Barrie police were set to be back this morning to inspect the damage left behind following what police officials are calling an “unsanctioned” truck rally Saturday night in the parking lot at Bayfield Mall.
Officers from the force’s traffic unit – along with assistance from South Simcoe police and Ontario Provincial Police – were at the scene of the event in the city’s north end, confirmed Peter Leon, the force’s communications coordinator.
“We were very much aware of it. The only real difference is the location that was initially provided was not available to them, and they relocated it to Bayfield Mall parking lot near Canadian Tire.”
Leon told BarrieToday the event was initially advertised on social media as taking place in “a large municipal owned parking lot in south Barrie that is the home of the Barrie Colts”.
Officers from all three services “had a plan” and were prepared for the rally, which was described on TikTok as “rowdy” and expected to be a “banger”.
“We were prepared for it. The only thing was where they were going to assemble,” said Leon, adding police laid just over two dozen highway traffic act charges and seized one vehicle for stunt driving for something done on Bayfield Street.
The traffic unit was set to return to the lot Sunday to take a closer look in the daylight hours to see what damage was left behind on the asphalt surface by what Leon called a group of “disrespectful individuals".
“That’s really all you can call them. It was an unsanctioned event and they had no reason to be there. It is private property,” he said, estimating between 500 and 600 vehicles were there and there were upwards of 700 people in attendance.
“There didn’t seem to be much respect going on for anybody but these individuals who gathered to do what they do, knowing very well that these events and actions are not appreciated by the community, they’re not appreciated by the owners of the property.
"I am sure anybody that was travelling through the area or staying in the adjacent hotel would have probably been quite disturbed by the level of noise and disrespect that was shown,” he said, adding he was not aware of any injuries related to the gathering.
These types of events have started to grow in recent years, he acknowledged.
“We have seen an increase in them and where other communities have shown their displeasure of individuals hosting them, but we had a presence there last night and were able to charge a few of the participants.”