Victoria Day 2023 fireworks toronto

Toronto Police cautioning public after last year's Victoria Day weekend mayhem

Toronto Police have issued the public a stern warning that they will not be putting up with the chaotic and violent scenes witnessed during last year's Victoria Day weekend fireworks celebration.

Police Staff Superintendent Paul MacIntyre appeared live at Woodbine Beach on Friday morning in advance of the coming fireworks display at the busy waterfront destination this holiday Monday, providing an update on the public safety plan for this weekend's event.

MacIntyre reminded the public of the chaos that unfolded during 2022's Ashbridges Bay fireworks display, saying, "As we all know, last year, we had a great event up until a group of individuals attended Woodbine Beach, and they really caused a great deal of mayhem, crime, and disorder."

"Last year, we did have a shooting, we had some people injured, civilians injured, officers injured, and our mounted police horses injured," continued MacIntyre.

But police say it will be a different story this year, and have taken several steps to ensure that the scene doesn't descend into the same kind of drunken free-for-all that derailed the unofficial start of summer in 2022.

This year, several resources will be at the ready in the Ashbridges Bay area, from the start of the holiday weekend on Friday all the way through the pyrotechnic finale planned for 10 p.m. on Monday, May 22. This includes the Mounted Unit, and officers patrolling on foot, ATVs, and bikes. Fire Services, EMS personnel, and City by-law officers.

"We will not tolerate any kind of lawlessness, we will not put up with what we saw last year," said MacIntyre, adding that there will be "public order units on standby" to keep the peace.

In addition to increased patrols and emergency services, safety features, including better lighting, have been added to Woodbine Beach in advance of this year's celebration, which MacIntyre hopes will "deter and prevent such a thing from happening this year."

Police are advising the public of several rules and by-laws that will continue to be enforced this year, most notably that you do not bring personal fireworks or alcohol to the beach.

"Most importantly, we are telling the people what we expect, we are telling the people what we will not tolerate," said MacIntyre.

Lead photo by

Phil Marion

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