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Toronto Police laid 33 charges related to large social gatherings this past weekend

While Toronto has been under some form of lockdown for roughly three months now, some residents of the city are still hosting and attending large social gatherings as if we haven't been in a pandemic for nearly a year.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg provided an update on the enforcement actions taken by police this past weekend during the city's press briefing Monday afternoon, and he reported that officers laid 33 charges related to large gatherings on Saturday and Sunday combined. 

Pegg said officers have taken formal enforcement action 2,158 times to date, adding that the owner and operator of one restaurant was also charged for violating the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) this past weekend. 

Police also responded to an anti-mask protest at Queen's Park this weekend, Pegg said, resulting in three charges laid under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, three Criminal Code charges laid and two arrests.

During his remarks, Pegg also mentioned the 14-person gathering that took place in the area of Lake Shore Boulevard and York Street Sunday afternoon in which party-goers were caught throwing glass bottles from a 35th-floor balcony. 

He said seven people at this party were charged with failure to comply with emergency orders, four were charged under the Criminal Code and one was charged with offences relating to drug possession.

"Dr. de Villa and our medical and medical science professionals have been painstakingly clear throughout COVID-19, and that is that gatherings such as the ones we described today.. contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in our and city," said Pegg of the gatherings held this weekend. 

"And to me, it's simply irresponsible, it's unacceptable and it has the net impact of placing lives at risk, placing the capacity of our healthcare system at risk and quite frankly delays the day that we're all fighting so hard to get to, which is the day when this virus is behind us and we can reopen our city and our economy safely."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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