Victoria Park in Peterborough will be closing Tuesday, a final step to end tenting on the property since Canada Day.
On Friday afternoon, Peterborough County, in consultation with the city, announced it was closing Victoria Park on Water Street because conditions in the park have “deteriorated to the point where it is not suitable for the shared use of the public.”
The park is owned by the County. Since July 1, more than 50 people have been camping on the property, the result of the closure of the Warming Room homeless shelter. Tents have also been erected at other parks owned by the city.
Despite bylaws passed last week that would prohibit camping in county and municipal parks, the situation at the so-called “tent city” at Victoria Park has remained the same, the county says.
Victoria Park will be closed at 9 a.m. The county says entry into the park is prohibited during the closure.
“Anyone who is encamped in the park must remove their items and leave the park before the effective date,” a release states.
“Anyone in the park after the effective date is trespassing.”
The county says there have been numerous and “continuing failures” to comply with the new parks and facilities bylaws.
The only public park in the city that’s designated for camping with a permit is Beavermead Campground.
Outreach workers have been visiting the tent city this week to help the displaced. Last month, the city placed shelter beds in the basement of the Peterborough Public Library but they have seen sparse use.
Victoria Park will re-open after the encampment is gone and the grounds have been restored, the county stated.
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