Toronto, currently the lockdown capital of North America, might end up being the lockdown capital of the world
To the dismay of countless, the City of Toronto has just announced the extension of cancellation of in-person major participatory events. In order to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help provide predictability to major event organizers, the City is extending the cancellation of in-person City-led and City-permitted outdoor events to 6th September.
Canadians and newcomers looking forward to enjoying Toronto’s lineup of Summer events would have to wait yet another year. But it’s all for a good reason.
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.
The City said it understands the importance of these events to Toronto’s vitality, livability, and prosperity. City staff are working in close collaboration with event organizers, who in every instance possible have been consulted on this approach and given advance notice of this decision. The City restated that it is committed to working closely with event organizers to help them manage through 2021 and come back stronger in 2022.
On March 17, 2020, Premier of Ontario Doug Ford declared a state of emergency, ordering selected businesses to be closed including bars, restaurants, theatres, daycares, and private schools. For many residents, it feels like the lockdown has been going on since that day. Yes, there have been temporary bursts of outdoor relief, but the cycle of lockdown has been unending.
This lockdown decision, made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, and Toronto Police Service follows the previous cancellation of all such events up to July 1 and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The following is a list of major in-person events impacted by this decision.
- Taste of the Middle East
- Taste of Lawrence
- Honda Indy
- Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
- Salsa in Toronto
- 49th Annual Festival of India
- Bloor West StreetFest
- Beaches Jazz Festival
- Oss Fest
- Caribbean Junior Carnival
- Scarborough Ribfest
- Caribbean Carnival, King and Queen Competition, Pan Alive and Grand Parade
- Taste of the Danforth
- Vegandale Food Drink Festival
- Bollywood Film Fair
- Waterfront Night Market
- Canadian National Exhibition
- Mabuhay Philippines Festival
- Toronto Chinatown Festival
- Labour Day Parade
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 may be permitted under the Province of Ontario’s 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.
“We will continue to support the City’s major events through these tough times and will do everything we can to make sure they come back stronger in 2022, said Mayor John Tory
Toronto is a favorite destination for tourists and fun-seeking visitors to Canada. Newly landed immigrants and tourists eager to get a taste of the Caribana Carnival Caribana and other Toronto famous cultural street festivals would have to find alternative ways to enjoy this summer.