Yorkdale becomes first Canadian retail centre to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation

Yorkdale is the latest Canadian facility to achieve the certification, which indicates that best infection prevention practices are in place.
Friday, July 16, 2021

Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre has become the first retail centre in Canada to achieve GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA.

Yorkdale’s achievement of the certification reflects a variety of health and safety measures it has put in place to keep employees and shoppers safe during this time.

Some examples include:

  • Frequent cleaning in high-touch and high-traffic areas using best practices and products identified by health organizations
  • Signage to guide customer traffic flow, physical distancing throughout the property
  • Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations available throughout the centre
  • Curbside pickup with participating retailers.

Yorkdale is Canada’s leading shopping destination, named the country’s most successful shopping centre for the third year in a row by the Retail Council of Canada. Co-owned and managed by Oxfor Properties Group, it hosts more than 270 shops and services as well as the GTA’s largest rooftop solar panel installation and rooftop greenery.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our top priority,” says Kimberly Barnard, General Manager of Yorkdale Shopping Centre. “Achieving GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we have high-quality systems in place to help protect our community to the best of our ability.”

RELATED: Celebrating one year of GBAC STAR accreditation

Yorkdale’s certification is the latest milestone for GBAC STAR in Canada.

Back in September 2020, Toronto’s Exhibition Place became the first Canadian venue to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, followed by Vancouver’s BC Place as the first certified stadium.

Since then, numerous facilities have achieved accreditation, including Montreal’s Bell Centre becoming the first Canadian hockey arena to do so.

It’s not just facilities, either.

In February, Manulife Investment Management was the first Canadian real estate landlord to achieve GBAC STAR facility accreditation, accrediting seven of its Montreal properties.

And just last month, Edmonton has become the first Canadian destination and just the fourth North American city to achieve Destination GBAC STAR accreditation. Explore Edmonton secured the certification in collaboration with Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels (EDMH), Oilers Entertainment Group, TRAXX Coachlines, Edmonton Convention Centre, and Edmonton EXPO Centre.

RELATED: ISSA’s GBAC STAR accreditation success is a sign of a cleaner world

GBAC STAR is an industry accreditation focused on ensuring a clean, safe, and healthy environment in public and commercial facilities of all sizes. The program outlines best practices, protocols, and procedures to control risk factors associated with infectious disease, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. GBAC STAR accreditation means that venues’ cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention programs implement best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics like COVID-19.

To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must follow specific performance and guidance criteria to show compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment to personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency preparedness and response measures. The program is ideal for facilities of all sizes including, but not limited to offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, stadiums, and other public venues.

MediaEdge is a proud reseller of the GBAC STAR and GBAC fundamentals online course. Please see the program details and links below.

  1. Commercial facility owners looking for GBAC STAR accreditation can follow the link here.
  2. ISSA has also released a GBAC fundamentals online course specifically designed for cleaning workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. Please click here to register and receive a discount off normal prices.

For additional program details and information, please email chuckn@mediaedge.ca or contact him at (416) 803-4653.

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