niagara falls new years

Police say people from Toronto planning on traveling to party in Niagara Falls for New Year's

New Year's Eve celebrations as we know them are cancelled this year in light of the global pandemic, but we all know there are still those residents who are likely to try and flout governmental directives to stay at home and ring in 2021 in the safety of their home with only those they live with.

Ontario police are remaining vigilant, and have learned of at least one incident of people planning to leave the GTA to illegally gather in other parts of the province.

Niagara Regional Police Service posted on its social media channels on Thursday that it had learned of a group of individuals from the Toronto area who had chartered an entire bus to head to Niagara Falls for the holidays, picking up multiple passengers in the downtown core, Scarborough, North York, Vaughan, Brampton, and Missisauga along the way.

"We are investigating," the force wrote on Twitter and Facebook. "This is not in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. #StayHome #StaySafe."

A number of users responded to the statement with their support for the authorities in breaking up this allleged planned gathering, and their condemnation for people who aren't following the current rules under the province's stringent blanket lockdown.

Many are also pointing out the fact that all festivities in Niagara, like in Toronto and elsewhere around the globe, have been called off, including fireworks, lights shows and more. Casinos and all other non-essential businesses are also closed.

"Put out a road block and fine those on the bus," one resident wrote.

"Just perfect. I really hope you bust EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM," another chimed.

And yet another impassioned local: "Fine those irresponsible, ignorant, selfish people. STAY HOME NIAGARA FALLS DOES NOT WANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!"

A representative from Niagara police told blogTO that they were tipped off about the charter from an enforcement agency in the Toronto area.

"During the bus ride there was planned live entertainment.  Essentially the bus would arrive in Niagara Falls between 10-11 p.m. and have them back in the GTA for 3:00 a.m.," they said.

"A planned bus charter with paid live entertainment is not the same as a local transit bus route and does not comply with Covid-19 safety regulations. In the event the bus with the driver, organizers, entertainment and bus riders come to Niagara Falls they could be subject to further investigation and enforcement."

Hopefully the would-be participants have already gotten wind of the punishment waiting for them upon their arrival in Niagara, and are now making alternative, more COVID-19 friendly plans for the evening.

Lead photo by

Micah Giszack


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