Police blitz to hit parks over holiday weekend

Toronto police warn they are watching public parks closely over four days — starting today — to enforce social distancing and stop use of park facilities.

Trouble spots to be given special attention include Sherwood Park, Sunnybrook Park, Woodbine Beach and other parks across the city, according to an announcement from the Toronto Police Service late Thursday afternoon.

Police say despite being encouraged by compliance by most people, they continue to see some not taking the anti-pandemic measures seriously.

The “enforcement blitz,” as it is called in the police press release, follows a city report earlier in the week showing a large number of complaints being received about gatherings in park, leading to an increased number of interventions by officers.

A total of 360 police officers and bylaw enforcement officer are to be on the job from April 10 to 13, enforcing compliance with social distancing in parks and park amenities such as off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, fitness stations and skateboard facilities.

They will also be be cracking down on people congregating in groups and parking in closed parking facilities, police say.

Tickets up to $1,000 may be issued to those not complying with the public health measures.

Based on complaints and feedback from previous enforcement efforts, officers will be focused on the following parks over the holiday weekend:

• Bluffer’s Park
• Rosetta McClain Gardens
• High Park
• Humber Bay East
• Christie Pits
• Trinity Bellwoods
• Woodbine Beach
• Allan Gardens
• Sunnybrook Park
• Sherwood Park