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Blue Jays and TFC expected to return to Toronto and play home games this month

Yes, Toronto, the return to normal(ish) life has finally begun, with Ontario now a few days into Step 2 of reopening and Canada on its way to have every eligible resident fully vaccinated by summer's end.

We've at long last seen the return of patios, non-essential retail stores, salons and other things lost during lockdown, with the remainder of business operations soon resuming, too — including live sports events.

A number of officials, including Mayor John Tory himself, have said that they anticipate Toronto's teams being able to play games on home turf before the end of their respective 2021 seasons.

Tory pointed out in an interview with CP24 at the end of last month that some outdoor venues are now during Step 2 permitted to have spectators for certain events, including sports games, with capacity limits of 25 per cent in place.

He thus said he's optimistic that fans will be able to attend games in Toronto by September, looking to recent Montreal Canadiens games during which people were permitted in the stands as inspiration.

"I'll certainly be advocating for that if the Jays want to come back here for the latter part of the season," he told the news outlet.

The Jays, who have been calling Buffalo home amid the pandemic, have since submitted an application to Ottawa to return to play at home, anticipating a July 30 return date.

Meanwhile, Toronto FC is likewise hopeful that they'll be playing games for hometown fans in person within the month, with president Bill Manning saying during a press conference on Sunday that the team will be back at home later this week and could be playing a home game by as soon as July 17.

"I feel that the protocols that we have in place to host games at BMO Field are very strong and I'm hoping that we can," he said.

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