Kingston’s University District Safety Initiative in effect for Homecoming 2023

Kingstonist file image.

As Queen’s University’s Homecoming weekend approaches, the City of Kingston Bylaw Enforcement and Kingston Police have issued a joint press release reminding post-secondary school community members living in or visiting Kingston to stay safe, respect their neighbours, and avoid large gatherings.

According to the release, the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) will be in place from 12 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, and will remain in effect until Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at 12 a.m. During this time, Bylaw and Police will have an increased presence in the University District. Individuals who commit an identified offence under the Nuisance Party Bylaw could be issued a Part I Court Summons or an Administrative Monetary Penalty.

Police and City Bylaw are working closely with Queen’s University, Kingston Fire & Rescue, Frontenac Paramedics, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and other partners to ensure minimal disruptions to the community during this time, according to the release.

“We’re urging everyone to conduct themselves in a safe manner and to be mindful of the negative impact their actions could have,” said Kyle Compeau, Manager of Enforcement at the City of Kingston. “High-risk behaviours, including large unsanctioned gatherings, are not only dangerous for those present, but can also hinder the public’s access to roadways, transit, and emergency services. There will be fines and penalties issued to those who do not follow the laws in place.”

Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) are authorized under section 434.1 of the Municipal Act. The AMP process means penalties under the Nuisance Party and Noise Bylaws can be issued and resolved directly through the City. Penalties include: 

  • Host, conduct or sponsor a nuisance party: $2,000 
  • Fail to comply with an order to leave premises: $500 
  • Use a closed highway: $500 
  • Noise bylaw offences – Various: $100-$200 
  • Fail to comply with signs (Parks): $200 

Police and Bylaw said that additional resources will be committed to ensure a broad range of options to assist in monitoring large unsanctioned gatherings and nuisance behaviour.

“We want to remind everyone that reckless partying and high-risk nuisance behaviour can also have serious impacts on your future,” said Kingston Police Inspector Lillian Murdock. “Large unsanctioned gatherings pose substantial safety concerns, they also place excessive strains on emergency services”.

Murdock encourages individuals “to be aware of their surroundings, and to ensure they are following all applicable municipal, provincial and federal legislation.”

Under Ontario’s Liquor Licence and Control Act, the following actions are prohibited and could result in a Part 1 Court Summons

  • A person under 19 years having/consuming liquor
  • Having liquor in an open container or consuming liquor in an unauthorized place 
  • Being intoxicated in a public place

According to the release, Bylaw Enforcement and Kingston Police Liaison Teams have been out in the University District, connecting directly with residents and distributing educational materials.

Compeau added the City and its partners are hopeful their message will be well-received, and that those participating in Homecoming activities will do so in a way that is respectful of the entire community.

“Celebrating safely means taking care of yourselves, but also being considerate of the peace and well-being of our neighbours,” he said. “Let’s ensure this is a fun and safe Homecoming for all.”

Breakwater Park and Gord Edgar Downie Pier to close nightly

Breakwater Park and Gord Edgar Downie Pier will also be closed to the public nightly (8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.) from the evening of Thursday, Oct. 19 to the morning of Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, and from the evening of Thursday, Oct. 26 until the morning of Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. Under Section 3 of City of Kingston By-Law Number 2009-76, it is an offence to enter or use a park where the entry or use is prohibited by notice. According to the release, there will be active video surveillance of the area at this time.

Police and the City encourage residents to learn more about the municipal measures in place to discourage unsanctioned large gatherings and high-risk or disruptive behaviours by visiting the UDSI webpage on the City of Kingston website. 

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