Annual Toronto Christmas Market cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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TORONTO — The Toronto Christmas Market, an annual event that typically draws large crowds to a historic part of the city’s downtown, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says the decision to call off the weeks-long event was made by organizers in light of the ongoing health crisis.

Tory says it’s one of a number of events initially planned for “around that time” that will not take place.

The mayor says he hopes people will abide by health measures meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus so that the city can get back to “something more normal” next year.

The Christmas market generally spans from mid-November to late December.

It takes over much of the Distillery District, a pedestrian-only neighbourhood that has been designated a national historic site.

Tory said the event’s cancellation this year is unfortunate.

“It’s regrettable, extremely regrettable, because these are things that bring people joy and get them outside even in the colder weather but a lot of things have changed this year,” he said.

The city has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with 175 reported on Monday.