taste of the danforth

Confusion surrounds whether Toronto's Taste of the Danforth will actually happen this year

People in Toronto were thrilled to find out that one of the city's most popular summer events, the Taste of the Danforth, was finally due to return this year after a pandemic hiatus.

But, despite an earlier announcement that the iconic street festival will be taking place Aug. 5 through Aug. 7, organizers now no longer appear completely sure that it will be able to proceed.

The Greektown and the Danforth BIA confirmed to blogTO that there are some logistical issues impacting this year's event that are "site plan related," but said that they are working closely with the city to resolve the snags.

They added that they "want" and "hope" to host the fest this year, which is still scheduled for August at this point in time, but this wording and their tight-lippedness on the matter makes it seem like this may be only tentatively so.

While there have been reports that the festival is facing a potential dearth of people to work it post-COVID — something that the hospitality industry (and many others) at large are facing lately — the BIA stated that there are no staffing issues at this time.

There is also the question of the impact of numerous curbside patios that bars and restaurants have set up for the CafeTO program, the initiative launched over lockdown to improve the vibe of the city and help businesses accommodate and attract more people while indoor spaces were forcibly shuttered — something that they neither confirmed nor denied.

(While these patio spaces are great for local spots, they unfortunately expand into prime real estate for TOTD's vendors and attendees.)

When questioned on the subject, Mayor John Tory's office said that he is "very hopeful that Taste of the Danforth will go ahead this year," phrasing that again suggests that there is indeed a chance it may not.

Tory, the BIA and local councillor Paula Fletcher have met as recently as this Wednesday to try and sort out any stumbling blocks.

Taste of the Danforth, for which a large segment of the thoroughfare is completely shutdown to car traffic and taken over by pedestrians and market stalls, attracts more than 1.6 million patrons each year to experience its hundreds of participant retailers and restaurants, live performances, and more.

It is the largest street festival in Canada, known for showcasing the food of the city's Greektown.

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