The mayor of Brampton, Ont., says warm weather has made some residents reckless when it comes to physical distancing, noting fines were issued in connection with 19 backyard parties over the last week.
Patrick Brown says the city northwest of Toronto has been trying to crack down on backyard and parking lot parties of various sizes as temperatures rise.
Brown says while the vast majority of residents are abiding by health and safety regulations meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, some need to face financial consequences for the message to sink in.
He says it tends to be younger people who don’t appreciate the risk the virus represents, pointing to a high proportion of new cases in the city among those 20 to 29 years old.
In Toronto, a city spokesperson said they have received 5,100 complaints related to large gatherings on private properties since the health measures took effect.
Of those, 468 complaints referenced backyard events.
The city says 319 notices have been issued during that period to so-called “hotspot locations,” where there have been multiple complaints related to gatherings of five people or more.
Police in nearby York Region say they have issued 61 tickets related to breaches of the health measures.
Spokesman Sgt. Andy Pattenden says the force doesn’t have a breakdown of the infractions, but says the tickets would be either for gatherings of more than five people or businesses operating when they shouldn’t be.
“I’m sure as the weather has improved that people are having gatherings, but we are not proactively patrolling for them. We continue to respond to complaints of gatherings from our community,” he said in an email.