Toronto cancels outdoor events through July including Canada Day celebrations because of coronavirus

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The downtown skyline and CN Tower are seen past the eastern waterfront area of Toronto

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest city Toronto is cancelling all large in-person, city-permitted outdoor events through July as the country seeks to stave off a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Toronto announced Wednesday it is extending an existing cancellation of outdoor events, including the annual Pride Parade, which will be a virtual event, and July 1 Canada Day celebrations, which tend to cap off mid-summer festivities.

The announcement does not include professional sporting events, which need permission from provincial and federal governments in addition to Toronto Public Health.

"I want to thank all of these organizations for understanding the need to avoid large in-person gatherings in the coming months and thank you to those who have worked to offer virtual events to keep the spirit of these celebrations," Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

Many Canadian provinces are gradually reopening businesses and cultural activities after a powerful second wave of the coronavirus forced authorities to issue stay-at-home orders.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Grant McCool)