On Thursday, July 1, the Toronto Sign will be lit in orange in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada. The Toronto Sign joins the CN Tower in being lit in orange on Canada Day. In alignment with the Government of Canada flying the Canadian flag at half-mast on the Peace Tower, flags on official flag poles at Toronto City Hall will also be flown at half-mast as people across Canada continue to honour the Indigenous children whose lives were taken, and as Canadians reflect on the tragedy of residential schools.
The City of Toronto encourages people to learn more about Canada’s history and relationship with Indigenous communities and to consider how they can help advance truth and reconciliation in their own life and work. More information is available from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Residential school survivors who need support may call the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.
Mayor Tory’s Canada Day message this year encourages all Torontonians to take time on Canada Day to reflect on what we all can do to advance reconciliation and build a stronger relationship with Indigenous peoples. The message will be released on the Mayor’s social media channels tomorrow morning. City Council’s recommitment to, and support for, taking further action to advance truth, reconciliation and justice is available on the City’s website.
Earlier this year, to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help provide predictability to major event organizers, the City extended the cancellation of in-person, City-led and City-permitted outdoor events to Monday, September 6, including Canada Day parades, festivals and fireworks, such as those usually held at Mel Lastman Square, Ashbridge’s Bay, Stan Wadlow Park and Centennial Park.
The City is offering the following programming for those looking for activities on Canada Day:
Heritage Toronto Tracing Toronto’s Footsteps walking tour
Residents can visit sites of Indigenous heritage and learn about Toronto’s role in Confederation and stories of newcomer communities that shaped the city. From Chief Wabakinine to Jean Lumb to George Brown, uncover Toronto’s people, places, and communities. This free self-guided walk was created in partnership with Heritage Toronto. Read the Heritage Toronto itinerary.
Residents can take a stroll this Canada Day and explore Toronto’s main streets and neighbourhoods including the shops, stops, places and spaces that are part of StrollTO’s 25 free self-guided walks. StrollTO tells the many stories of the city, encouraging pride in Toronto’s diversity and distinctive communities. StrollTO is a part of the City’s ShowLoveTO initiative, launched in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto. StrollTO itineraries are available on the City’s StrollTO webpage: toronto.ca/strollto.
The City is partnering with film festivals and locations to offer residents free DriveInTO screenings again this summer. The first free screening, which takes place on Canada Day, is Canadian film Peace by Chocolate, in partnership with Italian Contemporary Film Festival, at Ontario Place. Residents must RSVP for tickets.
Patio patrons can choose from more than 1,000 restaurants across the city that are participating in the City’s CaféTO program. The program supports expanded outdoor dining options in curb lanes and on sidewalks, as well as expanded dining space on private property, such as in plaza parking lots, this year.
Residents can find a patio near them by using Destination Toronto’s popular website.
On wheels or by foot, residents can get outside with ActiveTO on Canada Day. The ActiveTO Cycling Network delivered the largest one-year expansion of on-street cycling routes in Toronto’s history and is expanding. The ActiveTO Midtown Complete Street Pilot, along Yonge Street, between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue, is now in place and ready for Canada Day.
The complete street approach includes new, safe and separated north-south bike lanes that will further connect Toronto’s growing cycling network along another major corridor and transit line. The pilot project will also deliver safer spaces for people and new and expanded dining spaces to support local businesses as part of CaféTO all summer long.
ActiveTO major weekend road closures to vehicles will be in place again this weekend. Times and locations are available on the ActiveTO webpage: toronto.ca/activeto.
TTC service will operate on a Sunday schedule, but service will begin early, at approximately 6 a.m. Customers can visit ttc.ca for more information and help planning their trip.
Toronto’s designated swimming beaches officially opened to the public for swimming on Saturday, June 5. Lifeguards are on duty and supervising swim areas from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Residents should never swim without lifeguard supervision, and should swim within the designated swim zones, marked at each end by red and yellow flags. Children should stay within arm’s reach of caregivers, and swimmers should use the buddy system.
