Several Charges Issued During Unsanctioned Homecoming Event

Posted on Monday October 01, 2018

Waterloo Region, Ontario – On September 29, 2018, the Waterloo Regional Police Service, along with our community partners, were deployed to core areas in Waterloo for Homecoming celebrations.

In particular, a priority on safety and enforcement focused on the area of Ezra Avenue in relation to an unsanctioned street gathering.

A peak attendance estimate has been set at 14,000, making this weekend’s Homecoming crowd the largest to date. This estimate is based on the attendance in the Ezra Avenue corridor during the day’s busiest time and is not a reflection of the total attendance for the day.

Preliminary results indicate that a total of 462 charges were laid in relation to Homecoming. These include charges for Highway Traffic Act (71), Liquor Licence Act (304), Criminal Code (3) and By-Law (18) offences. Other charges were laid under the Trespass to Property Act (53), Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (3) and Other Provincial Offences (10). In addition, 12 people were arrested.

These numbers represent charges laid by both the Waterloo Regional Police Service and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Special Constable Service.

“As the Homecoming crowd continues to grow each year, the unsanctioned street event causes a great public safety concern to our entire community,” said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police. “Not only is it a significant drain on emergency resources, it also brings considerable safety risks to those in attendance. Our officers responded to several calls during the unsanctioned event and witnessed many incidents that were both disrespectful and dangerous. As we move forward, we will continue meeting with our community partners to discuss how we work to end such unlawful, unsafe and unsanctioned gatherings.”

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Special Constable Service had 566 calls for service and issued 114 Provincial Offence Notices throughout the event.

“Laurier’s sanctioned Homecoming events were successful and reflected the true spirit of our alumni community,” said David McMurray, Laurier’s vice-president of Student Affairs. “We actively discouraged people from taking part in the unsanctioned street gathering. These gatherings place a significant drain on the university and emergency service resources. We will continue our work with our partners to shift this behavior and maintain safety.”

Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services also saw an increase in demand for service throughout the Homecoming event.

In total, paramedic crews responded to 36 calls for service in the University district between 10 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. Twenty of these patients were transported to local hospitals with six listed in serious or critical condition.

On an average day, Paramedic Services respond to approximately 120 calls for service.

“These additional 36 calls for service, on top of our regular volume, require significant additional planning and resourcing from all system partners to ensure the unsanctioned gathering does not impact the people trying to access our services throughout the Region," said Stephen VanValkenburg, Chief of Paramedic Services.

Grand River Hospital saw 24 patients arrive in their emergency department and St. Mary’s General Hospital had 13 patients arrive in relation to Homecoming.

City of Waterloo By-Law Enforcement Services responded to a total of 62 calls, resulting in 40 charges for public urination, noise and property standard offences. A total of 31 traffic/parking infractions were issued and 37 vehicles towed. These charges are on top of the 462 charges laid by the Waterloo Regional Police Service and the Wilfrid Laurier University’s Special Constable Service.

Waterloo Fire Rescue Services responded to 35 Homecoming-related calls from 7 a.m. on September 29, 2018 to 7 a.m. September 30, 2018, on top of their regular calls for service. Six of these calls were for elevator rescues, eight false alarms, 12 medical and nine dangerous conditions.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service would like to thank all community partners who worked together to ensure public safety during Homecoming 2018.


Media Inquiries:

Cherri Greeno, Media Relations Coordinator                                                                               

Executive Branch, Waterloo Regional Police Service

519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8773


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Associate Director, Communications & Public Affairs

Wilfrid Laurier University

519-884-0710 ext. 3067


Nic Smith, Community Liaison

Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services

519-575-84400 ext. 8711


Tony Iavarone, Director of Communications

City of Waterloo



Richard Hepditch, Chief

Waterloo Fire Rescue

519-884-6030 ext. 23332


Anne Kelly, Manager, Communications

St. Mary’s General Hospital

519-749-6578 ext. 1501


Jennifer Condick, Communications Officer

Grand River Hospital

519-749-4300 ext. 2986


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