City gets serious about keeping people apart

Busy trails along Toronto's waterfront, March 29, 2020

Social distancing is no longer a term you can take lightly. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory has signed a new emergency bylaw regulating physical distancing in public parks and squares. 

Just how serious are they? 

Anyone caught in a group of people, could be fined up to $5,000. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even have to be a group. If two people who don't live together are caught, they could be fined. 

The bylaw will be in effect for at least the next 30 days, and you can expect to see more bylaw officers out, especially this coming weekend. 

Tory says there's a COVID-19 Enforcement Team, featuring 200 bylaw officers, 10 Public Health officers, plus the resources of the Toronto Police. 

They'll be on patrol at public parks, but will also be responding to complaints. 

Fines for violating a provincial order under the Emergency Measures Act can range from $750 to $100,000, including up to a year in jail. 

The city says in a release, "The advice from Public Health has been clear and consistent: to stop the community spread of this virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible."