new years fireworks toronto

Here's what is going on with New Year's Eve fireworks in Toronto

On the eve of New Year's 2021, residents of Toronto are left wondering if massive fireworks displays at Nathan Phillips Square and the other typical means of celebrating the holiday will be taking place this year.

As we could have expected, the answer is sadly no, given the fact that the entire province of Ontario was placed under the most drastic form of pandemic lockdown last week, and that the city itself has been under similarly tough restrictions since for more than a month now.

The City is instead encouraging people to celebrate remotely, such as by watching the livestream of the CN Tower's special lights show or by participating in the slew of other online events taking place to ring in 2021 tonight.

All of the usual sanctioned in-person events have been called off, as they have been all over the world for the duration of the year.

"Based on the recommendations of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the City, is celebrating New Year's Eve virtually," a City of Toronto spokesperson told blogTO, adding that "crowds are to be avoided" at all costs.

"All in-person New Year's Eve events, including fireworks and celebrations in Nathan Phillips Square, have been cancelled."

Mayor John Tory has also begged his constituents to stay at home celebrating only with those they live with, and not to host or attend any type of house parties or other now-illegal private get-togethers.

Still, with private fireworks posing more of an issue than ever in the city during the health crisis for whatever reason, Torontonians may still expect to hear the odd blast going off from someone's backyard or a local park.

According to City bylaws, though, fireworks can only be set off freely on private property on Victoria Day and Canada Day. The use of them on any other day, including New Year's Eve, requires an official permit from Toronto Fire Services.

Residents are reminded that they are also forbidden to get together with anyone outside of their own household indoors — unless they reside alone — and that outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people socially distanced provincewide at this time.

The City has provided a handy guide of lockdown "do"s and "don't"s for anyone wondering if their New Year's plans, or any plans for that matter, are safe and permissible or not.

Lead photo by

Ben Roffelsen

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