Toronto

Premier Doug Ford 'frustrated' over large lines outside store amid video game release

Premier Doug Ford expressed frustration after hearing about the massive lines outside of a video game store in Toronto at today’s press conference.

EB Games says it intends to stay open despite calls for social distancing

Gamers waiting outside the EB games store on Yonge Street for the newest Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom: Eternal releases. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Premier Doug Ford expressed his frustration after massive lines were seen outside a video game store in Toronto Friday. 

"It's unacceptable," said Ford. "This is exactly what causes the spread. I just can't stress it enough."

The line ran outside of the EB Games on Yonge Street and was prompted by the release of two new video games:  Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom: Eternal.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the store announced its intention to remain open, despite concerns. It also acknowledged nationwide efforts to social distance, stating it will allow only 10 customers in the store "at any given time" and will no longer accept cash or trades.

The store also noted it would be closed to walk-in traffic Friday and reserved entry to customers with special Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom: Eternal access.

Images of the line show slight gaps in between people, but not the two metres recommended by the province's chief medical officer of health.

The games are also available for purchase online.

So far, the province has not required non-essential services to shut down and continues to urge the public to uphold social distancing measures themselves.

"I'm frustrated with the store owner that would allow this to happen," said Ford. "They have a responsibility. Everyone in this province has a responsibility."

Asked if the store would face some sort of fine, Ford said he would look into it and will likely send a bylaw officer to speak with the store owner.

Toronto mayor John Tory and Toronto's chief medical officer Eileen de Villa also expressed frustration with lineup. 

"This is not an act of good corporate citizenship," said Tory. "No disrespect to that business, but they were asked to close down if they were not an essential business and they chose not to do so."

The line ran outside of the EB Games on Yonge Street and was prompted by the release of two new video games. (Grant Linton/CBC)

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