Event Photographer’s View on the Beloved City of Toronto Without Events

Toronto’s Yonge and Bloor Street intersection during the city’s signature event the Pride parade, held in June 2019 (left), and during the COVID-19 lockdown this spring. What is typically an extraordinarily busy intersection is nearly empty now.
Empty store shelves are not hard to find these days as panic buying spreads during COVID-19. Grocery stores have been out of stock on most cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
Some Chinese supermarkets in Toronto have adopted a ‘no masks, no entry’ policy, in order to avoid community spread of the virus.
Celebrating special occasions is a challenge. In this photo, a child celebrates their birthday in an empty parking lot in Toronto, in order to abide by proper social distancing rules.
A staff hands out a box of necessities outside a food bank in North York’s Willowdale Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
Grade 3 student Armando Sifuentes has been participating in online classes at home since April 6. Publicly funded schools in Ontario remain closed up to May 31.Photo essay: Toronto in COVID-19
Neighbours in Bathurst Manor share some laughs while under stay-at-home orders.
A hair salon on Yonge Street is closed until further notice. A survey recently released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business showed that 58 per cent of their members will not be able to pay their rent in May without assistance.
The Toronto Reference Library, and other branches of the Toronto Public Library, are closed during COVID-19, scrapping many cultural and literacy events, including May’s Asian Heritage Month. The City of Toronto has estimated its weekly loss in revenues at $65 million, owing to a sharp drop in TTC ridership and closure of for-rent city venues.
Planta, one of Toronto’s pricey plant-based restaurants, is closed due to COVID-19. According to a Restaurants Canada’s survey, about one in 10 restaurants in the country have permanently closed due to the pandemic. Four out of five restaurants have laid off employees.
Toronto’s posh and trendy neighbourhood of Yorkville, a frequent hotspot for events, such as Toronto International Film Festival and Toronto Fashion Week, is secluded. Nearby high-end shops on Bloor Street are also boarded up as businesses are forced to close because of COVID-19.
With the closure of Eaton Centre downtown, the H&M store at Yonge and Dundas streets has been boarded up and the entrance barricaded.
Homeless people gather on a street corner in Chinatown in downtown Toronto. According to Dr. Aaron Orkin, an ER doctor and population medicine expert, there are roughly 8,000 people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. People are sleeping on the streets or near ravines because shelters are unsafe, he says.
LCBO at Toronto’s Rimrock Plaza has confirmed one of its staff tested positive for coronavirus on March 20. The store was immediately closed.
Shortly after the LCBO (above) confirmed its case of coronavirus, the Shoppers Drug Mart, next door, also confirmed one of its staff tested positive for COVID-19. The drug store was closed temporarily. Now, it is only allowing customers to pick up prescription drugs by the store entrance.
With the closure of gyms, fitness buff Momo Attaoui works out at home with the help of a YouTube home workout channel.
It’s business as usual for Fabian Merlo, news host of Hispanic radio station Ondas FM. He regularly hosts his 5 a.m. news program in the station’s North York studio. Media are considered as essential services.
A food bank is set up outside Willowdale Seventh-Day Adventist Church at Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue, in north Toronto. People follow social distancing and wear masks as they line up to receive boxes of necessities.
North York General Hospital (Branson) site is one of 12 COVID-19 assessment centres in Toronto.
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