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Shopping fix: GTA malls give rundown of what to expect on Monday

Last Updated Mar 6, 2021 at 7:22 am EDT

yorkdale mall store front. Daniel Von Appen

Shopping malls in Toronto and Peel Region will be allowed to reopen on Monday, welcoming back what could be a flurry of customers for the first time in several months.

But the owners of Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre want you to know it will not be business as usual.

A spokesperson for Oxford Properties says there will be capacity limits of 25 percent of which includes employees. Retailers within the mall also have store capacity limits.

“Retail is an important economic sector, and we are optimistic about the resumption of in-store shopping with capacity limits,” said Bradley Jones, Head of Retail, Oxford Properties.

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“A visit to the mall will be different when our centres reopen and the public should know what to expect. We are working closely with government and public health to ensure that the reopening of Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre is successful and done with the greatest attention to public health guidelines.”

Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre all have “live capacity meters” posted on their websites so eager shoppers will know beforehand what to expect.

There will also be designated entrances and all customers have to be screened before going inside.

The limits are prescribed by the provincial government and local public health authorities as appropriate for maintaining social distancing for the health and safety of everyone in the centre, Jones says.

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The Grey Zone sees some space limits including 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail.

Many stores are continuing to offer curbside pickup with dedicated stalls. Participating retailers can be found on the shopping centre’s website under the Yorkdale Curbside, Square One Curbside, and Scarborough Town Centre Curbside pages along with a map of the locations.

York, Durham, and Halton Regions are among the other parts of the GTA currently under the province’s “Red-Control” framework, which allows for expanded restrictions, such as indoor dining.