Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region

TORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Director of the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation and the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University of Toronto.

“The health experts presented the most recent health data which identified some alarming public health trends that require immediate attention and early action to keep people safe,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are making the difficult, but necessary decision to accept the health advice, and impose further restrictions in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. By taking action ahead of the long weekend, we will help contain the spread in these hotspots, protect the surrounding communities, shield our seniors and most vulnerable, and contain the second wave surge. At the same time, we are providing support to our small businesses in these hotspots.”

“We are seeing the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 rising, hospitalization rates are growing, and community outbreaks are entering our nursing homes and vulnerable congregate settings,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. “We need to act quickly, and we need everyone to follow the public health guidelines if we are going to stop the spread and contain the second wave.”

Effective Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., these targeted measures are being implemented in Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto as a result of their higher than average rates of transmission. Measures under a modified Stage 2 include:

  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Closing of:
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms);
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;
    • Indoor cinemas;
    • Performing arts centres and venues;
    • Spectator areas in racing venues;
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming);
  • Reducing the capacity limits for:
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
    • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained.
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, and
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).

Click here to read the full press release.


Ontario Introduces Plan to Support Small and Main Street Businesses

Ontario Introduces Plan to Support Small and Main Street Businesses

New measures will help businesses reopen safer, rehire faster and recover from COVID-19

NEWS                                                                                                                          October 11, 2020

TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to help businesses rebuild, reinvest
and create good jobs across the province. Today, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of
Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan
and later today will introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that
would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet
the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses
and allow them to pursue new opportunities—while maintaining or enhancing protections
for public health, safety and the environment.

The plan includes:
• A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for main street small businesses—in retail, food and
accommodations, and other service sectors—with fewer than 10 employees to help
offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE);
• Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small
Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses
can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial, and federal
• Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online;
• Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and
Indigenous communities;
• Ontario’s Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to
small business supports.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy, and our government will always
be in their corner. Through more than 100 virtual roundtables and discussions with small
business owners, their employees, local leaders, and economists from all over Ontario, I’ve
heard directly about the extraordinary sacrifices small businesses have made to keep their
employees safe, their customers confident, and their communities strong,” said Minister
Sarkaria. “Our government is standing with main street businesses, and we remain
committed to their recovery and renewed success. We are determined to support them
through this pandemic and beyond.”

The plan’s regulatory and legislative changes, if passed, will:
• Commit to exploring options to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to
include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing
regulation expires;
• Permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses that include retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities;
• Support the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
• Enable Community Net Metering demonstration projects to help support local communities to develop innovative community projects like net-zero or community micro-grids;
• Modernize the Assistive Devices Program;
• Support Ontario’s Taxi and Limousine Industry by increasing fines for illegal operators.

“Small businesses owners and entrepreneurs have overcome significant challenges and made extraordinary sacrifices to continue contributing to our communities through these unprecedented times,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation. “Providing new, easy-to-use and innovative tools, like our Small Business Recovery Webpage, will give them the information they need to reopen safely and rebuild better in one central location. It’s another way we’re building a smarter government that’s working for you.”

“Ontario’s small businesses were hit hard by COVID-19, but they were the among the first to step up and demonstrate the best of the Ontario Spirit by bringing forward their innovative ideas and solutions in our time of need,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Building on the steps we took at the outset of the pandemic to provide urgent economic relief to struggling small businesses, Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan will help get more and more small businesses back on their feet as we continue down the path to economic recovery together.”

• The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.
• Ontario is helping businesses overcome the unique challenges created by this pandemic with 50 temporary regulatory changes made to help them adapt and about 400 more roadblocks being explored.
• The $50-million Ontario Together Fund is helping businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
• The Ontario government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7%, starting on January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses. • Ontario’s new COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act is laying the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province.

• Visit the new Small Business Recovery webpage for up-to-date information, programs, and resources at
• Find out how your small business can go digital with the help of Digital Main Street.
• Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
• Check out to help boost local businesses and manufacturers. • Find out how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.



Ian Allen
Minister Sarkaria’s Office

Sumita Kanga
Communications Branch
Disponible en français

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Downtown Brampton BIA is Hiring! Digital Service Squad – Team Members

The Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative expands the previously existing Digital Main Street program developed in partnership by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA). Thanks to a renewed investment in the Ontario Digital Main Street program from both the federal and provincial governments, even more of the province’s main street small businesses will be able to take full advantage of digital technologies and e-commerce platforms to increase their revenues and create jobs.

The four main components of the Ontario Digital Main Street program include:

  1. Digital Transformation Program: Upon completion of their digital assessment and online training, businesses may apply for a $2,500 grant to offset costs as outlined in their Digital Transformation Plan and budget. These funds are available to help businesses strategically adopt technology and meet their digital goals.
  2. Digital Service Squad Program: Digital Service Squads are digital technology specialists in an area or region of Ontario who deliver one-on-one assistance to main street small businesses. These Digital Service Squads can be set up by BIAs, municipalities, Chambers of Commerce or Small Business Enterprise Centres that may apply for funding based on the number of businesses within their designated commercial downtown area.
  3. Access to Support: Ongoing support including access to basic digital services, a list of vendors that can identify technologies and tools businesses need to be digitally ready, and other resources such as assessments, articles, best practices, etc.
  4. Digital Training (online and in-person): Webinars and workshops focusing on specific digital technologies and strategies, including e-commerce, social media, and website development.

Ontario Digital Main Street is currently seeking outgoing, enthusiastic, qualified candidates for the position of Digital Service Squad – Team Member. This is a unique opportunity to support the growth of one of the province’s most innovative economic development programs. The Digital Main Street program is the first of its kind globally and has experienced excellent traction since its launch in June 2016.

Click here to read the full job description