halloween 2020

Toronto considering cancelling trick-or-treating this Halloween due to safety risks

As if pretty much every event and holiday we know and love hasn't already been cancelled or ruined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems the virus is likely going to put a damper on yet another beloved tradition: trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Speaking to CP24 this morning, Mayor John Tory said he won't hesitate to cancel the event this Halloween if he's advised to do so by public health officials.

"We don't have the power to just order Halloween cancelled but I can tell you right now if the medical officer of health's advice to me is that I should say to parents, 'You should not go out and you should not be handing out candy and all those kinds of things because we think that it poses a risk, especially with the numbers going up' I wouldn't hesitate for a second to do that,"  Tory said.

"As much as you hate to be the one that announces things that are bad news for people, we just simply have to wrestle this thing to the ground."

He added that he's only had preliminary discussions with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa about the possibility, and she said it would be "premature to deal with at this time."

But cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Toronto, and Mayor Tory says the plausibility of safe trick-or-treating will eventually need to be reevaluated as a result.

So far, jurisdictions across Canada have yet to cancel trick-or-treating ahead of the spooky holiday, but the practice has been banned in Los Angeles due to COVID-related risks.

And in addition to trick-or-treating, many other Halloween traditions are also in jeopardy of becoming non-existent this year thanks to the pandemic, including haunted houses, amusement park events, parties, events at clubs and restaurants and even dressing up.

Fortunately, you can always curl up on the couch with a big bag of candy and a horror movie and call it a night.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

No charges in killing of Ontario rare white moose

This Toronto chipmunk has more than 2 million followers on TikTok

The terrifying man Bloor St. was named after is adding a new twist to Toronto's history

People want to save these historic Parkdale buildings from demolition

A new Presto upgrade means you'll finally be able to see your balance on the TTC

Bridges that have disappeared in Toronto are now reappearing in a new way

Ontario expands capacity limits at sports stadiums and other large event venues

Climate strike protesters fill Toronto streets for global march