Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada Day will be celebrated by Torontonians a lot differently on Wednesday.
Restrictions implemented by the Ontario government remain in place, including no gathering in groups larger than 10 people and to remain two metres apart unless from the same household or “social circle.”
Although Toronto is now in Phase 2 of reopening, many businesses will be closed on Wednesday.
The City of Toronto cancelled all in-person events and will be holding a national virtual Canada Day on July 1 instead.
For Canada’s 153rd birthday, the City has planned livestreams for multiple events, which begin at 9 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. The CN Tower will salute Canada Day with a 15-minute light show beginning at 10 p.m. and will be livestreamed on their website and YouTube.
Here’s a list of what’s open and what’s closed in Toronto on Canada Day (July 1):
What’s open in Toronto:
- Parks and green spaces. However, certain amenities such as playgrounds, play structures and outdoor exercise equipment are closed.
- List of amenities in City parks that are open: picnic shelters, fixed BBQs, soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, including running tracks in parks, baseball diamonds and basketball courts, some public tennis courts and pickleball courts, lawn bowling and outdoor bocce.
- Ravine green spaces, beaches, trails and boardwalks for walking, running or biking.
- Fishing with a licence, boating, kayaking and canoeing.
- Off-leash dog parks.
- BMX locations and skateboard parks.
- Splash pads are open.
- All 56 outdoor swimming pools, except Summerville, Alexandra Park and Kiwanis due to ongoing repairs. Capacity at outdoor pools will be significantly reduced to 25 per cent to ensure physical distancing and swimmers will be limited to 45-minute sessions to allow for cleaning.
- Wading pools on a location-by-location basis.
- Lifeguards are already at six swimming beaches in Toronto from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. The six beaches are: Bluffer’s Park Beach, Cherry/Clarke Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Marie Curtis Park East Beach, Sunnyside Beach and Woodbine Beach. On July 1, four more beaches are expected to open: Centre Island Beach. Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Ward’s Island Beach.
- Toronto Islands are now open to the public. Tickets for ferries must be purchased online ahead of time to prevent overcrowding.
- Golf courses.
- Disc golf locations.
- Toronto Zoo’s Scenic Safari Drive Thru is open, but tickets must be purchased in advance online and are timed.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada — open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with timed ticket purchases online.
- Aga Khan Museum — open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the purchase of a timed ticket online.
- Toronto Eaton Centre (open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- TTC will operate on a holiday schedule — with all TTC routes following a Sunday service schedule, but with an earlier start time of approximately 6:00 a.m. Any routes that do not normally operate on Sundays will not operate on the holiday.
- GO Transit — will operate on a Saturday schedule.
- Rabba Fine Foods.
- Some restaurant patios, depending on location.
- Public washrooms facilities.
- Family fireworks can be discharged on your private property without a permit on Canada Day, but must comply with the City of Toronto fireworks bylaws and the requirements to be aware of surroundings. Residents are asked not to discharge fireworks where they may be a nuisance, pose a risk of fire, injury or damage to any person or property. City of Toronto bylaws prohibit members of the public from setting off or selling fireworks in City parks.
“Residents are reminded that bonfires and the consumption of alcohol are not permitted in parks, beaches or public spaces. Enforcement officers will issue tickets related to the consumption of alcohol and bonfires, with fines of up to $300,” the City of Toronto said.
What’s closed in Toronto:
- Certain amenities at parks and green spaces such as playgrounds, play structures and outdoor exercise equipment are closed.
- Banks and government offices.
- Malls (except the Toronto Eaton Centre which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Beer Store.
- Most grocery stores.
- Canada Post — no mail delivery.
- St. Lawrence Market.
- Toronto Public Library branches.
- High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm — remains closed since mid-March.
- Art Gallery of Ontario (reopens July 2 to members and annual pass holders, and July 23 to the public).
- Ontario Science Centre — remains closed since mid-March.
Canada Day events cancelled in Toronto:
These City-led and City-permitted events are now cancelled and include:
- Fireworks at Ashbridge’s Bay, Centennial Park, Milliken Park, Stan Wadlow Park and Weston Lions Park.
- Canada Day celebrations on Mel Lastman Square.
- Scarborough’s annual Canada Day event.
- Centennial Park Canada Day Celebration.
- East York Canada Day parade and festival.
“Although this Canada Day is unlike any other, I encourage Toronto residents and visitors to celebrate our wonderful country on July 1 by enjoying everything that the city has to offer. For those residents heading outside, I remind them to please follow public health guidelines and practice physical distancing. Happy Canada Day!” Mayor John Tory said.