Former CFL commissioner and current Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced the cancellation of all public events in the city until June 30.

The home of the Toronto Argonauts, BMO Field, is owned by the city. The Argos are currently scheduled to play a pre-season game at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on May 28 and host their QEW rivals for the double blue’s regular season home opener June 20. Tory’s ban does not include sporting events.

“While the city recognizes the importance of special events and festivals to the livability and vitality of the city, protecting the health and safety of residents is of primary concern,” Tory said in a statement.

“City staff are working closely with event organizers to help mitigate the impacts of cancellations wherever possible and we look forward to Toronto’s festivals and events being featured prominently as part of the city’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.”

The decision to cancel city-led events and third-party permits has been made in consultation with Toronto’s medical officer of health, the emergency operations centre, Toronto police service, Tory’s office and major event organizers, and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

Tory’s decision provides clear direction to event organizers to enable them to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts and their business needs, access insurance, support impacted employees and manage sponsors.

The end date for the cancellation period will be reviewed every two weeks following the initial announcement and may be extended beyond June 30 in consultation with Toronto’s medical officer of health and in consideration of the provincial prohibition of organized public events and social gatherings.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people and the city wants to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection as much as possible.

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