TORONTO – NEWS – Under the powers granted to the City of Toronto by provincial legislation, the capital city of Ontario can pass by-laws unlike other communities, like the City of Thunder Bay.
An example is a by-law to enforce physical distancing and closures of parks in the city. Over the weekend, police and MLS enforcement officers have been on a city-wide blitz to help flatten the curve.
The City of Toronto states that efforts continue in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) enforcement officers and police have been at City parks across Toronto this weekend to educate the public and enforce physical distancing and park amenity closures. The enforcement blitz is targeting busy parks, particularly the top 10 problem areas observed by City staff and reported to 311.
Is it Working in Toronto
Early reports from frontline enforcement staff are encouraging. Many people in city parks are practising physical distancing and only travelling in small groups from the same household. In many instances, where enforcement officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour.
The City thanks the vast majority of people who are doing the right thing by staying home as much as possible and keeping their distance from others in public.
Some problem locations persist. Yesterday, 311 received 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks. In just the first day of the enforcement blitz, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park. Police also issued 19 parking tickets.
Enforcement staff reported today that, over the course of yesterday, MLS and police officers spoke with 780 people to educate them on public health recommendations and closures and cautioned a further 373 people. Police issued nine tickets while MLS officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders. Toronto Public Health received 28 complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open and issued two notices.
Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 113 cases from yesterday. Of the cases, 1,026 cases are confirmed and 206 are probable, 69 cases have recovered, 140 are in hospital with 58 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths to-date. Community spread is responsible for 25% of COVID-19 cases in the city. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.