Published Tuesday, November 24, 2020 9:26AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 24, 2020 12:58PM EST
On Monday, Toronto and Peel Region officially entered a 28-day lockdown, forcing restaurants to close their patios and keep indoor dining rooms shuttered.
Restaurants can still offer takeout and delivery during the lockdown.
”Why we are getting singled out and the big, multinational corporations are all essential,” Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue, said in a post on Instagram.
“Come on guys. Enough is enough. We're opening.”
He said the Etobicoke location will be open for dine-in service starting today and customers could be seen dining inside the restaurant shortly after it opened at 11 a.m.
City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross said enforcement action will be taken against anyone who refuses to comply with provincial orders.
“The City is aware of a restaurant promoting their opening in defiance of provincial orders. Should any business that is prohibited to open do so, it will be investigated and appropriate enforcement action will be taken,” he said in a statement to CP24.
Mayor John Tory told reporters Tuesday that he did not yet have the circumstances of the Adamson instance before him, but said the move to flout the lockdown was a “political statement,” and the owner should “perhaps know better.
“This is a duly passed regulation put in place by the Government of Ontario to help address a very acute health pandemic, COVID-19, and there has to be respect shown to those laws and regulations by everybody,” he said. “It’s all hands on deck here in terms of people showing respect for those rules, whether or not they agree with them.”
Patrons were seen lining up in front of the restaurant on Tuesday morning and dozens of supporters have gathered outside.
Police were also spotted inside the restaurant shortly after it opened.
The city has not said what fine the restaurant may face but individuals who violate the province's emergency orders could face fines of anywhere from $750 to $100,000.
Bylaw officers, who were at the restaurant earlier today but have since left, would not provide comment to CP24.
Toronto police Insp. Tim Crone said bylaw and public health officials had attended the restaurant, documented that it was open against public health orders.
“Right now it’s not allowed to stay open – most likely there will be enforcement action taken later this week,” he said.
He said officers were on scene just to ensure public safety but would not be physically hauling away anyone gathered inside or outside the restaurant.
“By the sheer number of people who are here right now, we don’t have the ability to go in and physically remove everyone at this point and it would be unsafe to do so.”
He urged other businesses not to follow suit and flout the law, as frustrated as they might be.
“I would discourage similar activity because it is unlawful – it is against the Reopening of Ontario Act.”