Toronto Police Ramps Up High Park Crackdown Before Warm Weekend (PHOTOS)
High Park is officially off-limits. A warm weekend is expected in the 6ix and Toronto Police are taking extra precautions for those not following protocols. Police have barricaded entrances and fenced off open space at Toronto High Park to make sure people aren't trespassing on closed property.
With cherry blossom season now entering full effect, police are using fences to block off people from gathering in large groups just to see the pink and bright trees in full bloom.
This is particularly a problem when the weather is nice and warm, something that the month of April hasn't particularly experienced in a while.
But the first weekend of May is expected to reach the high teens at around 18 to 19 degrees, and police are pre-emptively clamping down.
If you were hoping to enjoy the weather at High Park, think again. The City has officially closed the park as of April 30 as it has been considered to be one of Toronto's hotspots where people tend to gather.
And on Thursday, April 30, police were closing entrances and setting up enforcement on the roads around the park.
Not only that, but officers are warning local residents of tighter parking restrictions and heavier enforcement.
High Park is completely closed. #BloomAtHome https://t.co/fiTByohbnp— Chris Boddy (@Chris Boddy) 1588253768.0
Toronto Police will be at High Park for the duration of the park closure. #PhysicalDistancing #BloomAtHome https://t.co/wpR5wqTtJO— Chris Boddy (@Chris Boddy) 1588256370.0
According to TPS officer Chris Boddy, this means "no dog walkers, no joggers, no vehicles, no cyclists, no pedestrians, nobody."
So, if you were thinking about even heading close to High Park over the next few days, it might be worth rethinking.
Our partners from the City will be with us at High Park for the duration off the closure. #BloomAtHome https://t.co/IHIKRQuYrB— Chris Boddy (@Chris Boddy) 1588263245.0
Couple more views https://t.co/4ta5LVHnFy— David Rider (@David Rider) 1588272232.0
Parking services in the city had announced back in March they would be easing up on parking tickets for some offences.
However, they are refocusing their enforcement around numerous "hot spots" in the city right now, and one of those is most certainly High Park.
And according to parking services on Twitter, there is a no-parking radius that surrounds High Park at the moment and the majority of parking offences will be enforced.
Officer Erin Urquhart added that "full enforcement" will be in place around High Park, including towing and patrolling rush-hour routes.
"With pending warm weather and cherry blossom blooms... measures are being shifted accordingly," she wrote.
#HighPark update: there are signs now. (Taken from across the street -- sorry about the resolution) https://t.co/EXiSImGvkm— Adam McDowell (@Adam McDowell) 1588269758.0
Barriers and a police car at the south entrance to High Park that’s now closed. My view of the park has no blooms o… https://t.co/bO6G2rPjjU— Lindsay Maskell (@Lindsay Maskell) 1588262286.0
According to a City release, Toronto received 314 complaints yesterday alone involving people using outdoor amenities or not practicing social distancing.
Four tickets were issued, taking the city's total to 582 since April 3.
Bylaw and police officers have talked to close to 13,000 people about closures and violations of health advice, according to the release.
That number seems likely to rise again this weekend.