Constant State of Flux – How Downtown Businesses are Adapting to Doing Business During a Pandemic

Part 17

Reopening Downtown Hamilton

As the weather continues to get even warmer, many of us have been anxious to start enjoying more activities with friends and family. The province announced on Monday that Ontario will be moving to Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Detailed information on the stages of the Roadmap can be found here, but this first step will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table, and non-essential retail to open at 15% capacity (all with COVID-19 protocols in place). Personal services are not permitted to open until Step 2 is enacted.

The move to begin the reopening plan means that restaurants will once again welcome diners to their outdoor patios. With multiple restaurants in our area offering pop up patios as well as the outdoor dining district on King William returning for another summer, there will be ample opportunity to get out and enjoy patio season! For a full list of all of our members offering patio options please click here. Our restaurants are excited to serve you again, but times will vary for when some patios are up and running so remember to call ahead or check out their social media to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on restrictions, hours, and full details. If you’re not ready to head out for patios just yet not to worry, you can still enjoy take out from all your favourite places and enjoy at home or even as a picnic.

Step 1 of the plan also means you will be able to shop in person again at retail shops that choose to open while some will continue to offer curbside and online shopping only. Make sure to check in with our unique shops – Len, Dr. Disc, Witch’s Fix, Charles & Hunt, The Local Skateshop, and Mablellie’s Drawer (recently opened at 27 John Street North!) – to see what options are available.

With the reopening plan in place and beautiful weather upon us, there is no better time to get out and explore downtown Hamilton. In addition to shops and restaurants, you will also find some great self-guided tours to enjoy including Memory Lane, a project that allows you to learn about the history of many downtown buildings and their businesses. Simply search for QR codes in windows throughout the Downtown Hamilton BIA (you may spot some in planters as well) and scan with your smartphone to pull up details on what was once there. A full list of properties included on the tour can be found here to explore from home. You’ll also find a self-guided public art tour with an online map here highlighting public art pieces in the core.

Downtown Hamilton businesses have been missing the hustle and bustle of people and are undoubtedly looking forward to welcoming you back. No matter what outings you choose to take part in as we once again begin to reopen, please remember to be patient and follow all COVID-19 restrictions that are still required. Thank you for your ongoing support of local businesses!






If you are a Downtown Hamilton BIA member business and would like to share your experiences during COVID-19 please email Suzi Ozer at



The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.