Notice: The City of Toronto has extended the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted outdoor special events through September 6, 2021 and all outdoor special event permits during this time period are cancelled. This includes festivals and other large gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the City or other public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares. 

Criteria for hosting a special event in a City park:

  • Must be a registered not-for-profit organization or charitable group. Special events permits will not be issued for private functions and closed events such as family and business gatherings.
  • An outline of the activities you plan to present in the park must be provided.
  • The event must be an open event. Alcohol is permitted at approved special events functions but permit holders must provide proof of an alcohol permit (issued by the liquor license board) to the City.
  • Special event permit holders must have an insurance certificate in the amount of two million dollars naming the City of Toronto as additional insured. Proof of an insurance certificate must be provided to the City.
  • If any items are to be sold or if any donations are to be accepted, permit holders must specify for what purpose these proceeds are being raised.
  • Special event permit holders are allowed to serve or sell food at their event, but must notify Public Health. In cases where Public Health have not been notified by the permit holder, a notification will be sent to Public Health by Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff. If anything is to be sold, items and the prices to be charged must be specified.
  • For events requiring tents, permit holders must show the City that tent stacking will not cross any underground utility lines. Any structure exceeding 646 square feet (60 metres) will require a permit from the City of Toronto Building Division.
  • Must state the purpose of the use of any device or mechanism to amplify sound.
  • Must state the purpose of the use of any electrical power or outlets.

For booking special events in Parks and Recreation Centres, please visit the City of Toronto website.

Permit processing
Permit processing takes six weeks. Events should not be advertised until conditional approval has been granted. Approximately 30 days prior to the event date, applicants will receive a letter outlining the event and detailing permits requirements.

At the time of application, the permit holder must agree and understand that the permit may be cancelled at any time by the City of Toronto and that in this circumstance, all fees paid to date for the permit will be refunded to the permit holder and the permit holder will not be entitled to any further claims, losses or damages or expenses whatsoever.

Selling of food and beverages
If you plan to sell or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages at your event, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, special events permit office will notify Public Health (TPH) on your behalf. A representative of the TPH will then contact you to advise you on any applicable regulations or conditions in this regard.

If Serving Alcohol

  1. You will be required to obtain and meet the criteria for a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) and will be advised in writing if all criteria are met, upon receipt of your Special Event Application.
  2. You must obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and provide a copy of the SOP to Parks, Forestry and Recreation.
  3. You will be required, at your expense, to hire Pay Duty Police Officers to monitor the sale or serving of alcohol; and
  4. You must provide written proof that all people serving drinks have received L.C.B.O approved service Intervention training (Smart Serve)

Delivery vehicles
For the purpose of delivering and picking up equipment at a special event, a maximum of three vehicles at a time is permitted at each site.

  1. Vehicles must adhere to the speed of no more than 10 km/hour while driving through the park
  2. Vehicles driving through the park must be escorted by a pedestrian preceding the vehicle(s) on foot
  3. While in the park the vehicle must have on its four-way flashers
  4. Permission for vehicles to park at a site is given on the condition that the area is in suitable condition. In the event of poor or wet conditions, vehicle(s) are not permitted in the park
  5. Once parked at the designated site, the vehicles are not to be moved elsewhere in the park, other than to leave the park
  6. Vehicles must follow routes and parking sites as outlined by Parks staff

Picnic tables
Additional services, loan of equipment and cost recovery are considered additional cost to your permit fee. Fees are applicable to picnic tables and waste receptacles, steel barricades, snow fencing, electrical power and post event clean-up.

Picnic tables can be rented for special events in City of Toronto Parks, but they are not available for private functions on private property.

The fee is $325.00 for 5 tables (including pick-up & delivery).

Washroom facilities
Permit holders are responsible for providing adequate portable washroom facilities- including a sufficient number of washrooms for the physically challenged. For events involving the serving of alcohol, the providing of portable washroom facilities is mandatory

Labour charges
It is the policy of the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, in certain cases to assess labour charges which are incurred as a result of delivery and pick-up of equipment such as picnic tables, waste receptacles, set-up or post event clean-up. Should theses charges apply, you will be advised of the amount in advance, in a letter confirming the conditions applicable to your event.

Outdoor Special events permit
Requests to cancel must be received in writing 3 weeks prior to the event date for outdoor special event permit bookings only if the event has not already been confirmed by the permit holder and PFR staff.  An administrative fee will apply.

City of Toronto extends permit cancellations on Toronto Island Park due to flooding

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