The first four lines of the Etobicoke Guardian set the tone:
“A registered sex offender apprehended after exposing himself within the vicinity of children.
Two men charged for engaging in sexual activity in a car at a busy parking lot over the lunch hour.
A male park patron observed naked near a popular splashpad in broad daylight.
Numerous men caught with their pants down in the bushes off a well-used cycling trail.”
The tone was alarmist, its language vilifying gay sex in the wake of a self-congratulatory announcement from the Toronto police. After a six-week undercover operation, officers had nabbed 77 people (all but two were men), for having sex in the bushes.
As if the initial press conference wasn’t enough, it was followed on Nov 19, 2016, by a family-friendly Walk the Beat event, explicitly aimed at “taking back the park.” Residents were invited to help “clean up” the park, and officers gave the media and locals a tour of the areas where public sexual behavior allegedly took place (including a makeshift fort which police say men allegedly had sex in), pointing out litter, like condom wrappers, while 22 Division’s rover scouts innocuously served the kids hot chocolate and snacks.