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Coronavirus: Toronto cancels major events through Dec. 31, Santa Claus parade to go virtual

A file photo of Toronto city hall.
A file photo of Toronto city hall. Nick Westoll / Global News

TORONTO — Santa Claus will be doing things a little differently in Toronto this year.

The 115th Santa Claus Parade is among the events that will be cancelled or altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto said Wednesday.

The city said the parade will be holding an online event in place of the traditional in-person fanfare. Parade organizers, meanwhile, said they will announce the alternate plans soon.

Read more: City of Toronto allowing portable heaters to extend patio season

“I think it’s important that kids know that Christmas is not cancelled, Christmas will not be cancelled, and we’re working on a way to make sure that Santa Claus can still come to town,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

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Tory said information regarding a more imminent celebration — Halloween — will be released in the coming days.

The city’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, also urged residents to be cautious during any upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.

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“Whenever family is involved, change usually involves complex and often sensitive conversations … this is why everyone needs to start thinking about how to celebrate important days in a way that keeps us all safer,” de Villa said.

The parade announcement comes just days after Tory announced the cancellation of the city’s popular Christmas market, which in recent years started charging a cover fee to reduce overcrowding.

The city said its annual New Year’s Eve bash in Nathan Phillips Square is also cancelled.

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