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‘It was bad’: Fireworks fight breaks out in Toronto

Residents in the Christie Pits area are voicing concern after a wild fireworks fight erupted in their neighbourhood on Victoria Day, with young people shooting off fireworks across Bloor Street as cars and pedestrians passed by.

One woman who spoke to CP24 said she was trying to sleep when she heard loud bangs from her home.

“It was bad,” Francillia St. Marie told CP24.

She said the quiet of the sleepy Victoria Day long weekend was broken by loud bangs which sounded like they were close by. She then looked out her window and saw smoke and fireworks.

“So what I saw was a bunch of like teenagers and kids just running up and down Bloor kind of shooting fireworks at each other and also people walking by,” she said.

She said she first heard the bangs around 9 p.m. and when she left for work an hour later, it was still happening.

“It was kind of sad to see that that was going on because it makes you feel unsafe,” St. Marie said.

She said Bloor Street was lit up with the multi-coloured light from the fireworks, accompanied by very loud bangs and she could see people in restaurants poking their heads out to try to figure out what was happening as 20 to 30 young people ran around setting off fireworks at one another.

“That’s uncalled for,” she said.

Images from the scene show people running around either side of the street, shooting fireworks. One of them appears to strike a vehicle. Some of the fireworks in the park were set off right next to a parked police cruiser.

Initially, police did not appear to respond. Backup from multiple divisions eventually arrived on scene and officers could be seen confiscating fireworks from people.

Toronto police said they confiscated “several bags of fireworks” and worked with the TTC to manage the crowd. They said there were no reports of injuries or property damage.

“Officers were patrolling the area all day and evening and cleared out the park by approximately 11 p.m.,” police told CP24.

One arrest was made in the park, unrelated to the fireworks, police said.  

Another area resident who gave his name as Noah said he also saw teens shooting fireworks at each other across the busy street and lighting roman candles. He said this is the second year in a row that this sort of thing has happened and he questioned why there wasn’t more prevention in place.

“The police (were) mostly blocking off the streets,” he said. “They weren’t necessarily chasing after any individuals with fireworks. But again, I don’t think that was really their goal.”

He said there’s a public safety concern for those in the area when these sort of incidents happen.

“I mean, that’s what teenagers do. But you don’t do it in a crowded street with lots of people and with a large police presence,” he said.

While the city holds a large fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay each year, fireworks are prohibited in city parks. Toronto police issued a reminder on Thursday about the rules.

“Fireworks are not allowed in parks or on beaches,” the city’s website says. “You are also not allowed to set off fireworks in a street, a parking lot, on a balcony, or on any private property that is not your own.”

With a report from CP24’s Beatrice Vaisman

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