In Photos: The early months of COVID-19 in the GTA

Varsity photographers capture how Toronto has changed since U of T’s closure
On March 13, the University of Toronto announced that it would cancel all in-person classes across its three campuses due to COVID-19. By March 16, the St. George campus had already begun to empty out. SARINA IANELLI/THE VARSITY
On March 13, the University of Toronto announced that it would cancel all in-person classes across its three campuses due to COVID-19. By March 16, the St. George campus had already begun to empty out. SARINA IANELLI/THE VARSITY

On March 13, the University of Toronto announced that it would cancel all in-person classes across its three campuses due to COVID-19. By March 16, the St. George campus had already begun to empty out. SARINA IANELLI/THE VARSITY

 

Across the GTA, stores began to shutter. At first, many prepared for short closures that would last days rather than weeks, like this sign at the Dundas and Bathurst location of Presotea indicates. JADINE NGAN/THE VARSITY

 

In mid-March, at chain grocery stores like the FreshCo at Bathurst Street and Nassau Street, lines to enter stretched out the front door and shelves were picked clean. Toilet paper was one of the first items to run out. JADINE NGAN/THE VARSITY

 

While chain grocery stores were beset by panic-buying, many independent grocery stores like Ka Wei Supermarket in Chinatown remained well-stocked. JADINE NGAN/THE VARSITY

 

This sign, posted on the front window of Balfour Books in late March, captured the uncertainty and anxiety of the time. JADINE NGAN/THE VARSITY

 

As the days passed, the streets of downtown Toronto grew quieter than usual. AZADEH KASHANI/THE VARSITY

 

Corporate advertisers like H&M have changed their messaging to keep up with the times. AZADEH KASHANI/THE VARSITY

 

Torontonians — along with the rest of Canada — have hunkered down at home, turning to indoor forms of entertainment like Netflix and online games. This Mississauga condo building’s windows have been changing colours with the light from TV screens, long after some residents go to sleep. NOOR AL KAABI/THE VARSITY

 

Near Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario, residents are displaying their support for health care workers. This colourful thank you sign was found on a driveway. MICHELLE FORNASIER/THE VARSITY

 

Physically-distanced lineups outside of stores are the new normal in cities across Canada. At the Eaton Centre, the shoppers pictured here — many of them wearing masks — patiently wait their turn to enter Canadian Tire. JOY FAN/THE VARSITY.

 

Scotiabank Arena, which saw many of its upcoming events cancelled or postponed, displays a giant sign in solidarity with front-line workers. AZADEH KASHANI/THE VARSITY

 

Across the city, smaller signs are lifting spirits. This Little Italy sign serves as a message of unity and kindness in these difficult times, with a peace sign design reminiscent of the SARS-CoV-2 viral particle that causes COVID-19. VERA FRANTSEVA/THE VARSITY

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