Toronto announced it’s cancelling all city-led and city-permitted outdoor events up to and including Canada Day as health officials warn that variants of concern are spreading at an alarming rate.
Mayor John Tory says this includes festivals and other large, in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or other public locations, such as roads, parks, and civic squares.
“Throughout this pandemic, Torontonians have demonstrated their resilience, creativity, and determination, including many event organizers who have brought us together virtually to celebrate cherished events and traditions,” said the mayor.
Tory says the decision was made in consultation with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and major event organizers. This follows the previous cancellation of all such events up to March 31.
“I want to thank all of these organizations for understanding the need to avoid large in-person gatherings in the coming months and thank you to those who have worked to offer virtual events to keep the spirit of these celebrations and in some cases, the fundraising efforts going during these tough times,” added Tory.
“I strongly encourage the business community and as many Toronto residents as possible to support these events and the causes they in turn support. We must persevere to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
De Villa reported 710 cases are being screened for variants of concern – an increase of more than 200 from earlier this week.
- Toronto Marathon, half Marathon, 5k, 10k, and relay (will be a virtual event)
- Sporting Life 10k (will be a virtual event)
- Canadian Music Week (will be a virtual event)
- Doors Open Toronto (cancelled)
- Juno Awards (will be a virtual event)
- Ride for Heart (will be a virtual event)
- NXNE Music Festival (will be a virtual event)
- Luminato (virtual option to be determined)
- The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer (will be a virtual event)
- TD Toronto Jazz Festival (virtual option to be determined)
- Indigenous Arts Festival (will be a virtual event)
- Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival (will be a virtual event)
- Trans March, Dyke March & Pride Parade (will be a virtual event)
- Scarborough Canada Day Parade & Celebration (cancelled)
- Canada Day Celebrations at Mel Lastman Square (cancelled)
The city says for the most up-to-date status of an event to contact the organizer.
The announcement comes on the same day The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) told 680 NEWS they are moving forward with plans to open to the public after the late summer staple was cancelled in 2020.
The event is a major economic driver for the city and reported a loss of $6 million due to the cancellation of last year’s event. The event welcomed 1.5 million guests in 2019.
The 2021 version is scheduled to run from Aug. 20 to Sep. 6.