Toronto·Video

Toronto authorities cracking down on illegal beach parties, restricting parking due to COVID-19

As of today, the city says that parking at three popular beaches — Marie Curtis Park, Humber Bay West Park and Cherry Beach — will be restricted after 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's all part of the effort to enforce COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions.

Parking at 3 Toronto beaches will be restricted after 7 p.m. starting Friday

Toronto police say officers have noticed an uptick in bonfires, parties and illegal gatherings at beaches in the city, including Marie Curtis Park, pictured here. (22 Division Toronto Police Service/Facebook )

Authorities are enacting stricter parking rules at three Toronto beaches after a number of nighttime parties were busted last weekend in a bid to enforce COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions.

The city says parking at three popular beaches — Marie Curtis Park, Humber Bay West Park and Cherry Beach — will be restricted after 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Officers will be present at all parking lot entrances, the city says, adding that vehicles leaving beach parking lots after 7 p.m. will be able to do so freely. 

The city also noted a "significant increase" in the number of gatherings happening at beaches where people are not observing restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"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," the city said in a release issued Thursday. 

Partygoers have reportedly brought DJ equipment, lit bonfires, and participated in excessive drinking while leaving behind heaps of litter. 

WATCH | Community members react to partying at Toronto beaches

The city says the late-night partying at Toronto beaches is drawing crowds during the pandemic and must stop. Kelda Yuen visited one of three popular beaches where new parking rules began today. 1:55
 

Alongside an increase in bylaw officers patrolling the beaches, the city says Toronto police will also be increasing their presence to crack down on illegal gatherings.

"COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto and while Stage 2 of reopening has given residents greater opportunity to get outside, there remains a public health risk of spreading the virus to others," the release reads. 

Const. Alex Lee told CBC Toronto Thursday that most of the complaints police have received are about crowding.  

"People that are not following social distancing rules and laws," he said, adding that police are issuing tickets for bonfires, loud parties, DJs, crowds and fireworks. 

"It comes to a point where sometimes education is not being heard or understood, and at that point we take an enforcement approach." 

Toronto police say this was the scene at Marie Curtis Park sometime in the last few weekends. (22 Division Toronto Police Service/Facebook)

With files from CBC Toronto

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