Canada Day long weekend to see large police presence in Woodbine Beach, Ashbridges Bay area

Insp. Mike Hayles of 55 Division speaks at a news conference held on the morning of Thursday, June 29, at the Woodbine Beach Bathing Station regarding safety over the Canada Day long weekend. Photo by Alan Shackleton.


Toronto police are letting local residents know that there will be a large presence of officers and that the safety of those attending Canada Day celebrations in the Woodbine Beach and Ashbridges Bay area will be a top priority over the coming long weekend.

“The Toronto Police Service has adequate resources at the park to ensure a safe and fun event for all those that want to come down and take part,” said Insp. Mike Hayles of 55 Division at a press conference held on the morning of Thursday, June 29, at the Woodbine Beach Bathing Station.

Hayles also said that police were strongly reminding residents that the use of personal fireworks or the consumption of alcohol in public parks is not permitted, and those rules will be strictly enforced this coming weekend.

“There is no alcohol permitted in Ashbridges Bay Park, personal fireworks are not permitted as well and there is up to a $1,000 fine for those that intend on using personal fireworks at the park,” said Hayles.

As they did on the Friday morning before the Victoria Day long weekend, police felt it necessary to hold a news conference at Woodbine Beach to send the message that police will be out and will have a coordinated plan to make sure Canada Day celebrations are safe across the city.

In 2022, the Sunday night of the Victoria Day long weekend was mayhem in the Woodbine Beach area. The night of Sunday, May 22) saw huge crowds coming into the area with the intent of causing trouble. Many of those had come to the area after being encouraged to do so by social media posts.

On Victoria Day 2022, fireworks were being used as weapons as groups were firing them back and forth at each other, at buildings in the area, at passing vehicles and at police. Seven police officers were injured, a shooting and a stabbing were reported, there were two armed robberies at gunpoint and multiple people were arrested as a result of those incidents over the night of May 22 and into the morning of May 23 of last year.

The 2023 Victoria Day celebrations and fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay went off without a hitch as there was a strong and highly visible police presence in the area for the entire long weekend.

Hayles said that is the plan for this Canada Day long weekend as well.

“Our plan encompasses the entire long weekend,” he said at this morning’s news conference.

“We will be in the position to increase resources as and where necessary…We want everyone to know the Toronto Police Service is here to facilitate a safe event,” he added.

In an interview with Beach Metro Community News after the news conference, Hayles said the TPS will be monitoring Canada Day events and fireworks displays in other city parks on July 1 including Stan Wadlow Park in East York; Milliken Park in Scarborough; and Centennial Park in Etobicoke.

“Senior officers like myself will be deployed to each of these major events under the control of the Major Incident Command Centre, and there will be live information and updates,” he said.

Fireworks are only allowed on residents’ private properties without a permit until 11 p.m. on Victoria Day and Canada Day. On all other days, a permit is required to set off fireworks. Fireworks are not permitted in city parks or beaches, streets, parking lots, or a property not owned by the person setting off the fireworks.

In addition to this, Hayles also reminded people that alcohol is not allowed to be consumed in Toronto parks at this time.

“If you do bring personal alcohol down to the beach, officers will be monitoring for that and where appropriate we will be laying charges,” he said.

Hayles also advised the public on the best method of transportation for those that would like to come down to the Canada Day fireworks event.

“We strongly encourage you to please use public transit because there will be significant road closures in the area,” he said.

Drivers can expect traffic delays due to road closures in the area, including Lake Shore Boulevard East. Parking enforcement will also be heightened in the area due to limited parking. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and use alternate modes of transportation.

For more detailed on TTC routes to the area, please visit

If you drive, police are asking you to be mindful of the residents in the area and do not block driveways or fire hydrants.

For more on the City of Toronto’s rules regarding the use of personal fireworks, please go to

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