People got stupid with fireworks all over Toronto on Victoria Day
Ah, fireworks: So loud, so pretty, so... loud. So, so loud.
Toronto residents are once again debating the merits of making it legal for people to play with colourful explosives on Victoria Day after waking up, grumpy from a lack of sleep, to find firework debris scattered across the city.
While the City of Toronto does allow people to set off fireworks without a permit on May 2-4 weekend and Canada Day, much of the behaviour witnessed over the long weekend was anything but legal.
First of all, the rules stipulate that you can only set off family fireworks on private property. Setting off fireworks in city parks, streets or anywhere else can land you with a $300 fine.
That didn't stop thousands of people (according to a Toronto police estimate) from gathering in large parks all over the city last night to watch the skies explode with light.
@311Toronto @Toronto_Fire @TPSOperations This is Wigmore Park. Right now. Illegal fireworks and worse, people gathering in COVID lockdown. Where's the enforcement???? What's the goddamn point of it all???? #DOSOMETHING pic.twitter.com/guIEBNCHdL— Martin MacDonald (@martinmacd) May 25, 2021
"There are currently at least a couple hundred people crowded together watching fireworks in Toronto's Withrow Park," wrote one local on Twitter last night.
"This is not how one reduces transmission of #COVID19."
Until 1 a.m. last night, and now this tonight. I notified 311 today fireworks were planned for Prince of Wales park and hoped bylaw enforcement would attend. It’s illegal and anti social, and I haven’t started about dogs, wildlife, litter snd debris. Enough!— Elizabeth J Duncan (@ElizabethDuncan) May 25, 2021
There's also the fact that fireworks are allowed on Victoria Day only — not for three or four nights preceding the actual holiday, which this year fell on May 24.
3 NIGHTS. IN A ROW. Can we not with the fireworks, Toronto? We don’t even know what Victoria Day IS!— Alessia Musso #PaidSickDays (@alessiamu) May 25, 2021
"3rd night in a row (the first 2 against the rules, of course) of non stop #fireworks in #toronto til all hours of the morning," complained one resident.
"People have work and need to sleep, pets are terrified, and there's debris left everywhere. Time to ban these things."
Everywhere you look along the skyline of Toronto fireworks are going off. Every night this weekend! We've never seen it like this before. COVID phenomenon? pic.twitter.com/hQVqqiaUQK— Loreli Cockram (@lorelicockram) May 25, 2021
While we're used to fireworks going off sporadically in Toronto over the summer, many people noted that this past weekend felt excessive.
Even police were bombarded, reporting a "high volume of calls" as fireworks boomed and banged late into the night.
is this typical for Victoria Day, or has every toronto household been given 5 state-mandated fireworks this year?— Laura Howells (@LauraHowellsNL) May 25, 2021
Whether the result of people letting out pent-up energy after more than a year of living in lockdown or something else entirely, there were more individual fireworks shows around the city this weekend than Toronto had seen for some time, if ever.
Just drove down the 400. Fireworks all over town. Nice to see the city waking up.— gregmacp (@gregmacp) May 25, 2021
The noise was noticeable near and far, annoying many people who were trying to sleep, not to mention their pets and local widlife.
"God, Toronto, shut up with the fireworks. It's annoying and it freaks out my cat. Three nights in a row!" wrote one local on Twitter.
"Someone just set off fireworks on Toronto Street. 4:58 a.m.," wrote another early Monday morning. "Real classy."
Not fun for babies, cats, dogs or wildlife… not fun at all.— cristina pía (@cristinapia_) May 24, 2021
And then there were the people who made things dangerous, shooting fireworks at each other and all over the place at beaches and parks.
Residents of Toronto, particularly youth!— Mark Jaine (@MarkJaine) May 25, 2021
Love you coming to the beaches, all year round, particularly holidays! Brings great energy & lots of fun. Beach & boardwalk are yours as much as any, let loose and have fun!
But this shit here is unwelcome 👇 #toronto #beaches #may24 pic.twitter.com/FkXusToHPV
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