On September 6, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) announced in an Instagram post that it had cancelled the Tri-Campus Parade scheduled for September 7. In the post, the union explained that the cancellation was the result of “staffing issues with Toronto Police Services.”
“We are very sad [that] we will not get to celebrate with our fellow peers at the other campuses, but [we] hope to work on coming together again this year,” the post read.
After two years of virtual and hybrid orientations, the U of T community highly anticipated the return of the Tri-Campus Parade. Students expressed their disappointment on social media, leaving dozens of comments under the union’s Instagram post.
In a statement to The Varsity, UTSU Vice-President, Student Life Elizabeth Shechtman expanded on the safety concerns that led to the cancellation.
Shechtman wrote, “Police are a key part of this parade for safety measures. It is impossible to have over 8,000 students walking on the streets of downtown Toronto without any safety precautions and the support of [the]… Toronto Police Services.”
Despite acknowledging the union’s efforts and planning for the parade, Shechtman explained that the cancellation was something that “had to be done.” The parade required a specific number of police officers present at the event in order to ensure the safety of attendees. “Due to [the staffing issues], cancelling was the only option,” wrote Shechtman.
“Thankfully, we had new events that we introduced this year such as the Loud Luxury concert and the student commons grand opening that hopefully made up for it,” she wrote.
The UTSU does not have any plans to postpone the parade. Instead, Shechtman affirmed that the union will ensure that the parade is planned effectively for next year.
The Varsity has reached out to Toronto Police Services for comment.