If you’re from the GTA, the truth is that you may not be welcome in many Ontario towns this weekend. Mayors from all across the province are making it clear that they do not want visitors from Toronto, due to fears of COVID-19 spreading. This comes after the last holiday, Canada Day, saw huge crowds overwhelm many areas.
For weeks, different regions of Ontario have had looser restrictions than the GTA, due to Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex staying in stage two longer than the rest of the province.
However, Torontonians have still been heading out of the city to enjoy establishments and amenities not available to them within their own city.
Ahead of this Civic Day long weekend, some Ontario mayors are worried.
The last public holiday, Canada Day, saw large gatherings and broken public health measures all over the province. Ontario municipalities are urging Torontonians to stay away this long weekend to avoid a repeat situation.
This week, Prince Edward County, a popular tourist destination less than two hours from Toronto, has been very vocal in their desire to keep their county residents-only.
“We know that people have been cooped up and are wanting a change of scenery, [but if you are] considering making a trip to the county this Civic weekend, please consider coming another time,” Prince Edward County Mayor Steven Ferguson said in a plea to Ontarians.
Prince Edward County isn’t alone in wanting Torontonians to stay home.
. @St_Catharines Community Update: 😷 Mandatory Face Mask By-law in effect July 17 🏖 Beaches are open for locals onl… https://t.co/Frx3CQCJMp— Walter Sendzik (@Walter Sendzik) 1594768809.0
St. Catherines has just passed a temporary bylaw making its beaches accessible to Niagara-region residents only.
That decision came on Tuesday, July 28 after a weekend of crowded beaches and rowdy behaviour.
Wasaga Beach opens its 'residents-only- beachfront pod to out-of-towners. https://t.co/4Iu0uZ4wnY https://t.co/545MZyCxbe— CTV News Barrie (@CTV News Barrie) 1596045748.0
Meanwhile, Wasaga Beach, located approximately two hours north of the GTA, has created pods for non-residents to spend time on its beaches in.
It's only slightly apocalyptic, right?
For what it's worth, Toronto Mayor John Tory has warned residents against gathering in large groups as well as implementing stricter measures for stage three in the city.
So, if you’re looking for something to do this long weekend, it might be best to set your sights on something within the GTA. You might find you're not welcome elsewhere.