One of Toronto’s most well-known street events could be in jeopardy.
Taste of the Danforth is being impeded by “logistical challenges,” according to organizers, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Greektown on the Danforth Business Improvement Area (BIA) is hosting the event, which will take place on Danforth Avenue between Broadview and Donlands avenues on August 5 and 7.
However, Mary Fragedakis, the BIA’s executive director, stated in a statement to CP24 on Wednesday morning that organizers have been “in talks” with the City of Toronto for five months about their worries about how to actually execute the event.
“The permanent installation of CafeTO and the bike lane infrastructure has created challenges to staging the festival as we have in previous years,” Fragedakis said.
“We have continually asked the City to remove the CafeTO curb lane patios and bike lane infrastructure for 3 days to allow us to host taste.”
She said the city is not budging.
“(They have) been clear that this will not be considered under any circumstances and wants a reimagined Taste of the Danforth without allowing use of the entire street. The entire street is needed for a street festival the magnitude of Taste and to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance,” Fragedakis said.
A City of Toronto spokesperson said they’d “continue to actively work with festival organizers” to find a solution.
“Major festivals are important part of summertime in Toronto,” the city said in a statement. “City staff from multiple divisions continue to actively work with festival organizers at Taste of the Danforth as well as the local BIA to help this annual celebration return with any modifications that may be necessary to ensure its success.”
Brad Ross, the City’s chief spokesperson, said for now “discussions remain active and on-going with event organizers.”
Taste of the Danforth, which is Canada’s largest street festival, welcomes an estimated 1.6 million visitors over three days. In 2019, the event had an economic impact of approximately $70 million in 2019, organizers said.