CafeTO – Registration & Grant Open

City of Toronto opens CaféTO registration for local restaurant and bar operators. The City of Toronto announced that local restaurant and bar operators interested in expanding their outdoor dining space into a curb lane and onto sidewalks in 2022 can now register for the CaféTO program. The program also supports the expansion of outdoor patios on private property through temporary use Zoning Bylaws that permit larger outdoor patios than would otherwise be permitted. Find more details and register before the April 2 deadline.
CaféTO Property Improvement Program provides funding to improve exterior spaces. The City of Toronto’s new CaféTO Property Improvement Program provides funding to eligible owners and tenants of commercial and industrial properties in Toronto – including CaféTO program participants – to help improve the appearance and/or function of the property’s exterior spaces. Grants cover 50 percent of the costs of eligible property or site improvements up to a maximum amount of $5,000. Additional grant funding of up to $2,500 is available for exterior accessibility improvements such as the installation of ramps, handrails, and other accessibility devices. See more details and apply.


  • All program fees including application, transfer, and permit fees continue to be waived in 2022, as directed by Council.
  • Registration for all café types will open on January 18, 2022.
  • Program information and guidelines will continue to be available at
  • Participation in the program requires at least $2 Million in commercial general liability coverage. Policy certificates may be post-dated to begin in May 2022.
  • Patios may continue to expand on private property under the same conditions as 2020/2021.
  • The registration deadline for curb lane cafés is April 2, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.


A number of previous sidewalk café application requirements have been removed, including:

  • Public notice of application (e.g. posting/polling, public objections)
  • Setback distances from residential properties
  • Adjacent property owner permission
  • Propane heater certification submission

To participate in CaféTO in 2020 and 2021, prospective café operators needed to complete and submit registration and Certificate of Insurance forms as well as a letter of approval if they were expanding in front of a neighboring business. In 2022, sidewalk café permit applicants will also need to provide:

  • A site plan drawing
  • Three photos of the location
  • Awning drawings, if required

Small Business Relief Grants.

The government announced an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen beginning January 5, 2022. It will provide eligible small businesses with a one-time grant payment of $10,000.

Eligible small businesses will include:

  • Restaurants and bars 
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • Performing arts venues and cinemas, museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
  • Meeting or event spaces
  • Tour and guide services
  • Conference centres and convention centres.

Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses who qualify can expect to receive their payment in February. 

Electricity Rate Relief Support

The Ontario government is providing electricity rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in Modified Step Two. For 21 days, starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.

The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans. This will provide immediate savings for families, small businesses and farms as all Ontarians work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.”

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

The government is also announcing that online applications for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.

Improving Cash Flow for Ontario Businesses

The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing up to $7.5 billion through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period starting January 1, 2022 for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This supports businesses now and provides for the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.

Building on Ontario’s leadership on improving cash flows for businesses, the Province continues to call on the federal government to match provincial tax deferral efforts by allowing small businesses impacted by public health restrictions to  defer their HST remittances for a period of six months.

These measures will build on Ontario’s support for businesses and workers, including:

  • Cutting wholesale alcohol prices to provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses, as well as making it easier for business to create and extend patios and permanently allowing licenced restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
  • Extending COVID-19 paid sick days until July 31, 2022 to keep workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Enabling an estimated $10.1 billion in cost savings and support to Ontario businesses in 2021, with more than 60 per cent, or $6.3 billion, going to small businesses, including:
    • Supporting a reduction in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums.
    • Allowing businesses to accelerate write-offs of capital investments for tax purposes.
    • Reducing the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent.
    • Providing the Digital Main Street program, which helped more than 20,000 businesses across the province to increase their digital presence in 2020-21.
    • Introducing and temporarily enhancing the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to encourage investments in certain regions of Ontario that have lagged in employment growth in the past.
    • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.
    • Lowering high Business Education Tax (BET) rates for job creators.
    • Increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million.
    • Lowering electricity bills through measures such as the Comprehensive Electricity Plan, with the Province paying for a portion of high-priced, non-hydro renewable energy contracts.
    • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which delivered $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses across the province.

