“Trinity Bellwoods is the Florida of Ontario”: How Toronto reacted to 10,000 people gathering in the park this weekend
Over the weekend, more than 10,000 people piled into Trinity Bellwoods Park, flouting physical distancing regulations. There were large groups sitting close together, minimal space between picnic blankets and plenty of mask-free mingling. Here’s what the Internet had to say.
Artist Briony Douglas illustrated a Dr. Seuss–inspired story about the events:
Toronto’s medical officer of health felt compelled to weigh in:
I understand that the photos of people in Trinity Bellwoods were disappointing today. It was a beautiful day & we all want to enjoy our city together, but this could be selfish & dangerous behaviour that could set us back. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/cKVj0DdBhh
— Dr. Eileen de Villa (@epdevilla) May 23, 2020
John Tory condemned the behaviour, but then visited the park himself:
I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were. pic.twitter.com/2x1OIrnKI9
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 25, 2020
His apology prompted memes galore:
— john (@johnsemley3000) May 25, 2020
The situation was bad enough to earn the cold shoulder from a taxi company:
Please don’t contact us for a ride home if you’ve spent the day at Trinity Bellwoods Park ignoring physical distancing rules.
— Beck Taxi (@BeckTaxi) May 23, 2020
Some tried to be polite:
I’m going to try and be polite as possible and simply say fuck everyone who was at Trinity Bellwoods Park today.
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) May 23, 2020
— Jackson Gair (@JacksonGair) May 24, 2020
half my feed is frothing about trinity bellwoods, so I guess I’d just observe that there’s a lot of emotion about that park in general that I think is tied up here. https://t.co/hPFiZQg5c6
— Ivor Tossell (@ivortossell) May 24, 2020
Others like singer Tanya Tagaq, Montreal Canadiens player Max Domi and political strategist Warren Kinsella…didn’t:
Dear Everyone In This Photo,
You are the fucking worst. https://t.co/ieQMAAqsLQ
— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) May 24, 2020
This photo was taken by someone today at Trinity Bellwoods. A park in Toronto. This is absolute stupidity and very selfish. Give your head a shake people! pic.twitter.com/hrhacQ5aVf
— Max Domi (@maxdomi) May 24, 2020
Trinity Bellwoods, Toronto. I’m not going to bother to say how fucking stupid this is, because not many seem to care. So, second wave, here we come. pic.twitter.com/kAyxsHHGLm
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) May 23, 2020
Trinity Bellwoods truly is the Florida of Ontario.
— Aaron Martin (@AaronSMartin) May 23, 2020
only people that can comfortably fall asleep in jeans hang out at trinity bellwoods park
— El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz stan account (@DijahSB) May 22, 2020
Filmmaker Sarah Polley got philosophical:
I’ve felt all the feelings – so no judgement – but watching people get really mad about the people getting really mad about Trinity Bellwoods is everything that is human.
— @realSarahPolley (@realsarahpolley) May 24, 2020
Some pointed out that blame shouldn’t fall on the hipsters:
It’s so easy to punch down on people in Trinity Bellwoods.
But behavioural changes at a mass scale need system-level changes.
— Dr. Amina Jabbar (@AminaJabbar) May 24, 2020
In a city of condos and small over crowded apartments the crowding at #TrinityBellwoods should sadly come as no surprise. What’s going to happen when the first heat wave hits and apartments with no AC feel unlivable?
— Maggie MacDonald (@MacDonaldMaggie) May 24, 2020
Instead of just lecturing people in #trinitybellwoods lets keep in mind:
-Many people live in condos + apartments without access to outside space
-If we want people to behave a certain way we need signage, signals, clearly articulated guidelines in channels people use.
— Siri Agrell (@SiriAgrell) May 23, 2020
Toronto Police say they were at Trinity Bellwoods today and “educating not enforcing”.
I’m sorry but the time for “educating” was over a while ago.
— Rob Gill (@vote4robgill) May 24, 2020
Former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat came up with a plan:
When you see a full park, you can say, let’s shut down that park, there’s too many people in it. Or you can say, wow, people need access to public space, we need to add more. And then of course, you open up the streets. I spoke with @bruce_arthur: https://t.co/M4O9aHJ6rU
— Jennifer Keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) May 4, 2020
Trinity Bellwoods Park in an area where many people don’t have backyards / access to their own green space. No surprise the weekend the city opens its parks, people go. These physically distant circles exist right now in places like San Francisco and New york. Why not Toronto? pic.twitter.com/C3MfbWhDIp
— Farah Nasser (@FarahNasser) May 24, 2020
And a couple more long shots:
Somebody needs to crank some Nickelback in Trinity Bellwoods to clear it.
— Jeremy Taggart (@Taggart7) May 23, 2020
New rule: whoever goes to Bellwoods has to stay there for the rest of their life pic.twitter.com/JnC9nwh9pU
— Brent (@Radio_Brent) May 24, 2020
There were definitely alternatives to Trinity Bellwoods:
High park yesterday. Everyone’s obsession with Bellwoods is embarrassing. pic.twitter.com/s31VtcIIk5
— Andre De Pape (@andredepape) May 24, 2020
And a fair amount of hypocrisy:
People going to Trinity Bellwoods then being mad about people being at Trinity Bellwoods pic.twitter.com/H2F9aTNV76
— TIRZA (@tirzayassa) May 23, 2020
But at least the whole thing gave people a chance to feel slightly better about their day:
Didn’t do anything productive today but at least I wasn’t at trinity bellwoods pic.twitter.com/Cab4f9QQaS
— Noor (@zainroon) May 23, 2020
There were comparisons to other summertime establishments:
Trinity Bellwoods Park is the new Lavelle.
— Justin Mob (@JustinMob) May 23, 2020
And relief over having moved:
Me: extremely sad about having moved out of my apartment at College and Ossington
Me, two weeks later: *sees countless videos of Yuppie dipshits hanging out at Trinity Bellwoods instead of staying home*
Me, now: no longer extremely sad about having moved
— Tom Fraser (@tomfraserhfx) May 22, 2020
Some pointed out the obvious:
It’s going to be a really long, painful summer in Ontario, isn’t it?
— Josh Visser (@joshvisser) May 25, 2020
We never thought we’d see the day:
i see someone has given the slackliners a run for their money as the most hated entity in bellwoods
— josh o’kane (@joshokane) May 22, 2020
And, of course, there were also responses like this one:
I see no problem here. Just more and more people refusing to be afraid to live their lives anymore, just because the government tells them to. I applaud these people for standing up for their rights.
— Jason J. Buchholz (@1JasonBuchholz) May 24, 2020