fines for not social distancing

Toronto will be fining people $1,000 this weekend if they're not social distancing in parks

The weekend is finally here, for those who still recognize days of the week, and it's not entirely cold, wet or windy outside in Toronto.

Under normal circumstances, a sunny Saturday in mid-April would be enough to entice droves of city-dwellers out of their homes and into the parks (or, more realistically, onto patios).

Such behaviours are currently prohibited in the midst of a global pandemic, of course, but while most Toronto residents are doing their part to save lives by staying home, some still just won't follow social distancing rules. This is a mistake on many levels.

The City of Toronto issued a warning early Saturday to remind anyone who may be thinking of linking up with friends for a lakeside stroll or doing chin-ups in a local park that they'll be subject to steep fines for violating emergency orders.

"#StayHome, Toronto! The #COVID19 enforcement team will be patrolling parks this weekend and ticketing those that do not practise physical distancing," reads a notice posted to the city's official Facebook page around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

"Any 2 people who don't live together, who fail to keep 2 metres or 3 geese apart in a park, are subject to a $1,000 fine."

Last weekend, Municipal Licensing & Standards officers issued 107 tickets for the use of closed park amenities and failure to practise physical distancing. 

Officers did report that some usually busy parks had been lighter than what was observed earlier in the closure period, but that many tickets were still being issued for such acts as "lingering on Muskoka chairs" and the "use of benches beyond necessary resting purposes."

The best way to avoid any sort of fine (and minimize the risk of spreading a potentially deadly virus) is to stay home right now — but if you must go out and are in doubt about how far away to stand from others, the city recommends a length of three Canada geese.

Lead photo by

City of Toronto


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