Toronto officially cancels large summer events including Beaches International Jazz Festival and Taste of the Danforth due to COVID-19

The Beaches International Jazz Festival's Street Fest draws big crowds to Queen Street East every summer. Due to COVID-19, the festival has been cancelled for 2020.

It’s now official as the City of Toronto has pulled the permits and a pair of iconic East Toronto summer festivals – The Beaches International Jazz Festival and the Taste of the Danforth have been cancelled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city made the announcement late on the afternoon of Friday, May 15.

In a release, the city said that events with more than 25,000 people will be cancelled in Toronto until Aug. 31.

That means this July’s Jazz Festival, which was going to be celebrating its 32nd year, and the Taste of the Danforth in August will not be taking place.

The city also announced that events with more than 250 people will be cancelled through to the end of July.

The announcement also impacts the Honda Indy race at the Exhibition Grounds.

Last week, the Canadian National Exhibition announced it would not be taking place this summer.

Also, the Toronto Caribbean Festival on the August long weekend announced it would not be taking place.

Canada Day celebrations including the East York parade, community festival and fireworks in Stan Wadlow Park, and the city’s fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay on July 1 were also cancelled earlier this month.

“It is with deep regret that we are forced to extend the cancellation of large festivals to continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Mayor John Tory in the City of Toronto’s statement.

To help lessen the economic, cultural and social impact of the cancellations of these events on residents and to support their organizers, the city will be launching a program to help them return next year.

“Special events and festivals are critical to the livability, vitality and economic success of Toronto, and that is why we are launching the Cultural Festivals Recovery Program to ensure that when we defeat COVID-19, these festivals can return safely and contribute to Toronto’s economic recovery,” Tory said.

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