July 7, 2020

Good morning,

Local medical officers of health have the authority to implement mandatory face mask policies in their regions under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

In lieu of a province-wide regulation, some municipalities across Ontario have issued their own bylaws whereas other municipalities have taken the first steps towards toward mandatory masks.

Note that some municipalities have exceptions to the bylaw for young children or people who can’t wear masks for medical reasons.


Effective July 7, wearing a mask or face covering will be required in indoor public and enclosed indoor spaces under the Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw. This means masks will be required on public transportation such as the TTC as well as inside shops, grocery stores and malls.

The bylaw does not include most office settings and other workplaces not open to the public, but would include public areas in those buildings such as lobbies and public washrooms.

Businesses that are Exempt from this Bylaw include:

      • Schools
      • Post-secondary institutions
      • Child care facilities
      • Private and public transportation (the TTC has its own bylaw)
      • Hospitals, independent health facilities
      • Offices of regulated health professionals
      • Apartment buildings and condominiums, including their common areas
      • An area that is not enclosed or indoors (e.g. restaurant patio)

People who are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering include the following but not limited to:

      • Children under the age of two. 
      • Individuals with a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask. 
      • Individuals, who are unable to put on or remove a mask without assistance.
      • Employees and businesses not open to the public.
      • People who require accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.


Starting at 12:01 a.m., on July 7, residents of eastern Ontario, including the City of Ottawa, will be required to wear non-medical masks in indoor public places. The directive was issued today in a joint announcement by the medical officers of health for Ottawa Public Health, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

In Ottawa, this directive will eventually be replaced by a temporary bylaw. On July 15th, City Council will vote on a motion for a bylaw. 


Last week, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health and Mayors of Brampton, Mississauga and the Town of Caledon announced plans to explore measures like temporary by-laws, that would require that residents wear a non-medical mask inside public spaces. 

On July 2, Brampton city council voted unanimously to make wearing masks in enclosed spaces mandatory. The bylaw will be ratified on July 8 during the next council meeting. 

In Mississauga, a bylaw will be considered on July 8.


Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health was the first to issue an order in early June stating that anyone who enters a commercial establishment in the region is required to wear a mask or face covering while remaining inside the establishment. 


Last night the Region of Waterloo council voted unanimously to make face masks mandatory in most indoor public spaces and on local transit. The bylaws take effect July 13 through September 30, unless extended by council.

Other regions that have enacted a mandatory mask rule include Kingston and Windsor-Essex. Hamilton, Niagara and Simcoe-Muskoka are still in the process of considering making masks mandatory in indoor spaces.