Use of Benches in City Parks – April 19, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

I wanted to bring some clarity to the use of park benches…..

At this time, the park is not meant to be a destination like it used to be. People can walk or run there, get some exercise and fresh air, and then must keep moving. The variety of prohibitions have been set in place by the Province and the City on the advice of public health officials. 
This advice has been clear and consistent: to stop the community spread of COVID – 19, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible, by staying home except for essential outings.

Right now, benches are not destinations where people can begin to congregate. Benches are not sanitized. People may unknowingly spread the virus by sneezing or touching the bench when the next person comes along, sits down and touches the bench. Use of a bench is prohibited by order under the Province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, that is being enforced by the coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team.

The use of a bench or other outdoor amenities is subject to a set fine of $750.

The enforcement team has been asked to exercise discretion when enforcing the order as it relates to benches to allow temporary respite for those that need it. Staff are ensuring people use benches for a short period of time only as needed and do not congregate on these structures in violation of provincial orders, physical distancing directives, and the City’s physical distancing bylaw.

If you have any questions or concerns about this or anything else I can be reached at 416-396-7222 or by email at

All my Best,