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Brampton bans garage sales in latest move to curb spread of coronavirus
May 1, 2020
Graeme Frisque

Garage sale season is officially cancelled this year in Canada’s ninth-largest city.

Bramptonians hoping to use the nicer spring weather and the extra time during the COVID-19 lockdown to host a garage or yard sale to clean out their basements and garages are going to have to wait until physical distancing measures are lifted.

Mayor Patrick Brown announced the decision to ban garage sales across the whole city until further notice during a phone-in press conference on Wednesday (April 29).

“On the advice of public health (and) our emergency team here in the City of Brampton, we’re not going to be allowing garage sales. It’s too much of a risk to have this virus spread, so you’re going to have to wait for your favourite garage sales once we get through this COVID-19 pandemic,” Brown told reporters. “Garage sales are not an essential service.”

The city did not provide a timeline for when yard sales and other activities like farmers markets might be allowed again. City facilities such as recreation centres, parks outside of trails and city hall have been shuttered since early March and all city events have been cancelled until at least July 2.

Last week, the city launched a working group to plan for the gradual reopening of city facilities and services headed by Wards 3 and 4 Coun. Martin Medeiros.

“I’d like to reiterate there are no timelines. We will follow strictly the guidelines of public health,” Medeiros told reporters on April 22.

The mayor said he doesn’t anticipate any COVID-19 measures being lifted for some time, calling June the “best-case scenario” and cautioning they could extend to July or longer depending on guidance from public health.

Both the city and province declared states of emergency in March to implement safety measures, such as the closures of non-essential businesses like bars and restaurants outside of takeout and delivery.

The city also enacted a bylaw a short time later prohibiting both public and private gatherings of more than five people not of the same household. Fines for violating the physical distancing bylaw are typically $880 but can range up to $100,000 in some cases.