Fri. May 20th, 2022

Just two days after Toronto officials and the Toronto Police Service enforced violation orders and cleared a homeless camp in Alexandra Park, a film crew has begun shooting a production at the adjacent town hall while the entire nearby green space is still fenced.

However, questions were raised Thursday after several movie cars and crews were seen on and near the Scadding Court Community Center on Dundas Street West near Bathurst Street.

When asked about the production activity, municipal staff insisted that there was no connection between the filming and the time of the operation to remove the homeless from the park.

“The production has been there all week, preparing and getting a film permit issued by the film office on July 15 to shoot inside the town hall,” a spokesman for Global News said in a statement Thursday night.

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“Neither does the film office [or] production had no knowledge of the city’s enforcement of the violation notice in Alexandra Park this week, nor did the city’s decision to enforce the violation notice on Tuesday have anything to do with the filming. The staff involved in planning and enforcing the infringement notification had no knowledge of the filming or the permit. ”

Despite the recording activity at the town hall on Thursday night, Global News observed that fences were still in place around the perimeter of Alexandra Park.

It was in the early hours of Tuesday morning when a large contingent of crews in the City of Toronto, security guards and police arrived at the park to remove more than two dozen people living on the grounds. Only 11 of these people accepted offers of housing indoors. It was estimated that there were up to 60 tents and structures in the park area.

“Camping in parks is not only unhealthy and unsafe, but it is also illegal, which is why we have given ample notice to individuals camped that they cannot camp there,” City of Toronto spokesman Brad Ross said. Tuesday.

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“We have engaged with people living outside in camps about 20,000 times since the start of this pandemic, and have offered safe indoor accommodation and ultimately housing. In fact, we have successfully referred more than 1,700 people inside since the start of the pandemic and housed around 5,800 people from shelters since the start of the pandemic …

“The parks must be accessible to everyone, including people who experience homelessness, but you cannot camp in a park, and we have free space, we offer services to help individuals get in and eventually be accommodated and stay accommodated. It is critically important. ”

Domenico Saxida told reporters Tuesday morning that he has lived in Alexandra Park and said he does not know where he is going next.

“Canadians who see this now should be ashamed of your country, especially your politicians. I do not know what level of government should be built for income-oriented housing, but COVID has brought this to light, ”he said.

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“So much … pain and suffering and death it causes, this pulls under the rug that the government has been sweeping under the rug for a very long time.”

Diana Chan McNally, education and engagement coordinator with the Toronto Drop-in Network, said those who have lived in Alexandra Park have done so because it gives them access to much-needed resources.

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“In Kensington, they have supports; down on Queen Street they have supports. It is accessible to them and they are right in the middle of it. If they are driven very far away, do we know where they are going? Not always. Will they be further away from things like a place to prevent overdose, damage reduction supplies, meals and case management? Yes, ”she said.

“So it will be very disturbing for them, which honestly will not only cause harm but can also result in people dying.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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