Police in Waterloo are saying it’s the biggest crowd to date with more than five thousand people cramming onto the side street of Ezra Avenue in Waterloo.   

Waterloo Regional Police Service Superintendent Kevin Chalk says Ezra Avenue’s party reputation is growing.  They are finding more and more people are coming from out of town and non-students are using the area as their St. Patrick’s Day starting point.  

 “I would think that we are getting close to six. If not even above that as you've seen there is a migration of people coming and going.” Chalk says.

Party goers started early with police spending the morning corralling students off the road and warning them about open liquor.

In London, police have shut down several keg parties around the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College.  They have also confiscated more than 16 kegs of beer.  Police are reminding revellers that keg parties are illegal.

London Police Chief Brad Duncan has said the force is taking a zero-tolerance approach to unruly parties.

Police across Southern Ontario have been doing some carefully planning for this year’s celebrations after a drunken St. Patrick’s Day riot broke out last year.

 It left the Fleming Drive area near Fanshawe College looking like a war zone.  Close to 70 people were arrested and more than 170 charges were laid.