East Toronto residents are being reminded that the annual fireworks display which normally takes place on Canada Day at Ashbridges Bay has been cancelled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Traditionally, the July 1 display which is presented by the City of Toronto draws huge crowds to the area to watch the fireworks.
However, as was the case for the Victoria Day fireworks earlier this year which were also cancelled, the dangers of large crowds of people gathering together and spreading the COVID-19 virus led the City of Toronto to cancel this year’s Canada Day display.
Also cancelled this summer due to the pandemic are other popular East Toronto events such as the Q107 Beaches Canada Day Celebration at Woodbine Park, the Beaches International Jazz Festival in July, the Taste of the Danforth in August, Afrofest at Woodbine Park in July and the Toronto International Buskerfest at Woodbine Park in early September.
“Unfortunately the Canada Day fireworks join the long list of our summer-favourite events being cancelled because of the pandemic,” said Beaches-East York Councillor Bradford in an earlier interview with Beach Metro News.
“We’re seeing light at the end of this tunnel, but large gatherings are still unsafe for our public health so we’re having to make the tough decision to cancel these events. I can’t thank everyone enough for persevering. We’ll have a renewed appreciation for these events when we get back to some kind of normal.”
With the lifting of some restrictions late last week, and Toronto’s entry into Stage 2 of the COVID-19 recovery protocol, some things are getting back to being close to normal. However, people need to wear face masks when inside public places and to continue to observe safe social distancing practices.
Along with drawing big crowds to the area, the Ashbridges Bay event would also often see people bringing their own fireworks to the beaches and nearby parks and setting them off as well.
Toronto police and the city are reminding residents that setting off fireworks in public parks, on beaches or on school properties is illegal. Fireworks displays at private residences are allowed.
“You can still enjoy fireworks with family and friends in your bubble at home,” said Bradford. “Victoria Day and Canada Day are the only days where you can use fireworks on private property without a permit. Fireworks are not allowed in public parks or public property without a permit at any time. Remember to only buy fireworks from a licensed vendor and always follow the manufacturer instructions carefully, and stay safe.”
He added that he is wishing everyone a happy, safe and relaxing Canada Day on July 1.
When it comes to Woodbine Beach, and Kew-Balmy Beach and surrounding parks, Toronto police and the city also want people to understand that alcohol and open fires are not allowed and officers will be writing tickets as they pay extra attention the area this week and on Canada Day.
In a tweet today, the City of Toronto said: “A reminder that personal fireworks and bonfires, and drinking in public are not permitted. Officers will be enforcing various bylaws over the next two days.”
Torontonians looking to celebrate Canada Day virtually have a number of options including the online version of the Q107 party at https://www.q107virtualcanadadaypicnic.com/
East Yorkers are invited to celebrate as part of the Canada Day 2020 @Home in East York event. ( Find out more in our earlier story at https://www.beachmetro.com/2020/06/30/east-yorks-canada-day-2020-celebrations-to-include-virtual-fireworks-community-singing-of-o-canada-on-july-1/
The City of Toronto also has online celebrations planned for July 1.
“Canada Day 2020 will feature four livestream segments on the City’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/culture_to . Full program details, a link to 4K Ultra HD livestreams, celebration kits, a pancake recipe, and lyrics for a special sing along are available at toronto.ca/canadaday. These virtual Canada Day events were made possible by the Government of Canada,” said the city on its website.
For more info on Canada Day from the City of Toronto, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/news/canada-day-update-on-city-of-toronto-celebrations-services-and-amenities/