Toronto official: Ban doesn't include pro teams

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TORONTO — Toronto’s cancellation of all city-led and permitted events through June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic does not apply to professional sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLB or MLS, a spokesman for Mayor John Tory said Tuesday.

Don Peat said the move applies to events that get city permits such as parades and festivals, but not sporting events that include the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays or Toronto FC.

But Ontario already has a province-wide ban of gatherings of more than five people. The province has not said how long that will be in force, though. Toronto city spokesman Brad Ross said games in arenas or stadiums fall under the mass gathering order issued by the province.

“We have canceled events that are city-led or need permits to the end of June. These are, primarily, events that have been planned or are being planned to give organizers certainty,” Ross said.

Tory said the health and safety of residents has to be the priority and said physical distancing is critical. The decision to cancel was made in consultation with Toronto’s medical officer of health.

Toronto has at least 628 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, including eight deaths.

“Many of these events, of course, involve thousands of people, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people, and it is doubtful that the health environment will be where it needs to be on the original scheduled spring dates if these events are to happen in a healthy safe and stress free way,” Tory said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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