toronto state of emergency

Toronto finally terminates state of emergency after more than 2 years of COVID life

After 777 days, we're finally free!.. or something like that, according to the City of Toronto.

Toronto Mayor John Tory just finally called off a municipal state of emergency that was first declared on March 23, 2020, when COVID-19 first hit in earnest and turned our lives upside down.

"This was the first official emergency declaration in the history of the modern city of Toronto and it was in line with similar emergency declarations in response to COVID-19 by many surrounding municipalities and the Province of Ontario," reads a release from the city issued Monday morning.

"While, COVID-19 remains a serious concern requiring ongoing efforts and vigilance, the City's efforts in fighting COVID-19 have placed Toronto in a position where the emergency declared in response to the pandemic can be terminated."

While it does paint a hopeful picture, the termination of Toronto's emergency state doesn't actually mean a whole lot in terms of what we can and can't do.

Ontario had already lifted most public health restrictions, including vaccine passport and masking requirements, by the beginning of March 2022. The City of Toronto did not implement any Section 22 orders after this point to further crack down on the spread of COVID-19 locally.

"Today's announcement supports the ongoing revitalization of Toronto's economy and cultural vibrancy," reads the city's release. "As the city reopens and in-person spring and summer events return, all residents and visitors to Toronto are asked to be part of the ongoing fight to protect vulnerable people against COVID-19."

The main weapons we have to use in that ongoing fight, says Tory, are vaccines.

"While the City of Toronto is no longer operating under an emergency declaration in response to COVID-19, our work to help people get vaccinated and to lead the economic recovery is continuing," said the mayor on Monday.

"We have made it through this emergency period thanks to our dedicated City staff who confronted this global pandemic – the greatest challenge of our generation – with a determination to do everything we can to help residents and continue to deliver much-needed municipal services."

"As Team Toronto's world-leading COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues, I want to thank everyone who has worked to help people get vaccinated and deliver more than 7 million doses so far," continued Tory.

"Most importantly, I want to thank Toronto residents who have worked with us throughout the emergency period of the pandemic to make sure we get through these tough times and come back stronger than ever."

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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