Skip to main content

Waterloo officials release unified message on street parties ahead of Homecoming

Police patrol homecoming parties at Wilfrid Laurier University. (Courtesy: Waterloo Regional Police) Police patrol homecoming parties at Wilfrid Laurier University. (Courtesy: Waterloo Regional Police)

The City of Waterloo, local paramedics, the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) and both Waterloo universities are hoping to put an end to large unsanctioned gatherings ahead of Homecoming weekend, days away.

Their message is unified – large street gatherings can be dangerous and lead to risks.

In a news release, the city outlined some of the risks to emergency responders and law enforcement officers when they try to help in a big crowd.

The city said there’s also a risk for the community at large, when emergency crews are tied up and unavailable to respond to “real/genuine emergency calls.”

There’s also concern about increased demand on emergency services during Homecoming weekend.

“Particularly when local hospital emergency rooms already have longer wait times,” the release read.

Local paramedics are hoping party goers stay safe.

“We encourage everyone to reduce the negative impacts of binge drinking, substance misuse and unsanctioned gatherings,” said John Riches, the chief of Region of Waterloo Paramedics Services. “Protect yourself and first responders by looking out for each other and celebrating at home or in a small group with people you trust.”

The city said WRPS, municipal enforcement and special constables at the universities have been working together over the last month to increase their presence near the campus – encouraging safe behavior.

The universities said they’re hoping students, new and old, continue to practice safe behavior.

“We are reminding students of the positive impact they can have and asking them to keep their community top of mind, to be respectful and look out for one another and our neighbours,” said Ivan Joseph, the vice-president of student affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Students are being encouraged to participate in the organized Homecoming events or celebrate responsibly in smaller gatherings.

“We're also reminding our students to do their part in keeping our campus and community safe by heeding the guidance of a regional officials and finding safe ways to celebrate being together again in person," said Chris Read, the associate provost of students at the University of Waterloo.

The city suggests people head to Uptown Waterloo bars and restaurants to meet up this weekend.

“There’s also the opportunity to enjoy Lumen, the annual festival of art, light and technology taking place throughout Uptown Waterloo,” the release suggested. Top Stories

Stay Connected