Queen's University condemns 'reckless behaviour' during homecoming celebrations in Kingston, Ont.

The principal of Queen's University is condemning the "reckless behaviour of some students and individuals" after thousands of people packed the University District in Kingston, Ont. for homecoming celebrations.

Unsanctioned celebrations filled residential streets near the campus of Queen's University Saturday afternoon and evening, with another large gathering reported in a city park early Sunday morning.

Kingston police, with assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police riot squad and Durham Regional Police, moved in twice on Saturday to clear students from streets and homes after declaring an "aggravated nuisance party".  One police officer was injured Saturday afternoon when beer cans and water bottles were thrown at police on patrol.

"The last twenty-four hours have seen our community seriously disrupted by the reckless behaviour of some of our students, as well as by other individuals who came here for the sole purpose of causing trouble," said Queen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane in a statement Sunday morning.

"Thousands of people gathered throughout the day and night, ignoring the law and showing little or no respect or care for others."

Kingston police first reported large gatherings forming on Aberdeen Street just after 1 p.m. Less than 90 minutes later, approximately 8,000 people were in the area as police kept an eye on the festivities.

Saturday afternoon, police declared Aberdeen Street and William Street an "aggravated nuisance party" under the Mayor's Emergency Order, allowing officers to issue $2, 000 fines to people attending and hosting parties. Dozens of officers from the Kingston Police Service, Durham Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police lined the streets to clear people out of the residential area.  

The unsanctioned homecoming celebrations continued Saturday evening, with police declaring a second "aggravated nuisance party" in the area of University Avenue and Johnson Street just before 11 p.m.

Shortly before 2 a.m., Kingston police posted a video to Twitter showing hundreds of people in Victoria Park.

@Kingstonpolice @cityofkingston Kingston Police continue to deal with intoxicated students that moved off the streets and into the area of Victoria Park. pic.twitter.com/55H0aMefew

— Kingston Police (@KingstonPolice) October 17, 2021

Police told CTV News Ottawa Saturday evening that a few arrests had been made, but no other details were available.

"Today we will be assessing the damage to our campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, working with student volunteers to clean up, and speaking with the City and local Police," said Deane.

"We know the last few years have been a struggle for young people, but such behaviour is dangerous, irresponsible, and ultimately inexcusable."

In a statement on Twitter, the Kingston Police Association condemned the incidents in the University District connected to homecoming.

"This behavior and total disregard for public safety is appalling. Our members and policing partners have been working around the clock," said the statement.

CTV News Ottawa has reached out to Kingston police to see if there were any charges or fines issued in connection to the homecoming celebrations.