News Release
May 23, 2020

COVID-19 remains a real and present threat to the city of Toronto and its residents.

Images today of thousands of people gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park were unacceptable. Gatherings like this, where people aren’t keeping their distance from others, run the risk of setting Toronto back significantly in its efforts to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

More than 700 people from Toronto have tragically lost their lives due to COVID-19. Public gatherings, like today’s in Trinity Bellwoods Park, threaten to undo the difficult and challenging work residents of this city have done over the last 10 weeks in their collective effort to beat COVID-19.

People are encouraged to go out, yes, but they must stay two metres apart from anyone who is not from their household. That is the science; that is what experts like Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, tell us.

The vast majority of parks across Toronto were used responsibly today. Cyclists and pedestrians got fresh air and exercise as part ActiveTO, where major roads, such as Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue, were closed to motorists to allow people to safely get outside. The City thanks them for their efforts.

Tomorrow morning, bylaw enforcement officers and police will have a visible presence in Trinity Bellwoods Park to ensure there are no repeats of the crowds witnessed today. The physical distancing bylaw and provincial emergency order around gatherings will be strictly enforced.

The City recognizes that staying home, self-isolating, and not seeing family and friends over the last several weeks has been incredibly difficult. However, gatherings like today’s at Trinity Bellwoods Park has the potential to set Toronto back in its efforts to beat COVID-19.

Parks in Toronto have remained open throughout the pandemic. The gradual reopening of limited amenities in City parks has come with new explanatory signage, social media communications, daily updates to the City of Toronto website, and in-person education by bylaw officers and police.

The City asks residents for their continued diligence in doing the right thing to stop the spread of COVID-19: practice physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone you do not live with; wash your hands regularly; and use City parks and public spaces responsibly.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

Media Relations