The City of Toronto is stepping up enforcement and will now restrict weekend evening parking following an increase in partying, crowding and a lack of social distancing at many of the city's beaches.
"Over the last several weekends, the City of Toronto has seen a significant increase in the number of people at Toronto beaches late into the evening who are not practising physical distancing, or who are setting up DJ equipment, lighting bonfires, drinking excessively and leaving large amounts of litter behind," reads a news release from the city published Thursday.
"COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto and while Stage 2 of reopening has given residents greater opportunity get outside, there remains a public health risk of spreading the virus to others."
The city says parking restrictions will be in place starting tomorrow at some Toronto beaches at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
As of tomorrow evening, parking will be restricted at Marie Curtis Park, Humber Bay West Park and Cherry Beach.
Many people have been going to Toronto beaches late into the evening who are not practising physical distancing. Parking restrictions will be in place at beaches starting at 7 pm on Friday.— Paula Fletcher (@PaulaFletcherTO) July 9, 2020
Please follow public health measures and keep our beaches safe and clean. https://t.co/f6y8dQf9L8
Some other parks and beaches will also have restricted parking access as a result of ActiveTO weekend road closures, including Sunnyside Park, Sir Casimir Gzowski Park, and Budapest Park. Parking at Bluffers Park will also close at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The city will place large signs in front of the waterfront to advise anyone arriving at the beaches that parking is restricted, though vehicles that arrived before 7 p.m. at any of the three beaches will be able to leave freely.
In addition to the new parking restrictions, bylaw officers, Toronto police and Toronto Fire will have a "highly visible presence" at beaches and parking lots to ensure that crowding and other prohibited activities, such as bonfires and fireworks, are dealt with.
Enjoy #Toronto parks and beaches, but stay safe and follow the rules. Alcohol is not permitted in parks or beaches. You can receive a $300 ticket for consuming alcohol in public spaces. pic.twitter.com/NPrZrdan9N— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) July 9, 2020
The city says parking enforcement will also have a significant presence this weekend, and that cars illegally parked in the vicinity of beaches where it is restricted will be tagged and towed.
There are a high number of visitors to Toronto’s beaches. Debris on beaches happens, as things get washed up on shore, but we can all help to keep litter off the beach. Please dispose of waste in bins and report hazardous debris/garbage to 311 for clean-up. pic.twitter.com/UZpRtpxTLc— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) July 9, 2020
"Bonfires of any type or size are not permitted in City parks, including beaches. Organized parties involving DJs, including amplification of sound, are also prohibited," notes the release.
"Drinking and partying at beaches well into the night, with crowds not adhering to physical distancing orders that remain in place, puts people at risk and has also resulted in significant litter. The litter ruins the enjoyment of the beach for those who arrive in the morning, despite the best efforts of City crews to clean up."
by Mira Miller via blogTO