Mask Exemption: Toronto Bylaw Enforcement Counterstrike

In Toronto, you can file Bylaw Infractions at 311 Toronto, or via 416-392-2489. The City of Toronto Bylaw mandates that they are to accept ANY exemption without proof, and provides that the BUSINESS can be fined for denying you service, if you have told them you are exempt from the bylaw. No proof of exemption is required, or tested.

You are exempt from the Mask or Face Covering requirement for any of the following reasons:

  1. children under two years of age;
  2. persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a Mask or Face Covering;
  3. persons who are unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
  4. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Establishment within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier; and
  5. persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Ignore the Red Herring number 5, which is meant for employee accommodations. You can use any of 1, 2, 3, although 1 will be hard to avoid laughing. Remember the 50-yr old pedo in Toronto who self-identifies as a 6-year old girl?

Tim Hortons (in Toronto, for this article, but I think it's systemic) has a standard policy of posting signs that state:


All persons entering or remaining in these premises shall wear a mask or face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin as required under City of Toronto by-law no. 541-2020.

In an alleged effort of complying with the bylaw. Management of at least one location claims that they have been threatened with a fine by Bylaw Enforcement, if they alter the sign in any way. This would presumedly include actually including the requisite exemption:

Exceptions include people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, or children under two years old, or those who require accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Proof of a medical condition is not required.

But they were told (allegedly) that they cannot alter their signs to include the exemption. In this case, who's legally liable?
The franchisee. Man, we should pile up the claims because the franchises are gonna bust a nut right quick. The full & complete recommended sign is:


Mask Bylaw (letter Toronto 9851)

The City of Toronto (and others, I expect) also alleges that it requires that the staff and employees of establishments are to be trained on the Mask Requirements, and all exemptions to the requirement. The city also requires that "The Operator of the Establishment shall, upon request, provide a copy of the policy for inspection by any person authorized to enforce this By-law."

(Editor: Yet this is the location that demanded a Doctor's Note from me, and claimed that I should be criminally charged for all the people I'll kill by not wearing a mask.)

This policy must include accommodation for the exemptions:

So this means that if you go into any Establishment (cafe, drug store, grocery store, local brothel) and they try to mandate that you wear a mask, you can immediately ask them to show you their policy that enables them to do so, and when they cannot because by the rule they MUST have an exemption, you can (right in front of them) call City of Toronto bylaw enforcement and report them for not accepting your exemption, because their policy is in contravention of the Bylaw, as the rule says:

The policy shall include the following exemptions (see below), and that the policy shall not require employees or members of the public to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out in section 2(a), which states that any "..policy shall include the following exemptions from the requirement to wear a Mask or Face Covering":

  • children under two years of age:
    They cannot demand proof that your child, who was born 18 years ago, is not under 2 years of age;
  • persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a Mask or Face Covering:
    If it makes you uncomfortable to inhibit your breathing;
  • persons who are unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
    Now when you see a parent putting on their child, you can immediately tell inform that their child is exempt, because the child doesn't want to put the muzzle on, they cannot do it without assistance, and thus are EXEMPT from the "rule". So you can literally tell parents their child is exempt because he/she doesn't want it; And a person cannot put a mask on without assistance unless he/she wants to;
    So you're literally, by regulation, exempt from having to wear a mask if you don't want to wear a mask; you only have to follow the rule if you want to.
  • persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
    Reasonable accommodation is set out in the OHRC as a principle for use in accommodating any disability of an employee, so on the surface it's only really meant to protect employees from discrimination, basically. However...
CanLII Ontario Human Rights Code Reasonable Accommodation

Taking the underlying principle of "reasonable accommodation" into account, it generally means that so long as the Establishment can accommodate your not wearing a mask without undergoing undue financial hardship (ie, being sued into oblivion by litigious mask-wearers) they MUST accommodate your exception to the "rule". Same goes for employees not wearing masks.
They either accommodate you not wearing a mask, or they stand reasonable grounds of being sued into oblivion by you and your band of merry critical thinkers.
Mask-wearers are generally dumb as a pile of rocks. So even from a rough glance, stores have MUCH  more risk from violating the unmasked, than they do if hypothetically violating the rights of the mask wearing sheep.
Even without looking at the merits of the cases, it's comical when rendering the odds, the probable outcomes.

So literally, you don't have to comply if you don't want to,
and they cannot demand proof that you're "exempt".

Fuck 'em, I'll put up a form so we can document Establishment that denies you service if you don't want to wear a mask, and we can then regularly frequent said Establishments, document their contravention of the bylaw.

And report them... a report from each and every one of us. I hope they don't choose to go bankrupt. That would be VERY SAD.

Like I said elsewhere, I ain't playing nice, now. Are you still wearing kiddy gloves?

They claim that they will be fined if we do not wear masks, when it is true that they will be fined if they do not allow us to NOT wear a mask. Go beyond civil disobedience and hit them with fines for their abuses.

You can download the PDF directly from or just perv the embed mirror'd below.


Anonymous (not verified), Fri, 07/17/2020 - 10:28
Very interesting read and I made sure I copy this link because wow man this was a lot that I did not know cuz me personally I can't wear masks I sleep with a breathing apparatus when I sleep at night so to me I cannot wear masks but if I'm in a crowded place where I can't social distance for my house I will wear a mask for that short. Of time and when I see any stores having a note up saying if you don't wear a mask you can't come in that's all over the city so these by law enforcers need to go all over the city especially in Parkdale because it's all over Parkdale so these enforcers law by enforcers or whatever they need to go about the city and start charging me stores plain and simple because if you're going against the Human Rights Code that list every business should be charged every business should be ticketed
Anonymous (not verified), Mon, 07/20/2020 - 12:54
Informative if repetitious... but what's the point of printing a facsimile of the sign if it can't be copied in full? ;-)

Chad, Mon, 07/20/2020 - 19:41
You don't need the sign, I've linked to the Toronto bylaw and done an embed of the full doc at the bottom of the article. Please use the feedback button at the bottom of the screen to submit questions or feedback so I can respond to you for clarification.
Thanks for asking that the bylaw be embedded though, better than a screenshot. Knowledge is power.
Anonymous (not verified), Wed, 01/13/2021 - 19:19
Yammy Market from Toronto kicked my off the store becouse they do not accept mask exemption and they refused me the service. They say their policy is mask or shield and they have right to select their customers. Yes, they select only masked / shield customers, becouse is their policy.
The management told me to send a masked friend to shop for me in their store. Costco have the same policy, face covering or not entry ( no extemption ).

Yes, I want to report Yammy Market ( they even asked me to show my medical papers to prove my medical condition ), but they can say is their right to select their customers. Is a good excuse for them to stop any complaint. I am afraid to go again in that store to be humiliated again. Do you have an advice ?
Please submit a complaint with the Mandatory Masking Complaint webform: