Toronto, Ontario — …And with nary a second glance, COVID’s cruel hand cleans the slate—the Canadian (Toronto) and Montreal International Auto Shows have been cancelled.
COVID-19 cases are steadily back on the rise thanks to the new Omicron variant and governments in Ontario and Quebec are scrambling to set new rules ahead of the new year.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has already announced that attendance limits for events hosting more than 1,000 people must be cut in half starting Saturday, in order to help curb the spread of the more transmissible variant.
Organizers for both the Montreal and Toronto auto shows, which typically kick off the new year in January and February respectively, reluctantly announced that the events have been called off on Thursday.
“It is with a heavy heart that we made this decision,” said Luis Pereira, executive director of Montreal International Auto Show.
“Montreal being the first major auto show in the Canadian circuit, we feel it would be irresponsible to hold a major public event with COVID cases on the rise again.”
In a statement, Jason Campbell, general manager of Canadian International Auto Show, said he thanked “all of our Auto Show partners, sponsors, exhibitors and consumers for their interest in coming back in 2022, but (we) can assure them we’ll be back bigger than ever in 2023 for what will be our 50th year.”
Both shows floated the idea of running virtually last year, but were met with general disinterest from the industry and opted against holding events in 2021.