Tamil Fest must move, because it will keep growing.
The first Tamil street festival in Scarborough was a smash hit, with some 90,000 visitors coming to a closed stretch of Morningside Avenue during the last weekend in August.
But the 2015 crowds - around triple what organizers expected - meant long lines for food and rides, and some chaos on nearby streets as motorists parked wherever they could.
Executives of the Canadian Tamil Congress say they spoke to City of Toronto officials and agreed the 2016 Tamil Fest must go somewhere with more room - Markham Road between Passmore and Steeles avenues.
“The city felt that the space that we had was not enough, so they might as well move it now, and avoid all those parking hassles,” Congress President Raj Thavaratnasingham said on Sunday.
The returning street festival will close a busy two-block stretch of road just south of the Markham boundary for three days, from Friday, Aug. 26 to Sunday, Aug. 28.
Two lanes will be left clear for emergency vehicles.
More details of the festival will be released soon, but the inaugural event in the Morningside Heights area featured a dazzling variety of Tamil foods, traditional street performers, and other entertainment.
The Congress has said staging of the few Tamil street fairs outside South Asia was a milestone for Greater Toronto’s growing and increasingly prominent Tamil-Canadian community, which is concentrated in Scarborough, Markham and Richmond Hill.
- Mike Adler