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Coronavirus: City of Toronto cancels major events up to July 1

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Toronto mayor announces cancellation of public events until July 2021' Coronavirus: Toronto mayor announces cancellation of public events until July 2021
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced all major public events will be cancelled until July, including Canada Day, due to the coronavirus pandemic – Feb 24, 2021

The City of Toronto has extended a cancellation of major in-person events until July 1, including Canada Day celebrations, citing coronavirus concerns.

Officials said in a news release Wednesday that the cancellation affects City-led and City-permitted “major outdoor events.”

Included are festivals and other large in-person gatherings on City property.

Read more: 2021 CNE, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair planning to proceed in-person depending on COVID-19 restrictions

The news release said giving advance notice of the decision allows for organizers to develop different approaches like virtual events, manage sponsorships, support employees, and deal with other business needs.

“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 and, in some cases, the fundraising efforts going during these tough times,” Mayor John Tory said.

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“I strongly encourage the business community and as many Toronto residents as possible to support these events and the causes they in turn support.”

Read more: Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination portal, service desk to open on March 15

Officials said some affected events include:

  • The Toronto Marathon (will be virtual)
  • Doors Open Toronto
  • Ride for Heart (will be virtual)
  • Ride to Conquer Cancer (will be virtual)
  • Toronto Jazz Festival (virtual event being considered)
  • Indigenous Arts Festival (will be virtual)
  • Trans March, Dyke March and Pride Parade (will be virtual)
  • Scarborough Canada Day Parade and Celebration
  • Canada Day celebrations at Mel Lastman Square
Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Ontario to open an online reservation and call centre for vaccine appointments' Coronavirus: Ontario to open an online reservation and call centre for vaccine appointments
Coronavirus: Ontario to open an online reservation and call centre for vaccine appointments – Feb 24, 2021

Professional sports and permits issued by the City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation department are not affected, as long as they are permitted under restrictions at that time, officials said.

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The announcement comes as Ontario continues along in the early stage of its COVID-19 vaccination program and on the same day that organizers of the Canadian National Exhibition and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair said planning is underway to hold both signature events this year.

— With files from Nick Westoll

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