Police break up Canada Day party at Mooney's Bay
City ordered beach shut down after crowd grew to estimated 5,000
Ottawa police moved in to break up the crowd at Mooney's Bay on Wednesday evening after as many as 5,000 people gathered there to celebrate Canada Day despite warnings to keep the partying in check due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Police dispersed the crowd and closed access roads to the municipal beach and adjoining park after the city decided to shut it down.
Police said the "large gathering" caused "disorder issues and health concerns" during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The area has since reopened.
Ottawa is currently in Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan, which limits social gatherings to no more than 10.
Earlier this week, public health and city officials pleaded with residents to respect the rules and celebrate Canada Day responsibly, and warned police and bylaw officers would be out in force.
"We are all aware of the resurgence of COVID-19 in some jurisdictions, and no one wants to see that happen here," Anthony Di Monte, the city's general manager of emergency and protective services, said Monday. "We must all resolve to celebrate Canada Day responsibly this year."
"The most Canadian thing we can do is continue to care and protect each other by being COVID-wise during our celebrations," said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health.