News Release
May 7, 2021

The City of Toronto’s joint enforcement team – made up of officers from Municipal Licensing and Standards, Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Police Service – are continuing efforts to enforce the pandemic regulations including the provincial Stay-at-Home Order and Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.

Under the current provincial regulations, social gatherings and organized public events are not permitted, except with members of the same household and one person who lives alone. Most retail stores are closed for in-store shopping and restaurants are limited to take out, drive-through and delivery. These regulations are set by the Province of Ontario and are summarized in the City’s COVID-19: Guide for Residents. (Full provincial regulation.)

The joint enforcement team remains focused on mitigating issues that pose the greatest risk to public health and safety. This includes:

  • responding to large events in parks and on private property
  • developing a dedicated enforcement team in each Toronto Police Service Division to focus on large gatherings with a particular focus on indoor events, including in short-term rentals and closed restaurants and bars
  • responding to complaints and conducting compliance inspections at essential and non-essential businesses; Toronto Public Health also continues to work with businesses closed through the Section 22 Class Order to ensure compliance
  • monitoring parks and the waterfront, focusing on areas that have traditionally been of greatest concern.

 The City will also continue to respond and triage complaints but reminds residents that the City’s enforcement staff are not first responders. The City continues to give priority to events that pose the greatest risk to health, such as large gatherings or parties. In many cases, bylaw enforcement officers that observe infractions in parks will work to disperse the crowd as the safest and quickest way to protect public health. Bylaw enforcement officers are also focused on stopping people from bringing large amounts of alcohol into public places. Only 69 tickets were issued for alcohol across the City’s 1,500 parks last year. Individuals consuming an alcoholic beverage in a park with their household are not a priority for enforcement.

Everyone has a responsibility to respect the regulations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Residents should keep careful distance from people from other households, wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as possible when eligible.


 “Enforcement staff across all divisions and Toronto Police are working as hard as they can to enforce the provincial orders, but we need everyone to stay vigilant if we want to protect our health and safety and stop the latest wave of COVID-19. Get out and exercise, but stay with your family, don’t meet in large groups and maintain physical distancing when out for essentials.”
– Carleton Grant, Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards

“We continue to respond daily to calls from the public reporting large gatherings, including attending 184 calls over the past weekend alone. We are enforcing and will lay charges against those who are contravening the provincial order. Please respect the order, stay home and stay safe.”

– Chief James Ramer, Toronto Police Service

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