UPDATED: Some seasonal businesses to reopen in Ontario today as COVID-19 spread slows

Garden centre

TORONTO - Ontario will start tiptoeing back to normalcy today, allowing a small list of mostly seasonal businesses to reopen as the spread of COVID-19 slows.

Premier Doug Ford announced the plan on Friday and said it should be seen as a ``glimmer of hope'' that the province's efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus are working.

The businesses include garden centres that offer curbside pick-up, lawn care and landscaping companies and automatic car washes.

Auto dealerships can reopen but by appointment only, and marinas and golf courses can prepare to reopen.

The number of confirmed cases in the province climbed to 17,553 on Sunday, an increase of 2.5 per cent over the previous day.

Ontario has now seen 1,216 deaths linked to the virus, many of which are in the province's long-term care homes.

Here's a list of businesses that can reopen today:

• Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;

• Lawn care and landscaping;

• Additional essential construction projects that include:
        o shipping and logistics;
        o broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
        o any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
        o municipal projects;
        o colleges and universities;
        o child care centres;
        o schools; and
        o site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and
           residential development;
• Automatic and self-serve car washes;

• Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;

• Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public.

• Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.