toronto events cancelled

Toronto just cancelled all events between now and Canada Day

Toronto residents who were hoping to see most public health restrictions lifted and a return to some version of normal by the summer will be disappointed to learn that the city has officially cancelled all in-person, city-run and city-approved events until at least July 1. 

Mayor John Tory made the announcement during the city's COVID-19 press briefing Wednesday afternoon, explaining that the extension now goes until July 1 and includes Canada Day celebrations and festivities.

"Major festivals and events require long lead times for planning, rely on City sites, supports or permissions, and present higher public health risks given limits to physical distancing and exposure to attendees from outside of the area," reads a city news release about the move.

"The need to sustain essential services also limits the City's ability to support third-party event organizers to ensure public safety."

The decision to cancel all in-person events was made in consultation with Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, the city's Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service and major event organizers, Tory said Wednesday.

It also follows the previous cancellation of all events up to March 31, and the city says the move supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Major annual events that will be impacted by this decision include:

  • Toronto Marathon, half Marathon, 5k, 10k and relay (will be a virtual event)
  • Sporting Life 10k (will be a virtual event)
  • Canadian Music Week (will be a virtual event)
  • Doors Open Toronto (cancelled)
  • Juno Awards (will be a virtual event)
  • Ride for Heart (will be a virtual event)
  • NXNE Music Festival (will be a virtual event)
  • Luminato (virtual option to be determined)
  • The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer (will be a virtual event)
  • TD Toronto Jazz Festival (virtual option to be determined)
  • Indigenous Arts Festival (will be a virtual event)
  • Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival (will be a virtual event)
  • Trans March, Dyke March & Pride Parade (will be a virtual event)
  • Scarborough Canada Day Parade & Celebration (cancelled)
  • Canada Day Celebrations at Mel Lastman Square (cancelled)

The news comes as Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) organizers announced plans to proceed with an in-person event this summer if public health measures allow for it, and Tory said the city is not yet prepared to make decisions about events beyond July 1.

"Throughout this pandemic, Torontonians have demonstrated their resilience, creativity and determination, including many event organizers who have brought us together virtually to celebrate cherished events and traditions," Tory said in a statement. 

"I want to thank all of these organizations for understanding the need to avoid large in-person gatherings in the coming months and thank you to those who have worked to offer virtual events to keep the spirit of these celebrations and in some cases the fundraising efforts going during these tough times," he continued. 

"I strongly encourage the business community and as many Toronto residents as possible to support these events and the causes they in turn support. We must persevere to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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