In compliance with Dr. Eileen de Villa’s (Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health) guidelines on social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto mayor John Tory announced a city-wide decision to cancel all city-led events until June 30 this year.
The measure includes 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 30”, said Mayor Tory at a press conference held earlier today.
Due to the #COVID19 pandemic, all City-led major events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs are cancelled to June 30, including the Pride parade. As @johntory says, this decision was a difficult one but necessary to protect the public and save lives. pic.twitter.com/2SgaHpfS8v
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) March 31, 2020
Mayor Tory acknowledged the importance of festivals and special events as a major contribution to the “livability and vitality of the city”, but stressed utmost importance on the health and safety of Toronto residents as the primary concern.
Today we announced the cancellation of mass events permitted by the City through to June 30th. 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. pic.twitter.com/m6xcS70Gyn
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 31, 2020
According to an official news release, all mass events and meetings are cancelled until June 30. This includes:
- City-led major mass participation events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs
- Permits for major mass participation events organized by external groups at civic centres and squares, parks, public spaces (including road closures), City-operated museums and cultural centres
The end date for the cancellation period will be reviewed every two weeks and may be extended.
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.
No new permits will be issued until there is further direction on mass gatherings from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
Event organizers are encouraged to contact the relevant permitting bodies at the City or Toronto Police Service officers/liaisons they have been working with. Alternatively, event organizers can contact the City at [email protected].
All flag raising ceremonies at civic buildings and issuing of ceremonial documents will be suspended.
The Toronto Sign will remain blue in support of frontline healthcare workers and all City of Toronto workers fighting COVID-19. During commemorative lightings the sign will alternate between the two colours. Lighting requests can be submitted by email to [email protected].
All study tours will be cancelled and the issuing of ceremonial documents, including proclamations, congratulatory scrolls and letters of greeting.
These cancellations align with Ontario province’s state of Emergency, declared on March 17 by premier Doug Ford, which prohibits any organized public events of over 5 people.