Another Boxing Day over. I really don't know what Boxing Day is like outside of the GTHA, but quite a few malls and even grocery stores are open here, especially in Toronto. I still remember that Sam the Record Man* would be fined for opening on Boxing Day in the early 1990s, or at least the police threatened to do so. (I don't think the Eaton Centre was allowed to open back then, but I could be wrong.) Now pretty much all of the Toronto downtown is covered in some tourist zone that lifts the closing restrictions. Same thing with Yorkdale and presumably the larger regional malls outside Toronto. Boxing Day is a statutory holiday in Ontario, but it doesn't seem to affect most stores downtown, that's for sure.
People were certainly out and about, and while the TTC wasn't super full, especially in the morning, people were definitely taking it. Most of the restaurants on Queen St. and Dundas were open. (I honestly can't remember if the stores in Chinatown kind of ignored the Boxing Day closing rules in the past or they were small enough that they were exempt.)
I'm pretty sure that movie theatres were allowed to open on Boxing Day in the past, and they were open today, though the numbers of people seeing movies seemed fairly low. Probably because now they can shop... I actually wanted to buy a few more things at the craft store, but in the end I only bought a box of pins!
Many museums were also open on Boxing Day, including the AGO. Again, that is likely a long-standing tradition, since one could argue that one planned to spend time with the family at a museum.
Honestly, I was more surprised that Robarts Library was open, but that worked out for me, and I downloaded a ton of files to sort through for my paper. Now I just need to sit down and sketch it out...
* I definitely did some shopping at Sam the Record Man, including on one visit in the early 2000s, though I don't think I came down for the Boxing Day event, since I don't care for crowds. I probably couldn't point to any specific CD in my collection as having come from Sam's. Perhaps The Waltons and Big Faith CDs.