Police made a "mistake" in not closing Etobicoke restaurant sooner
It was a full day of service for the owner of a BBQ restaurant near Royal York and the Gardiner, despite rules that call for his restaurant to shuit down.
Because of a lockdown, restaurants in Toronto and Peel Region aren't allowed to open for anything other than delivery and take-out.
The owner posted on social media on Monday night about his intentions to open, and he wasn't bluffing.
The owner of a BBQ restaurant in Etobicoke promised to open his doors for indoor dining on Tuesday, and he held true to his word.
Dozens of people showed up for lunch starting at 11 o'clock, but the crowds started to dwindle within a couple of hours.
Maybe that was because bylaw enforcement officers showed up about half an hour after the place opened. While they did walk through and spoke with the owner, it appears no tickets were handed out.
As a matter of fact, police said they would not be shutting down the restaurant.
“Right now it’s not allowed to stay open – most likely there will be enforcement action taken later this week,” says Toronto Police Inspector Tim Crone. “By the sheer number of people who are here right now, we don’t have the ability to go in and physically remove everyone at this point and it would be unsafe to do so.”
He also tried to discourage other businesses from following suit.
“I would discourage similar activity because it is unlawful – it is against the Reopening of Ontario Act.”
Police finally did execute an order to shut down the restaurant around 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
And if convicted, the owner of the restaurant could face fines of up to $100,000, and a year in jail.
For each day that he's open, he could also be fined $5,000 a day.
Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke to reporters briefly saying he didn't have all of the information in front of him surrounding this particular incidenrt.
"This has been going on for several months now, and people understand that they are not supposed to be at indoor dining or certain social gatherings or whatever," says the Mayor.
Another question Tory was forced to answer surrounded a City of Toronto worker who passed by in a 3-1-1 lettered pickup truck, honking in support of protestors and giving fist bumps.
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion," says Tory "But, I think they should be careful when they are on duty in city-marked trucks in how they go about expressing their opinions."
He says staff will be looking into it, but couldn't say if any punishment could be coming.
Councillor Mark Grimes says there could be more to this story, with the owner of this business possibly operating without a business licence.