People living in Whitby, Ont., are shaking their heads in disappointment after a massive party Sunday.
The gathering took place on a property in north Whitby and according to Durham Police, it attracted thousands of people. Ronald Thrush, who lives in the area, says the rural roads were lined with cars as far as the eye could see.
“It was totally mind boggling. I’ve never seen a party this big,” Thrush said.
Neighbours say the party took place on a property on Ashburn Road, just north of Columbus Road. And although it was nearly two kilometres from where Thrush lives, it was loud and clear. When he took a drive up to see where it was coming from, he said the sight was unbelievable.
“There were cars parked in people’s driveways, people just walking the streets. And on top of that, there were even shuttle buses picking people up further south, and dropping them off at the party,” said Thrush.
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“This was a little bit crazy. it was crazy,” says Christina Brown, a neighbour. “They just started parking in our driveway, along the road. They parked all the way down our lane way.”
Christina Brown lives a few doors down from where the party took place. She says although everyone was cordial, there were no COVID-19 protocols being followed.
“It was shoulder to shoulder; there was zero COVID protocols,” she said. “There was no masks. They were very very liberated.”
Police were called to the property early Sunday evening for a number of noise complaints coming from neighbours living in the area. Acting Sgt. George Tudos says when they arrived, they saw a massive crowd, leaving them outnumbered.
“There was over 3,000 people from what I was told. We had several officers and utilized whatever resources we had,” Tudos said.
“But even that would be unsafe for officers to try and go in and remove everyone from the property.”
The event, which neighbours say was organized was advertised on Instagram, had a DJ and even had bottle service for those who attended. The event brought in people from around the GTA and beyond, according to Whitby councillor Rhonda Mulcahy. She says she received several complaints from residents about the party.
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“There were people walking down the centre of the road. There were DUIs issued,” says Mulcahy. “The entire parking lot was full, no permit. There was nothing done properly.”
Mulcahy says of the thousands of people that went to the party, hundreds of others were parking on not only people’s laneways but farmers’ fields as well.
“People were parking in their planted fields. That’s their income. And the fields were destroyed last night where all the cars were,” says Mulcahy.
Although the party ended peacefully, neighbours like Brown say it’s disappointing to see people ignoring the fact that the province is still in a pandemic.
Whitby’s mayor Don Mitchell released a statement addressing the party. He urges all residents to continue following safety guidelines.
“We are still in a pandemic and while things may be slowly reopening, it remains critical to follow provincial gathering limits to keep people safe,” the statement says.
“This is the responsible thing to do.”
“If everybody did this, they’re going to slap us right into a lockup again. And I don’t think anybody wants that,” says Brown.
Durham police are looking into the incident along with local bylaw enforcement officers. They say charges could be pending.
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