City braces itself for 14,000 people on Ezra over homecoming weekend
Published Friday, September 27, 2019 12:46PM EDT
WATERLOO - Waterloo is bracing for another round of unsanctioned partying on Ezra Avenue.
The homecoming celebrations are set to begin at Wilfrid Laurier and University of Waterloo on Saturday.
In years past, homecoming leads to wild parties, and Ezra seems to be the destination.
The city is expecting more than 14,000 on the street there over homecoming weekend.
To deal with the unsanctioned party, the city is launching some new tactics to cut down on the chaos. It's putting up crowd management pods, which are basically fenced-in areas with washrooms and garbage cans.
"Certainly garbage and public urination are challenges that we face during these large gatherings," explains Shayne Turner, director of municipal enforcement services for the city.
"The gatherings themselves are unsanctioned so we're not trying to make it a welcoming event, but we do have to take into consideration methods to result in lessening the impact in the neighbourhoods."
Some private properties on Ezra are also putting fences around their yards to keep party goers away.
Earlier this week, officials went door-to-door in the university district, passing on messages to students to remind them to drink responsibly and show respect.
Last year, police laid more than 400 charges for driving, drinking and bylaw offences.
The city wants to see that number of offences decrease this year.
Now, anyone who is charged will have to appear in court.