Although Queen’s University’s official move-in dates don’t start until mid-week, it seems traditional move-in celebrations have already taken off, despite pleas from the city to curb partying due to rising COVID-19 cases across the province.
Kingston police and bylaw officers say they issued several fines and tickets after large street parties took place in the Queen’s University District this past weekend.
Kyle Compeau, manager of licensing and enforcement for Kingston bylaw, said bylaw and Kingston police officers attended one street party with up to 200 people Friday night. Currently, under Reopening Ontario Act guidelines, outdoor gatherings cannot exceed 100 people.
Compeau said the party took place at the corner of Earl and Frontenac streets, and that the matter is still under investigation.
According to Kingston police, between midnight and 2 a.m. Sunday, they received up to five calls in different parts of the Queen’s area for parties in houses and on the streets.
Police say there were “50 to 100 kids per party.” In one instance, Kingston police say there were about 100 people on a sidewalk and street when officers arrived.
Kingston police’s traffic unit posted to Twitter that the unit’s officers had a “busy night” helping general patrol deal “with multiple noise complaints and large gatherings blocking roadways.”
The tickets pictured in the tweet show they were issued for homes on Brock, Earl and Albert streets, all homes within the University District.
Kingston city bylaw officers also issued four administrative monetary penalties Sunday morning, at $200 each.
Friday evening, the city of Kingston implemented its University Safety District initiative in order to curb street parties like the ones that occurred over the weekend.
“Throughout this time frame, individuals that are found in violation of the Reopening Ontario Act and the nuisance party bylaw, as well as any offenses under the Liquor License Act, are receiving a direct summons to court instead of a set fine,” said Kyle Compeau, manager of licensing and enforcement for Kingston bylaw.
The city also urged students coming from elsewhere for the new school year to come fully vaccinated.