As Ontario enters stage three of reopening, the province has come up with new socially distanced ways for us to enjoy our favourite things. Among these are concerts in Ontario, which have been given the green light to resume. However, your live music experience will be nothing like what it used to be.
In the province's framework, a laundry list of rules has been laid out for how live shows and theatre performances can safely resume.
First, there's an indoor gathering limit of 50 people in place. For outdoor concerts, the limit is 100 people. However, the venue must be big enough to allow all of these people to stay two metres apart.
Arguably one of the most challenging rules is the plexiglass or "impermeable" barrier that has to be installed between the performers and the audience.
The shield is especially essential for singers and "players of brass or wind instruments."
However, it seems that even with these new rules, venue owners aren't ready to host shows again — not yet, anyway.
Shaun Bowring, who owns two concert spaces in Toronto, shared his doubts with NOW Toronto.
"Our business model is based on packing as many people into a small space as possible to enjoy music together. That’s still unsafe. So it’s still a waiting game."
"It’s a dystopian kind of experience," he continued. "Everyone’s got masks on, they’re not buying beer. And if anyone’s singing on stage, not only does there need to be a plexiglass barrier between the band and the audience, there also needs to be plexiglass barriers in between the musicians. So you’re building up a little house of mirrors on stage."
The owner of Toronto's Rebel nightclub echoed the same sentiments.
"That’s good for a little church choir maybe. It makes no financial sense whatsoever," he said to NOW.
As of July 21, Toronto still remains in stage two, along with York, Peel, Durham, Windsor-Essex, Niagara and several other regions.
A large handful of these will be allowed to enter the next phase on Friday, July 24.
However, with the Toronto area's new COVID-19 cases rising and falling by the day, the city will have to wait a little longer.