On Steeles Avenue, living rooms and patios can open, but only on one side of the road


Dozens of nail and hair salons line to Steeles Avenue in Toronto, in the north, but while the shops on one side of the street was bustling with weekend customers this Saturday, the businesses on the other were locked up with their lights.The road serves as the border between the City of Toronto and York Region, and while the latter is in the second step of re-opening the former has a higher concentration of COVID-19-case basis and remains at the Stage 1, so that many services are still closed.

For residents of Toronto, close to the border, access to some services is now a matter of crossing the street.

The nolaSalon in Vaughan, Ontario., Sofia Romashova says that there were some walk-ins, of Toronto, when they first opened on Friday, even if they are now booked for the next three weeks.

Some clients come from as far as the centre of the city of Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario.

“We are booked from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.,” said Romashova, adding that his lounge is only accepting three of the clients to ensure that they can keep a distance between customers.

The lounge was not allowing customers to sit on the couches inside, and went through an intense process of cleaning after each client.

Michelle Clark, a customer who was getting his hair cut on Saturday afternoon, said she was from Toronto, but at a walking distance of the salon.

“I’m lucky to live where I live,” she said.

“I don’t see what the point was at the opening of the York Region, not Toronto, but I guess it is more for the people in the city centre.”

Further along Steeles, customers have been enjoying the coffee and the pitchers of beer on a terrace at the Tickled Toad Pub & Grill, where the second stage of the re-opening has allowed restaurants and bars to serve the customers outside seating area.

The pub is open, the patio, Friday, and the owner Paul Merrimel said that there was an emergency from when they opened at noon until closing.

“It was a crazy day,” said Merrimel, adding that they had to tape off a section of the promenade in order to take account of the long line that formed.

“Everyone was happy to get some kind of normality happening, the atmosphere was fantastic.”

Merrimel said that they have a lot of regulars who live just across the street in Toronto, which were to come to the support of the bar.

Then he says that they are lucky to be able to open before places, to the south end of the street, their activity is still very limited. The pub is licensed for up to 200 people, but is currently only used for 36 at a time.

In the past, Merrimel said that being in Vaughan had been a disadvantage at bars in Toronto have been authorized to extend the hours for the sports events and his was not.

“This time, we are a bit ahead and we got a jump on things, which is good,” he said.

“We are obviously on the right side of the street.”


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