physical distancing requirements are still in effect.

Buffets will also make a comeback.

Restaurant patios

Capacity restrictions on patios are lifting, meaning more people per table and more people in total will be allowed at each patio.

Nightclubs and bars

The Ontario government says indoor food and drink establishments that offer dancing can welcome up to 25% of normal capacity or 250 people — whichever is less.

Indoor gatherings

Indoor social gatherings will also be allowed again for the first time since the Stay-at-Home order was implemented.

Ontarians can have a maximum of 25 people inside during Step 3.

The capacity limit on outdoor gatherings is also increasing — up to 100 people can now gather outside.

Museums, galleries, and other attractions

Many of Ontario’s popular attractions will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity during Step 3. This includes aquariums, zoos, historic sites, museums, art galleries, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, amusement parks, fairs, festivals, and casinos.

The capacity limit indoors is 50% of normal, and outdoors it’s 75%.

Personal care services

Hair salons, nail salons, and tattoo shops were allowed to open in Step 2, but now they’ll be allowed to perform services that necessitate removing a face mask temporarily. Upper lip waxes and professional beard shaping will be back on the menu.

Sports games

Spectators will once again be allowed at sports games in Step 3. The capacity limit indoors will be 50% of normal or 1,000 people — whichever is less. Capacity outdoors will be 75% of usual or 15,000 people.


Capacity limits are lifting at both essential and non-essential retailers. Instead of a hard cap based on fire code occupancy, stores will be able to welcome as many people as they can fit while still physically distancing.

Cinemas, theatres, and concerts

Indoor theatres can welcome up to 50% of normal capacity or 1,000 people — whichever is less. Outdoors, the allowance increases to 75% of normal capacity or 5,000 people.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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