At least nine people arrested during Alexandra Park encampment evictions

Jul 20 2021, 3:37 pm

At least nine people were arrested in downtown Toronto Tuesday morning as City staff removed homeless individuals camping in Alexandra Park.

Dozens of police officers were on site as City staff enforced trespass notices that were issued on June 12 to the approximately 30 people living in the park at Dundas and Bathurst streets.

Toronto police say seven people were arrested for trespassing at the park, an eighth was arrested for public intoxication, and a ninth was arrested due to an outstanding warrant.

An orange fence was erected around the park while City staff tried to convince the homeless individuals to move to indoor accommodation. According to a City news release, the accommodation provides meals, showers, laundry, and mental health supports.

But homelessness advocate Diana Chan McNally, who was at Alexandra Park Tuesday, criticized the City for choosing a “paramilitary” approach instead of making more effort to help the people living in the park.

“Volunteers being thrown out of the kettling cage. How will residents inside be supported to move? Will they be in there alone with police and security?” she said on Twitter.

The Shelter and Housing Justice Network also accused City workers and police of throwing campers’ belongings out onto the street without making efforts to help them pack up to move indoors.

Some evicted residents and community advocates gathered at Queen and Ryerson streets afterwards to voice their frustrations about the process.

The City also forcibly removed homeless campers from Trinity Bellwoods Park earlier this year, where several protesters were arrested after clashing with police.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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