Toronto Public Health finally shuts down Adamson BBQ for breaking lockdown rules
It may have taken more than five hours and a ton of back and forth between cops, city officials, and bylaw enforcement officers, but the controversial Etobicoke BBQ joint that publicly reopened today for indoor dining despite strict lockdown orders is finally closed.
The City of Toronto announced shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday that Adamson BBQ had been "ordered closed by Toronto's Medical Officer of Health under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act."
"Despite Ontario regulations requiring all restaurants to be closed, except for takeout, delivery and drive-through, this establishment opened its doors to patrons for dine-in eating in contravention of the law that is designed to protect people from the spread of COVID-19," reads a news release from the city.
"Investigations require the gathering of all the facts before enforcement action can be taken. The City has now taken enforcement action, and the restaurant is closed."
#BREAKING The City of Toronto has now shut down Adamson BBQ, in Etobicoke, after its owner opened the doors to dine-in customers today in a public defiance of the lockdown order. Police would not move in earlier with the large crowd and demonstrators around. @680NEWS pic.twitter.com/XTHUGLUITs— Mark Douglas (@Douglas680NEWS) November 24, 2020
As previously reported, Toronto Police, Toronto Public Health inspectors and city bylaw enforcement officers had all attended the Texas-style BBQ joint at 7 Queen Elizabeth Blvd late Tuesday morning.
It would have been weird for them not to be there, given how publicly and aggresively owner Adam Skelly had been promoting his illegal reopening stunt.
What many found even weirder, though, was the fact that authorities left without laying any charges, leaving the restaurant open and filled with defiant anti-maskers.
"An investigation was immediately launched when the restaurant was found to be operating in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act, providing both indoor and outdoor dine-in service, with many patrons not wearing masks and not practising physical distancing," reads the city's new relase.
"The City is also investigating this business for compliance with business licensing, zoning, public health, Ontario Building Code and the Ontario Fire Code requirements."
Police told reporters at the scene following Toronto's announcement that they would be enforcing the order tomorrow and removing any lingering patrons if necessary.
Skelly has yet to publicly comment on the closure, but he could be looking at some serious fines and even jail time: The maximum penalty upon conviction for violating the Reopening Ontario Act is up to $100,000 for individuals plus a term of imprisonment of up to one year.
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