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City of Toronto Extends Cancellation of Major In-Person Events to July 1

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The City of Toronto announced that its cancellation of major City-led and City-permitted outdoor in-person events has been extended through to July 1, and will include Canada Day parades, festivals, and fireworks.

The decision, announced Wednesday, was made in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and marks the second year in a row of cancelled July 1 celebrations.

Aside from impacting Canada Day activities, today’s announcement includes festivals and other large, in-person gatherings that would be held at outdoor sites managed by the City, or other public locations such as roads, parks or civic squares.

READ: Toronto Residents Must Continue Wearing Face Masks Until June

“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,” officials say. “The need to sustain essential services also limits the City’s ability to support third-party event organizers to ensure public safety.”

The following major events are impacted by this decision (organizers can be contacted for details on the most up-to-date status of a given event):

• 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 decision of this extension, made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service and major event organizers, follows the previous cancellation of all such events up to March 31, supporting the practice of physical distancing as a critical means of stopping viral spread.

“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. 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,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“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.”

The City says the early notification of this decision “enables event organizers to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts and their business needs,” as well as access insurance, support impacted employees, manage sponsors and develop alternative approaches, such as hosting events virtually. Event organizers with questions can contact relevant City permitting bodies, Toronto Police Service officers or liaisons, or email [email protected]

Meanwhile, more information about supports available to the arts and culture sector during the COVID-19 pandemic are available online here.

Today’s announcement is not applicable to permits issued by the City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation division for activities in parks and other City facilities/sites that are able to be permitted under the province of Ontario’s framework for reopening, or that may be permitted progress through the framework continues forward.

Professional sporting events are also not included in this decision, as those rely on permissions from the provincial and federal governments in addition to Toronto Public Health.

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