Toronto Police say they have a ‘robust’ plan in place to make sure the July 1 Canada Day fireworks in Ashbridge’s Bay is safe – and to prevent a repeat of chaotic scenes that marred the May 24 weekend.
“Any criminal activity, including reckless behaviour with fireworks, will not be tolerated and will be subject to police enforcement. Arrests will be made and charges laid where appropriate,“ police said in a statement.
“The City will have a number of cameras in the area, while police will also have body cameras on and the ability to mobilize cameras, for investigative reasons if there are criminal incidents.”
The plan comes after a wild long weekend in May.
Nineteen people including ten minors were arrested in May after stabbings, a shooting, and robberies.
Seven police officers were injured.
Over a couple of days of violence one officer broke a leg responding to a shooting, and two officers suffered burns and ear injuries when fireworks were thrown and exploded near them.
Another officer was struck directly in the face by a firework and sustained serious abrasions to his face, ears, and eyes.
This month, police have said there will be a visible police presence and a variety of resources in the area including undercover and uniformed officers, and the Mounted Unit.
After the mayhem in May, some local residents in the Beach were outraged.
Their local city councillor – Brad Bradford – said at the time “residents were terrified. I spent all of Sunday afternoon just north of lakeshore here knocking on doors talking to community members.’
He had been urging a better plan for upcoming long-weekends.
“I’ve been informed that an enhanced enforcement plan will be in place to keep public safety at the forefront of the long weekend,” said Bradford in a statement Tuesday. “As we approach the long weekend, I’ll be continuing to advocate for the resources and suggestions raised to me by the community.”
The city’s fireworks at Ashbridge’s Bay Park will take place Friday, July 1 at 10 p.m.
It is expected to draw large crowds since this will be the first July 1 display since 2019.
The event is slated to go ahead regardless of weather conditions.