Community leaders met in Waterloo’s university district to go door to door ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.

They are doing so to pass along a message of safety and respect when massive crowds are expected to gather for the annual unsanctioned street party on Ezra Avenue.

Last year an estimated 22,000 people gathered on the short street near Wilfrid Laurier University.

“I think it’s important to know that students can have a good time while being respectful and safe while respecting those around you, not only students but neighbours in the community,” said Zemar Hakim, incoming president of the Laurier Students Union.

Regional police have made it clear they will not tolerate any unlawful behavior during the unsanctioned event.

Last April the City of Waterloo created a task force to study the issue of unsanctioned street parties.

A finalized report along with possible suggestions isn’t expected back until 2020.

Until then Police and other community groups will continue shoulder a heavy cost.

“From a policing perspective we are in the range of a half million dollars, but in totality, unsanctioned events are in the range of $1 million for all the partners,” said Bryan Larkin, Region of Waterloo Chief of Police.

Waterloo Regional Police along with officers from Peel Region, Waterloo Region Paramedics, Waterloo Fire, Waterloo by-law and special constables from both universities will be in the university area on Sunday.