Applications Open for Retail Accelerator Grant & Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant.

To support the continued recovery and long-term success of local small businesses, the City of Toronto’s Retail Accelerator Program will begin accepting applications.

The Retail Accelerator Program (RAP) provides economic recovery resources for main street small businesses in Toronto impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides access to retail training, advisory services and mentoring opportunities. In addition, retail businesses may be eligible for up to $10,000 to help them develop and expand.

Small retail businesses are essential to the vitality and success of Toronto’s main streets and neighbourhoods, and are key drivers of economic prosperity for residents, families, communities and the city as a whole. To assist small businesses in Toronto recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario  (FedDev Ontario) is providing up to $18 million for six programs making up the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI).

RAP is the second MRRI program to open for applications. The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is currently also accepting applications, offering matching funding of 50 percent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, storefronts at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. Two additional programs – the Main Street Innovation Fund and the CaféTO Commercial and Industrial Property Improvement Program – will open for applications in the new year.

The first round of RAP applications will be accepted until March 31, 2022 or when funds are expended, whichever comes first. The City will be holding virtual information sessions on January 17  and February 15  to learn more about the RAP program, micro grant and application process.

More information about RAP is available on the City’s Retail Accelerator Program webpage.

More information about Toronto MRRI programs is available on the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative webpage.

Grants, training and resources provided through Toronto MRRI programs are available until March 31, 2024, and aim to support small business operators, community business associations, streetscape animation and retail innovation.

New Covid Restrictions

The Provincial Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is temporarily moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout.

In response, the Province will return to the modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators. Please click on the Official news release here or scroll down for details.


Ontario Temporarily Moving to Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen

Time-limited measures are needed to preserve hospital capacity as the province continues to accelerate booster dose rollout.

TORONTO — In response to recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is temporarily moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout. As part of the province’s response to the Omicron variant, starting January 5, students will pivot to remote learning with free emergency child care planned for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers.

“As we continue with our provincial vaccine booster efforts, we must look at every option to slow the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Putting these targeted and time-limited measures in place will give us more opportunity to deliver vaccines to all Ontarians and ensure everyone has maximum protection against this virus.”

Unlike other variants throughout the pandemic, evolving data is showing that while the Omicron variant is less severe, its high transmissibility has resulted in a larger number of hospital admissions relative to ICU admissions. Staff absenteeism is also expected to rise and affect operations in workplaces across Ontario due to Omicron infection and exposure, including in hospitals and schools. Real-world experience and evidence in Ontario reveal that approximately one per cent of Omicron cases require hospital care. The rapid rise of Omicron cases, which may soon number in the hundreds of thousands, could result in the province’s hospital capacity becoming overwhelmed if further action isn’t taken to curb transmission. When one in 100 cases goes to hospital, it means that with this rapid increase in transmission the number of new cases requiring hospitalization will also rapidly increase daily. For example, 50,000 cases per day would mean 500 hospital admissions per day, which is greater than the peak daily hospitalizations of 265 per day from last spring, when hospitals were under significant strain during the third wave of the pandemic.

In response, the province will return to the modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.

These measures include:

  • Reducing social gathering limits to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
  • Limiting capacity at organized public events to five people indoors.
  • Requiring businesses and organizations to ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site.
  • Limiting capacity at indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites and ceremonies to 50 per cent capacity of the particular room. Outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance. Social gatherings associated with these services must adhere to the social gathering limits.
  • Retail settings, including shopping malls, permitted at 50 per cent capacity. For shopping malls physical distancing will be required in line-ups, loitering will not be permitted and food courts will be required to close.
  • Personal care services permitted at 50 per cent capacity and other restrictions. Saunas, steam rooms, and oxygen bars closed.
  • Closing indoor meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions but permitting outdoor spaces to remain open with restrictions.
  • Public libraries limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments. Outdoor dining with restrictions, takeout, drive through and delivery is permitted.
  • Restricting the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol on-premise in businesses or settings after 11 p.m. with delivery and takeout, grocery/convenience stores and other liquor stores exempted.
  • Closing indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, rehearsals and recorded performances permitted with restrictions.
  • Closing museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks and waterparks, tour and guide services and fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals. Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy, where applicable, limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues. Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy limited to 50 per cent capacity. Boat tours permitted at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities including gyms, except for athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues. Outdoor facilities are permitted to operate but with the number of spectators not to exceed 50 per cent occupancy and other requirements.
  • All publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.
  • School buildings would be permitted to open for child care operations, including emergency child care, to provide in-person instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and for staff who are unable to deliver quality instruction from home.
  • During this period of remote learning, free emergency child care will be provided for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers.

