Toronto police issue fewer fines for drinking in public amid distancing measures

Apr 30 2020, 2:03 pm

As the weather gets warmer, Toronto officials are reminding residents to adhere to physical distancing measures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

It’s expected to reach 18°C on Saturday, and 20°C on Sunday, with both days looking mainly sunny, making it all the more enticing to have a drink in the park.

But, don’t forget that Toronto police are still issuing tickets for having alcohol open in public spaces.

“We continue with all types of enforcement while we are patrolling park areas for non-compliance with the City by-laws and provincial orders,” Meaghan Gray, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service told Daily Hive.

However, Gray noted there has been a decline in tickets for drinking in parks due to the physical distancing measures in place.

If you have an open bottle the fine can be quite hefty, ranging from $100 to $300.

The City is continuing to issue tickets for residents not following physical distancing bylaws and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders are ongoing.

On Wednesday, the City received 314 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers issued four tickets – bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 582.

And, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 12,950 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.

“Officers continue to observe issues with people gathering in groups larger than five and using closed parks amenities, including fitness equipment, playgrounds and picnic tables,”  the City said.

On April 2, Tory signed a new bylaw allowing a fine of up to $5,000 for two or more people who do not stand two meters apart in parks and public squares, enforcing physical distancing. This would not apply to anyone living in the same household.

A $1,000 fine was set for violating the bylaw on April 3.