One of Toronto’s biggest street festivals has been cancelled, its organizers have announced.
The Taste of the Danforth festival was scheduled to takeover Greektown between Aug. 5 and 7 after a two-year hiatus but the Danforth Business Improvement Association (BIA) has postponed its relaunch to 2023.
“The short timeline available to adapt the event to the changes in the street meant that Taste of the Danforth in 2022 was at too great a risk of not being as successful as in the past,” the BIA said in a statement.
Organizers had previously warned that patios springing up through the city’s CafeTO program and new bike lanes were eating up space used by the festival.
They said the city should temporarily roll back the infrastructure back to allow the festival to proceed.
“We have continually asked the city to remove the CaféTO curb lane patios and bike lane infrastructure for three days to allow us to host the Taste,” the Danforth BIA previously told Global News.
The City of Toronto said it would assistant “in any way it can” to help the festival succeed.
“The Danforth is once again thriving, which is excellent news for businesses and the people of Toronto,” a spokesperson said.
Before the pandemic, the BIA estimated Taste of the Danforth attracted as many as 1.6 million people during the weekends it took place.
Danforth residents and those who pour into the area from across the GTA for the festival will now have to wait until 2023 for it to return, three years after it was suspended following the onset of COVID-19.
“We’re going to take the time, working hand in hand with the City and all our partners, to put on the best Taste of the Danforth ever in 2023,” the BIA statement said.
Paula Fletcher, the local city councillor, said she believed the 2023 iteration of the festival would be “worth the wait.”
“Like so many residents in Toronto-Danforth, I will be celebrating the vibrant business community and street atmosphere in GreekTown this summer with their 32 CaféTO patios and live music on the street,” she said.
— with files from Global News’ Kayla McLean