Please view the regulation for the full list of mandatory public health and workplace safety measures.

In addition, on January 5, 2022 the Chief Medical Officer of Health will reinstate Directive 2 for hospitals and regulated health professionals, instructing hospitals to pause all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures in order to preserve critical care and human resource capacity.

In recognition of the impact the Omicron variant and additional public health measures have on small businesses, the government is expanding the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program. Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures. Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs, while businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. A full list of eligible business types will be made available when applications for the program open later this month. To improve cash flows for Ontario businesses, effective January 1, 2022, the government is also providing up to $7.5 billion for a six-month interest- and penalty-free period for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes, supporting businesses now and providing the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.

The government is also exploring options for providing further targeted and necessary supports for businesses and workers impacted by the province’s move into a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, including grants. The government will also continue to call on the federal government to come to table and help us support Ontario businesses and Ontario workers by allowing eligible businesses to defer HST and to enhance supports available to workers affected by current public health measures.

“As cases continue to rise at a rapid rate and evidence on the Omicron variant evolves, additional time-limited measures are needed to help limit transmission as Team Ontario continues to get booster doses into arms,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “While this was not an easy decision, these measures will help preserve hospital bed capacity and prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.”

“Children will continue to receive live virtual learning during this period, led by their teacher, with full access to school-based academic and mental health supports,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We will continue to work closely with the Chief Medical Officer of Health to keep our communities safe and ensure that Ontario students get back to in-person learning as soon as possible.”

As of January 2, more than 3.7 million booster doses have been administered across the province. The government is focusing all efforts to speed up booster doses, including employer-led vaccination clinics and expanded GO-VAXX mobile clinics. To date, over 4,300 Ontarians have registered through the Ontario COVID-19 Volunteer Portal and the Health Workforce Matching Portal and have answered the province’s call to arms to businesses, volunteers and retired health professionals to help further boost capacity to administer vaccines and get more boosters into arms sooner.

The province is also continuing to urge the federal government to approve COVID-19 antivirals to support Canada’s pandemic response.

“While the risks for severe illness are lower with Omicron than with the previous variants of concern, it is far more transmissible and hospitalizations are expected to continue to increase placing greater pressure on our health system,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “It is difficult but necessary to apply additional public health and workplace safety measures to help stop the spread of the virus and protect our health system capacity. Please follow all public measures and get vaccinated with your first, second or booster dose if you have not done already.”

Supporting Local 2021!

NOW more than ever, we need you to share in the spirit of #parkdalelove and spread the word about our incredible business community. Everything you need for the holidays is at your fingertips in Parkdale; holiday party venue; check! catering ideas; check! jewelry; check! one of a kind gifts; check! haircut; check! local charity to support; double-check!

The weekend of November 26th help us kick off a month of supporting your community, make a local purchase and take advantage of exclusive deals offered by the businesses in our area. The weekend celebrates small businesses and reminds Canadians how local shopping makes a difference in all our lives. 

Check our Instagram Stories for deals, announcements, gift ideas, and local events, or take a look at the Sneak Peak below!. Visit our directory for full lists of shops and organizations. Share your own local recommendations and favorites by tagging us or using hashtag #parkdalelove

A Sneak Peek at this Holiday Season in Parkdale Village, check back daily for updates!

Keep scrolling!

