COVID-19 Updates

In response to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases, the Ontario Government has extended the provincial declaration of emergency and the Stay-at-Home order (O.Reg 265/21), until at least May 20, 2021. Public health and enforcement measures have also been strengthened, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Stay-at-Home order requires everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including to get vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

Toronto Police will enforce this order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), in addition to continued enforcement of the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) in partnership with the City of Toronto and Public Health, to ensure we do our part to protect the health and safety of our community members.

Toronto Police officers will not be conducting random stops of people or cars. Our focus is on engaging and educating the public in a fair and equitable way and enforcing compliance with the Stay-at-Home order. We continue to make decisions that balance our need to provide community safety, while maintaining the health and safety of our members. Our members continue to respond to calls for service and investigate crimes. 

If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1. Non-emergencies can be reported by calling ‪416-808-2222. Please do not call 9-1-1 for COVID-19 non-compliance or related issues.

Please check this page regularly for updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of May 7, 2021, 1000 hrs

Q. What restrictions are in place during the current Stay-at-Home Order?

Some of the key restrictions are listed below, a full list of measures can be found on the province’s website here: Stay-at-Home order.

  • All outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household
  • Capacity limits at retail establishments are reduced to 25 per cent where in-store shopping is permitted.
  • Several outdoor recreational amenities will be closed, such as golf courses, basketball courts, and soccer fields, with limited exceptions.
  • The capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies is limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors.
  • All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the province-wide emergency brake will continue to apply.
Q. Will Toronto Police be deploying more officers for proactive patrols to enforce the Stay-at-Home order?

Beginning April 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m., Toronto Police will be deploying divisional teams to respond to complaints of large gatherings both indoors and outdoors, in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The teams will be coordinated from a central command, allowing them to be deployed across divisional boundaries as required. Officers will continue to respond to incidents while on regular patrol and issue tickets or lay charges as required.

Q. Where will the Toronto Police Service be focussing its enforcement?

Officers will be responding to complaint calls for large gatherings both indoors and outdoors and enforcing compliance with the Stay-at-Home order when necessary. Our divisional teams will focus on large gatherings that fail to comply with the emergency orders, with a particular focus on indoor gatherings that blatantly ignore public health and safety measures, such as parties at short-term rentals or at bars and restaurants.

Officers can exercise discretion in every situation, but where there is evidence of non-compliance, officers will be ticketing and issuing summonses for individuals and businesses.

Q. What if I am at the park or out walking with my family? Will I be stopped by police?

The order allows for members of the same household to gather outside, along with one member outside the household who lives alone; police will be responding to complaints of large gatherings.

Q. Are individuals obligated to provide identification to an officer regarding the Stay-at-Home order? What if I refuse to produce identification?

When an officer has reasonable and probable grounds to suspect someone has violated one of the orders under the EMCPA or the ROA, they may ask the person to identify themselves in order to issue a ticket or summons. If the person refuses to identify themselves for this purpose, they can be arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer.

Q. Will police officers be randomly stopping people who are walking or driving?

Police officers will not be conducting random vehicle stops for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the Stay-at-Home order.

Police will continue to conduct traffic enforcement under the Highway Traffic Act to ensure our roads are safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Individuals are not compelled to explain why they are out of their residence, nor is being outside evidence of a failure to comply with the Stay-at-Home order. However, if there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe there is non-compliance with the orders, such as gathering in a public space, officers will have the authority to make inquiries pursuant to the orders.

Q. Can an officer enter my residence to check for non-compliance?

No element of the EMCPA or ROA provides the police with either the power to enter dwellings nor the authority to stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of checking compliance with the Stay-At-Home order.

Officers may order a premise be temporarily closed if there are grounds to believe an organized public event or other gathering is occurring and individuals may be issued a ticket or summons.

Q. Are there exceptions to the Stay-at-Home order and do I need to offer any kind of proof of where I am going?

There are several exceptions to the Stay-at-Home order - you can find them here: Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home order.

