Police, protesters present as Toronto moves to clear homeless encampment in park

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Police and protesters are at a downtown Toronto park where city workers are moving to clear a homeless encampment.

The city says it issued trespass notices to residents of the encampment at Trinity Bellwoods park on June 12 and is now moving to enforce them.

It says the 20 to 25 people living in the roughly 65-structure encampment will be offered a safe, indoor space and will be allowed to pack two bags of belongings to take with them.

The rest of their belongings will be collected and stored for pickup for up to 30 days.

Several such camps have emerged throughout the city after many people experiencing homelessness left shelters for fear of catching COVID-19.

The city’s efforts to dismantle the encampments have spurred protests in recent months, and dozens of demonstrators are at the site this morning to support those who don’t want to leave.

Some of the camp’s residents, however, have accepted the city’s offer to go to a shelter or hotel and have begun packing their belongings.

Many who live in the camps have said the shelters and hotels offered by the city aren’t a desirable option, in part due to the limit on belongings and the rules and curfews imposed.

The city has said that encampments aren’t safe.