"Unacceptable" littering at Toronto beaches may lead to ticketing

Jun 25 2020, 9:19 am

Due to “unacceptable” levels of littering on Toronto beaches, enforcement will be ramped up over the coming weekend, which may lead to more residents receiving tickets.

On Wednesday, City Councillor Brad Bradford said he spoke with the deputy city manager over the weekend to ask for more police and bylaw officers to be out issuing tickets for those ignoring physical distancing rules, littering, and other “anti-social behaviour” on the beach, like starting fires.

“What we saw for the second weekend in a row was completely unacceptable. The level of disregard we saw, not only for the critical need to maintain physical distance, but even the basics of picking up after yourself, was shocking,” Bradford said in a statement.

“This is starting now and will be ramped-up over the coming weekend.”

The councillor added that he is also focusing on underlying issues with the way maintenance for the beach is coordinated, which will take time.

Therefore, it’s “back to basics” for picking up the garbage in the City as they work on fixing garbage collection — this includes staffing shifts that need changing and different equipment needs.

On June 21, the City said more garbage bins along the waterfront and mesh bins on the eastern beaches will be placed to help with the littering.

There will also be regular litter picking, cleanup, and beach grooming taking place every day.

“Help keep the beaches clean by using the bins and “packing out” waste when they are full,” the City wrote on Twitter.

Bradford said he was down at the beach two weeks ago, picking up garbage at 7 am, adding that the problem has only “deepened.”

Last weekend, photos were taken of large crowds at Woodbine Beach.

A Toronto Police Community Relations Officer, Norm Leung, posted a photo on June 22, and said the beach and other parks were “extremely crowded this weekend.”

“Lots of public drinking and failure to social distance. Please be respectful to each other and social distance rules. Blatant disregard for these will force officers to take action and risk the City closing parks again.”

Another resident posted a photo of litter in the parking lot at Woodbine Beach calling for some signage and bylaw officers.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Services told Daily Hive that according to the local division, there were no tickets issued for physical distancing infractions.

And while they don’t provide crowd estimates, officers felt the crowd was “generally compliant” and practiced “good social distancing with their household groups.”

Some members of the public were cautioned for liquor infractions, however.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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