COVID-19 Updates

The Toronto Police Service has been working closely with our City of Toronto Emergency Management partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have been taking advice from public health officials and making decisions that balance our need to provide community safety with maintaining the health and safety of our members.

Currently there are no changes to our frontline operations.


Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of March 27, 2020, 1538 hrs

Q. How can I file a police report?

If you have an emergency – an immediate threat to life or property – please call 911.

Non-emergencies can be reported by calling ‪416-808-2222.‬‬‬

Many incidents can be reported using our online reporting system, such as Damage to Vehicle or Property under $5,000, Driving or Parking Complaints, Traffic Issues or Concerns, Graffiti, or Theft or Fraud Under $5,000‬.‬‬‬‬‬‬

Q. Can I go to a police facility to make a report?

No. As of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all Toronto Police Service facilities, including Headquarters, were closed to the public.

Q. How can I get a Criminal Record Check, a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check or a Vulnerable Sector Screening?

Until further notice, all Criminal Record Checks and Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks must be submitted online through our Background Checks page.

Previously submitted requests, or requests going forward, will not be available for pick up until such time as Police Headquarters reopens to the public.

Exceptions will be made for those requiring a Vulnerable Sector Screening under emergency circumstances. Information about Vulnerable Sector Screenings can be found online on our Vulnerable Section Screen Process page, by calling 416-808-8244, or by email referencecheckprogram@torontopolice.on.ca.

Specific questions related to the Background Checks have been answered in the FAQ on their page.

Q. Can I pick up my property?

The Property Unit, located at 330 Progress Avenue, is closed to the public until further notice. Services will continue to be provided to the public, over the phone, by calling 416-808-3750 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Q. I need to attend a Collision Reporting Centre, are they open?

Yes. However, all Collision Reporting Centres have amended hours of operation to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Screening methods have been put in place by Accident Support Services International to ensure the health and safety of the public and their employees. These may include the use of a point-and-click temperature reader, limiting the number of occupants into the collision reporting centre, putting restrictions on who can attend, increased sanitization, not handling customer documents, and encouraging social distancing. For more information, please visit their website at www.accsupport.com

Q. I am a Funeral Director and I need to get a Burial Permit signed?

Under normal circumstances, funeral home employees may attend select divisions for the purpose of having burial permits signed, in certain circumstances.  Given the closure of all police facilities, this practice has been suspended until further notice. Please do not attend a police facility for this purpose.

We have been working with the City of Toronto to make alternate arrangements. In the short term, any funeral service director can contact the City in advance of submitting Forms 15 and 16s by emailing registryservices@toronto.ca with the following information:

  • Funeral Home name
  • Name of person coming in
  • Requested time and location

When emailing, please place BURIAL PERMIT in the Subject Line of the email and your required date of service and requested time.

A more sustainable process for the future will be communicated by the City of Toronto.

Q. What should I do if someone comes to my house, calls me or sends a text asking for donations or selling products and services?

We would like to remind the public to be extra vigilant when it comes to those trying to sell or provide products or services associated to Covid-19. Reliable, accurate and up-to-date information is only provided through local public health officials. The Toronto Police Service is actively investigating reports of fraudulent activity and anyone who believes they have been approached or contacted by someone who is misrepresenting themselves in an effort sell goods or services should report to police online.

Q. I own a business/restaurant that has closed during this time. What are the police doing to protect my property?

Most business owners are complying with the government’s directive to close down. We have heard concerns from some business owners that these closed businesses are potentially at an increased risk of break-and-enters, vandalism, etc., or robberies and theft given reduced foot traffic and customer flow.

Each division across the city has been tasked with monitoring these locations for the purpose of preventing and detecting crime. This is achieved through intelligence-led crime analytics, leading to increased uniform visibility ensuring our officers are where the public needs them the most.

There are also many resources available to guide store/restaurant owners through a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) process and advice is always available through the Crime Prevention Officer at each division.

Please visit our Crime Prevention page for more details.

Anyone who sees a crime in progress is asked to contact 911 and any business owner discovering a break-and-enter or damage to a property is asked to call 416-808-2222, or report through our Online Crime Reporting.

Q. Are there enough police officers to keep the city safe?

Toronto Police Service members have been provided with the same direction as the public when it comes to travel, self-isolation, and self-monitoring.

It is not in the interest of community safety for us to disclose our exact deployment numbers but we can say, at this time, this direction has impacted a very small number of members and we have not had to make any changes to our frontline policing services.

Prior to COVID-19, the Toronto Police Service had plans in place to address staffing needs during a public crisis or emergency. These plans include repurposing of resources, modifying members’ shifts (including Work From Home accomodations), and adjusting our service delivery model. All of these steps allow us to maintain public safety, respond to emergency calls for service, and continue our delivery of critical services.

Q. Have any Toronto Police Service members tested positive for COVID-19?

On March 26, 2020, one police officer from 14 Division notified supervisors that they had tested positive for Covid-19. We are working with public health authorities who are conducting an in-depth investigation related to the individual and their contacts.

All proper notifications were made and immediate steps were taken. Enhanced cleaning measures, such as additional surface cleaning in frequently accessed areas, have been undertaken as has been recommended by public health officials.

