Toronto Mayor John Tory has apologized for not properly physical distancing at Trinity Bellwoods Park over the weekend.
After Tory was snapped interacting with crowds at the popular Toronto park on Saturday, the internet was quick to criticize the Mayor for not practicing what he preaches.
John Tory at Trinity Bellwoods, mask down, not distanced two meters and socializing. Hard to take him seriously. pic.twitter.com/F9PeVP5tfE
— Eva Lewarne – (@ELewarne) May 25, 2020
Honestly, @JohnTory, what the heck is this? Not only are you less than 6ft from these people, LOOK AT YOUR MASK! Italian Mayors roamed the streets yelled at people to go home; you pull your mask down for a photo op? Toronto and @epdevilla deserve a public apology from you! pic.twitter.com/VhCc7JGVTK
— Heather – #NoCutsToEducation (@OhhaiHeather) May 24, 2020
“I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were,” Tory said in a statement. “I fully intended to properly physically distance but it was very difficult to do. I wore a mask into the park but I failed to use it properly, another thing I’m disappointed about.”
The mayor continued by apologizing and saying that as the leader of Toronto, he “must set a better example going forward.”
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Multiple images circulated across social media of hoards of people flocking to the park while visitors disregarded the rules put in place to keep them safe.
“Gatherings like this, where people aren’t keeping their distance from others, run the risk of setting Toronto back significantly in its efforts to stop the transmission of COVID-19,” the City said in a statement.
While people are encouraged to go outside, they must remain at least two metres apart from anyone outside of their household.
“That is the science; that is what experts like Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, tell us,” the statement explains.
However, Trinity Bellwoods was an anomaly to other parks in the city, authorities stated. According to the statement, a majority of other parks across Toronto were used responsibly.
Premier Doug Ford also expressed his disapproval in a press conference on Sunday.
“I thought it was a rock concert. I was absolutely shocked,” Ford describes. “The images I saw, we just can’t have that right now. It’s just too many people too close.”
Understandably, people are excited about limitations and specific measures gradually being lifted. It is even more natural for individuals to want to venture outside as the weather improves. But congregating in large groups without adhering to the strict physical distancing guidelines puts not only these people at risk but also anyone that they come in contact with.
During these times, we must think of the bigger picture and be patient and diligent with various health and safety requirements if we want to see conditions continue to improve.
We live in a Free Country 🇨🇦; Fair Enough! But if you were at Trinity Bellwoods Park today, do us all a Favour… don’t visit your Parents or Grandparents for the next 2 or 3 weeks. 🙏🏼 It’s great to feel invincible, and maybe you are!! But we’re not all so lucky 👎🏼 #BeResponsible pic.twitter.com/XATI6G0x0q
— T O R O N T O 🍁 (@Toronto) May 24, 2020