After two long, quiet summers, Torontonians will finally have more to look forward to than socially-distanced park hangs, as Mayor John Tory announced today the return of the city’s long-awaited festival lineup.

Following improving public health trends and the dropping of maximum capacity levels for both indoor and outdoor events as part of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan, the City of Toronto entered its own Roadmap Exit step last week, signalling the return of its vibrant cultural sector.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the city has had to cancel every parade, festival, and firework show over the entirety of the pandemic. And after so many COVID-related cancellations (or virtual events), returning to in-person celebrations is sure to be a welcome change for many.

“Today’s announcement marks a very important milestone in our reopening efforts. The return of in-person events to Toronto is a sign that we are ready to move forward after two very challenging years,” Tory announced today from the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

“This is all thanks to the resiliency, patience, and strength of Torontonians who have stepped up to get their vaccine, to protect themselves and their community. Now we can open with confidence and move forward. We have truly missed these events in Toronto and can’t wait for them to come back this spring and summer. Welcome back to the Toronto we know and love!”

City staff are now working in tandem with event organizers to ensure re-opened events are in line with public health guidance and direction, and is also now taking permit applications which will continue to be guided by the latest COVID-19 public health regulations.

Mark Your Calendars

Fortunately for Torontonians, many of the city’s annual faves are back on the calendar including the Pride Festival, Taste of the Danforth, and Doors Open Toronto. While a full list can be found on the City’s website, here’s a preview of what’s to come in the warmer months:

For many of these events and associated businesses, this summer will be an especially important one, as the financial impact of COVID-19 has been devastating.

To help fund these programs, the City announced a new Cultural Festivals Funding Program (CFFP) in January, with the aim to increases the accessibility, accountability, and transparency of City funding to cultural festivals, and support economy recovery for the arts and culture sector communities, businesses and marginalized community event organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19. 

"Festivals and events provide some of the best opportunities to experience the vibrancy of our communities, both for visitors and for locals,” said Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President of Destination Toronto. “And now as events return -- from arts and culture to festivals to live performance -- there's a new way to find what's on around Toronto. We have worked with the arts community to create a new dedicated website for arts and culture fans to find events throughout Toronto, reflecting the diversity of our community, at”

Residents can also follow @CultureTO and @BusinessTO on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and sign up for the newsletters to get all the latest information on upcoming events.