Here's what the social distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods Park look like
City staff were in Trinity Bellwoods early this morning painting white circles across the grass in an effort to deter the thousands of people who recklessly congregated there last weekend from becoming repeat offenders.
The circles, which have come to be known as "social distancing circles," have a diameter of eight feet and are being placed 10 feet apart to ensure physical distancing among parkgoers.
Mayor John Tory officially announced yesterday that the project would be piloted in Trinity Bellwoods starting Thursday, adding that ideally the circles will "ensure compliance in a place where we simply have to do better."
Park staff will be in Trinity Bellwoods Park tomorrow painting circles on the grass to help illustrate proper physical distancing measurements, while also encouraging compliance during a time when personal responsibility is so important. pic.twitter.com/uSazJ1UgHq— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 27, 2020
Toronto has been the subject of national ridicule and criticism this week after photos and videos circulated online of roughly 10,000 individuals gathering and drinking in the park last Saturday, with hardly any social distancing being practiced at all.
Premier Doug Ford said earlier this week that the scene looked like a rock concert, and the Mayor of Calgary even used Toronto as an example of how not to act during a pandemic.
But the city is hoping these circles will solve the problem, at least partially, and they may also be used in other parks if staff find the measure effective in Bellwoods.
To assist residents with physical distancing, the City is exploring the use of circles painted on the grass, as has been successful in other jurisdictions. This will be piloted in Trinity Bellwoods Park, and staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this measure and may expand it.— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) May 25, 2020
In addition to the circles, City staff and police officers will continue to patrol the park and hand out tickets to anyone not complying with the City bylaw that requires people to remain six feet away from anyone they don't live with, or the provincial orders that prohibit the use of park amenities as well as gatherings of more than five people.
Social distancing circles have been used effectively in other parts of North America, such as San Francisco's Dolores Park and Brooklyn's Domino Park, but only time will tell whether the rule-breaking partiers from last weekend will willingly remain within the confines of an eight-foot circle.
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