freedom rally

There are still freedom rallies taking place in Ontario for some reason

While anti-lockdown protests were a weekly occurrence in cities like Toronto during the height of pandemic restrictions, now that COVID-related orders have been completely lifted in the majority of settings, most would think that these groups don't have much more reason to demonstrate.

Mask mandates and vaxpasses have been gone for weeks in all but a few select places, all sectors of business were long ago reopened to the public, pandemic capacity limits are a thing of the past, and we can gather normally with family and friends again.

But some people in the province have kept on publicly rallying for "freedom" on a regular basis up to and including this past weekend.

Locals have been reporting parades of people still taking over city streets in cars and on foot, waving Canadian (and American?) flags, honking, "trashing" nearby businesses and even accosting passersby and workers for choosing to wear masks.

Protests took place in locales such as Niagara Falls and Thunder Bay last weekend, leading to road closures and general confusion about why the heck such events are still going on.

As one person said in a Reddit query, "Am I just completely out of the loop? I thought all mandates/mask requirements are pretty much non-existent in Ontario."

It appears to be residual crowds from the protests that took place far earlier in the health crisis during peak lockdown — as well as the more recent and larger trucker convoys — planned in Facebook community groups dedicated to the moot cause.

"They have made being against vaccines/masks/mandates their entire personality," one Redditor noted in one of the many forums discussing the persisting events.

"It's their hobby. And probably the only people left who are speaking to them," another added.

According to the website for Freedom Fighters Canada, one of the organizations still involved in such events, the groups are calling for "The end of all government mandates; the end of all tyrannical bills and legislature — our government has overstepped its boundaries, we are here to put them back in their place... working for the people not against them."

It seems that the main issues, now that most measures have gone by the wayside, is the fact that partially or unvaccinated residents face a different set of rules for entering the country after travel; that unvacinated individuals are still unable to enter the U.S. and other countries; and the fact that face coverings are still required on planes and trains within Canada.

Unfortunately for the few still fighting what they perceive to be the good fight, it doesn't seem like many people really sympathize with their cause — in fact, they seem to feel quite the opposite, wishing that if people were going to bother protesting, they would be bringing up "actual issues like inflation and housing costs."

Lead photo by

Church of Bubbles


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Someone photoshopped J. Cole onto an Ontario election campaign sign in Toronto

Someone was spotted enthusiastically licking a dirty boot on the Toronto subway

Angry nurses in Ontario erect signs warning Doug Ford supporters to stay away

You've probably been breaking all sorts of laws just by being in Toronto parks

Toronto water taxi options for when you want to get to the Island and back

You can now book day passes for pools and rooms at luxury hotels in Toronto

Everything you need to know about the ferry to the Toronto Islands

Major streets in Toronto to be closed to cars for the Victoria Day long weekend