Individuals are not compelled to explain why they are out of their residence, nor is being outside necessarily evidence of a failure to comply with the Stay-At-Home order. However, if there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe there is non-compliance with the orders, officers will have the authority to make inquiries pursuant to the orders.

Q. Are people allowed to protest during the State of Emergency? Why aren’t the police ticketing those who gather in large groups at protests?

People have the right to lawful protest. However, one right is not more important than others and, in the middle of a public health crisis, the right to protest puts other people at risk. Police have a responsibility to enforce compliance in the best interest of everyone and actively work to limit the spread of Covid-19. Regarding protests or large gatherings, attendees/organizers may be subject to enforcement. Just because someone is not served a summons at the time, this does not mean they cannot be served a later date.

Q. What if I’m required to leave home to attend work, or provide care for another individual, do I need to prove that to an officer?

Officers will not be stopping individuals who may be on their way to work. Employees are not required to have proof from their employer that they are traveling to or from their workplace. Exemptions under the Stay-At-Home order include accommodations for those who assist others. Find the list of exemptions here: Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home order.

Q. My children attend another family residence for online schooling and I regularly take them there while I’m working, is this allowed? Can I spend time at that residence?

Yes, you are able to bring your children to another residence for the purpose of obtaining childcare. Travelling between the homes of parents, guardians or caregivers is permitted if the individual is under their care.

You are permitted to stay at the residence for less than 24 hours as long as you are staying in regard to one of the purposes set out in the order; or if you intend to reside at the residence for at least 14 days. Please find a full list of exemptions here: Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home order.

Q. How can I report an individual or business that is non-compliant?

Please do not call 9-1-1 to report incidents of non-compliance in the community. Please call 3-1-1, or our non-emergency line 416-808-2222, to report non-compliance with the emergency orders.

Q. Will police be ticketing those who are experiencing homelessness in the community?

The Stay-At-Home order does not apply to those who are homeless in the community. For more information on housing and shelter, supports visit COVID-19: Changes to City Services.

Q. Has there been a reduction in crime as a result of the pandemic, or have police officers stopped making arrests?

There has been no impact to frontline policing services. The Toronto Police Service is still responding to calls for service, investigating crimes, and doing its part to keep our communities safe. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact one of the following community partners:‬‬

Domestic Violence:

These crimes are historically unreported and we encourage anyone who has experienced this type of violence to contact police. You can also connect with any of the agencies listed below for community resources in your neighbourhood.

Victim Services Toronto – 416-808-7066 – www.victimservicestoronto.com
The Assaulted Women Helpline – 416-863-0511 or 1-866-863-0511 – www.awhl.org

Hate Crimes:

Hate-related occurrences often go unreported to police and statistics do not accurately reflect the possible lived experiences for other members of the community. If you have experienced this type of crime, please report to police by calling 416-808-2222, or 911 if you are in immediate danger.

Child Abuse:

The TPS continues to collaborate with all of our partner agencies at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre in order to best provide care and support to children in need. Some families may have trouble coping with what’s happening around the world and in our city. Parents may also be trying to cope with lost wages, feelings of isolation, and other factors, that often result in stressful situations for the whole family. We encourage parents and families to reach out to the agencies below if they need support.

Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto – 416-924-4646
Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto – 416-395-1500
Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto – 416-638-7800
Native Child & Family Services of Toronto – 416-969-8510

Elder Abuse:

Elder abuse may happen to any older person regardless of gender, culture, race, financial status, mental or physical condition. This occurs more frequently when an older person is socially isolated, as is the case for many seniors during the pandemic.

