Plan an Event

What is the Event Support Unit?

The Event Support Unit (ESU) is part of Film and Entertainment Industries, in the Economic Development and Culture Division.

The ESU provides support and consultation services to the hundreds of local and international level festivals, events, conventions and sport tourism bids which occur in the City of Toronto in the public and private sectors on an annual basis. 

Staff also lead the City's inter-divisional Event Support Team, a one stop shop of creative problem solving mavens for event producers to help facilitate their events in Toronto.  The team is comprised of staff from a range of City divisions, agencies, boards and commissions including the Film, Television and Digital Media Office, Transportation, Fire Services, Police Services, Toronto Paramedic Services, Municipal Licensing, Solid Waste Management, Licensing and Standards, Public Health, Parking Authority and Parks Forestry and Recreation.

We also provides a series of online tools for event organizers including an event support planning guide and Event Pal, an on-line application which generates a special event application package tailored to the unique characteristics of an individual event.  ESU is also the permit body for events on Nathan Phillips Square and Temporary Special Event Signage throughout the City of Toronto.  In the worlds of culinary and hospitality, Event Support is the administration body overseeing the very successful City of Toronto Winterlicious and Summerlicious program.

The ESU has played a leadership role in the coordination of major, city-wide events World Youth Days 2002, the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto Concert 2003, XVI International AIDS Conference 2006, 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada, the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and Celebrations, the 2012 100th Anniversary of the Grey Cup.

Key 2014 Highlights include:

  • Consulted on 100 events at Nathan Phillips Square and coordinated city services for a total of 233 event days.
  • Provided logistical support to 594 events including: FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games, WorldPride 2014, 2014 Lions Clubs International Convention, Tim Hortons 50th Anniversary Convention, TIFF Street Festival, NHL Face Off, and IIHF World Junior (Hockey) Championships.
  • Launched Event PaL a City of Toronto special events permit application request system. Based on user information and answering a series of questions, the system then generates a file containing all the applications and instructions that may be required for the special event organizer.  Future versions will see a unified application form, on-line submission, information retention (allowing for ease of annual permits), document upload feature, permit tracking, date/location availability, in addition to an internal administration model that will allow staff to review, comment, approve, query, and eventually issue permits.
  • Initial development of an Event Hosting Strategy with a final report due in the Fall of 2015
Stadium Crowd during FIFA U20 World Cup

Past Major Events

Some historical events produced in support of the City of Toronto, Event Support Unit.