Toronto police seize $13K worth of booze, charge 24 people at illegal party
150 people maskless people found partying in downtown commercial building, police say
Officers breaking up a huge party in downtown Toronto over the weekend seized $13,000 worth of alcohol and charged 24 people, police say.
Shortly before 1:30 Sunday morning, officers with 52 Division's primary response unit were called to a dispute in a laneway in the area of Huron Street and Dundas Street West.
On arrival, officers could hear loud music and partying at a nearby property, and so called in the service's dedicated COVID-19 enforcement teams to assist.
In a new release on Monday, police said approximately 150 people, who were not wearing masks, were found partying in a commercial building.
"Some of the people in attendance dispersed and left the premises," police said in the news release.
"Officers had to take into account their safety at the time, but were able to charge 24 individuals under the EMCPA."
Mayor condemns behavior
Speaking at a news conference Monday afternoon, Mayor John Tory condemned the actions of those involved in the party and once again urged Torontonians to abide by the COVID-19 rules.
"The vast majority of people are substantially altering their behaviour, they are the ones that should be the maddest about this behaviour," Tory said.
"Thirteen thousand dollars worth of alcohol isn't a couple of people getting together for a beer ... I don't know what planet these people are on."
Toronto Fire Chief and head of emergency management Matthew Pegg said he doesn't know what else can be done to prevent actions similar to the weekend party.
"Those actions are directly prolonging our time in this pandemic," Pegg said.
Officers from 52 Division's Major Crime Unit will continue to investigate the circumstances and identify those in attendance, the news release states.
The public is being reminded that anyone breaching provincial pandemic orders could face a fine of $750 and officers will take steps to disperse and lay charges. Charges can also be laid at a later date, police say.
With files from Samantha Beattie