canada day celebrations toronto 2023

City of Toronto reverses decision to cancel Canada Day celebration after backlash

Just one day after news broke that the standard Canada Day celebrations at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square on July 1 would not be taking place this year, the city has changed its mind and announced that it is reinstating the annual event.

"Resource constraints," was the reason behind the decision to hold off on the July 1 festivities in the public space, with city volunteers who usually help run the event allegedly told that "the funds secured for Canada Day at NPS were not adequate to the standard of program that the event and the participants deserve" after a "fiscally complex year."

Though the celebrations at Ashbridges Bay, Downsview Park and other spots around the city are still scheduled for the holiday, the cancellation of the party planned for Nathan Phillips proved to be quite controversial.

A Reddit post on the subject garnered more than 500 comments in just 24 hours, almost all of them from people completely unimpressed with the move, especially as it was not shared publicly until just over a month out from the day.

Many decried poor allocation of budget funds, the inefficacy of the City Cultural Events division and the sheer embarassment of such a large, "world-class" city not being able to host one of its few major functions for the nation's birthday.

The city did point out in a release on Wednesday that the official Canada Day gathering at the square has not actually happened since 2017 (when it was jam-packed), stating that "staff will work to use funding in existing budgets, leverage community partnerships and continue conversations with our government partners around additional federal funding for Canada Day celebrations."

Deputy Mayor McKelvie added a thanks to the city manager "for taking quick action to make sure we celebrate Canada Day and continue to encourage people to gather together and enjoy Toronto."

Details about the reinstated event will be released in the coming weeks.

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