Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Peter Gosling, co-owner and barber at Glassbox Barbershop, cuts the hair of a client, in Toronto, on July 10, 2019.

Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

As Toronto approaches four months of strict pandemic measures that have kept hair salons shuttered, health officials in the city say they aren’t ruling out allowing haircuts and other such services to resume outdoors.

Toronto’s top doctor, Eileen de Villa, said this week that while the focus so far has been on outdoor dining and fitness, health officials are open to considering other activities that could take place outside.

The city is currently in the “grey-lockdown” zone of Ontario’s colour-coded pandemic plan, which allows some retailers to open with limits but only permits restaurants to do takeout and delivery orders.

Story continues below advertisement

Local health officials have asked the province to loosen some of the restrictions on outdoor activities.

Some Toronto salon owners, however, say that though they’re eager to get back to work, doing so outdoors poses several logistical challenges.

They note the lack of outdoor space at many salons, particularly in the city’s downtown, as well as the absence of electricity and water, which are required to wash and blow-dry hair.

What’s more, they say stylists and their clients would be at the mercy of the weather.

“I’m happy to get to work on anything right now but I don’t see that as being a really smooth process unless we have sunny, calm, bright days every day, and they allow salons to spread out on the sidewalk or even onto the (street) parking,” said Tyler Moore, owner of Parlour Salon, which has three locations across the city.

Even then, the number of stylists able to work in that space would be limited, as would the type of services they could offer, Moore said.

“You can’t wash their hair because they can’t go in to get it washed, so it’s just haircuts,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Dat Tran, who owns Album Hair in Toronto’s east and west ends, said it’s likely only a small percentage of salons would be able to move their operations outdoors.

“The majority of people downtown don’t have the space,” Tran said.

Aside from the possible discomfort of wind or rain, the weather also poses technical challenges when it comes to working on hair, he said.

“You can’t control the temperature when it comes to colour. Colour has to be room temperature or it doesn’t process really well. I don’t think a lot of people understand that spect of it,” he said.

A better solution to help struggling salons would be to designate hair stylists as frontline workers so they could be prioritized for vaccination, Tran said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says people across the province can’t let their guard down as the province’s science advisers warn of a third wave of COVID-19. Ford said that people must continue to follow public-health guidance even as vaccines become more widely available. The Canadian Press

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies