To slow the spread of COVID-19, today as expected the City of Toronto announced it is extending the cancellation of in-person City-led and City-permitted major outdoor events to July 1, including Canada Day parades, festivals and fireworks.
Today’s announcement includes festivals and other large, in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the City or other public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares.
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. The need to sustain essential services also limits the City’s ability to support third-party event organizers to ensure public safety.
“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,” said Mayor John Tory. “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. 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,” said Mayor Tory.
Advance notification of this decision enables event organizers to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts and their business needs, access insurance, support impacted employees, manage sponsors and develop alternative approaches such as virtual events.
This decision, 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 and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The following major events are impacted by this decision (for the most up-to-date status of an event, please contact the organizer):
- 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)
Event organizers with questions are encouraged to contact the relevant City permitting bodies, Toronto Police Service officers/liaisons or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about supports available to the arts and culture sector during the COVID-19.
The City said this announcement does not include 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 as we hopefully progress through that framework. Professional sporting events are also not included in this decision – those events rely on permissions from the provincial and federal governments in addition to Toronto Public Health.
The City’s COVID-19 web page is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to commonly asked questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.