Those who work in close proximity to the member have been advised to self-monitor and we continue to strongly advise our members to continue following the advice of Toronto Public Health with respect to self-screening, social distancing, frequent hand-washing with soap, and practicing self-isolation, as advised by public health authorities.

This is the second member of the TPS to test positive for Covid-19. The other member is a civilian from Headquarters.

Q. Is the Toronto Police Service screening those in custody?

We will not speak to any specific cases but we can say that every person in police custody is screened at least three times: upon arrest, at the division, and again when they are transported to court by a supervisor. These screenings include questions like do you have symptoms, have you travelled, have you been quarantined, etc. We continue to work with our emergency management partners to ensure our screening is the most effective it can be in determining the wellbeing of people in our custody to prevent possible exposure to our members and those who work along side us in the justice system.

Regarding releasing people rather than remanding, if we can release someone from custody we will but our priority is on the safety of the public. If necessary, we have and will continue to seek opportunities to limit exposure to those who are in custody and will remain so throughout the court process.

Q. Has there been a reduction in crime or have police officers stopped making arrests?

There has been no impact to frontline policing services. The Toronto Police Service is still responding to calls for service, investigating crimes, and doing its part to keep our communities safe.

Since social distancing and self-isolation have been imposed, the Service has noticed a decrease in the number of calls to the non-emergency number. There could be several reasons for this decline, including fewer people in a single place calling about one incident and a reduction in parking complaints.

However, even with the decrease in call volume, there has been no significant change to our calls for service. This means police officers are responding to the same amount of calls as they were this time last year.

While it is far too early to make any determination on possible crime trends during this time, we do know that since March 16, 2020, our weekly statistics show a decline in all major crime categories (except homicides, which have remained stable). This could be attributed to social distancing and self-isolation since most of these crimes are against people (assaults, robbery), but even crimes against property (auto theft, break-and-enters) have dropped.

The important thing to remember is that crime statistics fluctuate over time and for a variety of different reasons. Toronto Police officers continue to respond to calls and protect our city.

Q. Has there been an impact on traffic enforcement with fewer cars on the road?

No. Like other frontline policing activity, there has been no change to traffic enforcement. For some violations, such as stunt driving, the lighter traffic on the roads may be one factor leading to the higher-than-normal charges. Other contributing factors could be the change in seasons, more pleasant weather, dryer roadways, and summer vehicles coming out of storage. Toronto Police Service continues to actively conduct proactive enforcement activities and respond to driving complaints on all our roads.

Q. What changes have been made to parking enforcement?

Until further notice, parking enforcement has been suspended for the following offences:

  • On-Street Permit Parking Areas
  • On-Street Time Limit Offences such a 1, 2 and 3 Hour Parking
  • North York Winter Maintenance Bylaw
  • Expired Vehicle Validation License Plates
  • Boulevard Parking
  • School Zones with posted No Stopping/No Standing/No Parking Signage

Also, until further notice, the highest level of discretion will be applied to rush hour route enforcement. Only when an offence is having a significant negative impact on traffic flow in the immediate area will an infraction notice be issued and the impounding of vehicles from rush hour routes will only be undertaken as a last resort.

Q. Is the Toronto Police shutting down bars and restaurants that remain open?

On March 17, the Government of Ontario made an order declaring an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, all organized public events of over 50 people were prohibited and the following establishments were legally required to close immediately:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • All public libraries
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act
  • All licensed child care centres
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies
  • Concert venues

City of Toronto staff will be monitoring and providing information and education to non-compliant individuals and businesses. Residents with complaints about restaurants continuing to offer dine-in service and large gatherings of over 50 people can contact 311.

In some cases, the matter will escalate to Toronto Police for further enforcement actions under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

There are various options for this enforcement, ranging in severity from a $750 ticket to a summons, which upon conviction can result in fines from $100,000 for individuals to $10 million for businesses, to arrests and criminal charges of Obstruct Police.

The Toronto Police Service will also conduct proactive enforcement, when necessary. This includes visiting establishments that have not complied with the provincial directive and, under each circumstance, using officer discretion to determine the proper action.

Members of the public are reminded to contact 311 first, unless there is an emergent circumstance that requires an immediate police response.

Q. Is the Toronto Police Service arresting people who do not social distance or self-isolate?

All levels government, informed by Public Health Officials, have been providing very strong direction to the public about social distancing and self-isolation protocols.

At this time, no additional powers have been bestowed on police to expand enforcement efforts beyond organized public events of over 50 people and the following areas:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • All public libraries
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act
  • All licensed child care centres
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies
  • Concert venues

The federal government announced on March 25, 2020, an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. The order will be fully implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry.

The Government of Canada will use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order. Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while wilfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or to imprisonment of up to three years, or to both.

The Toronto Police Service continues to monitor this order for implications to municipal policing services.

Q. Am I still allowed to use a public park or greenspace?

All levels government, informed by Public Health Officials, have been providing very strong direction to the public about social distancing and self-isolation protocols.

On March 25, 2020, the City of Toronto announced that all City-owned playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor exercise equipment and other parks amenities, as well as parking lots attached to its parks system, will be closed effective immediately.

Parks green spaces will remain accessible.