Video of crowded Ont. HomeSense store draws anger online

Farah Khan
·5 min read
Toronto, Canada - June 3, 2019: HomeSense store in Toronto. 
HomeSense is a Canadian chain of off-price home furnishing stores operated by TJX Company
HomeSense store in Toronto. HomeSense is a Canadian chain of off-price home furnishing stores operated by TJX Company. (Toronto, Canada - June 3, 2019)

On Monday, when York Region entered red zone of Ontario's COVID-19 framework, a video of a lineup inside a HomeSense store in Thornhill, Ont. started circulating Twitter the same evening.

In the video, shoppers are seen standing less than six feet proximity from one another, with shopping carts full of various home goods and decor items.

The video shared by journalist Farah Nasser has already received over 332,000 views.

Although a number of restrictions have been lifted, and businesses are allowed to reopen in York Region's red zone, its neighbouring regions, Toronto and Peel, remain in lockdown until at least March 8.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Toronto Mayor John Tory had recently called on Vaughan's mayor to place additional restrictions in the city as it entered the red zone, such as reducing the maximum number of people allowed in stores.

Their concerns were in regards to people from other cities going to York Region to shop at stores that are closed in their areas.

"We urge all residents to continue following the public health advice in their area and to avoid region-hopping at this time," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

York Region moved to the red zone after consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams.

"While the health indicators have improved enough to allow us to return an additional region to the Framework, we are not yet at the point where we can safely transition back the remainder of the province," said Williams.

"Everyone is strongly advised to continue staying at home, avoid social gatherings, only travel between regions for essential purposes, and limit close contacts to your household or those you live with regardless of which level of the Framework you are in."

In light pf the video's circulation online, HomeSense was trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon as people across Ontario responded to scenes of the lineups and crowds inside the HomeSense store.

Some people are calling out the Ontario government for reopening York Region: