If you are thinking about heading out this weekend, you might want to reconsider. As the City of Toronto continues to encourage residents to social distance, police have been cracking down on those who are choosing to ignore the new bylaws. Toronto's social distancing rules are currently being heavily enforced, especially in 10 "hotspots" across the city.
Toronto Police Services revealed to Narcity in an e-mail that an enforcement blitz is still going strong across the city.
Since April 10, police efforts have resulted in 10 violations involving non-essential business closures and 851 cautions given to groups of more than five people including 62 tickets.
However, now police are focusing in on 10 problematic areas in the city that residents continue to flock to.
Toronto Police told Narcity that 156 officers have been patrolling city parks and squares, and have been focusing in on top hotspots which include:
• Bluffer's Park
• Rosetta McClain Gardens
• High Park
• Humber Bay East
• Christie Pits
• Trinity Bellwoods
• Woodbine Beach
• Allan Gardens
• Sunnybrook Park
• Sherwood Park
"One hundred and sixty officers from our Primary Response Units, Community Response Units (including Neighbourhood Community Officers), Mounted Unit and Marine Unit, as well as members from our Parking Enforcement Unit, have been conducting coordinated enforcement activities with members of Municipal Licensing and Standards and Toronto Public Health," Toronto Police's Communication Officer, Meaghan Gray, told Narcity.
As the lockdown continues, it has also been reported that police are now starting to hand out more tickets to those who aren't listening to the rules, as opposed to just giving out warnings.
"Over the last few weeks we have been more strident in our enforcement approach, meaning officers often err on the side of issuing tickets, but common sense and discretion are always applied," Gray continued.
Over the past week, the city has also been fencing off areas in Trinity Bellwoods Park, as well as shutting down High Park completely, in an attempt to stop residents from gathering during the popular cherry blossom season.
Police will also be increasing their presence in areas with these blossoms and will be handing out fines ranging from $750 to $5,000 if residents are caught attempting to access a closed park.