The Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs will begin their seasons with a full venue after the province announced it would lift capacity limits for certain indoor and outdoor environments.
Starting at 12:01 am Saturday, 100% capacity will be allowed in the following locations:
- Concert halls, theaters and cinemas;
- Spectator areas for sports and recreational facilities (would not include gymnasiums, personal training);
- Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces should always limit capacity to the number that can maintain a physical distance);
- Horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar sites; and
- Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.
“We are delighted to see the day arrive when we can host a full hall to cheer on the Maple Leafs and Raptors,” said Michael Friisdahl, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE).
MLSE says they will start welcoming a full crowd for the Maple Leafs home opener on October 13.
The health ministry said those settings also include wedding services and receptions at event venues, but do not apply to services in churches.
Proof of vaccination is currently required in Ontario for all indoor activities and outdoor event venues.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Kieran Moore said earlier this week that a number of recent outbreaks have been linked to marriages, but noted that next week proof of vaccination will be required to attend weddings and funerals in meeting and event spaces.
The province says that since the proof of vaccination requirement came into effect, two key milestones have been achieved with 86.8% of people aged 12 and over vaccinated with at least a first dose and nearly 82% with two doses.
Capacity limits will remain in effect for all remaining sectors, including restaurants, retail stores and personal care services.
With files from The Canadian Press