By Gabriela Aguilera, Ross Cadranel, Tommy Desormeaux and Raymond Cabbab
The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more serious. Schools have closed, gas prices have fallen, and places that are typically busy have become ghost towns. The following photos show just how unusual things have become in the GTA.
Bramalea City Centre Mall is one of the busiest spots in Brampton. The usually crowded mall is now deserted due to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, March 24, the Town of Oakville declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The town has also set up a dedicated web-page for up to date information on COVID-19.
Oakville Town Hall has closed its doors and is only providing essential services.
Grocery stores around town are running out of cleaning supplies, toilet paper and canned goods. Many grocery stores have increased pay for employees working through the pandemic.
Oakville Place has also become a ghost town. The only store open inside this usually busy mall is a Shoppers Drug Mart.
Rush-hour isn’t a thing anymore. Traffic on highway 403 is at a standstill in the evening. It’s been that way for more than a week.
Even at the local GO station, things are desolate. As a train arrives, there is no rush of people getting off and the parking lot is barren. GO Transit also introduced new safety measures.
Sheridan College is closed and has moved the remainder of this semester’s classes online.
All Ontario high schools are closed until April 5.
Gas prices have dropped significantly due to a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Still, fewer people are driving to and from work.
The City of Mississauga is also under a state of emergency. Mayor Bonnie Crombie made the declaration on Monday. A long list of stores and services are closed until at least April 5 to lower the chance of community spread of COVID-19.
Most places of worship have called off in person ceremonies and masses. Some are streaming their services on social media, while others have canceled them.
Public transit like the city’s MiWay buses are also, by and large, deserted.
Schools remain shuttered with children sent home for weeks, potentially longer. Parks were surprisingly full of locals seeking fresh air and some kind of diversion after days of quarantine.
Movie theatres have also been shuttered to try to prevent community spread.
Gas prices have plunged and the commute to Toronto is a breeze. Most residents have taken up the advice to work from home.
Mississauga’s Square One mall is considered the city’s central shopping hub. The pandemic has prompted the majority of stores to close. The usually busy mall is eerily bare.