  • Gift Ideas: Black Friday Sale on Bikes & Accessories
  • MetroCycle
  • Gift Ideas: Black Friday Sale up to 30% Off
  • Nov 26-28, 2021
  • The Rug Club
  • Gift Ideas: Black Friday Sale 30% Off Everything. Use code “BLACKFRIDAY” at check out and add some glorious reading to your pile. ⁠
  • The Raid Studio
  • Gift Ideas: Black Friday Sale 25 Off
  • Nov 26-29th, 2021
  • Armed Jewelry
  • Live Album Recordings with Harpreet Sehmbi
  • Nov 27th, 2021
  • Peach Berserk
  • El Mercado Holiday Market featuring BIWOC Entrepreneurs & Artisans
  • Dec 11th, 2021
  • The Parkdale Hall
  • Celebrating our Spirits in the Sky
  • Dec 15th, 2021
  • Church or the Epiphany and St. Mark

  • Gift Ideas; For the child in your life, books, clothing, toys, and more!
  • Modern Rascals
  • Local Causes: PARC
  • Parkdale Village is home to dozens of locally serving agencies/ organizations, explore the Community Contacts on our website to find more.

Queen St West & Roncesvalles Ave Reopening: KQQR Construction

The Infrastructure Improvements at the Intersection of King Street West, Queen Street West, The Queensway, and Roncesvalles Avenue (KQQR Construction) will be transitioning into Stage 2 the weekend of Saturday November 13, 2021.

The major changes in Stage 2 are the reopening of Queen Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue to vehicles, and the closure of King Street West to vehicles. Learn about Stage 2 here.

TTC Service (During Stage 2): 501/301 Queen Replacement buses will operate through the King/Queen/Queensway/Roncesvalles intersection via regular routing on Queen Street West – both ways. 504C/304 King Westbound replacement buses will divert around the new closure via Dufferin Street and Queen Street West turning north on Roncesvalles Avenue to Dundas West Station. There will be no westbound service on King Street West between Dufferin Street and the King/Queen/Queensway/ Roncesvalles (KQQR) intersection. Eastbound replacement buses from Dundas West Station will divert from Roncesvalles Avenue via Queen Street West and Triller Avenue and continue east on King Street West to Strachan Avenue. *Prior to the new service routings taking effect, TTC will post updated Information Pole Cards at transit stops.

For KQQR Details please visit us here; KQQR Construction | Parkdale Village BIA

Annual General Meeting

As a member of the Parkdale Village BIA, you are invited to attend our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on Thursday December 2nd, 2021 6:30pm via ZOOM


  1. Call to Order, Introductions and Opening Remarks
  2. Electronic meeting, recording of the meeting and voting protocols
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of 2020 Annual General Meeting Minutes
  5. Auditor’s 2020 Report
  6. Appointment of Auditor (to prepare 2021 Audited Financial Statements)
  7. Community Updates
  8. Program Highlights:
    1. Streetscape
    2. Marketing
    3. Future initiatives
  9. Proposed Program and Budget for 2022
  10. New Business
  11. Adjournment

The purpose of this meeting is to approve the BIA’s budget and general program for 2022.  This program is paid for by a special levy charged to you as well as other commercial and industrial property owners, and non-residential tenants of such properties.  As a member of the BIA, the best way to participate in the decisions your BIA is making on your behalf is to get involved.  If you wish to obtain a copy of the complete proposed budget and audited financial statement, please contact the BIA.

Due to COVID 19, this year’s AGM will be held virtually. BIA members will be able to attend the meeting via ZOOM by logging online or calling in. Members wishing to attend must pre-register with proof of membership to obtain the login/call in details. Please contact the BIA at 416-536-6918 [email protected] for more information and to pre-register.

Please RSVP/pre-register on or before Wednesday December 1st, 2021.

General Meeting Procedures:

To be eligible to vote, photo identification will be required and:

  • For Business Operators: A business card, or other proof of tenancy.
  • For Property Owners: A property tax bill or other proof of ownership

Only members of the BIA, and legal representatives of BIA members (proof required), are eligible to vote at the Annual General Meeting.  The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 19, states that Business Improvement Area Members are defined as “all persons who own rateable property in a business property class and all persons who are non-residential tenants of rateable property in a business property class in a business improvement area.”

