City Guidelines for Retail Stores Reopening for Pickup and Delivery

The Ontario Government has confirmed that beginning Saturday, May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases. On Monday, May 11, all retail stores with a street entrance can also begin to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Garden centres and nurseries are already permitted to be open for in-store payment and purchases and are operating under the same guidelines that grocery stores and pharmacies have been following.

While the Province has made changes in order to allow these businesses to open, it is essential that we continue to practice physical distancing and take precautions to keep everyone safe. 

In Toronto, our Emergency Operations Centre has worked with Toronto Public Health, the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild, Transportation Services, and other City divisions to help draft guidelines for businesses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and encourage physical distancing.

Examples of how business owners can help keep employees and customers safe include:

  • Actively managing entry into their stores by placing employees, signage and visual cues such as cones or tape
  • Encouraging employees and customers to wear face coverings, such as non-medical masks or scarves
  • Managing lines inside the store by placing tape every two metres (six feet)
  • Allowing for online or over the phone orders
  • Scheduling pickup times for customers
  • Defining a process for how employees interact with customers – especially related to loading vehicles and payments
  • Where possible, only accepting payments by credit card, debit or gift card

As businesses in Toronto consider how to allow curbside pickup, they should continue to follow advice from public health experts by planning to manage physical distancing for customers and employees, both inside and outside their stores; support proper hand hygiene; keep surfaces and objects clean; and find ways to limit contact between people. Tips for businesses are available on toronto.ca at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-economic-support-recovery-for-businesses/covid-19-business-sector-resources/?accordion=retail-sector-support-curbto-zones-and-noise-bylaw

Last month, the City of Toronto launched the CurbTO program to identify hot spots to help reduce sidewalk crowding in front of essential businesses, and support increased demand for pickup and delivery services. This program will be expanded to support additional retail locations throughout Toronto by staggering customer lineups and managing curbside pickup traffic.  Learn more about CurbTO at http://www.toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO

Business Improvement Areas received targeted outreach regarding the CurbTO program, and were encouraged to act on behalf of the active businesses in their catchment areas. There are a significant number of businesses on retail strips that are not included in a Business Improvement Area. Individual businesses are encouraged to visit our website at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO and complete a brief survey.