Homecoming weekend an 'overall positive' experience in the University District: Kingston police

October 25, 2023

Story by Christena Lawrie, CFRC Broadcast Journalist, for the Local Journalism Initiative.

City of Kingston Bylaw Enforcement and Kingston Police have released a statement regarding this past Homecoming weekend, including the numbers of tickets and fines issued during celebrations.

While fines and charges were on par with previous years, the tone of the post-homecoming message was significantly more positive than the past few years.

Homecoming in 2021 and 2022 prompted releases from Kingston Police regarding “aggressive, volatile, and disrespectful behaviour” directed at officers. 

After 2021’s Homecoming weekend, Mayor Patterson stated, “To say we are frustrated, angry, and exhausted only begins to describe the feelings among police, enforcement staff, paramedics, hospital personnel, the community, and myself. I don’t know how to make the message any clearer.”

But while there were still the residential parties and the Aberdeen street party which has come to be expected over Homecoming weekend, this year saw “more cooperation with enforcement” and no major issues or injuries, according to the release from Bylaw and Police.

Acting Chief of Police Scott Fraser described it as “an overall positive weekend in the University District,” stating that attendees were mostly respectful and understood the role of the police.

A Nuisance Party was declared on Aberdeen Street from Johnson to Earl around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21., and the crowd was cleared throughout the afternoon with the Nuisance Party declaration lifted at 4 p.m.

The largest fines doled out were two $2,000 fines for hosts of nuisance parties. Other fines issued include a total of 151 $500 fines issued for failure to leave premises after being ordered to disperse between both Bylaw Enforcement and Kingston Police. Alongside these fines, 147 court summons were issued and two arrests were made.

While Homecoming weekend has passed, the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) remains in effect until Nov. 1 at 12 a.m., reaching over Halloween weekend. This includes the nightly closures of Gord Downie Pier, which will be back in effect from Thursday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 29.

More details regarding the UDSI including fines, closures, and applicable bylaws can be found on the UDSI webpage on the City of Kingston website.