Toronto officially cancels all outdoor major events to end of year

Sep 23 2020, 6:33 pm

Toronto is cancelling all major outdoor events until the end of year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the City announced that until December 31, all events are cancelled and $565,000 will be given to support cultural festivals impacted by the pandemic.

The events have been considered high-risk due to the crowds they would attract.

“The announcement is based on public health advice and 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 release adds.

However, the announcement does not include outdoor sport facility permits and activities; and other City facilities that are permitted in Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening and comply with the current gathering limit restrictions.

The decision follows the cancellation of all such events up to September 30, announced by the City on July 13.

The decision was consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service, and major event organizers.

Some City-led and City-permitted outdoor major events have already announced the cancellation of their event this year while others, like the Original Santa Claus parade, will be announcing alternative plans in the near future.

The City’s Cavalcade of Lights and New Year’s Eve celebration on Nathan Phillips Square are also cancelled.

Below is a list of major events impacted by this decision:

• Nuit Blanche, (altered, online)
• CIBC Run for the Cure, (altered, online)
• Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF, (cancelled)
• 10th Annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship, (cancelled)
• Himalayan Mela, (cancelled)
• Canadian and Chinese Traditional Art Show, (cancelled)
• Toronto Waterfront Marathon, (cancelled)
• Light the Night, (altered, online)
• Just for Laughs Toronto Street Festival, (cancelled)
• Korean Week, (cancelled)
• Greek OHI Day Parade, (pending)
• MEC Toronto Race SIX, (cancelled)
• Fairbank Village Pumpkin Giveaway, (cancelled)
• Hanley Halloween 2020, (pending)
• Riverside Halloween Fest, (pending)
• Heddington Halloween, (pending)
• Halloween on Church, (cancelled)
• Festival of Lights, (altered, online)
• Toronto Christmas Market, (cancelled)
• The 115th Santa Claus Parade Toronto, (altered, online)
• Bloor Yorkville Holiday Magic, (pending)
• Beaches Santa Claus Parade, (pending)
• Cavalcade of Lights, (cancelled)
• Beaches Lions Christmas Tree Sale, (pending)
• Christmas in the Square with The Salvation Army, (pending)
• KidzFest, (pending)
• North Etobicoke Santa Claus Parade, (pending)
• Fred Victor’s Share the Warmth, (pending)
• Fairbank Village – Light Up the Holidays, (pending)
• Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus parade, pending
• Holiday Fair in the Square, (pending)
• 30th Annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice, (pending)
• New Year’s Eve on Nathan Phillips Square, (cancelled)

However, it’s important to note that many organizers are considering alternative delivery models such as virtual events.

In Toronto, over 100 daily cases have been reported in recent days. The seven-day rolling average is 114 — a drastic increase in the past couple of weeks.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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