A “person” is defined by Chapter 19 to include “a corporation and the heirs, executors, administrators or other legal representatives of a person to whom the context can apply according to the law.” No person in attendance shall have more than one vote.

Please note:  As per the amended City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 19, adopted by City Council at its meeting on July 4-7, 2017, designates are no longer eligible to vote on behalf of BIAmembers at annual general meetings.   Therefore, a designate form has not been included in your AGM notice package.

Snapshot of 2021 & 2022 Budget:

  • Levy to remain the same in 2022
  • 2021 Decrease & 2022 Increase in Streetscape Expenses resulting from programs being postponed and shifted due to pandemic
  • 2021/2022 Decrease in Amenity & Maintenance Expenses resulting from programs being postponed or canceled due to pandemic
  • General and Administrative expenses include; office rent & equipment, consulting fees, accounting fees, auditing fees, WSIB, salaries, insurance etc

Join our Board

Are you interested in serving the Parkdale Village BIA member community? Are you a current BIA member or employed by one? Are you passionate about Streetscape Improvements, Tourism, and the community at large – then consider joining the Parkdale Village BIA Board of Management.

The Parkdale BIA office is located at 1313 Queen Street West at Cowan Avenue and employs an Executive Director, the office is governed by a volunteer Board of Management which is made up of up to eleven members serving a four-year term concurrent with the term of Toronto City Council. The Board works on behalf of its BIA members (the shop owners & property owners).

The Board helps guide a Workplan that outlines its multi-year goals within the community, which the BIA office works to achieve with the support of numerous City of Toronto departments, community stakeholders, partners and vendors.

The Board meets monthly over Zoom to support and further the BIA’s mandate, ensuring the Workplan Strategies are implemented and to Vote responsibly by reviewing and understanding the issues facing the BIA through discussion and documentation.

To learn more about how funding works, workplan planning, the commitment level required, and the application process, please contact [email protected] for details.

We thank all past Board Members and Committee Members who served the Parkdale Village BIA since its inception in 1978, your commitment and dedication are appreciated. The following is a brief snapshot of some of the Parkdale businesses/organizations who have contributed their time to the BIA as Board Members;

  • Cici’s Pizza & Wings
  • Chartreuse Style
  • Made You Look
  • The Assembly Hall
  • The Grand Trunk
  • Glory Hole Doughnuts
  • Isla Filipino Restaurant
  • Rustic Cosmo Cafe
  • Rice and Noodle
  • The Parkdale Flea
  • Bacchus Roti
  • Apogee Financial
  • Yummy Stuff
  • Strategic Properties JV
  • JR’s Natural Health & Bulk
  • Designer Fabric Outlet
  • Wrongbar
  • Community 54
  • North Standard Trading Post
  • Tomas Pearce Interior Design
  • Parkdale Activity and Recreational Centre
  • This Little Piggy
  • Arcadia Antiques
  • Hair For Better Extension Zone
  • Danijela’s Simply Delicious Restaurant
  • Belle Optical
  • Feather Factory
  • Café Taste
  • Poor John’s Cafe
  • Parkdale Accounting
  • Yoga Queen
  • Shopgirls Boutique
  • Century 21 Regal Realty
  • Ana Maria’s Hair Salon
  • Soho Art & Custom Framing

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination: Resources & Links for Businesses

Effective today, Ontario will require proof of vaccination to access select settings. Please find below some links to business signage and additional resources.

Between September 22 and October 22, 2021, in addition to proof of identity, a patron must show a paper or digital version of the PDF receipt. After October 22, 2021, in addition to proof of identity, a patron may present a paper or digital version of the PDF receipt or a paper or digital version of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code to gain access to designated settings.

What is the full list of settings (i.e., businesses or organizations) where patrons must provide proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs, restoclubs, and other similar establishments
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions o Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas 3
  • Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
  • Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences

Can I choose to have my business require individuals to show proof of vaccination at the point of entry to gain access? Can my restaurant require proof of vaccination for the outdoor patio?

