Ontario is currently operating on a COVID-19 Response Framework, which dictates what restrictions and protocols must be in place, depending on the level of public health measures imposed on a given region.

HPBA Canada contacted the Government of Ontario to determine how restrictions in the “Lockdown” level relate to specialty retailers such as those in the hearth and barbecue product lines. (As of today, Toronto and Peel Region are in the Lockdown level.


Retail permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted)

Exceptions where in-person shopping is permitted: Schedule 2 of O. Reg. 654/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1, which dictates which businesses may remain open, includes, but is not limited to, the following which most closely relate to our industry:

The following businesses that engage in retail sales to the public:
1. Supermarkets and grocery stores.
2. Convenience stores.
3. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries.
4. Hardware stores.
5. Safety supply stores.
6. Pharmacies.
7. Stores, other than stores described in section 3, that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits.

Unfortunately, officials at the province will not provide a definitive “yes or no” answer about a specific business in relation to in-person shopping, beyond pointing to the language in this regulation.

Installation / Service

Businesses that may remain open:

43. Construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services.
46. Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage and natural gas distribution, transmission and storage.

Officials with the province indicated that they believe installations would be permitted by line 43 of Schedule 2.

Ultimately, it must be the choice of an individual business to determine if they feel their business appropriately qualifies as one of the businesses permitted to remain open according to the language in the regulation.

The only definitive arbitration of this decision would take place if a provincial inspector or municipal bylaw officer were to visit the businesses, and inquire on what grounds the business is continuing operation. At this point, the decision would be with the inspector as to if the operation is appropriate, or if they wish to impose any of the penalties laid out in the Reopening Ontario Act, which are as follows:


10 (1) Every person who fails to comply with subsection 9.1 (2) or (3) or with a continued section 7.0.2 order or who interferes with or obstructs any person in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty conferred by such an order is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction,
(a) in the case of an individual, subject to clause (b), to a fine of not more than $100,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year;
(b) in the case of an individual who is a director or officer of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $500,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year; and
(c) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $10,000,000. 2020, c. 17, s. 10 (1); 2020, c. 23, Sched. 6, s. 3.

To discuss any of these matters, feel free to contact:

Adam De Caire

Director, Public Affairs
HPBA Canada
(647) 998-4235