Man caught on camera climbing cherry blossom tree fined over $1000: police

May 7 2020, 11:49 am

The Toronto Police Service fined the man who was caught climbing a High Park cherry blossom tree $1,150.

Police say they located the man and issued three Provincial Offence tickets on Tuesday, for “Enter Into Area of Park Posted to Prohibit Admission; Walk Where Prohibited in Park; and Use Park Between 12:01 am and 5:30 am,” all without a permit.

According to the Toronto police, significant media attention led to the man being identified.

On Monday at 1:45 am, photos were shared online from the High Park cherry blossom livestream, BloomCam, showing a man climbing the tree.

The City closed High Park during the bloom period as a public health measure, given the crowds the trees attract each spring.

Mayor John Tory said the behaviour showed the individuals had a “couple screws loose,” when asked about the incident during a press conference on Monday.

And while individuals must continue to keep a safe distance apart when outside, the Toronto police said that the “vast majority” have adhered to the others and bylaws to keep communities healthy during these “difficult times.”

On May 5, the City said they received 210 complaints involving residents using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks.

Bylaw and police officers issued one ticket – bringing the total number of tickets issued under City’s physical distancing bylaw and the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to 621 since April 3.

And, bylaw and police officers have spoken to more than 14,000 people in City parks about the closures and public health measures.