Mayor John Tory declared a State of Emergency in the city of Toronto today after receiving advice this morning from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management.

The declaration of a municipal emergency is part of our ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will ensure the City can continue to act and respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise in the weeks ahead. While the declaration does not change the Level 3 status of the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, it does provide us with the necessary flexibility to access resources in a more timely way so we can continue to keep the city functioning and safe.

This declaration sends the strongest possible message to our residents to stay home and to change their behaviour. We know the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in our city and that the next few days are absolutely critical in our ongoing efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

This decision was not taken lightly. It is part of an overall collaborative effort and cooperation with the Government of Canada led by Prime Minister Trudeau and the Government of Ontario led by Premier Ford – both of whom the Mayor has worked with throughout this crisis.

It also comes after we learned on the weekend about the first death of a Toronto resident related to COVID-19. It is a tragic reminder that we are confronting a deadly virus. That is why it’s so important that we all continue to do everything we can to keep COVID-19 from continuing to spread.

The Mayor continues to ask all non-essential businesses to close – as the Medical Officer of Health has urged publicly – and as the Government of Ontario has ordered. Mayor Tory supports this action and has been clear that he will support further recommendations and orders from the Medical Officer of Health and the provincial and federal governments if people do not comply with the need to stay home.

Later this afternoon, Dr. Eileen de Villa and Chief Matthew Pegg will outline, in greater detail, what this declaration means for essential and/or critical workers, and how it assists in the City’s operations as we work to protect Torontonians. You can watch this media conference live at 4 p.m. on our YouTube channel

Once again, thank you for your dedication and commitment to the residents and businesses of Toronto. As always, your safety is our top priority. This measure furthers that commitment. If you have questions, you can send them to

Questions? Email: / Information line: 416-338-0016

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