Toronto City Council has voted in favour of a temporary bylaw requiring face masks or face coverings in common areas of apartments and condominiums.
The new bylaw, recommended by the Medical Officer of Health and City Solicitor, will require building owners or operators to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in the enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and post corresponding signage.
The bylaw formalizes last week’s strong recommendation from Mayor Tory and the Medical Officer of Health for all building owners and operators to proactively require masks or face coverings in common areas. Like the City’s existing mask or face covering bylaw, the recommendation includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations. The bylaw comes into effect on Wednesday, August 5.
“Today, City Council took further action to make sure we are doing everything we can as a City government to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Tory. “This measure for masks and face coverings in common areas in apartments and condos was strongly recommended by our public health professionals. Many buildings have already done this voluntarily but we have heard from tenants and condo dwellers asking for this measure to be mandated. I encourage all buildings to adopt a face covering policy for common areas as quickly as possible to help us continue to protect the health of our residents and fight this pandemic.”
Toronto Public Health has created guidance documents for commercial and residential buildings. The City of Toronto is also creating signage that building operators can print off and display in common areas. Signage will be available online.