Elder abuse takes many forms, not all of which are visible including emotional abuse, neglect, theft or financial coercion. If you or someone you know needs support, please contact one of the following community organizations:

Toronto Seniors Helpline – 416-217-2077 – https://torontoseniorshelpline.ca/

Seniors Safety Line – 1-866-299-1011 – http://www.eapon.ca/what-is-elder-abuse/help-for-seniors/

Advocacy Centre for the Elderly – 1-855-598-2656 or 416-598-2656 – http://www.advocacycentreelderly.org/

Q. Have there been any changes to parking enforcement?

In support of the provincial COVID-19 regulatory lockdown, the Parking Enforcement Unit commenced an enforcement approach to on-street parking where a high level of discretion is applied. Enforcement focuses on offences that create safety concerns, disrupt snow removal processes or cause significant disruptions in the flow of traffic on city streets. We ask for the public’s cooperation in parking legally to ensure that the efficient flow of traffic in the City of Toronto is maintained and to avoid the issuance of Parking Violation Notices. These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

Q. Are there enough police officers to keep the city safe?

Prior to COVID-19, the Toronto Police Service had plans in place to address staffing needs during a public crisis or emergency. These plans include repurposing of resources, modifying members’ shifts (including work from home accommodations), and adjusting our service delivery model. All of these steps allow us to maintain public safety, respond to emergency calls for service and continue our delivery of critical services.

Toronto Police Service members are following the same direction as the public when it comes to travel, self-isolation, and self-monitoring. It is not in the interest of community safety for us to disclose our exact deployment numbers but at this time, we have not had to make any changes to our frontline policing services.

Prior to COVID-19, the Toronto Police Service had plans in place to address staffing needs during a public crisis or emergency. These plans include repurposing of resources, modifying members’ shifts (including work from home accommodations), and adjusting our service delivery model. All of these steps allow us to maintain public safety, respond to emergency calls for service and continue our delivery of critical services.

Q. I see police officers in groups all the time, why aren’t they practicing social distancing?

We have encouraged our members to practice social distancing as much as operationally possible. This means staggering their lunch times, finding new ways to gather for meetings and briefings, and limiting the number of times they cross paths in a police facility.

When it comes to engaging with the public, like all emergency service providers, we do our best to keep our distance but sometimes that is not possible in order to affect our duties appropriately. Like all members of the public, TPS members have been directed to wear a face mask or facial covering when they enter an indoor public space, and other personal protective equipment when required.

Q. How can I file a police report?

If you have an emergency – an immediate threat to life or property – please call 911. Non-emergencies can be reported by calling ‪416-808-2222.

Many incidents can be reported using our Online Reporting System, such as Damage to Vehicle or Property under $5,000, Driving or Parking Complaints, Traffic Issues or Concerns, Graffiti, or Theft or Fraud Under $5,000‬.‬‬‬‬‬‬

Q. Can I go to a police facility to make a report?

Not at this time. All Toronto Police Service facilities, including Headquarters, remain closed to the public.

Q. How can I get a Criminal Record Check, a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check or a Vulnerable Sector Screening?

Until further notice, all Criminal Record Checks and Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks must be submitted online. Requests will not be available for pick up until Police Headquarters re-opens to the public.

Exceptions will be made for those requiring a Vulnerable Sector Screening under emergency circumstances. Please find information online on our Vulnerable Sector Screening Process page, by calling 416-808-8244, or by email at referencecheckprogram@torontopolice.on.ca.

Q. Can I submit a Freedom of Information request?

The Access and Privacy Section (APS) is processing all mail-in applications submitted under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. However, the unit is operating on an alternative work schedule and our response may be delayed. Questions regarding your request or our process during the pandemic can be forwarded to Access Privacy Section.

Q. Can I pick up my property?

The Property and Video Evidence Management Unit located at 330 Progress Avenue is open to the public by appointment only.

Property authorized to be returned may be claimed in two ways. Please call 416-808-3750 to make arrangements:

  • Schedule a pick up BY APPOINTMENT ONLY at the Property and Video Evidence Management Unit, 330 Progress Avenue. Bring the letter of authorization and legal photo identification with you. Be advised that attendance in person requires the mandatory wearing of a mask/facial covering, observing physical distancing, and observing all other Public Health COVID-19 related precautions. Please complete the areas on the reverse of the letter prior to arrival.
  • Get details on how to have your items shipped by a courier service to your location at your expense.

