Toronto Mayor John Tory is sorry for his “mistakes” after being photographed mingling with crowds and not properly wearing his mask at a Toronto park on the weekend.

On Saturday pictures circulated on social media showing Tory talking to Torontonians at Trinity Bellwoods Park. The mayor appeared not to be wearing his mask correctly or following physical distancing rules.

“I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday,” he said in a statement.

“I fully intended to properly physically distance, but it was very difficult to do. I wore a mask into the park, but I failed to use it properly, another thing I’m disappointed about. These were mistakes that I made and as a leader in this city, I know that I must set a better example going forward.”

Ironically, Tory said he went to the park to assess how closely people were following social distancing rules.

“I saw a crowd scene that was completely out of control relative to what we have been saying people should do… [People] were sitting in big groups really close together,” Tory said in a CP24 interview. “I just was dumbfounded by this kind of lack of personal responsibility.”

Tory has publicly scolded those he perceives as not taking precautions against coronavirus, including on Wednesday when he claimed, without proof, that men were refusing to wear face masks.

“There’s been some coverage lately that men in particular don’t want to wear masks or face coverings for a variety of reasons, but including one that says that they see it somehow as a sign of weakness,” Tory told reporters.

Many people were fined by police and bylaw officers for breaking public health orders at Trinity Bellwoods Park, bringing the number of Torontonians fined up to $1,000 to 600 as of Sunday.

Tory hopes that the incident will be a wakeup call for both the city and public, saying that in future everyone will have to learn to better obey public health orders while in Toronto’s parks.

“Lessons will be learned, including by me, and we will move forward and hopefully do better,” he said.

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