A City winter tradition will not be happening this year.
The Toronto Christmas Market is cancelled this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Mayor John Tory confirmed the cancellation of the weeks-long Distillery District event.
“It is one of a number of events at that time of the year that is unfortunately not going to be held,” Tory said.
“It is extremely regrettable because these are things that bring people joy and get them outside even in the colder weather, but a lot of things have changed this year.”
Tory also said most of the upcoming event cancellations have been taken by organizers directly after “looking at the health situation.”
A few weeks ago the Toronto Christmas Market website indicated the event was cancelled for 2020, but has since been removed.
It’s unclear when the update was made, but the Christmas Market generally makes its announcement with upcoming dates in October of each year.
The Toronto Christmas Market has been ranked as one of the leading Christmas Markets in the world by multiple international publications, including CNN.
Each year, the market brought together hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products.
The event, which was located in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District, included family-friendly entertainment, musicians, carolers and children’s choirs, holiday-themed stage presentations and of course … Santa.
It was always celebrated with a giant tree in the centre of the Distillery District.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto cancelled city-led and city-permitted outdoor special events through September 30 and all outdoor special event permits during this time period are cancelled.
This includes festivals and other large gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the city or other public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares.
“Given the pandemic and the number of patrons who attend this event, we regret to advise that, for the first time in 11 years, The Toronto Christmas Market will be cancelled, as the crowds are just too large for safe physical distancing,” The Distillery Historic District statement said.
However, the Distillery District will remain open for holiday shopping and people can see the “grand” Christmas Tree in Trinity Square. There will also be festive music as part of the “Winter Village” experience, which will extend from early November until the end of March.