If you do not wish to claim your property, please notify us by phone or e-mail at pemu@torontopolice.on.ca. All unclaimed items will be deemed abandoned and disposed of in accordance with the Police Services Act after 90 days. Please note, it is an offence to claim property where you are not rightfully entitled to ownership, or where an insurance settlement has been made.

If you are unwell or have any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please call Property to book another appointment.

Q. I need to attend a Collision Reporting Centre, are they open?

Yes, however, all Collision Reporting Centres have amended hours of operation to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Screening methods are in place by Accident Support Services International to ensure the health and safety of the public and their employees. These may include the use of a point-and-click temperature reader, limiting the number of occupants into the collision reporting centre, putting restrictions on who can attend, increased sanitization, not handling customer documents, and encouraging social distancing. For more information, please visit their website at www.accsupport.com.

Q. What should I do if someone comes to my house, calls me or sends a text or email asking for donations or selling products and services?

The Toronto Police Service has noted an increase in several online scams associated to COVID-19. These include:

  • Text messages requesting banking information for:
    • Processing government payments for Emergency Benefits or Canada Revenue Agency
    • Fines for leaving the house too many times in a day,
    • Immediate payment with threats of cancelled services (like streaming sites)
  • Emails with fraudulent/corrupt links on topics such as:
    • “delivery details” for those most likely to be using delivery services
    • “special offers” for COVID-19-related products/services/vaccines
  • Websites claiming:
    • Sales of COVID-19-related products and services, such as testing kits, cleaning products or remedies, and vaccines
    • Information from “health officials”, requesting information and/or links to other sites

Investigators have also learned of various telephone or door-to-door scams including offers to shop for, and deliver, groceries – these often include a request for credit card information as well as sales of COVID-19-related products and services. With more residents spending time at home, online, investigators are reminding the public to take the following steps to protect themselves:

  • Do not click on random links
  • Do not provide your personal information – including banking information
  • Do not install unknown applications, even if you’re asked to via email/text/etc.
  • Use two-factor authentication for online payments
  • Do not use links sent via email/text to access online accounts
  • Set up strong passwords for new or existing online accounts
  • Back up your work regularly and work offline, when possible
  • Use software to protect yourself from malware/viruses

To learn more, please watch the video below:

Q. My children are spending more time online, should I be worried?

Since Covid-19 restrictions were put into place, the Toronto Police Service continues to monitor online activity for various child exploitation offences. The Unit tasked with such work has noticed an increase in “self exploitation” incidents. “Self exploitation” is when a child voluntarily posts photos or videos of themselves, which could be used by an adult for a sexual or exploitative purpose. In these cases, investigators identify and locate the child and provide awareness and education to the parent or caregiver.

Any family looking for advice and support for online safety is encouraged to visit the Canadian Centre for Child Protection website for comprehensive resources, as well as information about Cybertip.ca, an online reporting tool for incidents of online child exploitation.

As was the case before the pandemic, investigative resources continue to virtually patrol the online environment for the distribution of child sexual abuse material. While more people working from home and following self-isolation measures means more online activity, the public can be reassured there has been no change to the Service’s ability and commitment to identify, locate, and rescue victims of online child sexual abuse.

Q. I’m working from home and my company is using virtual meeting software to conduct business, is this secure?

The Toronto Police Service has noted an increase in occurrences involving the hijacking of virtual meeting spaces. These reports include meetings being interrupted by uninvited guests who share hate-related content or child sexual abuse material. Those organizing virtual meetings are strongly encouraged to keep the meeting details (such as any meeting ID or access number) private, and not share them publicly if at all possible. If shared publicly, organizers need to be aware meetings may be interrupted by the streaming of traumatic and/or illegal content.

Anyone who has been the victim of such an attack is encouraged to contact police at 416-808-2222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-tips, or make a report through Cybertip.ca.

To learn more, please watch the video below: