In Toronto’s daily COVID-19 update, Mayor Tory announced that all City events and permits for all public events will be cancelled until June 30th.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the City of Toronto is cancelling all City-led major events, festivals, conferences, and cultural programs. And is also cancelling all city permits for major events organized by external groups at civic centres, squares, parks, public spaces, including road closures, City-operated museums and cultural centres, and all of those permits will be cancelled through June 30th.”
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According to the City, the end date for the cancellation period will be reviewed every two weeks following the initial announcement and may be extended beyond June 30 in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and in consideration of the provincial prohibition of organized public events and social gatherings.
This comes on the heels of both the City and the province shutting down all playgrounds and sports fields as well as the continued closure of public schools until May 4th at the earliest.
“This is not an easy decision to make but it is necessary to protect the public and to save lives,” said Tory. Before passing the microphone over to Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. de Villa, Tory addressed one of Toronto’s largest cultural events, Pride.
“One of the biggest events of all, one of our signature celebrations, is of course, Pride. I spoke with representatives from Pride Toronto today and thanked them for their understanding of this decision and expressed my own enthusiasm for Pride month which will still proceed in June, so stay tuned.”
The end date for the cancellation period will be reviewed every two weeks, and may be extended beyond June 30 in consultation with our Medical Officer of Health. The City will not be in a position to issue new permits until there is further direction on mass gatherings.
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) March 31, 2020
The City says it’s not in a position to issue new permits until there is further direction on mass gatherings from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. The City is committed to working with event organizers to mitigate the impacts of these cancellations and to determine potential future dates once the public health crisis is contained and economic recovery efforts are underway.
Among the major events impacted by today’s announcement are Doors Open Toronto, Indigenous Arts Festival, Pride Toronto, and NXNE Music and Gaming festival.
“While the City recognizes the importance of special events and festivals to the livability and vitality of the city, protecting the health and safety of residents is of primary concern,” said Tory.
“City staff are working closely with event organizers to help mitigate the impacts of cancellations wherever possible and we look forward to Toronto’s festivals and events being featured prominently as part of the city’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.”