Member Update, May 14, 4:30PM

Ontario Releases Reopening Plan

Today, the province announced which retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided the general trend on health indicators continues improving as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework.

For housing providers, general maintenance and repair services can resume, and are no longer limited to “strictly necessary” maintenance. The government will no longer restrict construction activities to work deemed essential. This means effective May 19 at 12:01 a.m., all construction work will be allowed.

The government, with health and safety associations, released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. Providers should review these guidelines closely before undertaking any maintenance.

The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. as key public health indicators continue to show progress. The province will provide an update on school closures and child care early next week.

As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:

  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.

Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario's first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:

  • Retail services not in shopping malls with separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children's Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.

As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.

To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

ONPHA has signed on The Bargains Group to support members’ PPE purchases: a Canadian wholesaler of basic supplies, PPE and promotional products that has been supporting the housing and non-profit sector for over 30 years with great deals and donations with every order. The Bargains Group offers pick up from our Toronto warehouse and shipping across Canada. Products and supplies include:

  • Sanitizer; Hand Sanitizer and Surface Disinfectant Spray
  • Face Shields and Masks
  • Protective Examination Gloves
  • And more!

Businesses and ONPHA members are encouraged to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe.

The province urged the public to adhere to public health measures, including practicing physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill.

If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

The complete list of business requirements to open can be found here. You can also learn more about the province’s framework to re-open the province here. As always, ONPHA’s member support hotline is here to help at