Toronto to paint circles in Trinity Bellwoods Park to enforce social distancing

Toronto will be painting circles on the grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park to enforce social distancing as per coronavirus crisis measures.
Jonathan Bradley Montreal, QC

Toronto will be painting circles on the grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park to encourage social distancing as per the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis measures, according to CP24.

The announcement was made today during Tory's press conference.

"I should tell you that park staff will be in in Trinity Bellwoods Park tomorrow painting circles on the grass of that park, which will both help to illustrate proper physical distancing and help with the measurements but also help to ensure compliance in a place where we simply have to do better," he said.

These spaces are known as social distancing circles, and the idea gained momentum online.

Large white circles have been implemented in parks in two American cities, which are Domino Park in New York City and Dolores Park in San Francisco.

Tory made the proposal in reaction to the thousands of people who gathered at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday, much to the disapproval of Torontonians who have been following public health directives to social distance.

"The idea of social distancing circles is under active consideration by our staff as are a host of other matters and we've asked them to come back with a plan that includes considerations of policing and enforcement, that includes considerations of how you can help people to physically distance themselves in parks and other public spaces," Tory told reporters at Toronto City Hall.

"I would expect in the next couple of days, because that's what I've requested, that we will have a report from our officials from all different aspects of the city on how we can make things better and be better in a position to deal with things like this if they come up, going forward in the nice weather and generally."

This has now come to pass.

The crowd at Trinity Bellwoods attracted attention and criticism because people were violating the social distancing bylaw.

Tory was spotted at Trinity Bellwoods not social distancing and wearing his cloth mask incorrectly on Saturday. He apologized for going to Trinity Bellwoods. He said he went to the park to investigate the crowd.

Toronto Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has been urging Torontonians for months to practice physical distancing when they are in public.

The City of Toronto said in a statement that they are working to prevent large crowds from forming at parks.

"Yesterday, the City had a greater number of bylaw and police officers at Trinity Bellwoods Park throughout the day educating residents about physical distancing and proper use of the park," said the City of Toronto's statement. "This strategy was successful, and although many people enjoyed the park, there was not a repeat of Saturday."

The City of Toronto said in a tweet that circles painted on grass will be “piloted” in Trinity Bellwoods, and staff will assess how effective they are. If successful in allowing people to maintain physical distancing, Toronto might paint the circles in other parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Toronto said in another tweet that if Torontonians arrive at a crowded park, they should go to another one.

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