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Anti-maskers gather in downtown Toronto

Anti-maskers gather in downtown Toronto

Toronto Police reported an anti-mask protest convening at city’s Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday afternoon. Dozens of demonstrators could be seen in a photo posted on Twitter by the police service, which said that officers were on the scene but “everyone has the lawful right to peacefully protest and officers will be in the area for the safety of everyone.” Over a hundred people gathered at Yonge-Dundas Square Saturday afternoon, many without masks and with little social distancing, calling for an end to the lockdown. A group on Facebook called “The Line” appeared to be the organizers of the event, which they called the “March for Freedom.” The protestors then left Yonge-Dundas and proceeded north on Yonge Street. Police are assisting in directing traffic elsewhere to allow for them to pass safely.

Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health says it has ordered the closure of three King Street restaurants that failed to take necessary COVID-19 precautions, including by serving buffet-style food and requiring staff to work while ill. The establishments — named as entertainment-district steakhouse MARBL, Mexican eatery Caza Mezcal, and sprawling craft-beer purveyor King Taps — were shut down on Friday night. A fourth unnamed venue is in the process of being served, according to the City of Toronto.

In an Instagram post last night, MARBL said it would be closed for the weekend due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Earlier this summer, the restaurant attracted criticism — and an investigation from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario — when a video appeared to show a crowded indoor party that violated COVID-19 regulations. Last week, a staff member tested positive for the virus, according to CP24.

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