The City of Toronto says there were still some persistent problem areas at city parks during an enforcement blitz over the weekend amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the city said 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks were reported to 311 on Saturday alone.
Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) enforcement officers and police were at parks across Toronto over the weekend to educate the public, enforce physical distancing and enforce park amenity closures.
During the enforcement blitz on Saturday, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park, the city said. The city added that police officers issued 19 parking tickets.
The city also reported that MLS enforcement officers and police officers spoke with 780 people to educate them on public health recommendations and closures. They also cautioned an additional 373 people.
Police officers issued nine tickets, and MLS officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five tickets related to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders.
However, the city said early reports from front-line enforcement staff indicated many people in city parks practised physical distancing and only travelled 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 said.
“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.”
According to Toronto Public Health, there are 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in the city and 25 deaths so far. TPH said about 25 per cent of cases are a result of community spread.
Toronto Public Health also said it received 28 complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open and issued two notices.