All major summer events, including CNE, cancelled again this year, Toronto officials say
TORONTO -- The city has confirmed that all major events in Toronto this summer, including the Caribbean Carnival and the Canadian National Exhibition, will once again be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the city cancelled all events and permits through to June 30 and today's announcement means events typically held in Toronto in July, August, and over the Labour Day weekend will also not proceed in person.
"To continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help provide predictability to major event organizers, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of in-person City-led and City-permitted outdoor events to September 6," officials said in a news release issued Friday.
"The City understands the importance of these events to Toronto's vitality, liveability 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 is committed to working closely with event organizers to help them manage through 2021 and come back stronger in 2022."
In a statement released on Friday morning, Mayor John Tory said he is working with the CNE to help the fair get "through this difficult year" and offer a bigger and better in-person event in 2022.
"The City supported The Ex when it had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the City will once again step forward to support the CNE again this year," he said.
"We are committed to working with the CNE as a partner, to support continued operations and to ensure that this historic event has a successful return in 2022 and I am confident that the other governments share that determination."
In addition to the CNE and Caribbean Carnival, events impacted by the move include Taste of the Danforth, the Honda Indy, and The Beaches Jazz Festival.
Pride Toronto previously confirmed that once again this year, annual festivities for Pride Month, which runs from June 1 to June 30, will be virtual.
Speaking to CP24 on Friday morning, Tory said the city could no longer put off making a decision for events in July and August.
"The organizers need to have the notice for us. It is one of those things where some of them are in fact telling us that they are going to cancel the event," he said.
"We have to issue them permits and they have to sign contracts for different kinds of things and it becomes a kind of an ongoing discussion as to how long we can leave it... now is the time unfortunately where we have to say and so that's the way it's going to be."
He said he feels confident these events will return to Toronto in 2022.
"This is one of the saddest things I have to be a part of to announce the cancellation of these events that I love and that people across the city love. I mean some of these attract literally millions of people but that's the point," he said.
"We hope to be in a much better position as a result of our patience and vaccinations and everything else but we still probably won't be the point where it is going to be advisable to have crowds of millions of people."