A busy weekend in Toronto has caused local health officials to blast some park-goers as “dangerous and selfish.” On Saturday, thousands of people were spotted in Toronto parks, gathering in large groups and ignoring social distancing rules. In particular, Trinity Bellwoods Park was jam-packed, and the photos are pretty shocking!
While Torontonians have been told off for ignoring social distancing rules in the past, things got considerably worse this weekend.
On Saturday, thousands of people were seen gathering in public spaces, in particular at Trinity Bellwoods Park, located near Queen Street West.
Photos from the event show a large number of people outside, gathering in groups of more than five, which is prohibited, and failing to remain at least two metres apart.
Additionally, despite the city urging locals to wear face coverings when out and about, very few masks were spotted.
On the same day, photos from Trinity Bellwoods flooded social media, with many sharing images and videos while condemning those involved.
Sharing her own image from the park, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, branded those involved as “selfish and dangerous.”
Noting that the city continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, she added, "Please keep a physical distance and do not socialize in group settings, especially indoors."
Mayor John Tory also made his opinion on the matter clear.
I understand that the photos of people in Trinity Bellwoods were disappointing today. It was a beautiful day & we a… https://t.co/IQxfvZHn7n— Dr. Eileen de Villa (@Dr. Eileen de Villa)1590274628.0
Trinity Bellwoods... this is the reason we can’t have nice things https://t.co/Kvs28zZaKG— Mister Race Bannon (@Mister Race Bannon)1590268824.0
Speaking to CP24 on Saturday, the mayor said, "I was by a number of other parks today, and there were parks that were reported to me as being perfectly in compliance with the physical distancing and people got the message ..."
He continued, "And yet for some reason at Trinity Bellwoods, people were engaging in just incredibly disappointing behaviour.”
Tory went on to add that bylaw officers would be increasing patrols in these areas on Sunday to ensure that public health measures are being followed.
Up to 10,000 people were reportedly present at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday.
I said woooooooooow https://t.co/nzOlMcR9Zw— Justin Mob (@Justin Mob)1590265547.0
A video from a friend passing by Trinity Bellwoods about 30 minutes ago. 🤦 Toronto: Canada’s Florida. https://t.co/VOrd6tK15B— Dan Robson (@Dan Robson)1590268624.0
That is the right and responsible thing to do. It’s unfortunate and extremely disappointing that so many gathered i… https://t.co/SbeRRl82Lg— John Tory (@John Tory)1590285403.0
Tory also confirmed that he would consider shuttering any locations that become prone to huge gatherings, as was seen on Saturday.
“They want to be in the park to give themselves a break from being confined to their quarters for the last several weeks, and it’s a nice day. I get all that, but I also get the fact that people have died in the city,” he added.
Just another #fracking #summer #blowout day in the park. So much for #phase1 @fordnation get ready for next spike! 😷 https://t.co/xDXhUvCotT— Trinity Bellwoods & Park (@Trinity Bellwoods & Park)1590270379.0
Unhappy to report that Trinity Bellwood’s looks like a nightclub right now. https://t.co/k0ftTIIS3o— Laura Howells (@Laura Howells)1590265503.0
We live in a Free Country 🇨🇦; Fair Enough! But if you were at Trinity Bellwoods Park today, do us all a Favour... d… https://t.co/mPoi53IaEK— T O R O N T O 🍁 (@T O R O N T O 🍁)1590282321.0
Please don’t contact us for a ride home if you’ve spent the day at Trinity Bellwoods Park ignoring physical distanc… https://t.co/wL22bUnuNR— Beck Taxi (@Beck Taxi)1590275919.0
This comes just days after Toronto reopened picnic areas and more than 850 park amenities.
With warm and sunny weather expected once again on Sunday, it remains to be seen how busy the city’s parks will continue to get.