Hello! We are pleased to announce our plan to cautiously reopen the Toronto Buddhist Church (TBC) for services only on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 10:00 am with the service starting at 11:00 am. The safety of all our temple members and guests continues to be our utmost concern and we must remain vigilant in the continuing battle with COVID-19.
The onset of COVID-19 has highlighted the fact that our individual actions affect our collective health. Therefore, we have taken great care to create in-depth safety protocols in accordance with local and federal regulations and international recommendations. Please take the time to read all of the information and protocols and do your best to adhere to the new requirements.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS of the new Safety Protocols
Please read “General Protocols for Service Attendees” for details.
- The Hondo will be limited to 50 people per service
- You will be required to pre-reserve your spot in the Hondo.
- Each attendee (including children) must complete a health questionnaire for every service (below)
- You will be required to wear a face covering at all times while on TBC property, sanitize your hands and observe physical distancing practices.
- The temple will be fully cleaned after each service with all high touch areas sanitized/disinfected frequently.
- Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available.
If an attendee chooses not to abide by TBC’s protocols they will be asked to leave for the safety of others. Those with a Facebook account will be able to attend our live-streamed services.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS of Changes
- Shotsuki Services will be held 3 times per month in order to accommodate everyone. Please check the schedule for dates.
- There will be no group singing or chanting out loud.
- There will be no books, nenju, headsets, or montoshikisho to borrow.
- Please leave your offertory in the box as baskets will not be passed.
- There will be no Kids’ Sangha as we are not permitted to conduct children’s programs at this time.
- There will be no refreshments or socializing inside the temple.
Our re-opening coincides with our September Shotsuki Memorial Service (Sunday September 13, 2020), which honors those who have passed away in September.
Even a carefully measured reopening carries the risk of contagion, so please carefully consider your own risk category (eg. over the age of 70; with compromised immune systems; living with or caring for someone with a compromised immune system) and your willingness and ability to abide by our carefully considered safety protocols. Our services will be live-streamed.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We hope you are well and we look forward to seeing you soon.
TBC Board of Directors
General Requirements/Protocols for Service Attendees
To help reduce and minimize exposure to and to control the spread of COVID-19, the following protocols will be implemented for those attending in-person services.
- Anyone who wishes to attend a service on Sunday, will be required to pre-register via email, our website or telephone, by the previous Wednesday. The preferred method is through email or our website so as not to overwhelm the office. Registration will open on Monday for the following Sunday. All attendees (including children) must be registered. Please indicate if you wish to sit with others who are in your social circle. Registration after Wednesday is by availability only and you may not be able to sit with those in your social circle. Registration for September starts on the 4th due to the holiday on Monday.
- All individuals (including volunteers and staff) will sanitize their hands and submit a completed health questionnaire (1 per person) to a greeter as they enter the temple through the front door only. This information will be used for contact tracing purposes and will be destroyed after 30 days. Please arrive early to allow for physical distancing and entry protocols.
- Anyone who has travelled outside the country within the past 2 weeks, is not feeling well, is showing any of the signs listed in the health questionnaire, or suspects they have been exposed to COVID-19 should stay home. Services will be live-streamed.
- Everyone will be required to wear a face covering for the entire time they are on TBC property (including the parking lot) as required by the City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020.
- TBC will have disposable non-surgical face masks or reusable cloth face masks available for purchase/donation for those who do not bring their own.
- Any individual who cannot or refuses to wear a face covering will be asked to leave. Please consider not only your own personal safety but the safety of those who are more vulnerable.
- Everyone will be immediately directed into the Hondo and assisted to find a seat. Please do not move the chairs.
- Everyone is asked to bring their own nenju, montoshikisho and service books, if you have them. There will be none to borrow. Headsets will no longer be available.
- There will be no group singing or chanting out loud. Only the Minister/leader will chant.
- No incense offering or offertory baskets will be passed. Please leave your offering in the offertory box.
- At the end of the service, everyone will be escorted (with appropriate separation) directly out of the building. Cleaning and disinfecting of the temple will take place.
- There will be no public access to the 2nd floor and lower level areas. Lower level washrooms are reserved for emergencies only.
- The elevator will be limited to one person unless you are in the same household.
To register for Services
Before registering, please fill out and bring this questionnaire with you to each service.
You can register for service by doing one of the following: