Pride, TIFF, Caribbean festival back as Toronto announces return of major in-person events
Mayor John Tory attributes move to vaccine progress
In yet another sign that Toronto is returning to something closer to normal, city officials have announced the return of many major in-person events this year, including Pride Toronto, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
"This is a good day for the city of Toronto," Mayor John Tory said Friday, attributing the move to "progress team Toronto has made on the vaccine front," as well as other key health indicators.
"It's a tremendous sign that we have made great progress in fighting COVID ... welcome back Toronto."
Officials announced the comeback of about a dozen events, starting with the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 20.
Here's a look at the other events making a comeback this year:
- Doors Open Toronto: May 28 to 29.
- Pride Toronto: June 24 to 26.
- Luminato Festival Toronto: June 9 to 19.
- TD Salsa in Toronto Festival: June 1 to July 31.
- TD Toronto Jazz Festival: June 24 to July 3.
- Taste of Lawrence: July 8 to 10.
- Toronto Caribbean Carnival: Aug. 1.
- TD JerkFest Toronto: Aug. 4 to 7.
- Taste of the Danforth: Aug. 5 to 7.
- Toronto International Film Festival: Sept. 8 to 18.
The Canadian National Exhibition also announced it will make a return this summer, starting Aug. 19 and running through to Sept. 5.
CNE Executive Director Darrell Brown says the CNE is excited to bring back its employees, and create thousands more jobs through vendors, performers, and local businesses.
"It has been heartwarming to receive the overwhelming love and support from Torontonians, as well as from people far and wide, who have missed our annual event," Brown said in a statement Friday.
"While we stayed connected with fans virtually over the past two years — there is nothing like the in-person experience of the CNE."
Permits now being accepted
Officials say they are also now accepting event permit applications for non-city-run events, with the caveat that "public health regulations around COVID-19 will continue to guide the city's ability to issue permits."
The move comes after two years of limiting public gatherings due to the pandemic.
Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson says he hopes these events will attract customers back to local businesses and hotels.
"We now have a great opportunity in terms of moving forward," Thompson said, adding that officials will do everything they can to keep residents safe amid the return of large events.
"The city's vibrant cultural sector and the city — we're open for business."