“Welcome back, Toronto,” says the narrator.
That was Mayor John Tory’s message on Friday morning, as he announced the official return of a long list of major spring and summer events that had been either canceled or held indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After suspending the issuance of permits for virtually all of Toronto’s major events, Tory said the city has been working with organizers over the last few months to ensure that residents have a full calendar of street festivals and other special events to look forward to in 2022, beginning with the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 20 and continuing through the Pride parade and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival this summer.
The Canadian National Exhibition wasn’t included in the city announcement but an organizer with the event later confirmed to reporters that it is “absolutely” on track to return with a “bigger and better” fair scheduled for Aug 19 to Sept. 5.
The city has also said that it is “gearing up” to also launch its slate of city-led events, which would potentially include in-person Canada Day celebrations for the first time since 2019.
“It’s been a very long and dark winter that lasted for a couple of years and it’s been filled with more than its fair share of tragedy, frustration and hurt. But as with all winters it does come to an end and it’s followed by the hope that is brought by spring and in this case the wonderful events that we’re so used to that make our city such a great place to be,” Tory said in announcing the return of the events. “We are saying loudly and clearly with today’s message and all the events to follow welcome back Toronto and welcome back to Toronto.”
Tory announced the return of nearly a dozen major events on Friday but said that the city remains “very optimistic” that a number of other major events will soon confirm plans to return in 2022 as well.
In the meantime, he said that he wants to thank residents for their patience during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage them to get out to some of the city’s premier events following a years-long hiatus that was necessitated by the pandemic.
“This is the reward for the incredible efforts Torontonians have made getting vaccinated and having patience with public health restrictions over the last two years,” he said. “It’s a tremendous sign that we have made great progress in fighting COVID and that we’re getting into the process seriously of reopening our city and welcoming people back.”
Source_ The Canadian Press