The city of Toronto in Canada has extended its cancellation of all major outdoor events to July 1 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The government of the largest city in Canada announced on Feb. 24 that in-person “City-led and City-permitted” major outdoor events, including Canada Day celebrations, the Indigenous Arts Festival, and Pride Parade, are canceled.
In a statement, the city government said that major festivals and other public gatherings “present higher public health risks given limits to physical distancing and exposure to attendees from outside of the area.”
“The need to sustain essential services also limits the City’s ability to support third-party event organizers to ensure public safety,” the statement also said.
Some of the events will go virtual instead, including the Indigenous Arts Festival and Pride Parade.
“I want to thank all of these organizations for understanding the need to avoid large in-person gatherings in the coming months and thank you to those who have worked to offer virtual events to keep the spirit of these celebrations,” Mayor John Tory stated.
“We must persevere to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Tory further said.
However, the cancellation does not include professional sporting events, as well as permits issued by the City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation division as long as they are permitted under restrictions, according to the statement.
According to data from the city government of Toronto, the total number of confirmed cases in the city of 2.9 million has reached 93,005.
Canada has reported a total of 855,126 cases and 21,807 deaths nationwide.
Government data also shows that Canada has distributed over 1.8 million vaccines across the country as of Feb. 18.