Toronto Steps Up Action on Adamson Barbecue

Toronto COVID-19 Update

City of Toronto enforcement action and next steps against Adamson Barbecue

TORONTO – This morning, City of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards bylaw officers, Toronto Public Health inspectors and Toronto Police Service officers once again attended Adamson Barbecue at 7 Queen Elizabeth Blvd.

Enforcement is determined and undertaken by law enforcement and City staff only. Neither Mayor John Tory nor City Council direct enforcement of any kind, including on this matter.

Enforcement of provincial regulations and City bylaws to protect residents from COVID-19 is coordinated and integrated between Municipal Licensing & Standards, Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Police Service. Each body has specific authorities to provide notices or warnings, issue fines or issue summonses.
However, following on yesterday’s confusing series of events, caused in part by the fact the regulations are brand new, the Mayor indicated he was dissatisfied with the outcome of the Adamson matter, asked repeated questions, and was assured at this morning’s COVID-19 Strategic Command Table meeting that there was alignment and that the various authorities were ready for an anticipated repeat opening.
As the establishment did reopen today, Mayor Tory has asked City Manager Chris Murray and Police Chief Jim Ramer for a further update on enforcement efforts at Thursday’s Command Team meeting so that all Toronto residents can be assured there is an updated plan for enforcement.
The City of Toronto is looking at all of its options, including court orders, requiring Adamson Barbecue to cease all indoor and outdoor dining. As well tomorrow, bylaw officers, Toronto Public Health and Toronto Police will attend this establishment and if violations under the Reopening Ontario Act or City bylaws occur, appropriate enforcement action will, once again, be taken.
Today, the Toronto Police Service issued a summons to the corporation Adamson Barbecue Ltd. to appear in court on two charges of Fail to Comply with an order under the Reopening Ontario Act in relation to a gathering of more than 10 people, which requires a court appearance.
Municipal Licensing & Standards served two summonses for failing to have a business licence, which carries a maximum penalty of $50,000 for a corporation and $25,000 for an individual or officer/director.
Additional enforcement action, including five potential breaches of the Reopening Ontario Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act by Toronto Public Health, are now underway.
Under the Reopening Ontario Act, following a conviction, the Court may impose the following fines and penalties:
• An individual is subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year
• An individual who is an officer or director of a corporation is subject to a fine of not more than $500,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year
• A corporation is subject to a fine of not more than $10,000,000.
Law enforcement agencies must, of course, exercise their powers lawfully and with due diligence. Public trust and confidence in the City, at this time, is critical and Toronto residents should be assured that City officials continue to review all avenues available to them so they can continue to protect the city’s health during this pandemic.