TORONTO -- While the Ontario government has refused to implement a province-wide mandatory mask rule, it has left the decision up to individual regions.

A number of towns and cities are now working on policies to make masks mandatory for people inside enclosed public or commercial spaces.

Here are what some regional and city councils in the Greater Toronto Area are deciding on: 


Toronto has now made it mandatory to wear face masks while inside enclosed public spaces. The policy came into effect on Tuesday in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses start to reopen.

People in Toronto will now be required to wear a mask on public transportation and inside shops, grocery stores and malls.

They will not need to wear a mask while at home, while eating on a patio or at most workplaces where physical distancing is possible. It will also not apply to child-care centres or people who have underlying medical conditional that make it difficult to wear a mask.

Durham Region

Durham Region has said it will make masks mandatory for residents in public indoor spaces starting Friday. The new policy was announced in a statement issued Monday.

All residents will be required to wear a face covering while visiting enclosed commercial or public spaces, including public business offices, libraries and community centres.

The statement said that businesses will be required to implement the policy and to “refuse entry” to people who are not wearing one. Children aged two and under are exempt from the policy, as well as anyone with a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to wear a mask.

York Region

York Region Council is holding a special meeting on Thursday to decide on its own mandatory mask policy. Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti was the lead on asking the Ontario government to implement a province-wide rule for a while. He is now trying to make face coverings mandatory in his region.

Peel Region

Peel Region and its area municipalities in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga are also planning on implementing a mandatory masks rule.

The rule would temporarily require residents to wear a non-medical mask inside public spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Like the other regions, children under the age of two and people with medical conditions will not have to wear one.

Brampton city council decided on making masks mandatory at a special council meeting last week. The new policy is expected to be ratified by council on Wednesday.

Mississauga is also pursuing similar policies. Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she expects council to pass the bylaw on Wednesday. Caledon also passed a bylaw making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces as of Friday.