By ALAN SHACKLETON
Local residents are being encouraged to find creative ways to celebrate Victoria Day this Monday, May 18, as fireworks displays in public parks such as the one put on annually by the City of Toronto at Ashbridges Bay Park have been cancelled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we’re starting to see some light at the end of this tunnel, the city’s Victoria Day celebrations are still cancelled,” Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford said in a statement to Beach Metro News.
The fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay on Victoria Day, and also the one on Canada Day, traditionally draws huge crowds to the area.
What also tends to happen at these events is many people bring their own fireworks and set them off in parkland and on the beaches in the area prior to and after the city’s display.
Setting off fireworks on public property requires a permit at all times, Bradford reminded residents, and the city is not issuing permits for any kind of park uses beyond walking through them at this moment.
“We’re hoping community members can find creative ways to celebrate Victoria Day with the advice changing from ‘stay home’ to ‘maintain physical distance’. Some ideas I’ve heard include picnics on the porch, and front yard light shows for neighbours to enjoy from their doorsteps,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations across the city including the parade, community festival and fireworks display in East York, and the fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay on July 1.