Mayor John Tory is urging Toronto residents to avoid Black Friday shopping and for retailers to not promote in-person sales.
On Monday, Tory said, “I urge all retailers who are still open to avoid in-person Black Friday sales. You are open by order of the province so residents can buy essentials, but you are not ordered to cash in on Black Friday and create crowd scenes.”
The mayor added that being in the midst of a pandemic and lockdown, now is not the time for “pandemonium Black Friday shopping scenes.”
Tory said that online shopping is allowed and people should take advantage of the curbside pick-up being offered.
“We do not want to create a situation where people will gather in large, unnecessary, and unhelpful numbers,” he said. “And to Black Friday shoppers, please stay at home and shop online or use curbside pick-up.”
Tory encouraged residents to support smaller, local independent retailers.
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The Greater Toronto and Hamilton mayors of the 11 largest municipalities agreed with Tory and said that large sales would “inevitably produce crowd scenes, which would only serve to undermine the fight against COVID-19 and negate the sacrifices being made by so many, including other businesses.”
“The mayors and chairs urge people to shop online and to support local retailers through internet shopping and the curbside pickup option. They remind residents of the GTHA that they are as much a part of defeating COVID-19 as are all of the restrictions. Staying home and avoiding social gatherings should be the order of the day wherever possible,” the mayors said in a statement Monday.
On Monday, Toronto and Peel entered another lockdown to curb the resurgence of cases.
“Lockdown” is the highest level in the government’s COVID-19 response framework and brings new public health measures to the regions.
Some of the new restrictions include that retail stores can only offer curbside pick-up or delivery, and restaurants can only be open for pick-up, drive-through, and delivery. No indoor gatherings will be allowed except with members of the same household, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.
There were 331 new COVID-19 cases reported in Toronto on Monday, making the total 37,824.