Toronto Police bust illegal 20-person party in King West
You'd think that more than a year of living in some form or another of lockdown would condition the people of Toronto to stay at home when asked — or, at the very least, to avoid big parties (the likes of which have been linked to multiple COVID-19 outbreaks.)
Alas, partiers gunna party, and St. Patrick's Day is notorious for prompting such people to wear green, go out and get wasted.
At least one Toronto resident has been charged under the Reopening Ontario Act after police busted a "noisy party" in the area of King Street West and Spadina Avenue around 2 a.m. on March 18.
"Officers dispersed a large number of people - estimated to be around 20 people," Toronto Police Constable Michelle Flannery told blogTO.
"The organizer was identified and was charged under the Reopening Ontario Act. A part three summons was issued which means they will have to go to court."
While Flannery notes that "there is nothing to suggest this was a St Patrick's Day party," the party did take place in the early morning hours following the popular day of revelry.
Regardless of the reason for the shindig, it happened exactly one year after a State of Emergency was declared in Ontario due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while Toronto was under strict lockdown orders that prohibit indoor gatherings.
Per the latest version of the province's colour-coded COVID-19 response framework, indoor gatherings in grey zone regions (such as Toronto) are restricted only to people who live in the same household, with few exceptions for those who live alone.
A party with 20 people inside is more than double what the government currently even allows even for outdoor gatherings, putting the event's host in a position to be charged and fined up to $750.
While it sucks to skip yet another holiday normally spent having fun with friends, public health officials continue to ask that Toronto residents stay home whenever possible and practice social distancing measures.
If all goes well and we can mitigate a third wave by slowing the spread of new viral variants, the people of Toronto could very well be rewarded as soon as next week with the permission to once again visit patios.
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