What to expect when shopping malls reopen in Toronto today
Malls in Toronto are officially reopening today as Toronto enters Step 2 of its reopening plan.
Malls have been closed since April when Ontario Premier Doug Ford implemented a Stay-at-Home order to curb a growing third wave of COVID-10 infection.
Street-facing retail stores were allowed to open when Ontario entered Step 1 earlier this month, but stores inside malls will not have the okay to reopen until Step 2 begins on June 30.
It won’t quite be a normal shopping trip yet because several COVID-19 restrictions are still in place at malls.
One key difference is the continued closure of food courts. Restaurants will still serve takeout, but indoor dining isn’t allowed until Step 3 — meaning customers must take their food outside to eat it.
At Yorkdale mall, eating inside is forbidden. But several of the mall’s restaurants have set up patios outside so customers can enjoy an al-fresco meal while shopping.
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In addition, stores will only be able to welcome 25% of the usual number of customers. Shoppers may have to wait their turn to enter the store.
Many stores are still offering curbside pickup and will have dedicated stalls for customers separate from lines to enter the store.
As usual, masks will be required in indoor spaces.
Yorkdale spokesperson Adrienne Simic told Daily Hive guests should check online before visiting to make sure their favourite stores will be open on June 30. From there, guests can view maps of the mall online to plan their route in advance.
The mall is also bringing back its online real-time capacity meter, which provides an estimate of how crowded the mall is.
“We are ready to reopen. The retailers and restaurants in our shopping centres have endured some of the world’s longest closures,” Bradley Jones, head of retail with Oxford Properties which owns Yorkdale, said in a news release.
Yorkdale will open on June 30 when restrictions lift, but it will be closed on July 1 because it’s a statutory holiday.
Daily Hive reached out to Cadillac Fairview, which owns the Eaton Centre, to hear about their reopening plans, but has not yet heard back.