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Customer safety a top priority as malls reopen in Toronto, Peel

Last Updated Jun 24, 2020 at 8:02 am EDT

Eaton Centre shopping mall in Toronto Ont., on May 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg
Summary

Retailers have been given the choice as to whether they will reopen right now, or delay until a later date


Food courts will only offer take-out service as seating has been removed to comply with provincial health guidelines


Toronto and Peel Region are moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plans, only Windsor-Essex remains in Stage 1


Get ready to leave three months of online shopping behind, as malls reopen across Toronto and Peel Region on Wednesday.

Premier Doug Ford announced on Monday that both regions would be moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plans — only Windsor-Essex remains held back in Stage 1.

This means not only will hair salons and restaurant patios be allowed to open up, but the city’s largest malls will welcome customers.

The Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale, Dufferin Mall, Vaughan Mills and the Shops at Don Mills are just some of the locations you’ll be able to get your shop on.

However, it will be a bit of different experience than you remember.

For example, officials at Yorkdale say they have removed some of the mall’s seating, placed hand sanitizer stations throughout the mall, installed signage to promote physical distancing, put limits on capacity of elevators and washrooms, and water fountains have been decommissioned.

Cadillac Fairview, which owns many of the major malls across the province, say enhanced cleaning practices — which were implemented prior to the provincial shutdown — will continue at all its locations.

Similar efforts to comply with the province’s regulations are expected to be in place at the other malls.

But shoppers should note that not every store will be open in the mall. Retailers have been given the choice as to whether they will reopen right now, or delay until a later date.

At the Eaton Centre, the larger stores such as the Bay, Nordstrom, Canadian Tire, Roots, and H&M, will be open, while other stores such as Best Buy and Samsung will be only offering curbside pickup.

And if you’re planning to stop for a bite to eat at the mall, food courts will be open but only for take-out service as seating has been removed to comply with provincial health guidelines.

To find out if a specific retailer is open at one of the city’s many malls, you can contact the store directly or check the mall’s website.

Cadillac Fairview says in the event a retail client or one of its employees tests positive for COVID-19, or comes into contact with a suspected case, “robust procedures” are in place which include prompt notification, sending employees home and deep cleaning impacted areas. A complete list of protocols can be found here.

Officials at that mall are also recommending that shoppers wear a face covering but nowhere does it say it is mandatory.

Provincial and city health officials have stressed that where physical distancing is not possible, a face covering or mask is recommended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Malls opening June 24

  • Bramalea City Centre: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Dufferin Mall: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Eaton Centre: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Fairview Mall: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Gerrard Square: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Monday-Friday), 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Scarborough Town Centre: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sherway Gardens: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Shops at Don Mills: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Square One Shopping Centre: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Yorkdale Mall: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.