The Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) dedicated COVID-19 enforcement teams laid hundreds of charges against people breaking the Stay-at-Home order over the weekend.
Since their launch on April 22, the enforcement teams have laid over 160 charges under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and eight criminal charges.
TPS said officers were called to approximately 210 “noisy parties and gatherings” over the weekend, more than half of which were held indoors.
Police were called most often to Toronto’s downtown core. April 24 was the busiest night as officers responded to houses, apartments, short-term rentals, and businesses alike.
“While I want to thank the vast majority of residents who are respecting the law, too many people – mostly adults – are having parties and hosting large gatherings in Toronto every day and night. It has to stop,” said TPS Chief James Ramer.
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In one call of note, police said officers were called to a condo near King Street West and Portland Street where they discovered “a large number of people” inside the apartment.
The homeowner and ten people who did not live at the condo were charged under the EMCPA.
While attending a call for a noisy party near York Street and Harbour Street, officers could hear loud music from another unit inside the building.
Officers discovered an apartment that was being used as a short-term rental, and subsequently charged six people under the EMCPA.
Under Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order, indoor and outdoor gatherings can only be held with members of the same household.
Individuals who are charged with breaking the EMCPA can face a fine of $750.
“We are at a critical point in this pandemic and these teams will continue to be deployed across the city every day to lay charges against those who are disrespecting provincial and public health orders,” Ramer said.
To date, Toronto has seen 142,726 COVID-19 cases and 3,023 virus-related deaths.