OTTAWA -- The Ontario Government has expanded the list of non-essential businesses that must remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford announced the new list of essential workplaces on Friday, just days after extending Ontario’s state of emergency for at least two weeks.

Businesses not considered essential must remain closed for two weeks, effective 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.

Essential businesses allowed to stay open include grocery stores, pharmacies, LCBO and Beer Stores, convenience stores, and bars and restaurants for delivery and take out only.

Cannabis stores are now required to remain closed. Hardware stores are allowed to remain open for pick-up and delivery only. 

Here is a look at some of the 44 businesses considered essential. A full list of essential workplaces is available on the Ontario Government's website

Supply Chains

  • Businesses that supply other businesses or essential services within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario.


  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Discount and big box retailers selling groceries
  • Restaurants (take-out, drive-thru and delivery service only)
  • Beer and wine and liquor stores


  • Pharmacies
  • Gas stations and other fuel suppliers
  • Laundromats and drycleaners
  • Security services for residences, businesses and other properties
  • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance
  • Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services
  • Funeral and related services
  • Staffing services including providing temporary help
  • Veterinary services
  • Home child care services of up to six children as permitted under the Child Care and Early Years Act
  • Hotels, motels, other shared rental accommodation including student residences
  • Cheque cashing services

Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale (pick-up or delivery)

  • Hardware products
  • Vehicle parts
  • Pet and animal supplies
  • Office supplies

Financial services

  • Capital markets and related securities trading and advisory services
  • Banking/credit union activities including credit intermediation
  • Insurance
  • Real estate agent services
  • Pension and benefits payment services
  • Financial services including payroll and payment processing and accounting and tax services

Telecommunications and IT infrastructure

  • Information Technology services, including online services, software products and the facilities necessary for their operation and delivery
  • Telecommunications providers and services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc.)

Transportation services

  • Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services, including taxis and other private transportation providers

Agriculture and food production

  • Businesses that produce food and beverages, and agriculture products including plants, including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing
  • Businesses that process, manufacture or distribute food, beverages, crops, agricultural products, animal products and by-products
  • Businesses that support the food or agriculture products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants


  • Construction projects and services associated with the health care sector
  • Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of criminal provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance
  • Residential construction project where, a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
  • Residential construction projects where an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings

Community Services

  • Sewage treatment and disposal
  • Collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste
  • Potable drinking water
  • Critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges
  • Government services including but not limited to policing and law enforcement, fire and emergency services, paramedics, coroner and pathology services, corrections and court services, licences and permits.