Kitchener-Waterloo

Weekend car event halted by police in Guelph after learning about it on social media

Guelph police cancelled the plans of a large public car gathering that was scheduled for a commercial lot in the north end of the city Saturday evening.

Large car meeting in violation of social gatherings, police say

Police in Guelph blocked off a large parking lot at the Galaxy Cinema in the north end of the city on Saturday after seeing reports on social media that a large group of car enthusiasts were planning an unsanctioned event there. Police say it's unclear if the people who planned to be in Guelph were the same people who ended up meeting in Ancaster Saturday evening. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Police in Guelph say officers stopped a large public car gathering that was scheduled for a commercial lot in the north end of the city Saturday evening.

According to a social media posting, several hundred people announced last week that they were planning to attend a large car meeting in the area of Woodlawn Road W. and Imperial Road N. in Guelph.

Police say several modified motor vehicles were there but a lot fewer than social media posts indicated. 

Officers used cruisers to block all entrances to the parking lot except for one. As people entered the lot, police checked with each motorist to see if they were there to do business at any of the locations.

 "We're not looking to ruin anyone's fun. We're just looking to make sure that everyone is safe and we're looking to really mitigate the risk to the public," said Const. Kyle Grant. 

"And we saw this event with several hundred people, was clearly in violation of the restrictions put in place by the Ontario government. And those restrictions are put in place for a reason and that's to keep everyone safe."

Four people were ticketed: One was for speeding, one was for an improper muffler, one driver didn't have a licence and one vehicle didn't have a valid permit.

Hamilton police search for car rally organizers

On Saturday, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province was lowering the number of people allowed at social gatherings across Ontario.

Private, unmonitored gatherings are now to be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Police in Guelph say it's unclear if the event that was scheduled for the city was connected to an event in Ancaster Saturday night that saw a massive gathering of car enthusiasts at Cineplex Cinemas on Golf Links Road. 

Police in Hamilton say hundreds attend the event. Officers are currently investigating who organized that gathering.

The suspected organizers of the gathering are known for drawing hundreds of people to street racing events across the
Greater Toronto Area, police said.

Waterloo regional police say they, too, were aware of a potential event planned for Kitchener this past weekend and that members of the traffic service's unit "had generated an operations plan for public safety," Const. Ashley Dietrich said.

As of Saturday, the minimum fine for organizers of events that break the province's rules is $10,000. 

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