Saturday, August 13, 2022

Toronto cancels and reschedules Canada Day fireworks after company backs down on unpaid bill

Toronto had to cancel and reschedule Canada Day fireworks after a company hired to put back out displays at the last minute, leading to an overnight scramble by city employees to save the festivities.

Fireworks at Milliken Park has been canceled, and rescheduled for Saturday, July 2 at Stan Wadlow Park.

The changes come after David Whysall International Fireworks Inc. notified the city on Thursday that it was pulling out of July 1 celebrations at Ashbridge Bay Park, Stan Wadlow Park and Milliken Park. That eleventh-hour move led to plans for this year’s Canada Day fireworks, the first since the start of the pandemic.

The Star reached out to the company and its owner, David Whisall, for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

City spokesman Brad Ross told the Star the company has been used several times, including at a fireworks display in Ashbridge Bay over the past Victoria Day weekend. He said the company has alerted the city that it will not go ahead with the Canada Day show because it was not paid $31,000 for the Victoria Day event.

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“We do our best to pay off our invoices within 30 days,” Ross explained. “We made that payment as soon as it was brought to our notice. (Thursday) morning we sent that money directly to him, $31,000. But even then it is not advisable to cancel the services arbitrarily. In fact, we have a contract and Seller does not have the right to arbitrarily cancel that contract, to terminate the contract, certainly not with 24 hours notice.

“We will hold that vendor responsible for any costs that may result from this breach of contract. We paid that invoice. And they advised us not to meet their contractual obligations to have (Friday) night fireworks.” will do.

Ross said the originally planned fireworks display for the three parks cost about $65,000. He didn’t know what the new seller would charge.

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On Thursday, city workers who worked nightly to find a replacement, contacted fireworks companies in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and at the US Celebration Fireworks located in Orono, Ont., on Friday night at Ashbridge Bay Park (1561). will attend the show. Saturday Night Show at Lake Shore Blvd E) and Stan Wadlow Park (373 Cedarvale Ave.). No vendors were found for Milliken Park.

On Friday nights, there will also be a fireworks display at Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yong St.) and Downsview Park (70 Canuck Ave.).

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Nation World News Desk
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