“As we continue to work together through these challenging and unprecedented times, the health and well-being of our patrons is of the upmost importance,” organizers said in a statement Monday afternoon.
“Given the pandemic and the number of patrons who attend this event, we regret to advise that, for the first time in 11 years, the Toronto Christmas Market will be cancelled as the crowds are just too large for safe physical distancing.”
Market organizers said approximately 700,000 attend the six-week-long event every year.
Despite the cancellation of the market, the Distillery District will still be open for shopping. Organizers said they’re working to make the area like a “winter village” while adhering to provincial health guidelines.
Mayor John Tory confirmed the cancellation earlier in the day during a news conference at city hall.
“It is one of a number of events at that time of the year that is unfortunately not going to be held,” he said, noting most of the upcoming event cancellations have been taken by organizers directly after “looking at the health situation” and other circumstances.
“It is extremely regrettable because these are things that bring people joy and get them outside even in the colder weather, but a lot of things have changed this year.”
Tory said there will likely be further announcements about other events and annual traditions scheduled for later in the year.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, continued to urge residents to adhere to public health advice as Thanksgiving and Halloween come in October.