On January 23, the first identified case of COVID-19 in Canada during the 2019–20 worldwide pandemic was admitted to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. On March 5, more cases in Ontario continued to emerge, including a Toronto man who presented himself to Sunnybrook Hospital and tested positive following travel to Iran.On March 12, 17 new cases were confirmed.That day, the total number of cases in Ontario increased to 59.
On September 11, the Federal government announced $13.9 million in funding to create a voluntary isolation facility in Toronto. The facility is to be a rented-out hotel that is aimed at COVID-19 patients who cannot safely self-isolate from family members and roommates.On September 17, in response to growing provincial numbers, the Ontario government announced a reduction of social gathering size limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa. Fines would be set at a minimum of $10,000 for the host and $750 for each participant involved in an illegal gathering. Most businesses, facilities, places of worship and events already practicing social distancing .
On September 25, the Ontario government announced that all bars, restaurants and nightclubs province-wide, effective September 26 would have an 11 pm last call and have to be completely closed by midnight. Additionally, all strip clubs would be closed indefinitely.On September 26, Toronto Public Health ordered three King Street bars and restaurants closed due to non-compliance of COVID-19 protocols including serving buffet-style food and being uncooperative with investigators. The three establishments are MARBL, King Taps and Casa Mezcal.On September 30, Toronto City Council approved further restrictions on bars and restaurants in the city.
On October 2, Dr. Eileen de Villa recommended large closures in order to control the spread of the virus, especially relating to indoor dining in bars and restaurants. She announced that 44% of outbreaks in the city of Toronto were in bars and restaurants.According to a report by The Globe and Mail, Toronto Public Health on October 2 decided to suspend contact tracing efforts due to an overwhelming amount of new cases.On October 10, indoor dining in bars and restaurants was ordered closed along with the complete closure of gyms, movie theatres and casinos for 28 days by the provincial government in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa.Toronto Mayor John Tory announced a local state of emergency on March 23, 2020. On March 25, 2020, Mayor Tory announced the closure of park amenities, including playgrounds and tennis courts in the city. High Park was closed from April 30 to May 10 to prevent mass gatherings. On June 30, city council voted to make masks or face coverings mandatory in enclosed public spaces.
The Toronto Transit Commission saw a decrease of 86% in ridership by May, with a monthly economic shortfall of CA$92 million and projected losses to culminate in $300 million by Labour Day.Police reported an uptick in stunt driving, street racing and speeding due to emptied roads and highways.Toronto police confirmed they issued close to 3,000 speeding tickets between March 15 and March 31, an increase of 35% of normal ticketing.On May 9, a 19-year old driver was arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police having clocked 308 km/h on the Gardiner Expressway and Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), the highest recorded speed in Ontario history.
On March 31, Toronto announced the cancellation major in-person events initially through June 30; it was then extended to the end of August on May 15, to the end of September on July 13 and up until the end of December on September 23. (and could potentially be extended even further beyond December if necessary). Among the events cancelled were the Canadian National Exhibition, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which has run continuously since 1879 and 1921 respectively, only pausing for a portion of the Second World War.
Other events included Taste of the Danforth, the spring Toronto Marathon, the fall Toronto Waterfront Marathon (both of which held in 2020), Honda Indy,Toronto Pride Parade,Toronto Caribbean Carnival (Caribana),Fan Expo Canada. Nuit Blanche, the Original Santa Claus Parade, Calvalcade of Lights, Toronto Christmas Market and New Year’s Eve celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square.