Cancellations and shutdowns spreading quickly
An updated guide to the changes across our communities due to the coronavirus crisis
This story is an update to an earlier listing of local cancellations.
The news is coming in faster than we can keep up with it — with show cancellations, program postponements, venue shutdowns and other abrupt changes prompted by the COVID-19 crisis. The decisions have arrived quickly especially after the warnings and recommendations of provincial and civic health officials.
But we’ll try to keep up. Here’s the current and coming changes caused by coronavirus precautions.
City camps and rec programs for March Break — and beyond
The City of Toronto announced on Friday it was cancelling all programs and shutting down facilities, which would mean the cancellation of city-operated March Break camps, the closing of licensed child care centres and shutting down, community and recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, arenas, pools, fitness centres, and ski hills.
Included in the city’s shutdown of facilities are public libraries. This effectively kills all performances, workshops, presentations, club meetings, kids activities and other events scheduled to take place at our local branches. The tentative date for facilities to reopen is April 5, though this could change.
Central and North Toronto area
Bad Dog Theatre
The theatre at 875 Bloor St. W., specializing in unscripted comedy, has cancelled its scheduled performances until further notice.
Bata Shoe Museum
The museum On Bloor Street West at Huron Street initially said it would stay open, while cancelling its March Break program, but the recent recommendation of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has convinced it to close until April 5.
Not exactly a closing, since it hasn’t opened yet. But the date of the grand re-opening of the refurbished, storied club on Spadina Avenue just south of College Street has been pushed back from its April 1 opening to a time not yet determined.
The CanLit exhibit at the University of Toronto’s rare-book library is closed as of March 17 along with most of the university’s other book palaces. However the Robarts, Gerstein, UTM and UTSC libraries are to stay open with reduced hours from March 16 – 20 until further notice.
Hot Docs Festival
It isn’t scheduled to take place in Toronto until April 30 to May 10, but North America’s largest documentary festival which draws audiences of more than 220,000 has cancelled for this year. Organizers plan to “bring together filmmakers, producers and industry decision makers in an online environment and to virtually deliver the event’s valuable pitch presentations and one-on-one meetings,” according to a message on the website.
“Tafelmusik Presents: Bach’s St John Passion” is cancelled at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. on March 26. The same goes for several other concerts and performances planned for the hall.
Concerts cancelled at Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., include Glen Matlock on March 16, Se So Neon on March 26 and Deafheaven on March 27.
The Monarch Tavern has decided to remain closed “until it’s safe for all of us to get out and mingle again,” according to its website. Dates of performances in late March are still listed online, but Brit band Shopping has tweeted it is postponing much of its North American tour, including March 31 at the Monarch.
Royal Ontario Museum
March 17 was to be the next free night — the third Tuesday evening of each month — to explore the ROM, but it along with the museum’s other events and exhibits from March 14 to April 3.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The celebration of all-things Irish, which was to wind along Bloor and Yonge streets and downtown on March 15 has been cancelled. As have numerous parties to have been held in halls and bars across town.
The festival taking place throughout March at various venues across central and east-end Toronto has been cancelled, according to its website. This affects events at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto Reference Library, Tranzac Club, Innis College and many other locations.
Toronto Reference Library
The free exhibit showcasing rare and beautiful books over the centuries, “Art of the Book,” is closed, as its host, the reference library at 789 Yonge St., is part of the city’s shutdown of facilities.
On March 16 the venue for performances and exhibits, on Brunswick Avenue just south of Bloor Street West, announced it is closing “for the next few weeks” starting the next day.
Don Valley area
Aga Khan Museum
The travelling exhibition “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From,” on the second-generation experience was scheduled to run until April 13. But it is now closed and tentatively rescheduled to open April 7. The same goes for all other exhibits and events at the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.
Ontario Science Centre
No, you can’t take your kids to the science centre during the next few weeks off from school, because it too is closing as of today. Worse, the Ontario Science Centre is shut down until April 6, aligning itself exactly with the school closure period.
Shops at Don Mills
The shopping centre has announced that as of March 16 it is cutting its operating hours to 11 a.m.–7 p.m., except Sunday: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. for at least two weeks.
Toronto Botanical Garden
The TBG is closing its main building at Leslie St. and Lawrence Avenue West until April 6. This also means, of course, the cancellation of scheduled activities at the building, such as March Break events, volunteer activities, and all other kids and adults classes and programs. The TBG Lecture on April 23 is also cancelled the annual general meeting scheduled for April 30 is postponed.
East End (including Riverdale, East York, Leslieville and the Beaches)
Centennial campuses across Toronto, including the East York-based campus at 951 Carlaw Ave. announced March 13 it is shutting down classes for one week, starting March 16, followed by two weeks of online-only instruction. All other events and activities scheduled for this time period at the college have been cancelled.
Danforth Music Hall
Concerts cancelled or postponed at the music hall at 147 Danforth Ave. include Caribou on March 17–19, Keane on March 23, and Sarah Harmer on March 31.
The Beach’s popular second-run cinema is taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19. The Queen Street East movie house initially decided to cap its seating capacity at 100 and encourage social-distancing practices, but with the growing coronavirus crisis it has since decided to close its doors “temporarily,” according to its website. No date for reopening has been given yet.
Greek Independence Day OXI Parade
The annual celebration was scheduled to take place on Danforth Avenue in Greektown on March 29 this year, but has been cancelled.
Hope United Church
Hope United has cancelled a slew of activities, including jazz and gospel music, yoga, line-dancing, choir practice and more previously scheduled for the month of March. Also the Hope United Annual General Meeting and Pot-Luck Lunch have been postponed from their March date to April 19.
Danforth Music Hall
Concerts cancelled or postponed at the music hall at 147 Danforth Ave. include Caribou on March 17–19 and Keane on March 23.
Riverside Wine & Craft Beer Fest
The local celebration of wine and craft beer paired with local food and shopping was scheduled for March 24–29 this year along Queen Street East, east of the Don Valley. However, the festival is now being postponed, the new date to be determined. Check the website for updates.
The festival taking place throughout March at various venues across central and east-end Toronto has been cancelled, according to its website. This includes events at such east-end venues as Areej Gallery, 2640 Danforth Ave., and Puppetmongers Studio, 388 Carlaw Ave., as well as many other locations.
Midtown (including Forest Hill, Leaside and North Toronto)
The famed castle is lifting its drawbridge as of March 13 and looks forward to reopening “in the near future,” its website says. This also cancels events taking place within its stone walls, including the escape room games and the Imagine Dragons program for March Break.
The popular small theatre is suspending current season for a month. It hopes to resume performances the week of April 13 but will update its website regularly, according to a message online. The production of The Runner is closing immediately, while production of Three Women of Swatow, due to preview on March 17, is postponed, date to be determined.
Toronto Botanical Garden
The TBG is closing its main building at Leslie St. and Lawrence Avenue East until April 6. This also means, of course, the cancellation of scheduled activities at the building, such as March Break events, volunteer activities, and all other kids and adults classes and programs. The TBG Lecture on April 23 is also cancelled the annual general meeting scheduled for April 30 is postponed.
We’ll keep adding to and revising this list as new information is received. To submit information about cancellations, postponements, shutdowns or openings, please send an email to Things To Do.
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