Toronto just cancelled all major events and festivals until August 31
Welp, there goes summer.
The City of Toronto announced on Friday that it will be extending its current prohibtion of all city-led and "city-permitted" events from June 30 to July 31 or August 31, depending on size, in an effort to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Events and festivals with more than 250 people in attendance are now cancelled until the end of July, while those with more than 25,000 attendees are cancelled until August 31.
"Today's announcement includes festivals, conferences and cultural programs held in facilities managed by City divisions or public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares," reads a news release from the city. "Issued permits are now cancelled and permits that have been applied for will not be issued."
Officials were careful to note that their decision does not apply to "the resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events," however, leaving some hope for the prospect of attending at least one weird, phsyically-distanced Jays or TFC game this summer.
"It is with deep regret that we are forced to extend the cancellation of large festivals to continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives," said Mayor John Tory today during daily pandemic press conference, where he also announced that grant funds for festivals would be repurposed to support those affected by the pandemic.
"Special events and festivals are critical to the livability, vitality and economic success of Toronto, and that is why we are launching the Cultural Festivals Recovery Program to ensure that when we defeat COVID-19, these festivals can return safely and contribute to Toronto's economic recovery."
Tory said the decision to cancel major city-led events and third-party permits for the rest of the summer was made in consultation with Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, the Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police and event organizers themselves, all of who agree that continued physical distancing "is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19."
Joining the already-cancelled Pride Parade, Caribana and CNE on Toronto's list of things we'll all miss this summer include: Salsa on St. Clair, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, the Honda Indy, the Toronto Triathlon Festival, the Beaches International Jazz Festival, Big on Bloor, Jerkfest, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Manila, the Toronto Chinatown Festival and more.
In conclusion, f*ck 2020.
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