Large police presence clearing Trinity Bellwoods Park encampment

Trespass orders to vacate the park issued June 12

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Referring to the operation as a ‘restoration,’ city officials and police cordoned off Trinity Bellwoods Park Tuesday morning, intent on enforcing trespassing notices handed to residents of a homeless encampment.

Issued on June 12, the notices orders occupants of the encampment — estimated by the city to be between 20 and 25 people and about 65 structures — to vacate the inner-city park.

Mood in the park is calm, but tense.

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Dozens of Toronto cops, bylaw, private and corporate security officers surrounded the park early Tuesday morning, allowing people to leave but preventing anybody from entering.

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, city staff and police will give residents time to pack no more than two bags of belongings before being ushered out of the park, with the balance of their belongings put into storage for 30 days.

Residents will be offered indoor living space with access to meals, laundry, showers and harm reduction programs.

“Encampments contravene several chapters of the Municipal Code and are not a solution to homelessness,” the city said in a statement.

“The health outcomes for people who stay outside are complex and serious. Individuals living in encampments are also at risk of contracting COVID-19.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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