Canada Day is going to look a lot different this year with fireworks cancelled and many attractions remaining closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Mayor John Tory says that residents still have a lot to celebrate.

Tory made the comment to CP24 on Wednesday morning as he got ready to participate in a number of virtual Canada Day events.

“Celebrate with your neighbours, celebrate by putting a flag out and maybe celebrate as well by just giving a moments though to how lucky we are to live in this country where we have all the freedoms we do, where we have the resources to be able to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and where we have a set of values that say that we look after each other,” he said.

Tory said that he believes that Torontonians live in the “greatest city in the greatest country in the world” but he said that we all share a responsibility to “live up to” values that “people admire around the world.”

He said that is especially true in a year that has exposed the degree to which “we have allowed systemic racism against our Indigenous and Black people and others to flourish when we should be taking very possible step to eradicate it.”

“It is a day to celebrate, a day to be happy, a day to go to the new patios, a day to go to the beaches and pools that are open but it is also a day to maybe reflect on how lucky we are and reflect on how we have to work hard to make sure that this remains the best place in the world in which to live,” he said.

Here is a list of what will be open, what will be closed and what events are still on for Canada Day.


  • GO Transit will operate on their Saturday schedule and the TTC will operate on their Sunday schedule but with subway service starting at 6 a.m.
  • Ferry service to the Toronto Islands will be operating at 50 per cent capacity. The city is capping the number of ferry tickets sold per day at 5,000 due to COVID-19.
  • All 140 of the city’s splash pads will be open as well as 56 outdoor swimming pools. The capacity at the city’s outdoor pools has been reduced to 25 per cent to allow for physical distancing.
  • Toronto beaches will be open and lifeguards will be supervising designated swim areas from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • All five City golf courses will be open and will offer holiday rates
  • City parks are open as well as most amenities within them, including sports fields, some tennis courts and picnic shelters
  • Some malls will be open, including the Eaton Centre and Square One (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • A limited number of tourist attractions will be open, including the Toronto Zoo (members only) and the Ripley’s Aquarium (online reservations required)


  • All LCBO and Beer Store locations
  • Post offices
  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Libraries
  • Indoor pools and community centres
  • Most tourist attractions
  • St. Lawrence Market
  • Some malls, including the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Sherway Gardens
  • Some park amenities, including playgrounds


  • The city is hosting a virtual Canada Day celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be four different live streams, including a pancake breakfast with Mayor John Tory (9 to 10 a.m.) and evening performances by Haviah Mighty, Gordon Lightfoot and Choir! Choir! Choir! (7 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • The CN Tower will hold a light show at 10 p.m. in lieu of fireworks. The show will be synched to the rhythm of music from Canadian artists that will be simulcast on CHUM 104.5..
  • What would have been the 63rd annual East York Canada Day parade has been cancelled but organizers have asked residents to participate in a community-wide singing of O Canada from their porches and balconies at 7:30 p.m. They are also encouraging residents to eat their dinners in front of their homes as part of a series of neighbourhood dinner parties at 6:30 p.m.