Toronto cancels all public events through June 30, putting RBC Canadian Open in doubt

March 31, 2020
RBC Canadian Open - Final Round

Michael Reaves

The mayor of Toronto has canceled all public gatherings through June 30 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, putting the PGA Tour's RBC Canadian Open in doubt.

Mayor John Tory, citing the "long battle ahead" against COVID-19, made the announcement Tuesday.

"While the city recognizes the importance of special events and festivals to the livability and vitality of the city, protecting the health and safety of residents is of primary concern," Tory said.

Mayoral spokesman Don Peat would later clarify the cancelation applies to events that get city permits like parades and festivals and does not include sporting events like Toronto Blue Jays, Raptors and Maple Leafs games. In that same breath, Tory's full statement says, "The City's decision provides clear direction to event organizers to enable them to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts” and that the city urged organizers “to follow Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations of physical distancing as a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community when reviewing their event plans for the upcoming months and make prudent decisions about cancelations."

The edict could mean trouble for the RBC Canadian Open, scheduled to begin on June 11 at St. George's Golf and Country Club. St. George's is located in Etobicoke, one of six municipalities amalgamated into the city of Toronto. The club had not hosted the tournament since 2010.

On Monday, Golf Canada postponed three regional qualifying tournaments for the Canadian Open, slatted to begin on May 14. A cancelation would be the Canadian Open's first since World War II.

It could also have a potential major effect on the PGA Tour schedule.

The Tour notified players this week that fields at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas (May 21-24) and the Memorial (June 4-7) at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, will increase from 120 players to 144. Conversely, as Golf Digest reported Friday, the U.S. Open—scheduled to be played at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., starting June 18—is also expected to be postponed, as New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Should both the Canadian and U.S. Open be canceled/postponed, sources tell Golf Digest the Colonial, Memorial and Rocket Mortgage Classic (May 28-31 in Detroit) would likely follow suit.