With plenty of room for outdoor games and activities, a park is a great location to have a special event. Information on organizing an event in a City park is below.
- Application Deadline: Six weeks prior to the event date
- Permit Season: All year; 6:00am to 11:00pm
- Facility Listings: Parks
- Rates: Outdoor event permit rates are based on the attendance of your event. Set-up and clean-up fees may be applied and a damage deposit may be required for events.
If you are organizing a major event on City property the Event Support can assist.
What is the Event Criteria
To hold a special event in any of our City of Toronto parks your organization is required to be a registered non-profit organization. You will need to provide our office with your charitable donation number or 'letters patent' displaying your registered non-profit status.
The event itself is required to be non-profit; non promotional and open to the general public. The purpose of your event cannot be for profit or promotion. Events are also not permitted to be private. All events are required to be open to the general public to attend free of charge.
How to Apply for a Parks Special Event Permit
Application for a Special Event in a City Park or Facility
- Apply to:
- Toronto City Hall
- PERMITS, Parks, Forestry & Recreation
- 100 Queen Street West, Main Floor East Tower
- Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How long will it take to get a permit?
- Permits should be submitted at least six weeks prior to your event.
- Q: What would be considered a special event?
To hold a special event in any one of our City of Toronto parklands your organization is required to be a registered non-profit organization. Your group will be required to provide the City of Toronto with your charitable donation number or 'letters of patent' showing your registered non-profit status.
The event itself is required to be open to the public, non-profit; non-promotional. The purpose of your event cannot be for profit or promotion. Events are also not permitted to be private. All events are required to be open for the general public to attend free of charge.
An event is deemed a Special event irrespective of anticipated attendance, if one or more of the following is true:
1. The event will be selling or serving food to the public
2. The event will be using sound amplification (speakers, mega phone, boom box)
3. The event will require the construction /installation of tents, or stages
4. The event will be serving or selling alcohol
5. The event will use a hot air balloon
6. The event will have amusement type rides and games ie. Bouncing castle
7. The event is accepting donations, fundraising, running a lottery, draw or raffle
9. The use of generator(s) in the park
Note 1: For anyone of the above listed items insurance is a requirement and is mandatory.
Note 2: Special Events are not considered an "outdoor social gathering". ie.birthday party in a park. Please contact our Permit call center for "outdoor social gatherings" at (416) 392-8188.
- Q: Can I play music during my event?
- You are welcome to play soft music in the park between the hours of 7:00am and 11:00pm. Out of respect for park neighbours and other users of the park, please limit sound amplification to 85 decibles. You may apply for a Noise Exemption if these conditions do not meet your needs.
- Q: Can I put up a tent for my event?
- You can erect a tent with dimensions up to 646 cubic feet. For tents or structures greater than 646 cubic feet, you will require a building permit.
- Q: Can I put stakes in the ground to support my tents or other structures?
- If you would like to install a tent or snow fencing or any non-freestanding structure which requires staking of the grounds, you need to contact Multiview Locates at 905-629-8959 or Toronto Hydro at 1-800-400-2255, to arrange for a stakeout of the line grounds (i.e. underground cables, gas lines).
- Q: Can I sell or serve food and /or non-alcoholic beverages at my event?
- You will need approval to sell or serve food and non-alcoholic beverages at your event. Food must be commercially prepared and a hand washing station is required. The application form and further details are provided in the Temporary Food Establishment Organizer Package. There is also a Temporary Food Establishment Vendor Package that must be filled by vendors and returned to the event organizer.You can visit the Toronto Public Health's Dine Safe page for more information about food safety at special events.
- Q: Can I conduct a raffle or sell merchandize at my event?
- Raffles, lotteries and merchandize sales are permitted provided that they are in support of a charity and non-profit. You will need a lottery license to conduct any draws, lotteries, or raffles.
- Q: My event is being sponsored, can I put up signage to recognize the sponsor?
- Temporary signage is allowed to promote your event. For events in City parks, you can use up to twenty percent (20%) of your event signage to recognize your sponsors.
- Q: Can I serve alcohol at my event in a City park?
- You will need to complete a Special Occassion Permit if you are planning on serving alcohol at your event. You can submit your completed form to any LCBO store (visit the LCBO website for more information).
- You will also be required to hire Pay Duty Officers at a ratio of approximately one (1) officer to one hundred (100) attendees and arrange to have portable washrooms at your event.
- If you would like to serve alcohol at your event, you should be familiar with the City of Toronto Municipal Alcohol Policy.