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Will Toronto’s fun summer programs stick around as COVID restrictions ease?

People exercise in the warm weather in Toronto, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young People exercise in the warm weather in Toronto, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
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The City of Toronto implemented a number of summer programs over the past two years since the pandemic started in 2020.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions rolling away, many of them are here to stay.

CTV News Toronto has compiled a list of which programs will return for another year.

CaféTO

The CaféTO program, which allowed for restaurant and bar operators to expand their outdoor dining spaces onto curb lanes and sidewalks, started up to provide a safer option amid the pandemic and to help struggling businesses cope with COVID-19 closures.

Last November, Toronto council voted in favour of making the CafeTO program a permanent fixture of city life starting in 2023. The program was also revived for summer 2022, and the city asked bars, restaurants and cafes to start registering in January to expedite the application and permitting process.

Summer CampTO

For the third straight year, the City of Toronto is offering its in-person summer day camp programs. However, the big change this year will be the absence of COVID-19 restrictions. This program will run from July 4 to Sept. 2 and will be open to children and youth between the ages of four and 16.

ActiveTO

ActiveTO will continue in some form into 2022. The city says it will continue to expand Toronto's cycling network and close major roads to traffic so that people in the city have access to more recreation space on weekends. The city told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday that more details would be announced soon about the program.

Outdoor recreation programs

Amid the pandemic, The City of Toronto came up with a couple of initiatives to provide free outdoor programs in parks for children and youth in Toronto, including the ParksPlayTO program for children aged 12 and younger and the Summer is the 6IX program for youth aged 13 to 24.

On Tuesday, the city said the programs are not yet scheduled for 2022, but information about the programs will be available in the “near future.” 

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