Recent heavy rains may have impacted water quality at some of Toronto’s swimming beaches. Every day during beach season (June to Labour Day), the City collects water samples at each of Toronto’s 11 swimming beaches. These samples are analyzed by Toronto Public Health, which determines whether each beach is safe for swimming. The results are posted on the Beach Water Quality webpage approximately 24 hours after the samples are collected.
Lifeguards also fly coloured flags to define the water conditions:
More information about swimming in the city and beach safety is available on the Beach Safety webpage.
Toronto Island Park public ferry and beaches
The Toronto Island ferry will be operating at 50 per cent capacity as required by Transport Canada on the Saturday, Sunday and Holiday schedule. Visitors should purchase tickets online in advance at toronto.ca/ferry.
COVID-19 guidelines and procedures are in place to protect passengers and staff. Passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings. To reduce crowding, visitors are encouraged to travel outside of peak times of 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (from the ferry terminal to the island), and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for the return trip.
Services and amenities that are open at Toronto Island Park on Canada Day include washrooms, park playgrounds, a splash pad, a first aid station, William Meany Maze, food and beverage outlets and disc golf.
Picnic/fire pit permitting
Permits for picnics and fire pits can be issued for maximum of 25 people effective June 30. Permit booking is available on the City’s website.
The City’s outdoor pools expand to full hours of operation today. Find your nearest location and make a reservation by visiting www.toronto.ca/swim. Blocks of new swim reservation spots are released Thursdays at 8 a.m. for the following Monday to Sunday. A select number of spaces at each outdoor pool location are held back to ensure swimming remains accessible to people with limited access to the Internet. These spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Following the Lifesaving Society’s updated guidance for aquatic facilities, maximum capacity for City pools can increase from 25 per cent to 50 per cent. This change will be implemented at approximately half of the City’s pools on July 1, with implementation for remaining pools by the end of the week. The increased capacity will provide additional flexibility for walk-in spaces. Splash pads and wading pools are also open.
Parking and lots closures
Parking enforcement officers will be strategically deployed at waterfront parks and beach areas across the city, including Woodbine Beach and Ashbridges Bay. Officers will be enforcing all parking bylaws on local roadways and towing vehicles that are creating safety and traffic flow concerns. Parking lots at Marie Curtis, Humber Bay East, Humber Bay West, Bluffer’s Park and Beach, and Cherry Beach will be closed nightly at 7 p.m. and will reopen in the morning.
Residents are reminded that Victoria Day and Canada Day are the only two days when the use of fireworks is allowed on their own property without a permit. A permit is required to set off fireworks on all other days. The use and possession of fireworks in City parks and on beaches is prohibited. Fireworks are also not permitted on streets, parking lots or a property that is not owned by the person setting off the fireworks. Only adults over the age of 18 can set off fireworks and residents should always read and follow the manufacturers label to make sure they have the proper sized yard and ensure that there are no buildings or trees nearby. Completely submerge used or unused fireworks in water overnight before wrapping them in plastic bags and disposing of them in regular household garbage. Do not put fireworks in the Blue Bin. To learn more, visit toronto.ca/fireworks.
Toronto Police and City Bylaw Officers will continue to monitor busy parks and beaches on Canada Day and this weekend, with additional resources assigned to locations that continue to experience issues, such as Trinity Bellwoods Park, the eastern beaches (Woodbine and Ashbridges Bay), Humber Bay East and West and Toronto Island. This will include patrols of key beaches by Toronto Police’s mounted unit and patrols from the water by the marine unit. Residents are reminded to respect the rules and do their part to protect public health and safety. In addition to fireworks, outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people, bonfires (outside of City-designed firepits which require a permit), amplified sound like DJ equipment, and littering in parks and on beaches are not permitted.
St. Lawrence Market
The market is closed on Canada Day. More information on market hours and operations is available on stlawrencemarket.com.
“We have seen Canadians at their best this past year caring for each other during a long and painful pandemic, but we have also been confronted with the truth of residential schools. This year, Canada Day is an opportunity to learn more about Canada’s history and relationship with Indigenous communities and to consider how we can each help to advance truth and reconciliation. I encourage people to take time on Canada Day to reflect on what each of us can and must do to live up to Canadian values and make sure this country is everything we want it to be and more.”
– Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.