Ross Andersen
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TORONTO –
Toronto shoppers flooded stores and malls on Saturday as many tried last-minute vacation shopping before non-essential stores closed for nearly a month amid the city’s impending lockdown

Toronto and the Peel region face a lockdown as of Monday that will close most non-essential businesses, including seating in restaurants, gyms and hair salons.The lockdown is expected to last at least 28 days.Hamilton, Durham and York are all in the red zone of the province brought

Lineups in department stores spanned the length of city blocks in Toronto, many said they would shop on vacation before retailers close

Shopping centers, including the Yorkdale Shopping Center and the Toronto Eaton Center, as well as many hair salons extended their hours to meet the high demand

Mimi Kypreos, a Toronto boutique owner, said she was concerned about an uncertain future next Monday

“That really shook me because the first time I survived and pushed like crazy,” Kypreos, owner of Mimi’s boutique, told CTV News

Kypreos said she was frustrated with the rules that allow companies to stay open under Ontario’s lockdown restrictions

“I can social distance, I can close my doors and I can have one customer here at a time. I’m frustrated that we opened Walmart. How is your social distance in Walmart?” “

Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford has urged residents to shop locally rather than shop online or through big box retailers However, many of these larger businesses remain closed while smaller independent businesses are closing their doors

The upcoming Ontario restrictions are set to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Ontario, along with three other provinces, broke its record for new daily cases on Saturday: New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan

“This closure is now needed to bring this under control in our communities, to stop the flow into our hospitals and to protect our schools and nursing homes,” he said

Infectious disease specialist DR Isaac Bogoch said there was no telling what difference the Ontario lockdown would make, but he was optimistic

“It will take some time for the results of such a guideline to be implemented,” Bogoch told CTV News Channel on Saturday

However, Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist, said he did not see the provincial decision to close small businesses on par while larger grocery aisle retailers like Costco and Walmart could stay open

“I don’t see a problem with hairdressers. I don’t see a problem with small stores. I see a problem with large stores that stay open,” he said

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti encouraged Ontarians to adhere to the lockdown rules and not to travel outside of their home regions to shop in other areas with loose restrictions

“The red zone is here for a reason. We need to reduce the number of cases. That’s everyone’s priority,” he said

A ban on the in-person sale of non-essential items was announced in Manitoba Thursday, and it went into effect on Friday

“I urge Winnipeggers to stay home and support the local people,” Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman told CTV News on Saturday make your purchase sooner than later “

Canada reported on Saturday 5000 new cases of COVID-19 as of March have more than 324000 Canadians tested positive for COVID-19 and 11406 have died

On Saturday the 21st November 2020, shoppers flock to the shopping center in Scarborough city center with a lockdown beginning Monday, shoppers filling malls THE CANADIAN PRESS / Frank Gunn

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Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/shoppers-flood-malls-as-toronto-lockdown-looms-1.5199672