Toronto Police have a plan to curtail violence at Ashbridges Bay this weekend
The City of Toronto's Canada Day fireworks display is expected to draw quite the crowds on Friday evening at Ashbridges Bay Park. But crowds can be a recipe for trouble, and Toronto police have a plan in place to ensure public safety during the festivities on July 1.
Crowds will amass along the boardwalk from Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue hours before the first volley of fireworks goes off at 10 p.m., rain or shine, and Toronto Police have issued a statement confirming that they're ready for whatever may transpire.
Police state that "a policing plan is in place over the weekend, with public safety at the forefront, including the day before and following the event. A variety of police resources will be in the area to ensure everyone can enjoy the event and weekend safely."
And in a possible nod to all the roman candle-shooting kids out there, police warn attendees that "personal fireworks in city parks and on the beaches are prohibited."
The public statement comes just over one month after the return of the city's annual May 2-4 weekend fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay, where there were reports of a stabbing, a firearm and five arrests.
That turned out to be just a prelude to the chaos that would follow the very next evening when unsanctioned private celebrations broke out at Woodbine Beach, marred by widespread violence with at least 19 arrests, multiple shootings, a stabbing, and seven police officers left injured.
Police haven't explicitly named any threats or specific concerns about violence this Friday. Still, it's evident from their statement that they're taking the previous May 2-4 experience into consideration for their Canada Day weekend plan.
In addition to the stern warning for would-be troublemakers, police are reminding motorists that it will be an absolute disaster on roads with traffic completely clogged up on and around a vast stretch of the waterfront.
Police caution that "drivers can expect traffic delays due to road closures in the area, including Lakeshore Boulevard East. Parking enforcement will be heightened in the area due to limited parking. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and to use alternate modes of transportation."
If you want to avoid the traffic nightmare and possible bouts of road rage, police and city officials urge attendees to take public transit, with the TTC providing additional buses on numerous routes serving the east waterfront.
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