toronto new years

Toronto Mayor John Tory begs people not to go to house parties for New Year's

New Year's Eve 2020 in Toronto and around the globe is bound to be — let's face it — pretty damn disappointing this year due to a resurgence of COVID-19 and resulting health and safety measures.

Though most of us will be heeding governmental orders to stay home with only those we live with, there are still some who are surely planning to defy restrictions and get together with pals, as people have apparently been doing, to ring in what we all hope will be a more promising and fruitful New Year.

In a media briefing on Dec. 30, Toronto Mayor John Tory called on residents to remain vigilant over these last few days of the year, and to hunker down and embrace this anticlimactic New Year's Eve for what it unfortunately has to be.

"My wife Barb would tell you that I always thought New Year’s Eve was overrated anyways," Tory said. "People should just chill out and stay home with the people they live with."

Though he went on to acknowledge that 2021 couldn't possibly get much worse than 2020 — let's not tempt fate here, mayor — he also expressed faith that things will indeed improve in the New Year with the widespread distribution of the vaccine, which already has healthcare workers dancing with joy.

It is the mindful caution and caring that residents of Toronto have applied in dealing with the pandemic for so many arduous months, in fact, that Tory believes will get us through the next little while until things get closer to normalcy.

"This city has the right stuff, it has the right people to beat this thing. Every single thing that made Toronto the envy of the world is still here," he said. "Most of all, that caring about our city and caring about each other, which will be the key elements in making sure that we govern ourselves accordingly in the coming days."

Tory and officials across Ontario are facing pushback to lockdown measures as of late, especially from struggling retailers, salons and other types of businesses that have proven how little their environments contribute to virus transmission and how devastating stringent lockdown has been for them.

There is also the fact that some politicans themselves have not been abiding by the very things they're asking of their constituents: Ontario MPP Randy Hillier shared a photo of himself having a holiday dinner with at least 14 other people earlier this week, while our finance minister, Rod Phillips, is being condemned for taking a personal vacation to St. Bart's when non-essential travel is being discouraged.

Tory on Wednesday called Phillips' controversial move a "mistake," saying that "I stand by my friends when they make mistakes... he's a human being and he made a mistake."

Residents are being asked to try their best to connect and celebrate NYE virtually tomorrow evening, such as with Zoom hangouts or by streaming the CN Tower's special lights show and countdown.

Also, to avoid hosting or attenting house parties, as tempting as it may be to make things a little more exciting with the risk of spreading an infectious disease and/or getting fined for an illegal gathering, which is currently defined across Ontario as any indoor get together with people that aren't a part of your household.

Lead photo by

d_pham


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