Toronto Police issued nine tickets after breaking up what they called a “noisy party” of at least 20 people at a King Street West restaurant and bar.
Officers arrived at Baro restaurant, near King and Spadina, at around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday after receiving complaints from the public. Upon arrival, police say they found a gathering of 20 to 25 people.
Nine people were charged under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) — a provincial order that allows police to issue fines and tickets during the ongoing lockdown.
Ontario’s stay-at-home order is still in effect until at least June 2.
Among other restrictions, indoor gatherings are forbidden due the risk of transmitting COVID-19, as is indoor dining.
A Baro spokesperson emailed a statement to CBC Toronto that said the gathering was a staff meeting preparing for reopening.
“The internal team at Baro was preparing for its reopening by testing new menu options, discussing new restaurant layouts, and reviewing updated operation plans,” the Baro spokesperson wrote. “The entire team was located outdoors on the patio and there was no alcohol being served.”
“Baro has consistently followed all rules pertaining to the lockdown and there was certainly no intention to be non-compliant,” the statement said.
Cherry Beach party also broken up
Officers also arrested one individual and issued three other tickets under the EMCPA at Cherry Beach after receiving complaints of a large gathering. Officers attended the scene with city by-law officials and found “a large group having a party on the beach,” according to Toronto police spokesperson Connie Osborne.
Officers dispersed the crowd, as outdoor gatherings with members outside of your own household are prohibited under the province’s stay-at-home order.