July 1 is going to be a little different this year. Toronto Canada Day events have been cancelled across the board, the city confirmed on Friday, May 1. The city had already postponed all festivities up until the end of June.
In a statement on the Toronto website, the City announced that it will be joining other municipalities in celebrating the yearly date virtually instead in the time of COVID-19.
"Based on the recommendations of the Medical Officer of Health, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, the City of Toronto will join other municipalities across Canada in celebrating a national virtual Canada Day on July 1, 2020. The City is cancelling all in-person Canada Day events," the statement read.
It specified that the cancelled events include highlights like the various fireworks celebrations around the city and the gatherings at Mel Lastman Square and Centennial Park, and the parade and festival in East York.
“I would like nothing more than to celebrate Canada Day as we usually do, with friends and family and enjoying our neighbourhoods together, but we just can't this year, out of caution and an overriding concern for public health," said Mayor John Tory in the release.
"I look forward to celebrating with Toronto residents virtually on July 1, but even more, I look forward to the day when we can safely resume our celebrations in-person.”
#CityofTO to celebrate a virtual Canada Day. News release: https://t.co/tV11U45OOU https://t.co/F5MqqyACUp— City of Toronto (@City of Toronto)1588361616.0
Back on March 31, Tory and Toronto had already cancelled all city-led events until the end of June.
That included the likes of the huge annual Pride festival, which will also be moved online in some capacity.
That has now been extended to include Canada Day.
In fact, Tory ominously warned that COVID-19 could actually railroad the majority of remaining city events in 2020, right up to the holiday Santa Clause Parade.
Friday's City statement adds that it "looks forward to working with the many community and cultural organizations that it traditionally partners with to celebrate our nation's birthday."
In the City's press briefing on Friday, Tory encouraged Torontonians to decorate their houses and gardens with flags to ensure the day remains special.
The news comes just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford unveiled the first list of businesses that will be able to reopen on Monday, May 4.
On Thursday, Toronto had extended Tory's emergency powers until the pandemic is declared over in the 6ix.