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Burlington says 1,000 people gathered at a park last weekend. It doesn't want that to happen again

More police and bylaw officers will patrol Burlington, Ont., beaches and parks this weekend after an estimated 1,000 people gathered and shot off fireworks.

Access to Beachway Park and adjacent parking will be closed at 8 p.m. ET this Saturday

The City of Burlington will close access to Beachway Park and adjacent parking lots at 8 p.m. on Saturday after an illegal gathering a weekend earlier. (Google Maps)

Burlington is upping the number of police and bylaw officers patrolling beaches and parks following a gathering of roughly 1,000 people shooting off fireworks.  

A joint statement from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on behalf of the Ontario city, fire department, and Halton police says they believe a similar event is being organized for this coming weekend. 

About 1,000 youth gathered at Beachway Park and surrounding parking lots on the night of June 5, according to the statement.

"Many" local residents called police with concerns about the illegal gathering, and use of fireworks and alcohol, it adds. 

While the posted park closing time is 11 p.m., the city said the gathering was still going after hours. 

A moving crowd

Halton police Const. Steve Elms said several fires were found along the beach area at dusk, and firefighters put them out. 

Police were able to disperse a crowd of 800 to 1,000, he said. However, a smaller group moved to the parking lot area and then Spencer Smith Park, where officers had to send them home once again. 

There were no injuries to police and no tickets were issued, he said.  

As of Friday, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted in Ontario as the province moves into the first phase of its reopening plan. 

"Please use our parks as intended, safely and responsibly, so that everyone can continue to enjoy this valued outdoor space in these challenging times," the statement said.

Beach closing early

The city has decided to close access to Beachway Park and adjacent parking lots at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Staff will also be limiting vehicle and pedestrian access on that area of Lakeshore Road. 

There will be increased presence of police, bylaw officers and fire department employees throughout all the parks over the weekend to monitor activity, it said. 

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