Over 350 charges laid after "concerningly high" number of parties in Toronto

May 8 2021, 10:25 am

The Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) dedicated COVID-19 enforcement teams laid hundreds of charges this week after a “concerningly high” number of parties.

Police said that between April 30 and May 6, officers from the 16 teams responded to 296 calls regarding people breaking the Stay-at-Home order.

As a result, officers issued 338 tickets under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA), and 16 criminal charges.

“The number of gatherings, parties, and events being held across Toronto remains concerningly high,” said Staff Superintendent Randy Carter.

“Police are being called to attend these scenes on a daily basis. We want to thank the public for their cooperation in reporting these events. You are helping to keep our city safe.”

In one incident of note from the past week, officers responded to reports of a noisy party near Bloor Street West and Dundas Street.

Upon arrival, police discovered 14 people at a house party. Officers broke up the gathering, and issued each attendee a ticket 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.

Since the teams were launched across the city on April 22, they have now issued over 570 tickets and charges, mostly in the downtown core.

TPS said their enforcement has been particularly focused on indoor events being held in condos, short-term rentals, and closed bars and restaurants.

Carter noted that the teams will be out responding to calls throughout the weekend.

“Anyone thinking of attending a gathering – please don’t risk it,” Carter said. “You are putting the health of yourself and others on the line.”

“Please stay home and stay safe.”

As of May 7, Toronto has seen 154,799 COVID-19 cases and 3,163 virus-related deaths.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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