City ticketing people using parks facilities, gathered too closely

City staff issued 12 tickets and spoken to 848 people caught using shutdown facilities or not following distancing rules in Toronto’s parks on Monday, officials announced April 7.

It’s the highest number of tickets issued by Municipal Licensing & Standards in a single day since the start of the pandemic. MLS is working with police, public health staff and city parks staff to enforce orders and closures aiming to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The city received 385 complaints on Monday alone about people using closed amenities or not practising physical distancing, according to a media release.

On that one day officers responded to alleged infractions in several Toronto parks, including:

  • a large gathering in the off-leash dog area of Windfields Park in the Windfields community,
  • a ball hockey game in the Sorauren Park Town Square, in the Roncesvalles area,
  • soccer and basketball games taking place at the Athletic Grounds in Regent Park, and
  • 40 people gathered at Stan Wadlow Park’s skateboard park in the Woodbine Heights part of East York.
Patrol car in parks
SERVING AND PROTECTING: A police vehicle is parked at Stan Wadlow skateboarding park where large group had gathered earlier.

Fines of $750 to $5,000 have been set by the city for people who congregate in parks.

Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa again urged everyone to follow provincial orders limiting gatherings and public health recommendations to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons.

Officials are also concerned about donated goods and garbage accumulating around full clothing drop boxes for charities that are not accepting donations during the pandemic.

Residents who want to donate are asked to check with charities whether they are accepting donations.

Mayor John Tory announced city waste management workers will be collecting items left around bins and clearing the areas.

playgrounds in parks off limits
OFF LIMITS: Playgrounds like this one in parkette behind St. Clair West station have been shut down, though the city is still reports of people using them.