City clears encampments in Clarence Square Park


The City of Toronto said they cleared eight encampments Sunday morning at Clarence Square Park, near Wellington Street West and Spadina Avenue.

According to the city, there were 10 encampments and four known occupants.

“One person remains on site, two accepted referrals to inside space and one person returned to housing,” said a statement issued by the city.

The city cited its parks bylaw which prohibits installing a structure on park land and occupying any part of a park for nonrecreational uses like camping, tenting or living.

City officials said a 72-hour notice was given in advance the morning of June 4 and they had the right to enforce a trespass notice after 75 hours elapsed.

Toronto police said officers were in the area of ​​the park but were not “utilized.” “Only as a last resort, and in partnership with city staff, would police officers carry out enforcement,” said police spokesperson Const. Laura Brabant.

The city said it is committed to a housing first approach to street and encampment outreach by assisting people living outdoors in a nonconfrontational way. “From January 2022 to present, Streets to Homes has engaged at Clarence Square 152 times and has referred 17 clients from the site to indoor accommodation,” said the city’s statement.

The city referenced its 10-year housing plan, HousingTO, which plans on providing 40,000 new affordable rental homes and 18,000 new supportive homes by 2030.

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