While only specified businesses or organizations are legally required to ask their patrons for proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Ministry’s Guidance do not prevent other businesses or organizations from establishing a vaccination policy. The Ministry’s Guidance also do not prevent the specified businesses or organizations from establishing additional policies or requirements pertaining to their patrons. This could include businesses or organizations that want to implement policies or requirements for part of their business (e.g., entire restaurant including the outdoor patio). Businesses or organizations considering creating their own additional policies or requirements may wish to consult a lawyer. However, all Ontarians, regardless of their vaccination status, should continue to have access to necessary medical care, food from grocery stores, and basic medical supplies.

Why do patrons at the specified businesses and organizations have to be vaccinated but workers (i.e., staff/employees) do not have to be?

Employers are required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes identifying the risks and implementing appropriate controls. This is an existing requirement for workers to wear protective personal equipment that provides protection of the eyes, nose and mouth if, in the course of providing services, the person is required to come within two metres of another person indoors who is not wearing a mask or face covering and is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier. This is specifically designed to protect workers, especially where they are required to come into close contact with many patrons who are unmasked (e.g., restaurant, gym). Businesses or organizations are also required to implement comprehensive public health and workplace safety measures that are specific to protecting their workers. Businesses and organizations may choose to implement policies that require workers to be vaccinated.

What are the proof of vaccination requirements for Indigenous partners?

Ontario is committed to ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations, including ensuring OCAP principles are fully met. A receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider may be used as proof of vaccination. An Indian Status Card or an Indigenous Membership Card with the name and date of birth are appropriate documentation to provide proof of identity.

Are outdoor areas covered by tents, canopies, retractable roofs, etc. considered indoor or outdoor settings?

A setting is considered to be outdoors if an outdoor area of the business or place is: Covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning, or other element if at least two full sides of the area are open to the outdoors and not blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers; or Equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor area is open to the outdoors and is not blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers. It is possible to have indoor spaces in an outdoor setting (e.g., indoor food or drink establishment at a fair).

Can a restaurant allow unvaccinated patio patrons to dine inside if it starts to rain?

Patrons can dine in indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments if they are fully vaccinated. Patrons must provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the point of entry

How can a business ensure the safety and security of its staff if they are forced to turn someone away who does not have proof of vaccination?

Many businesses are experienced at declining entry for legitimate reasons. For example, some establishments have experience preventing people under 19 from ordering or consuming alcohol or entering bars. Individuals who have any trouble with patrons could, if the situation permits, inform the patron of the requirements under O. Reg. 364/20 and offer alternate solutions (e.g., to sit on an outdoor patio, takeout). All Provincial offences officers, including by-law, police, public health inspectors and regulatory officers from several ministries and agencies may provide education and enforcement of all the requirements under the ROA, including the new proof of vaccination requirement.

If situations escalate, law enforcement, such as local police, can be contacted. In an emergency call 9-1-1. If employers update their workplace violence and harassment policies and procedures, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and all workers are informed of such, workplaces will be better able to respond to any unfortunate incidents that may occur in relation to the requirement for vaccination certificates. Tools and resources are available to help businesses implement the necessary safety measures including guidance to develop workplace violence and harassment measures and procedures as part of their COVID Safety Plan. Examples of some other helpful resources are (but not limited to): a) Developing your COVID Safety Plan b)Understand the law on workplace violence and harassment c)Are your employees prepared to handle COVID-linked violence? d)WSPS Workplace Violence and Harassment Toolbox.

Please follow the Ministry of Health: Questions & Answers link to view more questions as well as submit your own questions.

Buy Parkdale Time

It’s small businesses that make our city interesting. But on average they racked up $170K in debt over the last year. If we lose them, what kind of city will we be? The lockdown may be ending, but supporting our neighbors is more urgent than ever. As more businesses close down weekly, we need to buy time for the remaining who are just barely hanging on. Please support local!  #buytorontotime

Learn more here: Toronto Star, blogto, CTV, Daily Hive

Follow this Toronto Association of BIA’s campaign here.