The City of Toronto is reversing its decision to cancel the city’s popular Canada Day celebration after receiving enormous backlash from residents.
A number of Torontonians let their voices be heard on social media after news broke that the Canada Day fireworks display at Nathan Phillips Square was going to be cancelled this year due to a lack of funding.
A City of Toronto volunteer shared an email they had received from the city on Twitter, which outlined the rationale for cancelling Canada Day programming. The volunteers were told that the funds secured for the event at Nathan Phillips Square were inadequate and that the fiscal constraints requires a “very conservative approach to planning.”
Mayoral candidate and former police chief Mark Saunders took to social media to decry the cancellation of Toronto’s Canada Day celebration.
Saunders proclaimed that under his watch, he would uncancel Canada Day and continue the festivities at Nathan Phillips Square.
I will uncancel Canada Day! 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/2JYc96sIP8— Mark Saunders (@marksaunders_TO) May 24, 2023
In a press release titled, “Mark Saunders Won’t Let City Hall Be the Grinch Who Stole Canada Day,” Saunders expressed his disappointment as the son of Jamaican immigrants that Toronto’s Canada Day celebrations would be cancelled.
“As the son of Jamaican immigrants, Canada Day holds special meaning to me, my family, and many other Canadians who came here for a better life,” said Saunders.
“We are so fortunate to call such a peaceful, beautiful, and diverse country home – and that’s worth celebrating!”
Toronto’s deputy mayor Jennifer McKelvie took action to restore the Canada Day festivities at Nathan Phillips Square, instructing the city manager to take action to restore the celebration.
There will be dozens of Canada Day celebrations across the city on July 1 including in Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square.— Jennifer McKelvie (@McKelvieTO) May 24, 2023
I want to thank the City Manager for taking quick action to make sure we celebrate Canada Day and continue to encourage people to gather together… pic.twitter.com/NTiQiDaDZO
Toronto isn’t the only big Canadian city to cancel its Canada Day festivities. The City of Calgary recently cancelled their Canada Day firework display, citing climate and racial impacts.
Thousands of Calgarians, including Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, called for the city to reverse its decision. The city folded on Thursday and reinstated its firework show.