Massive party at Toronto bar prompts complaints from residents
Large crowds of people were spotted outside Mahjong Bar near Ossington Avenue and Dundas Street West on Saturday night, prompting complaints from local residents and business owners.
Concerns about noise and social distancing violations fell by the wayside, however, just a few hours after the crowd had dispersed and a man was found with deadly injuries roughly half-a-block away.
Toronto Police say emergency crews responded to the Ossington and Dundas area around 3:31 a.m. to find a male stabbing victim lying on the sidewalk near Baden Street. The man was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have yet to release the victim's age, name, or any identifying details, nor have they released any information about potential suspects.
The death is being treated as a homicide and police are still at the scene as of Sunday afternoon, canvasing for witnesses and looking for further evidence.
STABBING: Ossington Avenue and Dundas Street West area, @TPS14Div *3:31am*. Male victim lying on sidewalk, transported to hospital and later pronounced. @TPSHomicide now investigating. #GO1486174 ^CdK— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) August 9, 2020
There is no evidence to suggest that the bar party and the stabbing are linked, but it's scary to think that a violent attacker was in the immediate when hundreds of people had gathered on Mahjong's street patio for a live music and DJ event.
Residents had been complaining earlier in the evening of amplified noise and a lack of social distancing among patrons, evidence of which can be seen in the Instagram Stories of performers.
The concept of the shoulder to shoulder house party was alive and well on the sidewalks of Dundas West this evening. 😬— TEENANGER (@teenangerTO) August 9, 2020
The owners of one bar just a few units down from Mahjong, The Dock Ellis, took to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to distance themselves from the event.
"We feel it is important to mention that the large crowd that formed near The Dock Ellis was not planned or organised by us, we put up signage asking people to follow social and physical distance rules," reads a message published by the bar around 11 p.m.
"It started overflowing to our patio where we asked people to follow the rules and give contact tracing info, many people were nice and understanding however it was difficult. In the end we stopped service until the crowd left."
We feel it is important to mention that the large crowd that formed near The Dock Ellis was not planned or organised by us, we put up signage asking people to follow social & physical distance rules. We constantly instructed people to follow the guidelines & hope everyone is safe pic.twitter.com/sQYoblkMCv— The Dock Ellis (@TheDockEllis) August 9, 2020
Fortunately, per the Dock Ellis, the party had mostly dispersed by 11 p.m.
The strip remained lively well into the night, however, as people all over the city enjoyed being out and about after months of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
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