Today, Mayor John Tory announced the fine for people failing to keep at least two metres of distance from others in City of Toronto parks and public spaces has been set at $1,000.
The Chief Justice of the Province of Ontario approved the City’s request for a set fine Friday.
Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. Officers could issue higher tickets that would be subject to the courts where fines could go up to $5,000 upon conviction.
The Mayor introduced Emergency Order No. 1 – Emergency Physical Distancing Regulations with respect to Parks, and Public Squares on Thursday as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to encourage people from separate households to keep at least two metres distance between each other to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
The COVID-19 Enforcement Team will be across the city this weekend educating the public and enforcing compliance with this new bylaw and the other measures enacted by the municipal and provincial governments.
The Toronto Police Service and the City are partnered on the enforcement of City bylaws and all orders, with 160 Toronto Police officers and other personnel assigned to the COVID-19 Enforcement Team, plus 200 Toronto Bylaw Enforcement Officers.
Officers will be educating the public about the seriousness of COVID-19, why these extraordinary measures are in place, and if, in the end, they don’t see compliance, then fines can and will be issued, some of which carry very significant penalties – up to $100,000 and one year in jail.
To date, almost 1,000 complaints have been made to the City regarding parks amenities use and concerns from the public about inappropriate physical distancing, and so far, Toronto Police have issued 21 tickets to individuals.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“We are doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 now to save lives in the weeks and months ahead. The emergency order and the $1,000 tickets send a strong message to those who aren’t listening to the advice of our public health professionals. I encourage everyone to keep their distance in order to protect their health, their families, their neighbours and the entire community.”
– Mayor John Tory
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